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

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: "modern" colors Re: Changes for emacs 28
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 2020 10:52:37 -0400

   On Fri, Sep 11, 2020 at 10:23:19AM -0400, Stefan Monnier wrote:
   >> If you change a single face it doesn't improve anything. The whole thing
   >> is the important. The overall result after all the changes. A light
   >> toolbar looks worst with a dark background as well; big icons looks
   >> terrible with small fonts.
   >I personally have no idea what "modern" looks like or what makes
   >something look "modern", so I'd welcome a description.  Showing me
   >examples doesn't really help me.  By description I don't mean "change
   >this one face to foo", but rather the underlying ideas behind the
   >various changes.
   >        Stefan
   I will try my best but my terminology could be totally wrong (worst than
   my English). (Note that I only use emacs from the terminal anyway)

I'd like to get back to the initial premsis that "some color changes"
could make Emacs more modern.  While this list is interesting, and
lists things that Emacs already provides, it is slightly on the left
side of the topic.  I wanted to understand what is the meaning of
"modern", and "some color" changes seemed to be easy enough to

   2) Modeline: Our modeline is a kind of relic from other times. With the
   same gray color in the terminal and some cryptic information. It also
   shows the line but not the column by default and the file status is
   somehow in that cryptic initial part I don't think many users understand
   very well.

   Just adding an * to the filename in modeline (and or tab when using
   them) or changing the color is easier to understand. Than

How is that different from today?  ** signifies that the buffer is

New users don't have to understand it from the start though, it is
something one can come to understand with using Emacs.  If you hover
with the mouse over each item, it will describe what each thing means,
and you can change each thing accordingly.

   3) Colors: People prefer higher contrast in general 4 example: in my
   system when the region es enabled the default gray color is so light
   that I can't see it. Same applies to icon that when enabled or disabled
   the difference sometimes is minimal.

Can you provide research on that people do actually prefer higher
contrast in general?  Your example doesn't really follow from the
first claim -- since that is your specific preference, not everyone
elses preference.

   Usually blues and green are more attractive to users (that's why MS
   decided to use them for their OS). PANTONE448C (a kind of yellow + grey)
   is considered the ugliest color ever and our UI and fonts are mostly
   grey and yellow-orange.

Again, what is the basis for these claims?  You make several of them
that this or that is the case, but you do not say on what basis the
claim is made, it would be very interesting to read about it.

For example, several applications (e.g, even those that you mention)
also implement light colored themes.  Most source forges also default
to white backgrounds, so the claim that there is some preference for
one (or the other!) seems weak.

Only that a general acceptance that people have a preference for
something; and Emacs already has means for switching to dark/light
backgrounds -- maybe this could be made easier to switch, for example
a dark/light-toggle-mode that switches between the default dark and
light coloring scheme.

   4) Right click: (Probably it is the most lacking functionality and
   surprising for any user not using the terminal.) Right click is expected
   to bring a panel with the most common operations. It is useful, fast
   and somehow standard since 1995 while removing most of the needs of the
   toolbar which takes precious vertical space.

The behaviours you describe are not that standard on the systems where
Emacs is mainly used, namely GNU systems with X11 for right clickity
behaviour, where it has been standard for the last 30 odd years (and
probobly longer, since this behaviour dates back at least to the Lisp

It is important to remeber that Emacs has to pick some default, as it
happens it is the one where it was developed on.

   6) fill-column-indicator, indent-column-indicator,
   highlight-all-like-this on mouse double click and idle,
   show-parent-mode, show-trailing-whitespaces.

Could you explain how those modes are useful, is it for new users,
programming, what exactly?

Seeing the fill-column-indicator seems slightly useless, since if you
fill the region that will be honoured anyway.  indent-column-indicator
seems to be a programming thing and probobly only useful for some
specific programming languages or narrow use cases, same with
highlight-all-like-this and show-trailing-whitespaces.

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