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Re: blue on black is unreadable

On Wed, Mar 22, 2000 at 11:41:35PM -0400, Peter Cordes wrote:
> > 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,

... but it makes default midnight commander setting in a xterm wacky
(lightgray and white on bright blue...). 

>  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.

actually, there is a program doing this (ctheme), it works in userspace,
modifying VGA palette. It is really great, has many themes included, and can
modify palette on per-console basis.
I am thinking of packaging it, when I get some spare time....

> > 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.)

and midnight commander uses blue as background.

>  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.

I personally like lightgray background and black foreground in xterm, because 
this way small fonts are more readable... these preferences vary a lot
between users.

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