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color annoyances: the terror regime of white and bright colors

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tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

I recently set my gtk theme to Tenebrific, it's a beautiful black theme. I also set my background color to black, and my eyes loved the lack of light that was reaching them Smiling . I would like light grey text on dark grey background even more, but haven't found such a theme yet.

Then I started flock (for those who don't know it: it's a webbrowser based on firefox). The menu bar used the white text color of the gtk theme, but the light blue background color of the flock theme - and there is only one flock theme right now! OK, I can live without a readable menu bar. What's worse is that some websites - such as archlinux.org - set the background color of input boxes but not the foreground color. White text on light blue background again! Also quite painful is the fact that most websites use light and bright colors, which contrast with the dark rest of my GUI.

Of course I could use a webbrowser that doesn't show any colors or graphics, but many pages become nearly unreadable in those. So how do I make the web eye-friendly without creating an own css for each and every page? The best solution would be something that makes everything except links greyscale, even images (except when pointed at).

Any ideas?

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
not much you can do

All you can do is try to get every web designer to have some sense.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
hehe, I sometimes set up my

hehe, I sometimes set up my system like that, and when I see a web site that misbehaves, I write to the webmater...
anyway, in Firefox ( and most other browsers I suppose ), you can forbid site-set colours. This still leaves the images though... (and creates an enourmous problem with wrong background images I suppse.. though I haven't looked around with those settings.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I have the same problem with

I have the same problem with dark themes which I am sometimes in the mood for. The thing is though that majority of web sites are and probably will be bright. It's just something that feels more natural to people and apparently most web designers. The argument about white color on the screen being like staring at thousands light bulbs doesn't hold as well, IMHO, because monitors are of such quality today that they can almost be compared with looking at the actual white paper at which you write or from which you read.

Most people see it that way too, obviously, and hence the dominance of bright colors on the web.

Your only chance is to customize your own view, client side, in any way you can.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Actually the lightbulb

Actually the lightbulb argument is true. Looking at a screen is looking at direct light, whereas looking at paper is looking at indirect light. Indirect light is better for your eyes because there is no contrast with the environment.

Anyway I figured out light grey on dark grey is the easiest on the eyes, so I maybe somehow I could make X display everything in reversed color... but then photos will look ridiculous. A good intermediate solution would be to make all not-selected elements on the web greyscale. Does anyone know a browser or ff extension that does that?

free-zombie's picture
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the lightbulb argument is,

the lightbulb argument is, alas, not aparent to most people as they always have lights on when working at the computer...

and - if libervisco agrees - why is this place so light ?

libervisco's picture
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tbuitenh wrote:Actually
tbuitenh wrote:

Actually the lightbulb argument is true. Looking at a screen is looking at direct light, whereas looking at paper is looking at indirect light. Indirect light is better for your eyes because there is no contrast with the environment.

Well, true that it's the direct light, but compare light coming from your monitor with the light of the sky out (which is actually redirected and still much lighter than the monitor) and the monitor screen light would be practically insignificant. One low power lightbulb can still light up a whole room, while computer monitor wouldn't. The light of computer screens aren't some sort of tiny limelights or whatever. They're barely lit up so that you can see what needs to be seen on the screen. It's not like someone's redirecting Sun into your eyes..

But okay, we could then say looking at the bright sky too much would hurt your eyes too. Sure, whatever. I'd say sky is then even more dangerous than the computer screen.

free-zombie wrote:

and - if libervisco agrees - why is this place so light ?

I don't agree. Sticking out tongue

Imagine if this place was all dark. Light font on black/grey background. IMHO it would look like a freaking gaming community or an astronomy site. The penguin logo would itself be too bright to be included in the header, as would many other banners. Many bright screenshots would stand out too much from the design. Sorry, but it's pretty much an unwritten web design standard. Most of the time it just has to be bright. Most of the dark websites look just ugly to me for these reasons and if you know anything about me then it's that I don't like ugly websites. Sticking out tongue

Personally, I find it more offending to my eyes when looking at a too dark site and then going back to the 90% of the bright web. I hate those shifts.. so if web's gonna be white it better be all white. If it's gonna be dark it better be all dark, but that isn't happening.

Oh well.. if you wish we can start working on an alternative dark theme for Nuxified.org which you could choose from your profile, but it's likely not all features of the current design would be supported there as this is a custom theme.

/rant

Thanks

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Hey I'm not working in the

Hey I'm not working in the dark (thank goodness) but I still think my screen is way too much brighter than everything around it. I could decrease the brightness but that doesn't help much (the thing refuses to decrease it more than a certain amount)

Why do you think traditionally the commandline is light text on a dark background? It's because it's easier on the eyes. Almost nobody used light backgrounds until that silly "papers on a desktop" metaphor was introduced. Paper is white.
If everyone does something a certain way, that doesn't mean it's a good way (or would you say ms windows is good? Eye )

Of course the web is not going to adapt to me, but maybe someone could at least point me at a utility that makes it less bright and colorful only on my screen? If other people want bright and colorful I don't have a problem with that, there just has to be some way around it.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Let's just say I'm too used

Let's just say I'm too used to bright web designs and considering the dominance of bright colors on the web it is hard to design a good looking dark site (if you must include certain elements over which you don't have much control over, such as banners, which are usually bright).

But of course, there ought to be a way for someone who wants to see it differently to set it that way. I just don't know that way, aside for what was already suggested.

I might be able to set things up so that this current theme has an alternative CSS file with an alternative color theme and let everyone select that in your profile. If that'd be possible than those who'd like a darker color scheme will be able to use one. Eye

I'll let you know. Smiling

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
new dark theme

libervisco and I have been working the past two days to make a new dark theme. You can use it by going to my account>edit>Theme configuration>nuxified_dark.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Pretty! Nice work! Three

Pretty! Nice work!

Three nits:
- It would be even better if the black background was a dark grey (darker than the darkgrey of content, but not black)
- Lightblue on grey doesn't really work, I would use black for the border of a selected textarea (such as the comment area when you're typing in it), and a lighter grey instead of blue for text that is blue right now.
- That bright resize bar below the comment textarea....

libervisco's picture
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Thanks for your suggestions.

Thanks for your suggestions. Black background was suggested by a_thing as some other colors, so I guess you guys would have to come to some sort of consensus on that. Eye I personally don't prefer either and probably wont be using the dark version most of the time. Since you probably will, it's on you guys to decide what you'd like best. Eye

Thanks

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Konqueror allows you to

Konqueror allows you to force all colors (except in images) to what you like. It cannot be done without some sites becoming ugly, but at least they don't hurt the eyes so much anymore.

settings -> configure konqueror -> stylesheets

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21