Tab colors

Ethan Blanton elb at
Thu Nov 29 15:29:18 EST 2007

Gal Topper spake unto us the following wisdom:
> > This argument is popular.  It may even be true for some people.
> > However, red/green colorblindness is the most common form of
> > colorblindness, and colorblindness afflicts somewhere around 10% of
> > men in Western countries (I have no figures for non-Western countries;
> > it may or may not be similar) (if "providing references" is in style,
> > I can provide some for this, as well).  This isn't to say that red is
> > non-negotiable, but this is also a consideration, particularly when
> > the argument "red is more noticable" is brought up.
> The name "red/green colorblindness" is misleading. Had it really meant an
> inability to distinguish red from green, 10% of men would be incapable to
> drive through intersections with traffic lights.
> It's a lot more subtle than that really, and the red and green previously
> used in Pidgin were very clearly distinguishable (I'm colour blind, and I
> could see the difference just fine).

We discussed on the jabber conference that this was bound to get
pedantic.  ;-)

Red/green colorblindness ranges from imperceptible without targeted
tests, to complete inability to distinguish reds and/or greens from
grayscales.  That 10% figure includes *all* forms of colorblindness,
red/green and otherwise, from imperceptible outside of the
optometrist's office to total grayscale vision.

The point was not "oh, colorblindness exists, blue is better!", or
vice-versa, or anything even *similar*.  It was that in any dimension
I can think of ("usability", personal preference, contrast with other
widget styles, etc.), there is no one set of colors on which everyone
will agree.  The popular tactic of trotting out a third-party opinion
to seal the case (in this case, it was usability) just isn't going to
arrive at a solution that everyone likes, or that is defensible in
spite of that.

This just about *has* to be configurable, or we have to agree that a
particular suboptimal scheme is just plain here to stay.  There will
be no sudden realization that an optimal scheme exists.

> Finch on the other hand, has a real
> problem<>when it comes to colour
> blindness.

This, I don't understand.  The finch man page clearly explains how to
change these colors.  (Search for [colors] and [colorpairs].)


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the Devel mailing list