Author Topic: Colors: Black and white?  (Read 1560 times)

ChrisDuncan

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Colors: Black and white?
« on: March 06, 2020, 11:39:10 pm »
Hey, guys.

Just bought Pro 2019 v24 today. I'm trying to get my colors set up and am running into the same problem I have with Visual Studio.

I'm old school, and with the exception of making my comments dark blue, I want everything to be black text on the default white/grey-ish background.In VS, I have to touch a gazillion options, setting each and every one of them to black & white since almost all of them are colorized.

I was hoping that having a hot rod editor would allow me to find a color scheme that matched this basic setting, or a "clear all colors" option.I tried the reset colors button but it was just another version of Mardi Gras coloring.

Is there an option I'm overlooking or do I have to go through every option one at a time like VS?

And dear lord, do I really have to enter four captcha fields every time I make a post?

Clark

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2020, 03:06:54 am »
Do you not want color coding? Keywords a different color than other elements etc.

ChrisDuncan

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2020, 07:51:40 pm »
Correct. I want absolutely zero color coding other than my comments.

So, technically, I do want color coding enabled, but am looking for an opt in rather than opt out approach, i.e. a setting that's all colors off, to which I can make just two tweaks (inline and block comments) and be done.

Maybe I'm the only programmer left standing who prefers to read code without keyword highlighting. I know it's common for people to use color coding these days, so software companies seem to assume that nobody in their right mind would want otherwise. In fairness, given the state of my mind that might be a valid observation. Nonetheless, I find it distracting and a detriment to the readability of the code since I started out in DOS / *nix environments and am accustomed to just, you know, reading the code. Naturally this is just my personal preference, not a commentary on the preferences of others.

When I bought 2019 yesterday, something Shannon mentioned with regards to buying Pro and the maintenance agreement was that you guys are much more open to including features from user suggestions. If that's the case, and it's not a massive pita for you to implement, an "all colors off" preset would be much appreciated. I mean, if it's not already there and I'm just overlooking it.

Clark

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2020, 08:00:08 pm »
Interesting. It's definitely best not to turn off color coding which can be done in the language specific settings. Many smart features need the color coding to work right. As you've seen, there isn't a predefined color profile which makes it look like most color coding is disabled. We will have to add a profile for that in the future.

Do you want strings a different color?

Comments and preprocessed out code would be worth keeping in this Less color coding profile. 

ChrisDuncan

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2020, 10:45:20 pm »
Thanks, Clark. I appreciate you guys being willing to consider this.

No, I don't want to disable colors. I colorize my comments. I just don't colorize anything else. Not strings. Not preprocessors. Not disabled code. Nothing. Black text on a white background.

The idea is to have a profile where you don't make assumptions about what the user wants, instead providing a blank slate - a clean, black and white environment. If someone wants to add colors after that, great. If not, they don't have to spend time to undo someone's assumptions. As I mentioned, the idea is an opt in approach instead of the current opt out one.

So, if you could add a profile such as "All symbols - No color," set the foreground color to black and the background color to white for 100% of the entries, that would give me my normal monochromatic editing environment. I could select this profile, change the comment foreground color to my preference and I'm done.

Are the profiles referenced by the dropdown list a separate file that I could perhaps download from you guys and just copy to my environment, or is it compiled into the app?

Either way, much appreciated.

mjdl

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2020, 10:58:36 pm »
Never done anything like that or adjusted items in Options-->Appearance-->Symbol Coloring But I'll stick my neck out...

It seems to me you would need to set up a new Symbol Coloring Profile based on the Default profile of your choice (since that one determines the coloring of all syntactic elements that SE can analyse and identify). So use the "Copy" button on that Options page to create a new profile, say "OldSchoolBWSymbols".

Then work your way through all the "Rule names" in the upper window, systematically setting the "Base color on rule" to "--Window Text--", and use the color selector below to set the color to Black (It may be necessary in some cases to also adjust the Background color too). This ensures SE's syntactic coloring gives you the appearance you want

Then I think you would need to go to "Options-->Appearance-->Colors" and create a new profile, say "OldSchoolBW", again based on the default color scheme of your choice. Make sure that the Symbol Coloring scheme created above is set as the "Associated symbol coloring profile"

Then yet again go through all the syntactic categories in the left-hand column, systematically setting the colors you want.

Finally, go to "Options-->Export/Import Options" and set up a new Export Group that just contains the "Colors" and the "Symbol Coloring" options. Export that and keep it someplace so that you can restablish the color schemes another time by simply importing that options group file.

That is assuming what I've suggested works at all... untested by me, caveat empor and all that...

ChrisDuncan

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2020, 12:00:22 pm »
I appreciate the thought. This is the kind of thing I have to go through with Visual Studio, and is a good example of what I'm trying to avoid having to do with SE.

