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Re: solarized

From: Tim Cross
Subject: Re: solarized
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2020 09:39:43 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.5.5; emacs 27.1.50

Arthur Miller <arthur.miller@live.com> writes:

> Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org> writes:
>> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
>> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
>> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>>   > > And then invert it for light backgrounds?
>>   > So you mean to develop two distinct sets of colours? 
>> No, just one set.  Then compute the inverse of the colors
>> in that set.
>> By inverse I mean, the color that is to white as color X is to black.
>> I don't know what formula is needed for that, but I presume someone does.
> Yes, it would be possible; by choosing some criteria for difference in
> contrast or shade or some other, for example by choosing a complementary
> colors could be one way, or tertiary colors or some other "predefined
> way". But people might not be satisfied with the choice for any reason,
> so maybe some functionality to precompute a shade from a given shade and
> desired contrast, could be added as well.

While I think these discussions are very valuable, I just wanted to
mention one aspect of the Solarized theme which I think is quite
important. It is one of the few themes with a defined underlying
philosophy/principal. Many other themes are just something someone has
defined, felt it looked good and released it. Solarized has a more
formal definition.

This is important because it makes the theme fairly consistent across
different applications. You can add this theme to your terminal, your
window manager, your browser, various editors etc and get a consistent
scheme across the board.

Consider the situation now with M-x customize-theme. There is a list of
themes and some of them are likely known (such as 'tango') while others
are probably unknown and you can only try them out to see what they look
like. The ones which are known are likely very similar to themes of the
same name used in other applications, but perhaps not quite because they
lack a clear definition/philosophy.

Adding solarized-light and solarized-dark to that list of available
themes would provide a theme which may be more consistent to other
applications using that theme. This could help new users in getting an
initial look which is familiar and provide a comfortable starting point
with very little effort. As reducing the cognitive difference level for
new users is likely beneficial, adding this theme would seem to have
some benefits with very little downside.

We can probably define a theme which is better than Solarized, but that
is a different objective IMO. What we should avoid doing is implementing
a theme called Solarized which is 'improved' or different from the
original definition - call it something else.

Tim Cross

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