Hackaday Forced Into Light Mode

Hackaday has always been dark mode. Gray10 is less jarring when you’re burning the midnight oil on a project, so we give you a lot of it. Fifteen years ago, it was called “reverse video” or “trog mode“, and we were the freaks. We were doing it wrong. We had the colors “backwards”. Dark mode used to be edgy, outré, but dare we say it, a bit sexy.

Hackaday … QuickBooks. Just sayin’.
They even ripped our highlight yellow!

Flash forward, and everyone has come over to the dark side. Facebook has a dark mode. Google has dark mode. Across the Microsoft empire, from Windows 10 to GitHub, you can live your life in the dark. Heck, even the White House has a dark mode! (They call it high-contrast mode, but they’re not fooling anyone.)

Dark mode here, dark mode there. It’s mainstream. Dark mode has become corporate cool which is nobody’s idea of cool.

We’re not saying that all of the aforementioned institutions are biting the Hackaday style, but, well, they’re all biting our style. Where were they when we were the only website on the whole darn Internet with a sensible background color? Huh? Dark-mode-come-latelys!

But Hackaday doesn’t rest on its laurels. We have our fingers on the pulse on the modern hacker. Where previously you would be up late at night researching Hackaday for juicy nuggets of communal wisdom to help out with your current hack, you’re probably “telecommuting” these days — a euphemism for working on your private projects even while the fiery ball is still in the sky. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.) It’s only natural that you’d want a lighter background color to match your new lifestyle. We hear you!

So we present you, Hackaday Light Mode™. Enjoy!

[Editor’s note: For historical accuracy, we had phosphor green headings in the very beginning, in place of the jarring white. If you want to relive those glory days of yore, or just to go back to Hackaday in dark mode, there’s always CSS scripting.]

93 thoughts on “Hackaday Forced Into Light Mode

  1. Good. Dark mode is just crap, unreadable and pseudo-goth. So glad you’ve gone for a mode where I don’t have to readjust my monitor to read it.

    Now please get rid of low-contrast mode. Pale grey on white is silly.

    1. Grey text should just be outlawed. :P Too difficult to read, especially when combined with a not quite white background. While typing in this box it’s showing grey text on a dark grey (or is it light black?) background. Would be better if the text was white. Or black on a white background.

    1. I agree! It’s so hard to read HAD and then click over to another site, I get awful afterimages from how dark HAD is. I wish this was an option I could permanently enable!

  2. I’m sure this is a 4/1 joke, so I have a serious question: Is there a way to enable light mode on this website? I find dark mode very difficult to use, and would use this site more if it wasn’t always in dark mode.

    1. Yes there is. You can tell your browser to ignore styling and render everything in standard fonts and colours.

      In Firefox, go to Options->Language and Appearance->Colors and change the “Override the colors specified by the page with your selections above” option to “Always”.

        1. @Mike Szczys said: “I also see an option in Firefox called “Reader View”. Shortcut key for it is CTRL-ALT-R”

          Hi Mike,

          I usually avoid replying to comments on 01-April but… AFAIK CTRL+ALT+R does not invoke Reader View in the desktop version of Firefox. Actually it seems CTRL+ALT+R doesn’t do anything in Firefox for the desktop at all.[1]

          Here’s how to start Reader View in any version of Firefox:

          * Firefox for the desktop: F9 or click the Reader View icon (looks like a page with lines of text on it), which is to the right of the address bar by default.[2]

          * Firefox for Android: Tap the Menu button (three vertical dots), then tap “Reader view”.[3]

          * Firefox for iOS: Tap the Reader View icon next to the address bar.[4]

          Note-1: Most but not all web pages work with Reader View. If a web page cannot work with Reader View the Reader View icon will not appear (desktop & iOS), or tapping “Reader view” will not work (Android).

          Note-2: While in Reader View it is possible to select different themes such as Dark mode. To do so click or tap the “Aa” Type Control icon.

          * References:

          1. Keyboard shortcuts – Perform common Firefox tasks quickly


          2. Firefox Reader View for clutter-free web pages


          3. View articles in Reader View on Firefox for Android


          4. View web pages in Reader View (iOS)


  3. I don’t hate it. I say we leave it as an option, once we clean up the couple places the text is unreadable. You like your light mode? You can keep your light mode! and all that.

    1. Indeed, my thoughts exactly.
      Bright light is painful.
      At least the text input boxes are still grey.
      It’s actually a little amusing.
      White is too bright for me.

      I know this is most likely an April fools, but still,
      let it be said, let’s hope HaD never goes down the route of, excessive mandatory tracking that these sorts of user options tend to bring.
      Banish feature creep.

      HaD “black”, is technically dark grey, for a reason.

      Personally I find the white text on a dark background easier to read in sunshine when I’m using low backlight to save eating batteries.

  4. Hmm, the only good thing about this is that my boss might think I am working when he walks by. I like dark mode, but I would be cool with it, if you installed some options for the people that would benefit from it.

  5. “Where were they when we were the only website on the whole darn Internet with a sensible background color? Huh? ”

    Oh come on ! some HaD fellows also hang out on FL, if you see what I mean.

