Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Dark Mode

When a friend recently posted a screenshot from his discord to one of our group chats, most of us jokingly chastised him for having the default light-colored theme, asking if it didn’t blind him when opening up the app at night.

I remember when I started working, I told a fellow software dev that it was a bit weird that he liked to use a dark theme for his IDE, telling him it looked like he accidentally did “Select All” on the text for some reason. In fairness to old me, at that time the IDEs didn’t support a real dark mode - only the editor area had the dark background and light text, while the rest of the application’s chrome still sported the OS default (but you could change the OS default I believe).

I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime over the next few years I had a change of heart and started defaulting to dark mode themes whenever possible, and not just for programming IDEs. I now have dark mode defaults for many apps like Twitter or Discord. I also tried adding a browser extension to default dark mode on all sites, but that didn’t work out too well.

I would guess that dark/night mode became more prevalent with the rise of smartphone/tablet usage, since many people use those devices even in bed with the lights out. I personally can still work with light mode apps, I just prefer the dark mode now, it’s softer on the eyes and all.

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