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Re: "modern" colors Re: Changes for emacs 28

From: Arthur Miller
Subject: Re: "modern" colors Re: Changes for emacs 28
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 15:16:12 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

ams@gnu.org (Alfred M. Szmidt) writes:

>    >   >   Actually spacemacs made it to look a bit more modern by just 
> changing
>    >   >   some colors.
>    >   >
>    >   >What kind of changes to colors was that?  It would be good to quantify
>    >   >what "modern" means.
>    >
>    >   In general this is very subjective. But looking at WinXP vs Win10 one
>    >   gets more or less where the style feeling is moving to. Specially the
>    >   colors and the default fonts in the interfaces make a big difference;
>    >   but also the whole integration.
>    >
>    >Could you list those changes?
>    1) The "included" themes (not only the default one) are a bit more
>    "attractive" and similar to the ones in VSCode, Sublime or Android
>    Studio:
>    https://themegallery.robdor.com/
> That lists several hundreds of themes.  Can you summarize _what_
> changes where done to make Emacs look more modern?  A list of maybe
> 3-5 things would give a good idea.  For example, one concrete change
> is to replace a warning face that is bright yellow with a dark yellow.
>    2) In the windows side they just made the whole colors a bit more
>    "coherent" with the internal themes,
> What does that mean? What changes did they (who is they?) do exactly?
>    2.1) the menu-bar is usually more "compact" with a smaller and bold font
>    (OR hided OR enabled xterm-mouse-mode because otherwise the toolbar is
>    pretty much useless as F10 is intercepted by most of the terminal
>    emulators or desktop environments).
>    2.2) In the case where they keep the tool-bar the icons are smaller and
>    more "attractive". Lets say sometimes independent of the theme, but in
>    general smaller.
> How are the more attractive?  The list you provided doesn't show a
> single tool-bar.
>    3) Finally they fully redesigned the mode-line. I don't like all the
>    changes they did because they require many extra external packages that
>    increase too much the loading time and I prefer to load my emacs in less
>    than 1 sec. But form the aestetic point of view it is an important
>    change.
> In what way have the "fully redesigned the mode-line"? The link you
> provided has no mode-lines.  
> Please be specific, give examples -- "it is more attractive" without
> explicilty saying what "it" is makes for a long discussion.

What changes are attractive or modern will depend on the user and
his/her taste mostly. We could also said provide more useful, gentle for
the eyes etc.

I don't liek staring at white backgrounds, it is like looking into a
lamp. As I write this I have half of my screen on white background (a
github page) and white in dary green (Emacs) and I can clearly compare
and see how much harder it is to look at white background of Github.

Anyway, if you gonna include a new theme or color framework in Emacs, I
think you should include Solarized as ported by B. Batsov:


Furthermore his theme could be simplified and ported to a framework,
call it "colorized" which could consist of 8 base colors + 8 accented
colors + 8 lighter/darker accented colors. That gives a total of
framework 32 colors, which should be more then enough to theme a

Any design book nowadays will speak of importance of a color palette and
visual coherence of elements on the screen, be it an application GUI,
document or a web page. Too many colors is just not very good for
different reasons be it a pedagogical, aesthetic or something else.

Emacs seems to completely lack guidance for package developers/scripts
how to write visually appealing and color coherent extensions.
Furthermore nature of Elisp and Emacs lets you change anything in
arbitrary way, and everything being text in Emacs usually results in
color output of Emacs on the screen being a rainbow. Maybe there could
be a color guidance and framework for extensions to use and follow to
offer more visual coherence as well as ease of modding and choosing a
color theme. I think Batsov's Solarized makes a good candidate to turn
it into such framework.

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