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Darkness optional

By boxed in Meta
Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 04:27:29 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

I must say that I have been duly impressed by the nice design/layout of k5 but why does it have to be so white? I propose an option of darkness for us with sensitive eyes.


This is not a simple matter of using color override in your browser, since the big white graphics still light up heavily. It'd be a nice feature if there could be an option where you set the background as black, the text as gray and where all the pictures are made as dark as possible. And in case you don't have time to do the neccessary conversion of all the pics, I hereby volunteer myself.

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Poll
Kuro5hin's design is...
o Really cool 30%
o Good 28%
o Too Dark 1%
o Too Bright 19%
o Argh! My Eyes! My Eyes! 20%

Votes: 184
Results | Other Polls

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o volunteer myself
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Darkness optional | 44 comments (37 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
Or better yet (3.22 / 9) (#1)
by Defect on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:26:22 AM EST

someone write a plugin for the popular browsers that views the negative of a page.

I personally like the white background, because i usually visit this site at work and it is easier to blend in a browser window with a white background than one with a black.

and besides, black looks like porn or warez.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
which part of "option" is not understood (2.00 / 1) (#32)
by Chakotay on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 05:43:59 PM EST

He's talking about making a darker backgrounds an option, a user preference, so you and all the other conservatives can stick to a white background, while others can choose to have another background.

Maybe you can make a variable choice of background colours and font colours just like you now already have a choice of font style and size. Maybe offer the choice between "bright white", "pitch black", "50/50 grey" and "K5 blue" for background and text colours?

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

Kinda... (2.00 / 1) (#33)
by Chakotay on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 05:49:21 PM EST

You've apparently never seen The Dark Side of The Other Side...

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]
Can of worms (3.14 / 7) (#2)
by recursive on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:27:23 AM EST

This topic is a can of worms. Quickly everybody will want k5 to have skins and themes to fit ones own taste. For example, I find the option for light weight HTML at That Other Site useful: fewer graphics, default background.

-- My other car is a cdr.


First ideas for a skin (4.00 / 7) (#3)
by Defect on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:43:52 AM EST

A lotus notes or MS Access skin.

it would make it so much easier to look like i'm doing work right now.

*sigh*

it's a friday, give me a break.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
[ Parent ]
The Other Side (none / 0) (#31)
by Chakotay on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 05:37:40 PM EST

For example, I find the option for light weight HTML at That Other Site useful: fewer graphics, default background.

Actually, I find The Other Side to be a more comfortable read than K5. They have more grey and black (and green) breaking the white background.

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

What day is it? (2.50 / 6) (#4)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:58:36 AM EST

I think someone dresses everyday like its halloween.

Or maybe just dresses in black because that's how one feels on the inside?

Personally, I would love to see a dark and gloomy kuro5hin. Then the name of the site would fit in with the style much, much better. OTOH, I have to admit that I agree that the uptight and white style is much better camoflage against my xterms and Lotus Notes screens while I'm on the clock.

What else can be said but: hey now, hey now now, sing this kuro5hin to me.

Dark background, fine. But dark text too? (3.25 / 8) (#6)
by marlowe on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:29:31 AM EST

I'll gladly put up with any color scheme that provides decent contrast. I like dark backgrounds, by the way. But grey text is out. There's no way to get decent contrast with grey text, no matter what the background color. A dark background calls for light colored text, and vice versa. No grey text or background.

And if somebody really really wants dark on dark colors, he can just turn down the brightness and contrast settings on his monitor. Problem solved.

And substance still matters. If the page is loaded with mindless crap, I won't care what color it is.



-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --
eh? bad contrast? (none / 0) (#18)
by boxed on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:05:42 PM EST

Light gray text on black gives very good contrast, what are you talking about?

[ Parent ]
Colours and brightness and contrast, oh my! (none / 0) (#30)
by Chakotay on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 05:34:41 PM EST

And if somebody really really wants dark on dark colors, he can just turn down the brightness and contrast settings on his monitor. Problem solved.

