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RE: [Announce] The new Emacs homepage is online!

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: [Announce] The new Emacs homepage is online!
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 15:35:39 -0700 (PDT)

> >> Even just inverting to white-on-black would look much better.
> >
> > Seriously?  Beauty, and eye-strain, are apparently in the eye of the
> > beholder - at least in part.
> > http://lmgtfy.com/?q=eye+strain+reading+online+light+dark+background+screen
> > http://lmgtfy.com/?q=best+background+color+for+reading+on+computer
> Drew, sending a let-me-google-that-for-you link feels insulting.
> I'm sure you meant it as a joke, but it looks rude from here.

I didn't mean to be insulting, and I didn't mean it as a joke.
I thought it would be easier for readers than suggesting that
they search google using those words.  Sorry if that was unclear.

> Besides, here's a quote from the first result of the first link:
> > Therefore, you want a background with about the intensity of a dark
> > grey, with something about the intensity of a light grey.  However,
> > to get the high contrast I discussed above, you need to use color.

Maybe try looking beyond the first search hit.  Seriously, it's
an interesting and not-so-obvious subject.  I think you'll find
that more research supports dark on light than the reverse, but
I won't claim that it does.  I looked into it many years ago,
but of course things can change.

I'm pretty sure that most research at least supports fairly high
contrast between foreground and background (and I don't think
that is the case for the samples you pointed to).  High contrast
is also quite important for accessibility, FWIW.

> I don't necessarily agree, but I think your reply highlights the importance
> of showing that Emacs's looks can be customized to the taste of the user.

With that I absolutely agree: We should make clear that it is
easy to customize Emacs, including changing the default
foreground & background, controlling syntax highlighting, and
defining and using themes.

> I'll also note that:
> * vim is traditionally used in white-on-black terminals
> * Atom uses a dark theme by default
> * Spacemacs uses a dark theme by default
> * Visual Studio provides both options, and asks you at installation time

Yes, and there are lots of programmers who use light on dark.
(And there are lots of programmers who are wrong. ;-))

> On the other hand, Eclipse and jEdit do default to black on white.
> Drew, what would you think of adding a carousel showing the default themes?

Adding a link to a page that shows a few different themes
would be OK by me.  The idea would be to at least show some
breadth of possibility, not necessarily to suggest themes
that are popular or considered good.

> Maybe it would help make sure that everyone does get a "phew, Emacs can be
> made pretty" moment (though more people would also get a "eww, who would
> want Emacs to look like that" moment too).

I don't feel strongly about any of this.  And I think that
anyone can (and will) easily google for information about
themes and customization of Emacs.

I don't worry about whether people coming to the GNU Emacs page
become convinced that Emacs can be beautiful.  But I would hope
that they get the message that you can make it anything you want.

> Nicolas, do you think it would be
> a good idea? Would we want to also show more heavily customized copies of
> Emacs? Ideally, this could even come with the script used to generate the
> screenshots, so users can copy the styles if they want (in the fashion of
> what matplotlib does at http://matplotlib.org/gallery.html, for example).
> I'm sure Chris would be happy to provide details about the configuration
> that he used.

That kind of stuff is good for Emacs Wiki, IMHO.  Not so much
for the GNU Emacs site.  The message of the GNU site wrt such
things should be that you can easily customize Emacs.  The GNU
page need not (and probably should not) try to be a portal and
a place for shopping this and that.

Just one opinion.

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