Pimp My IDE

I just updated my Programming Fonts entry. It now includes a much larger code sample in each font, and a few new fonts including the "gee, did I really just pay $100 for a single font" Pragmata. Be sure to check it out.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/10/pimp-my-ide.html

a href="http://seizethedave.com/etc/ide-color.gif"http://seizethedave.com/etc/ide-color.gif/a

I just like my fall/spring poppy colors.

And that’s Proggy Clean, which rocks the mouse.

I use Vim with the ‘desert’ colorscheme:

a href="http://rix0r.nl/~one/share/shot-20051014.215707.gif"http://rix0r.nl/~one/share/shot-20051014.215707.gif/a

I think that ‘light on dark’ schemes are easier on the eye than ‘dark on light’: less screen area that’s radiating intense light.

And Proggy Clean of course. Although I must say, Vera Sans Mono looks appealing too…

I’m supposed to be billing but instead I’m playing with my color scheme. I feel like such an interior decorator, but only in an IDE.

So how do I get Proggy?

First off, this is a great post. Leon’s scheme is quite nice. The biggest issue is that you might only see part of someone color scheme, not the whole thing. Though a good hint about ones scheme, the whole pie it is not.

Now please note, I am not saying that these screenshots are a disservice (they are definitely not!), but it would be nice if the appropriate color codes were listed for each textual element associated with your IDE.

Another major issue is then setting up your IDE to conform to the described color conventions. Thus I propose the following application, an app that:

  1. Scrapes your IDE for a specific color scheme, converting it into an XML file, and thus allowing you to email/post that file to whomever you want.
  2. In turn the same application can load another persons XML color scheme and set it appropriately in the IDE.
    ** Note: of course making this app cross ide compatible would be quite a feat, so maybe one IDE at a time is ones best bet (please make it Visual Studio first :wink: ).


So how do I get Proggy?

Tsk, tsk… just click the proggy link in the font entry!


Thus I propose the following application

This would be nice; I was thinking the same thing. There’s no UI for exporting/importing IDE color schemes from VS.NET much less browsing them. Hmm, if only someone would write that…

a href="http://onlysyntax.blogspot.com/2005/01/example-of-nest-shading.html"http://onlysyntax.blogspot.com/2005/01/example-of-nest-shading.html/a

a href="http://onlysyntax.blogspot.com/2005/01/nest-shading-ive-been-playing-with-c.html"http://onlysyntax.blogspot.com/2005/01/nest-shading-ive-been-playing-with-c.html/a

a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlmanaster/9322576/"http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlmanaster/9322576//a

a href="http://www.eclipse-plugins.info/eclipse/plugin_details.jsp;jsessionid=663F6B99AC132EEC19299200F3C6E571?id=558"http://www.eclipse-plugins.info/eclipse/plugin_details.jsp;jsessionid=663F6B99AC132EEC19299200F3C6E571?id=558/a


Yet another screenshot

These aren’t production IDEs, just ideas I was exploring. The second screenshot suggests what an IDE could look like if it and the language were designed to be testing all the time - like David Saff’s Automated Continuous Testing for Eclipse, which I must try sometime.

(I tried inlining the links, but failed.)

While not perfect, VS 2005 does let you import/export settings. I think that the settings are serialized as XML - if that’s the case, then I’m sure that it would be possible to find the color related settings from that file and post only those. Of course, I’m not exactly sure what happens when you import only a subset of all the settings exposed by VS…

It’s better than nothing, though.

this is a screenshot from my visual studio .net ide:

a href="http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/396/codinghorror6yc.jpg"http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/396/codinghorror6yc.jpg/a

Great screenshots guys. Send more! Especially you, Mr. “I love serifs more than I love life itself” Haack.

Monospaced fonts are better suited for programming (imo). With verdana all the text will look compressed to the left. and Spaces/Tabs won’t look “properly” aligned. At least that’s my impresion.

Yeah, the alignment argument is a showstopper in favor of monospace. Imagine trying to use Python, where tabs are equivalent to {}, with a proportional font! Hilarity ensues.

Imagine trying to use Python, where tabs are equivalent to {}, with a proportional font! Hilarity ensues.

Not really. The indentation only matters at the start of the line, and although the width between characters may differ, all spaces will still be the same width. So actually the indentation will still be consistent, even with a proportional font.

Methinks it will look messy though, if the columns aren’t nicely aligned. Monospaced fonts are a sine qua non!

Pfft - my code has hard tabs for indenting and all other whitespace is one space. No columns for me! I can run a simple script to translate any code into this format.

What I would love to know, is how to change the color of some (not all) of the windows.

I know that I was watching a video, probably a year ago now, where someone was running through something in Visual Studio. His main code window was the stadard black text on a white background. But his command window was white text on a black background. I haven’t been able to figure out how to do this yet.

I haven’t been able to figure out how to do this yet.

Cool idea-- in VS.NET 2005, you can change the fore/back colors for the various tool windows in the “Fonts and Colors” section of the options.

I can’t find any equivalent in VS.NET 2003… the fore/back color selectors are dimmed. Maybe editing the registry?

I write Python in Verdana (which is proportional of course), with no tab/space hilarity.

was that a response to my comment (and simultaneously a request for my color settings) or just a info on how to import/export IDE environment settings ?

with no tab/space hilarity

Well, that depends. We haven’t seen your code yet :wink:

Here’s mine:


As far as dark colour schemes go I’ve always liked the zenburn scheme which is available for vim, emacs and probably more. Here’s someone’s screenshot here:
a href="http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/advweb/build/img/colorscheme/master/zenburn.jpg"http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/advweb/build/img/colorscheme/master/zenburn.jpg/a

Font wise, verdana 8 is a lovely non-proportional font. Non-proportional fonts are much more readable than monospaced fonts and allow more text to fit horizontally on the screen. Aren’t monospaced fonts just a throwback to text based displays?