Monday, 27 September 2010

Black on White

Hmm, was it firefox that changed the default background colour of web pages to white rather than the more eye friendly grey? And why do gnu/linux distributions like to use white-on-black as the default colour scheme for terminals - which is also very bad for your eyes?

I noticed that particularly with a couple of big screens I use that the white on black is giving me sore eyes - and the pretty nasty headaches I had last week i've worked out were probably an extreme result of it too. I changed netbeans to a mid-light-grey background and firefox too and already i'm already finding it a lot easier to look at the screen. Although for some reason the firefox changes have broken certain images.

What I don't understand is: everyone knows these colour schemes are not comfortable to look at for hours on end, why are they the defaults everywhere? Is it just to copy microsoft or apple operating systems, and if so, why are they also so poorly thought out to begin with?

1 comment:

David Tweed said...

I really have problems with white as well. I suppose it's a debatable matter of taste whether bright-white-background should be a default or not. What's really, really most annoying though is when an application (generally by delegating to a toolkit) gives you the opportunity to change SOME colours whilst leaving others hardcoded in a way that means in practice you can't change the colours at all. I can't remember off-hand an exact real example, but you get things like "in an IDE you can change the text and background from black and white but breakpoints are fixed as grey and line numbers are fixed as black". This means that it's pretty much impossible to pick a grey/black background which keeps everything visible. I really wish if a program provides colour configuration someone should have to go through and actually test that it's actually usable.