    Oh and the edit window for the comments is in dark mode, BTW…

  6. Back in the early 1990s, I wanted a dark mode on my work computer.

    Windows 3.11 and Windows 95 didn’t have one, but you could make your own color schemes. I made up a scheme with a dark background and light colored text. I switched over to my new color scheme, and switched back immediately.

    Do you know why they didn’t have a dark mode to start with?

    There wasn’t a dark mode to start with because the monitors back then couldn’t properly handle it.

    The screen was distorted in dark mode – all kinds of pincushion and barrel type distortion of straight lines depending on the color content and brightness of the surrounding areas.

    I gave up on dark mode back then, and got to be friends with the more light mode.

    25 years later on, I’ve gotten so used to light mode that dark mode looks odd.

    1. I don’t know what kind of bargain-basement monitor you had, but I used Windows’s color-scheme editor to create a charcoal color scheme that worked great on every monitor I tried. We had the ubiquitous NEC MultiSyncs all over the office in the early ’90s and there was never a problem.

      Even before that, computers used to default to a dark-blue background and white text, because that was the most legible combo. Until a couple of years ago, it was still offered in Word as a checkbox option. That’s why black text on a white background is “inverse” video. Look at an Atari 800 keyboard; the key with an Atari symbol on it was the inverse-video key. Characters typed in that mode had a white background and blue text.

      The dumb inverse schemes we’ve been saddled with for decades started (at least for the general public) with Apple trying very hard to be different and the “desktop publishing” craze of the late ’80s / early ’90s that sought to make the screen analogous to a piece of paper. But paper doesn’t EMIT light, and reading black text off the surface of a light bulb all day is dumb.

  7. The fun part is when you load the article and only notice a slight page change to gray, and have to disable your universal dark mode extension to see the joke.

    Thanks, I hate it.

  8. This is actually more like what I think the web should look like than how most sites actually look. The background isn’t white, it’s a tasteful light gray. On the computer screen that looks better than pure white; it’s easier on the eyes, and it also allows the use of pure white as a highlight color.

  9. The pathetic thing is that Windows (and Unix GUIs) used to let you set up a system-wide color scheme that all applications and Web sites would inherit unless they deliberately overrode it. I created a charcoal theme (exactly what’s being peddled as “dark mode” today) in the early ’90s.

    Now, as people realize how stupid inverse color schemes are (black text on a white background is inverse video), what did Microsoft do? REMOVE the entire color-scheme editor from Windows. And Apple is still hard-coding colors and has thoroughly messed up their development tools through their continued ignorance of how colors should work in a GUI (hint: you keep a central registry of colors; you don’t hard-code them into every UI).

  10. Texts too, for 16 bucks.
    BTW Hackaday, the comment fields are still dark here, js. I’m pretty sure that’s because they use an external service for this.
    But yeah, someone needs to look at the comment input’s styling. Have a great April Fools day everybody!

  11. The joke is on you guys, I did this a few years ago because I hate “dark mode” so much. Part of the problem is that I’d rather turn down my laptop’s backlight at night, and dark mode does not work well that way.

    A few months ago I converted it to a greasemonkey script, except greasemonkey won’t allow css injection on current Firefox, so I have to use tampermonkey instead. Now I get to read honest 100% black text on a light gray background. Unfortunately there’s something screwy with how css applies to form fields, and I don’t know how to override that, so the reply box is still the same old muddy gray on darker gray.


  12. Thank you so much ! I was hopelessly trying to read the site in the dark and new, light ! I will take the last days to read all of the news and wonderful projects I was not finding in the night. Thank you really so much !

    1. If you really have trouble with white-on-dark text, you’re going to have a lot more trouble than just Hackaday these days. I mean, that was kinda the joke here.

      There are multiple CSS replacement options out there, which are probably not worth the effort if you’re not actually impacted by the colors, but which, if it actually causes you difficulties, are worth looking into. I linked one such option above — the greasemonkey scripts that target Hackaday in particular. If you need a broader solution, and it sounds like you do, I would suspect that a quick internet search would get you settled real quick.

      It’s also worth noting that you’re reading Hackaday right now, telling us that you can’t read Hackaday. Which makes me think that perhaps you’re overstating the degree of your inability to cope with our color scheme.

      1. I do really have trouble, and I generally browse sites in reader mode if they use dark mode. Doesn’t work for commenting, but it works for reading. I have terrible problems with ghosting when I look away from the light-on-dark screen, and light-on-dark gives me a headache if I use it for more than a few minutes. Even in the short time it is taking me to write this comment I’m already having issues with ghosting.

        I really do need to look into a CSS solution.

  13. Maybe this is a joke for you, but not for me, since i have astigmatism
    and high contrast dark mode stresses me so hard i cant use it.
    My eyes start tearing so i cant continue and ghosting still minutes after i tried to read text white on black.
    And yes i have tried various solutions with override,.. they never work perfect and even then they outdate very quick.
    So why not provide a switch and let the people choose ?
    And there are more with astigmatism then you think: approx 30% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astigmatism
    So i don’t quite understand the ignorance to this common usability problem,
    since it is almost a disability and a community talking about inclusion should not ignore it,
    and fight against those who simple want to read their content.

    P.S Even after writing this short text in this dark textbox i see stripes now all over the place when i look somewhere else.

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