Suggesting a large scale hardware symptom fix while a small scale software cause fix is possible isn't exactly the right thing to do :)

I have my brightness and contrast set up so that I can comfortably read off my black terminal emulators and my dark blue Licq. I have no trouble reading black text off white background in relatively small windows like the xconsole and Licq message boxes, but reading it off large surfaces, like a web browser, becomes hard on my eyes, especially when my room is relatively dark and I'm relatively tired. Added to that is the fact that my monitor isn't exactly top of the line, so you see some irritating flickering occurring in large white areas.

As for a grey background - nothing wrong with that. The standard netscape background colour is 50/50 grey. Works fine with black text - not with white text though.

And substance still matters. If the page is loaded with mindless crap, I won't care what color it is.

Cool, so then you can stick to the default black text on white background, while people who are slightly visually challenged in whatever way, or who simply have "bad taste", can choose to get a grey background with black text, or a black background with white text.

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

Look around you... (none / 0) (#42)
by B'Trey on Fri Oct 20, 2000 at 08:51:34 AM EST

But grey text is out. There's no way to get decent contrast with grey text, no matter what the background color. A dark background calls for light colored text, and vice versa. No grey text or background.

That's funny. The box right above your message has a light grey background. It has the title in black text and your name and the time/date you posted in dark grey text. The contrast looks fine to me.

[ Parent ]

Pink Floyd weighs in on the issue (3.45 / 11) (#7)
by JB on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:38:27 AM EST

We don't want no Ergonomics
We don't need layout control,
no darkened backgrounds for this forum
Kiddies, leave those screens alone.
HEY, KIDDIES, LEAVE THOSE SCREENS ALONE!


On the other hand, 7 percent of the male population has impaired color vision, and a smaller percent (accounting for millions of people worldwide) have visual systems that are different in other ways. So maybe some flexibility would be good. But that is something that should be implemented for an OS, not for a particular web site.

What about the illiterate ? (none / 0) (#14)
by retinaburn on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:49:34 PM EST

A large portion of people are illiterate ..how about an option that changes all the text to be spelled phonetically. :)


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
A good idea (none / 0) (#19)
by JB on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:06:43 PM EST

Why spell it phonetically when the computer can speak it??
People that are completely blind, or that have dsylexia or some condition that makes it difficult or impossible to read would benefit greatly. Again, a good idea, but not necessarily in the purvey of K5.

JB

[ Parent ]
A good idea. That's why it's been done (none / 0) (#36)
by ambrosen on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 09:09:35 AM EST

If the w3c accessibility guidlines are followed when the code is being written, then something like the browsers listed here will be able to output it for the user.

So it is within the remit of K5/Scoop to make this possible. I've no idea how near the current version is to complying anyhow.

Ambrose

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]

If you're gonna go THAT far... 8-) (none / 0) (#22)
by Scriven on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:52:05 PM EST

Hell, if you're gonna go that far, why not, throw in automatic Babelfishing, with Eubonics, Pig-Latin, Mock-Swedish (A La The Swedish Chef, Bork Bork Bork!), and why not a Canadianizer, an Aussifizer, or any other group you can think of (who will, of course, take it as the joke that it is).

I'm a Canuck, so of course the Canadianizer would look normal to me.
8-p


--
This is my .sig. It isn't very big. (an oldie, but a goodie)
[ Parent ]
canuck eh ? (none / 0) (#40)
by retinaburn on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 04:18:30 PM EST

I am too but i like Kanadian better ...makes us seem more dangerous and not nearly so "hey do ou live in an igloo"'ish. yeah I get broadband to my igloo !!!


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
New-media, user interfaces and stone age (3.41 / 12) (#9)
by evvk on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:38:24 PM EST

Why does everything have to be hip-looking contentless bloated and unusable new-media crap nowadays? I prefer the "dull" netscape default gray-background with black text because it works. Most sites just don't let me have it, and some even force me to use a magnifying class (yes, <font size=1>). The "development" of HTML should really have stopped at html2.0+tables (are tables even used for what they were made for anymore? All I see is layout kludges.).

