Dark editors are preferred over light theme editors by many developers. But where does this come from?
The very first command-lines had a dark background, and the color preference might have stuck around for that reason. Why dark? Well, the earliest computer interfaces were cathode ray tubes. The vacuum tube had a phosphorescent screen, normally a dark color which was lit by electron beams (‘electron guns’), making black the background color and the text amber, white, or green.
I remember when I was a kid, and we had these fat monitors- the CRT screen. CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. Ah! I didn’t know that!
But, is dark better than light? I’ll have to look into that as the answer isn’t straight forward. Many studies have shown that dark text on light background is less straining for the eyes. However, many of the studies were done back in the days, and displays have changed a lot since then. Also, does time of day matter? Does hue/tint matter? How is sleep affected? Are colors easier to distinguish on dark vs light? Does number of displays matter? Size? Vision health and defects (such as color blindness)? I’m going to look into this, so please share your thoughts and questions 🙂