Clark

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2020, 01:02:04 pm »
Given that you don't want much coloring, you should not enable symbol coloring. That would make no sense at all. Fortunately, it's off by default.

ChrisDuncan

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2020, 01:14:40 pm »
I'm confused. Previously, you said,

It's definitely best not to turn off color coding which can be done in the language specific settings. Many smart features need the color coding to work right.

Now you're saying I should disable it.

I do want color coding. I just want it to be very limited. I'm not sure why this is so difficult to understand.

I get the feeling that my you'd prefer me to either accept the Mardi Gras color scheme approach because that's "normal" or just turn it off altogether.

I can accomplish a monochrome color scheme manually, just as I have with Visual Studio. It just takes forever to set up. Apparently that's what I need to  do.

hs2

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2020, 01:45:04 pm »
There is static color coding and dynamic symbol coloring as complement making use of the tagging engine database. The latter was mentioned by Clark and can be just switched off. The first is intended to be configured (once).
I‘m not sure if there are default color scheme config/xml files somewhere in the SE install directory you could simply modify or copy over to DieHardBW.xml and tailor acc. to your preferences. I‘d have a look/grep for them and use SE to patch/create my own.

Clark

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2020, 01:50:31 pm »
"Color coding" (static coloring) and "Symbol coloring" are two different features. Symbol coloring is off by default and I don't recommend turning it on. Symbol coloring is NOT needed for any feature other than Symbol coloring. Color coding is needed for a number of smart  features (like smart indenting).

ChrisDuncan

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2020, 03:17:19 pm »
Thanks for the clarification, that helps me understand the difference.

mjdl

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2020, 07:12:57 pm »
"Color coding" (static coloring) and "Symbol coloring" are two different features. Symbol coloring is off by default and I don't recommend turning it on. Symbol coloring is NOT needed for any feature other than Symbol coloring. Color coding is needed for a number of smart  features (like smart indenting).

My apologies to all, I had this completely wrong.

So, to achieve the original objectives as much as possible via the Options-->Appearance-->Colors panel of a global B/W color scheme that applies to all languages, it's necessary 1) to create a new colors profile setting all the syntactic categories listed on the left-hand column explicitly to foreground and background colors of your choice, and 2) make sure that new color profile is associated with an empty symbol coloring profile, i.e. one with with no rules.

All of the syntactic assists of SE will continue to work, but the text will only ever be black (or grey).

Is this correct? I never thought very much about how this all works, I'm content with the defaults...
« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 07:14:57 pm by mjdl »

Dennis

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2020, 02:20:38 pm »
@OP:  It sounds to me like the default color coding profile of "Grayscale" would appeal to you.  You would only have to modify it to add color for comments as you like.

Tools > Options... > Appearance > Color > Profile > Light: Grayscale

And, as several other people pointed out, turn off symbol coloring.

Tools > Options... > Languages > All Languages > View > Symbol Coloring [unchecked]

Side-note:  A nice thing about "Grayscale" is that keywords are bolded, that way you can immediately see typos like "whlle" or "prottected" or "virtul" or "exceptoin".
« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 02:29:19 pm by Dennis »

ChrisDuncan

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Re: Colors: Black and white?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2020, 07:31:11 pm »
Hi, Dennis.

Appreciate your suggestions. Symbol Coloring is off by default, but I verified.

Grayscale saved me a few mouse clicks, but only a few. I still had to go through each and every color, one at a time, and uncheck bold / italic / underline, set the text to black and the background to white in the majority of cases. A very tedious process that I was hoping to avoid, but I'm used to it from Visual Studio.

By the way, block comments coloring doesn't pick my selection up no matter what I set it to. Inline colors respond, but block stays the light gray from the theme, even after exiting and restarting the app.


(I made sure to highlight the bug with a lot of formatting, because I know you guys like that sort of thing. :) )

Joking aside, the block comment bug is real. I don't know why it doesn't work when I did it on Grayscale, as it worked when I changed it in Default, but thought you'd want to know.

Side-note:  A nice thing about "Grayscale" is that keywords are bolded, that way you can immediately see typos like "whlle" or "prottected" or "virtul" or "exceptoin".

I do understand that you and others have an easier time reading the code if colors and formatting highlight things for you. To me it's not a "nice thing" but rather an unwanted distraction. I think everyone should have the environment they prefer. I'm just surprised there's so much resistance to the fact that I prefer simple black and white text.

Perhaps my brain just has defective wiring (my years as a professional musician would certainly support that theory), but to give you an idea of what I perceive, imagine trying to read a book that was formatted with the kaleidoscope of colors that are now the defacto standard in editing environments.

"Hey, let's make nouns green, verbs red, the punctuation can be bold with an orange background..."

I'm not getting a NYT bestselling vibe for that approach. :)