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Re: blue on black is unreadable

> Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 13:56:52 -0600
> From: Steve Greenland <stevegr@debian.org>
> To: debian-devel@lists.debian.org
> Subject: Re: blue on black is unreadable
> On 21-Mar-00, 20:06 (CST), Peter Cordes <peter@llama.nslug.ns.ca> wrote: 
> >  The Linux text console is readable (barely), but xterm uses and even worse
> > colour for ANSI blue.  (assuming black background).  The fix for this
> > is to change the colour used by xterm for ANSI blue, instead of changing all
> > apps to use a different ANSI colour escape code.
> That's a neat trick for xterms,

 Thanks :)

> but since even you admit that
> blue-on-black is only "barely" readable on the text console, wouldn't it
> be better to just not have default configurations use blue-on-black? (It
> shouldn't be a matter of changing apps, only default configs.)

 Actually, I took another look at the console.  The ANSI bright-blue used by
ls for directories is actually quite easy to see.  The normal blue used by
lynx is not great, but readable.  I'm sure there is a way to set the colours
the kernel uses somewhere, so doing this would be the best option.

> If you're setting up a default color scheme for an app, the basic "rule"
> is to use light colored text on dark backgrounds, and dark colored text
> on light backgrounds. The only other thing you need to know is that
> neither red nor blue are "light" colors.

 Unless the darkish colours get used as alternate background colours, they
are wasted.  There only are 16 colours, so deciding to never use 4 
({dark ,}{blue,red}) of them seems like a bad idea.  Brightening them up so
they look good on a black background is good, since hardly anything uses
dark-but-not-black background colours.  (jed uses blue for it's status line,
but yellow is still visible against the BLUE_COLOUR I suggested.)

 Is there a reason why /etc/X11/Xresources/xterm defaults to black on white
instead of gray90 on black?  With my colour mods to make ls output visible,
could the default change to be gray90 on black?  Most new users won't get
around to finding the xterm resources file for a long time, and I imagine
they would be happier with black bg xterms until they do.  We should cater
to users who don't know where you change everything by having a nice set of
default colours.  This isn't like keymaps and stuff, since it only looks
different, and isn't nearly so hard to get used to.

#define X(x,y) x##y
DUPS Secretary ; http://is2.dal.ca/~dups/
Peter Cordes ;  e-mail: X(peter@cordes.phys. , dal.ca)

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
 Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
 my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BCE

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