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Re: [PATCH 0/3] Various clean up in preparation for libtextstyle

From: H. S. Teoh
Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/3] Various clean up in preparation for libtextstyle
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:00:14 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

On Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 09:52:53PM +0100, Akim Demaille wrote:
> hi HS,
> > Le 14 févr. 2019 à 21:30, H. S. Teoh <address@hidden> a écrit :
> > You probably shouldn't pay too much attention to my opinion on this
> > topic, because I'm clearly an outlier, being an insane person who
> > deliberately turns *off* syntax highlighting while coding, but I
> > find color output from terminal programs very distracting.
> I used to think that, but when clang and gcc introduced color in their
> diagnostics, I clearly saw this as an improvement (to my eyes).  I
> also appreciate the colors in diff, and in git.

OTOH, I found all of these instances quite annoying, and took pains to
turn them all off.  As they say, YMMV. :-D

> At the beginning I did not like the caret error either, but then I
> realized that in a terminal, they do help a lot.  In an IDE such as
> Emacs, they don't help much, but in a terminal, they do.  That's why I
> added them to Bison.  Since then, I much prefer having them than not.

Caret errors are good.  I don't have a problem with that.  What I do
have a problem with is color, especially the garish 8-bit kind that
we're usually stuck with due to historical reasons (try doing 16-bit or
more and you start getting into the messy realm of parsing $TERM and
dealing with termcap with spotty/inconsistent support across different
terminal implementations).

> > I won't oppose using libtextstyle or Bison adopting color
> > diagnostics, but if it were added I would request a way to turn it
> > off so that it doesn't give me a headache.
> Of course!  As a matter of fact, if we are to adopt libtextstyle, not
> only can you easily turn off the colors, but you may also decide to
> use other styles.  For instance, if instead of
> .warning   { color : purple; }
> .error     { color : red; }
> .note      { color : cyan; }
> I put this in diagnostics.css:
> .warning   { }
> .error     { font-weight : 800; text-decoration : underline; }
> .note      { }

Whoa. IMNSHO, when a program needs to parse CSS just to be able to print
diagnostic messages, then something has gone truly rotten in the state
of programming.

If forced to write one, my version of diagnostics.css would be:

        * { }


The underline style is nice, I suppose, but the other examples you gave
are exactly the kind of ugly garish colors straight out of the 80's that
I find so unpalatable.  Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything
against garish colors -- in fact I find them quite nostalgic, having
first started to program in the 80's, but they are also totally
distracting and unnecessary (including the underlines) when I'm trying
to focus on the programming problem at hand.

But really, this is just my own peculiar personal preference.  I haven't
found anyone else that shares my dislike for syntax highlighting and
colored text in general, so as I said -- I'm an outlier and you needn't
worry too much about me. :-P


Perhaps the most widespread illusion is that if we were in power we would 
behave very differently from those who now hold it---when, in truth, in order 
to get power we would have to become very much like them. -- Unknown

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