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May 2020

A case against syntax highlighting

Anonymous
Fri 8-May-2020 21:04
I really don't know what to think of that...
About the fact that the coloration scares beginners, I don't think so: about all beginners don't care about colors at all, so I don't think that is the biggest point.

I tried to remove totally the coloration except for comments / strings, but I saw the problem: It is harder to find the structure of your code !
For example, I use python, and when you make a module with few classes, functions etc, it is so hard to find where your class definition is (even is python has a lot of indentation).
For sure, this problem can be deleted with using a "structure" tool (such as in Spyder) that finds the classes, the functions, and the important comments, and make crossers to them so they are clickable... but this is slower that just scroll !

Another think you say is that the coloration is not useful for remiding the keywords names: I'm don't really agree with that: indeed, I'm not a good English-speaker, and I think that even native English-speakers can misspell a "return" to a "retun", and without coloration you dont' realize it !!!! This problem can be solved with a good auto-completion device (like kite or TabNine for python), but if you work on a big file, the auto-completion is slow, and sometimes you just don't want to wait for it !

So my point of view is that the syntax highlighting for keywords should be made of shades of the same color, italic, bold and underlined words, of a light color for operators (changing depending of the operator, and the thickness also), and finally, of another light color for user-defined things (variables, objects etc...).

Thank you really much for this veryyyyy interesting article !!!
Anonymous
Fri 8-May-2020 21:10
Another think I forget to say in the previous comment is that a guy that would learn to read English only with colors like you showed could be as good as us to read English (maybe better, if they are always the same colors, because his comprehension could be helped by the colors), and this guy would probably have difficulties to read without colors !
So I personnally think that, if you never change your colors (not as me), you can be faster because you will be helped by the colors to CLASSIFY keywords, and to see the STRUCTURE of your code.

Field Sort

Anonymous
Tue 12-May-2020 03:20
NIce. I enjoyed reading that.

Watch Room

Anonymous
Thu 21-May-2020 02:19
Linus, what a great song you created! I'll never forget the moment I first heard it, and realized how perfectly it fit with the film. I walked around NYC with it on repeat, thinking to myself "Everything is code... everything is code..." Very grateful for your amazing contribution, and hope to collaborate again. Keep those tunes coming! Hope to cross paths in real life, one day.

Cheers,
Noah (Director, "Watch Room")

Carefree (It'll be okay)

Anonymous
Sun 24-May-2020 10:31
Thanks
Hope all is well.

A case against syntax highlighting

Anonymous
Thu 28-May-2020 00:24
I don't blame you for hating the colors that you've shown here. They're a hideous rainbow of confusion.

Maybe you wouldn't be arguing against syntax highlighting if you'd just try a simpler color scheme. An advanced editor like Visual Studio will actually help you understand what you're looking at...for instance take this random piece of code:

...
Well, with a name like Linus on a guy from Sweden, I wouldn't be surprised if you are a *nix guy who hasn't used Visual Studio much though.

If anything, you're proving his case. You think your color scheme is nicer looking...so what? How does it actually improve your ability to code in a tangible way? That was his whole point. And the ad hominem attack about being a "*nix guy" just makes you look stupid.