The web has literally taken user interfaces to stone age. Imagine I'm now writing this text in a tiny box in netscape window with no real editing capabilities. And I have no way to see what articles I have read before reading part of them. USENET has been invented and there's a plethora of news readers that have a lot better and more powerfull user interface than web can offer. And one can use his/her favourite editor. Of course USENET doesn't provide the kind of moderation weblogs have, but this could be worked on. And webpages/forms are _slow_. Of course there are advantages of this approach as well, but some sort of NNTP-gateway would be a good thing.

Oh, BTW, there's a bug in the k5 css-declaration: I get this text in navigator3:
.menu{font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; font-color:#FFFFFF;}


You are missing the poster's point (3.66 / 6) (#23)
by tom0 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 05:28:01 PM EST

The point of the submission is not to ask for a "hip-looking contentless bloated and unusable new-media crap" K5. It is to ask for a readable K5. Sure, you may not want the suggested color-scheme, but depending on the severity of the poster's light sensitivity, it might make the difference between readability for them.

Once, when I started a job, I had a chuckle when I walked past a certain cube. The screen had wacky fonts, in all manner of crazy colors (like turquoise on hot pink). I thought, "Wow, I wonder how anyone can read that?". Next time I walked by, it wasn't as funny, as I saw a nearly-blind co-worker leaned right up to that screen.

I'm glad I didn't say to anyone "Whoa, look that screen!", and for the same reason, I think this is a poor place for venting your (IMHO justified) diatribe on the state of web layout in general.

Oh, and if there were a "darkened" version of k5 I'd probably use it, too.

[ Parent ]

Re: You are missing the poster's point (3.60 / 5) (#25)
by evvk on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 05:49:20 PM EST

Yes.., but by not forcing a certain layout and colorset everybody wins. You know, HTML used to be a structural markup language.

[ Parent ]
NNTP Gateway? (2.00 / 1) (#44)
by dlc on Thu Nov 09, 2000 at 08:29:22 AM EST

some sort of NNTP-gateway would be a good thing

Intriguing idea.

Shouldn't it merely (hah!) a matter of running a daemon that polls the database, selects stories and their comments, formats them as text, and posts them to a NNTP server?

Hmmm... I think it can be done.


(darren)
[ Parent ]

Just let me me keep the current colors (3.28 / 7) (#13)
by PresJPolk on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:14:31 PM EST

For historical and/or biological reasons, I find dark text on a light background easier to read than light text on a dark background.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who is this way, so just keep the current default the default, if you make a dark background an option.

CRT (none / 0) (#15)
by evvk on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:50:00 PM EST

I find light backgrounds too bright on a CRT so I prefer dark backgrounds. LCDs are a little better with white backgrouns, but the computer screen just is not paper. (Obviously white paper is nicer to read than black, and paper in general is nicer to read than computer screen).

[ Parent ]
but why? (none / 0) (#26)
by ameoba on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:28:50 PM EST

Is black on white really the best for reading print, or is it another historical thing? Obiously it's easier to make paper white, and stick black squigles on it, but is it actually better, or just something we've grown accustomed to?
<

[ Parent ]
No need to stop you (none / 0) (#37)
by AndrewH on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 09:40:44 AM EST

If no colours have been set for a page and you dislike the colour scheme, you can change your browser colour preferences (or is there a problem with some browsers?)

If colours have been set for a page and you dislike the colours, all you can do is nuke all colours on the page, including any highlighted areas (link bar, comment title etc) that have equal credit with the background.


John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Color Preferences (none / 0) (#38)
by PresJPolk on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 10:12:40 AM EST

Maybe if kuro5hin used a real, honest Stylesheet such things would be easy to set. However, kuro5hin puts all sorts of fonts and sizes and colors directly in the text markup, so it's not really practical.

