Antarctica is a unified code editing colourscheme using sky-blue and silver as the dominant colours. The idea is similar to Solarized, but with a distinctive cold, blue feel. It is suitable for people who prefer cold-coloured themes over warm-coloured themes such as Solarized.
The colourscheme was originally used in old versions of Bloodshed’s DEV C++ for Windows. The light version of Antarctica is very similar to the original, but has been “modernised”, using off white / off black rather than pure white/black, shown to improve readability and reduce eye strain. The dark version of Antarctica has a very similar feel to its light counterpart, reversing light/dark but mostly keeping the same primary colours.
The key ideas & features behind Antarctica include:
- Unified light / dark colourscheme – Some people like light, some people like dark. Some people like a light-themed code editor but prefer a dark-themed console, so prefer GVIM on light theme but occasionally use console-mode VIM in dark-theme for quick edits in terminal. Antarctica uses similar primary colours to create familiarity in both its light / dark versions.
- Consistent colourscheme across all code editors – Programmers may use many editors, Eclipse ADT to write Java stuff for android, VIM-ing your ~/.bashrc, Visual Studio for a DirectX game, all in a day’s work. Keeping the coding colourscheme consistent across all these environments may help to build memory, so the brain develops a stronger association between a programming language syntax and its corresponding colour.
- No rainbow – Colour is not abused. Much of the actual code remains black/white, only things that need highlighting should be highlighted and at the appropriate level. For people who detest getting rainbow shoved in their face when they open a code editor.
- Cold colours for normal, warm colours for alert – Blue / silver used for normal, while red hues are reserved for things needing immediate attention such as search results and errors. Preprocessor is coloured green, distinctive from blue/silver but no need for alert/attention. Magic number constants are coloured purple (red + blue), meaning “beware of magic number, but it’s probably o.k. and not a worry”.
Please note that I’m in no way a graphics design or colour expert. The above ideas are simply from me getting annoyed trying to use other colourschemes.
Antarctica colourscheme is currently ported to the following popular code editors:
- Vim (requires 256 colour terminal support).
- DEV C++ (Orwell’s). Where it all started.
- GEdit, default GNOME editor.
- Sublime Text 2
- Visual Studio (tested on 2012, but the colourscheme plugin works on others).
These editors aren’t currently supported. Someday I’ll get around to doing it.
- Kate / Kwrite, default KDE editor
Please feel free to suggest in the comments any editors you would like Antarctica ported to!