Dark, but not too dark


For the longest time, computer systems designers and website developers worked in a world that was largely dark text on a white background. I’ll admit that they’ve done a pretty good job at it.

Recently, we’re seeing a trend towards a “dark” setting in the operating system and applications. It’s a thing that I immediately jumped at. Maybe it’s because I like to work in a darkened room or late at night/early in the morning where the white background can, at times, blind a guy. I’ve also read that you can extend your battery life a bit on portables by not blasting out the bright background. Then, there’s that whole blue light thing that we’ve already seen workaround for.

Typically, you go into your settings or control panel or equivalent and look for display and, if that option is available, it’s just a quick switch and you’ve gone dark.

In Windows, the setting can be found under personalization…

You can also change the accent colour – I love green.

In the Brave browser, it’s under Appearance…

In Twitter, it looks like this…

I can’t decide, in my mind, whether or not I want “Dim” or “Lights out” but I know for sure that I don’t want the default which makes so much of the screen white.

Of course, these are all personal preferences and so you customize as you wish and at your own risk.

Like many settings that end up being part of the final product, dark default settings weren’t always the norm. Sometimes you had to download a Theme to make it happen or go into Advanced settings that are hidden in Experiments on Chromium based browsers. (like Brave)

Recently, I got excited about a new Experiment. Instead of dickering around with application after application, why not do them all at once. Yes, there’s an Experiment for that.

It’s called “Force Dark Mode for Web Contents”. I kind of liked the concept. There were a number of different ways to enable it that forced me to do some additional learning.

And, you know what, I didn’t like what I saw. Right now, the setting makes some decisions that I couldn’t live with. In particular, when I was working with documents, it made more intuitive sense to work with dark type of a light background (like this blog post). It didn’t seem right to be using bright white on a dark background. The worse part happened in WordPress and a few other applications.

Some of the utilities are coded to be black on white. So, when I did the switcheroo, it ended up being black on black. Or, minimally functional as dark grey on black.

As a result, I switched this Experiment back to the Default. It’s not ready for prime time around here. The fact that it’s an Experiment means that there are some pretty smart people working on it.

Maybe eventually it will work out. At the moment, it’s not for me.

What are your thoughts about a dark desktop? Are you a purist or are you looking at ways to make some changes?

OTR Links 07/14/2021


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.