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Re: blue on black is unreadable

On 22-Mar-00, 21:41 (CST), Peter Cordes <peter@llama.nslug.ns.ca> wrote: 
>  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.

No, because you then break all my settings that use "normal" (dark) blue
and red as background colors.

>  Unless the darkish colours get used as alternate background colours, they
> are wasted.

They do.

  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. 

No, you doen't use them. I use them a lot, to highlight urls and headers
in mutt, for example.

>  Is there a reason why /etc/X11/Xresources/xterm defaults to black on white
> instead of gray90 on black?  

Because that's what xterms do (by default) on every other single X
implementation ever done? (Ok, that's probably an exageration...but not
completely misleading, either.)

> 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.

I wouldn't. A lot of people I work with wouldn't. (Many would, of
course). I, for example, find it easier to read black text on light
backgrounds in xterms. My favorite is black on "blanchedAlmond". I
don't, however, think that should be Debian's global default.

(I wonder if the preference for light-on-dark vs dark-on-light depends
on ambient light conditions?)

> 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.

We do cater to them. We have window managers that support themes and
easy ways to change them.

We have a nice set of default colors. They are easy to modify (in the
xterm case, if you don't have the desire to mess with Xresources, -fg
and -bg work quite nicely). Are they they best possible defaults?
Probably not. But if you change them, probably for every person who you
made happier, there's another you've pissed off.

Why do so many people want to believe that their personal preferences
represent universal truth? I agree that demonstrably bad defaults
(dark-on-dark) should be changed. But the reality is that things like
color selection are such a personal-preference issue that *most* people
will eventually tweak them to their preference, and the best we can (and
should) do is use a *workable* default, and go on.

(If there is a >90% consensus that we change the xterm default to white
on black, and change the kernel definition (or whatever) of "blue" to
something lighter, then fine, do it. But I strongly believe that you
won't get anywhere near that much agreement.)

Steve Greenland <vmole@swbell.net>
(Please do not CC me on mail sent to this list; I subscribe to and read
every list I post to.)

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