Feral Machines


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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place


Length: 354 words

For a long time I used dark themes almost exclusively. The habit probably dates back to my childhood. My family's first computer was an old XT, with an amber (P3 phosphor) monitor, and this more or less fixed my aesthetic sense of what a computer screen should look like: light monospace type on a dark background. The stylesheet I first wrote for this blog reflects those preferences.

An amber phosphor monitor on an old XT computer

I still prefer this combination for terminal work and writing code, but (though it took me some time to admit this) I've never quite liked it for reading or writing prose. I really do love a good typeface, and the very best -- I'm thinking of Bembo or EB Garamond -- look dreadful when inverted into light-on-dark. Seriffed typefaces in general suffer when displayed in this way, with a few exceptions. I think Latin Modern Mono survives just fine (slab seriffed and monospace fonts tend to fare well), and that is indeed the font I chose on for this site's dark theme. (It appears in the monospaced elements of the light theme as well, like the metadata block.) The quality of LCD screens has improved enough over the past several years that reading a well-illuminated screen seems far less painful than it used to be.

Anyway, after a couple hours of tinkering around with the CSS, I set up both dark and light mode stylesheets for this site, and then configured the main stylesheet to select the CSS on the basis of the user's system preferences.

Here's a peek at the recently fine-tuned dark mode:

A peek at the slightly-tweaked dark mode

And here's the brand new light mode:

a peek at the brand new light mode

I don't think there's anyone else out there blogging on P'log, yet, but I've included both stylesheets in the contents.example/ directory, for general use.