Enhancing the colour schemes [was: Re: sane defaults (security icons)]

Anders Lund anders at alweb.dk
Mon Jan 17 14:29:57 GMT 2005

On Monday 17 January 2005 14:41, Olaf Schmidt wrote:
> [Anders Lund, Montag, 17. Januar 2005 14:00]
> > Sometimes the system colors just doesn't do. I recently added a feature
> > to kate which shades the background of used documents in the Document
> > List, so that it is easy to spot the most recent modified/viewed
> > documents. I can't use system colors, because there is no colors that
> > can safely fill the needs.
> I assume simply using the alternative list background colour doesn't work?
> We discussed a similar problem in this thread:
> http://lists.kde.org/?t=110236765700005&r=1&w=2
> Maybe the solution found in that case would work for Kate as well.

The alternate color is usually very close to the background, which is not 
quite suitable in this case.


> > Likewise, the colors used for syntax highlight in kate can't use system
> > colors, since there are simply not colors enough.
> This is why I suggested to enhance the colour schemes for KDE 4.
> I know that there are good reasons for doing it this way in KDE 3.4.
> I hope that we can find a better solution for KDE 4.0, though.
> Having to change the colours in most key KDE applications separately
> doesn't really fit to the idea of having central colour schemes in
> kcontrol. Of course we could add support for individual applications to
> the metathemes, or at least to kpersonalizer, but the problem is that
> such a solution would soon be out of date whenever there are changes in
> applications.
> I think enhancing the colour schemes to include enough colours for these
> situations would be a cleaner approach. How many additional colours do
> you need for syntax highlighting?

We have a set of default styles, which might each have up to 4 colors. But we 
might be able to minimize the default needs to 1 color pr style and maybe 
minimize further, I'll have to look into that. Aditionally we use colors for 
various other highlighting needs such as bracket highlighting, marked lines 
etc. Maybe 12 colors for text styles. A color for bracket highlight, and 
colors for shading marked lines - there are 7 defaults. All in all i got to 
20 colors. They are all in the editor, and could be reused for other 

I suggest that KDE defines some funtionality colors, such as error, warning, 
information at least, which could be used in any application.

> > So we provide a default color scheme that works, and all the colors are
> > configurable. We have support for color schemes, and disabling of using
> > colors for syntax highlighting will be added, as well as a mechanism to
> > import color schemes so that theme developers can provide kate color
> > schemes as well.
> My suggestion of having one central colour scheme for all colours needed
> in applications doesn't work, then this is indeed a good approach.
> > There are no hardcoded colors in Kate to my knowledge. If there is,
> > file a bug report and I'll fix it.
> As far as I know all colours in Kate are configurable, so there are no
> absolute accessibility problems with it. But one problem I found is that
> once you define colours in Kate, it is impossible to bring it back into
> "use system colours" mode without deleting the config file. Maybe this
> has already been fixed in the meantime.

I think all the colors are editable, so that can probably still be improved.

> Do you think my suggestion of enhancing the colour schemes to include
> enough colours for Kate and Kontact would work?

I think it would be cool, since it would allow better defaults and hopefully 
make theme authors happy ;) If we can define good rolebased colors, other 
applications can use them as well.

www: http://alweb.dk
jabber: anderslund at jabber.dk

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