[ Parent ]
How long must we submit to Netscape blackmail? (none / 0) (#39)
by AndrewH on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 12:46:00 PM EST

Maybe if kuro5hin used a real, honest Stylesheet

Which it doubtless would if one browser vendor had implemented stylesheets properly in the first place, or could be bothered to get off their backsides getting their next generation browser to a usable state instead of loading it down with what are little more than gimmicks.


John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Bad idea (2.57 / 7) (#16)
by finkployd on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:00:21 PM EST

By making this internet site a darker color, you will only be contributing to the internet's overall effect of "turning my heart dark" as outlined by Bush during the debates :)

(disclaimer: I'm voting for Bush, but I still think this is funny)

Finkployd
Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
Yeah! Black background! (2.83 / 6) (#20)
by cme on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:08:40 PM EST

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like white backgrounds. People rag on me for how dark my color schemes always are, and tease me about reverse video, but really, white backgrounds hurt my eyes, especially when viewed on my laptop. And when viewed on a CRT, problems with refersh rate become even more painfully, blurringly apparent... I find a black or dark background restful on my eyes.

But I also agree with the people who say they like the white because it looks more respectablte to the PHB looking over your shoulder. And most people don't like the colors I do. So I think this should definately be an *option*.



re Darkness optional (3.44 / 9) (#21)
by Suanrw on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:12:40 PM EST

Try the brightness control on your monitor.

It works for me. I stumble out of bed, put the lights on dim, and dim my monitor - at least until I wake up.

Display preferences (2.50 / 4) (#24)
by Sunir on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 05:48:42 PM EST

It would probably be sufficient to add a couple display preferences to allow users to choose a colour mix appropriate for them. When generating the output page (CSS/HTML), you can replace the colour values with the user selected ones. You could even provide some out-of-the-box palettes if you like and make the current one the default.

By the way, the extreme might by something like Half Empty which is skinnable.

"Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

Dark is better! (1.50 / 4) (#27)
by Delirium on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:58:33 PM EST

I definitely agree. Being an old DOS user, that's one of the most annoying things I've found when switching to Windows. Even GUI applications in DOS would usually not be white - they'd have grey, or blue, or some other dark backgrounds (like DOS's Edit text editor still does). I find white or grey on a black or blue background much easier on the eyes than black text on a white background (especially when reading in a darkened room).

it reminds me off... (2.00 / 1) (#28)
by TheLocust on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 03:07:29 AM EST

...that Eddie Murphy bit from "Raw" where he talks about the guy suing him for being NEAR a fight. "Well, i wasn't ACTUALLY fighting, but i was near, and the lights were flashing, and a light fell from the ceiling, and my eyes were strained. Yes, i'm suing for strained eyes."
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

Or at least.. (none / 0) (#34)
by boxed on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 08:04:39 PM EST

I thought of something that would be practically as good as giving alternative gfx for dark layout: make the graphics into gifs with transparancy set on all the white areas! That would solve the hole thing.

I do have black background (none / 0) (#35)
by dabadab on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 08:16:25 AM EST

Yes, I read k5 in a gnome-term with lynx (colors switched off) - it is light-grey on black. I see no graphics and I do not need them - I am here for the discussion, not for fancy graphics.
However, I would like to see a light-weight version (a'la /.) where no tables are used for formatting (not only because lynx can't render them correctly - links, w3m can, but it is still a waste of screen-space)
--
Real life is overrated.
Yes, make it look like mine... (2.00 / 1) (#41)
by Refrag on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 05:23:29 PM EST

Yes, make it look like mine. Hell, steal my CSS if you want. Seriously, I definately think there should be a black version of this Web site for those users that have sensitive eyes. Of course, the current design is so sweet it should remain an option -- also because it blends in better in a work environment.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Too spare... (3.50 / 2) (#43)
by dlc on Thu Oct 26, 2000 at 10:21:01 AM EST

Although I like Kuro5hin's design, it has the effect of being very spartan. This is a good thing.

What I'd like to see is a templating system that will adjust itself based on User Agent, e.g., lynx should get a non-tabled version.


(darren)

Darkness optional | 44 comments (37 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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