Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Nice environments for programming

I have been working with a horrendous IDEs for a long time My eyes hurt sometimes last year and I had to drop artificial tears on my eyes for about 8 months because I worked too hard for a periood of two months working about 12 hours a day everyday using 2 monitors (17" + 22")...
How did I solve my problem?: I worked less , and my eyes started to recover.

Sometimes we have tight deadlines or we are enjoying creating something nice. So we dont want to stop even when we feel the eyes are suffering... Yesterday I thought that was enough! So I started researching about good environments for programming... not GUIs, just the environment. (colour and font)

So I rememember I friend told me about font " Consolas " so I decided to have a try. But hey I need Windows Vista for that , they dont let you download it for free anywhere. So I reseacrhed... I found that If you install MS Powerpoint viewer 2007 it will install the fonts for free! Yay!

After installing it I had the fonts on WindowsXP, cool. .. first step done.

Now I have to activate the annoying ClearType... , I come from the MSX times I like pixelated fonts:

But I thought maybe now is time to go to the smooth generation fonts! So I enabled clearType... I didn't like it at the beginning but then I got used to it and it is fine.

Then I went to my Flash GUI and changed all colours I did it quite randomly but with a bit of common sense I came up with a nice colour scheme. Mixed with Consolas and ClearType I got a VERY nice envorinment that is a pleasure to work with...

(click to enlarge)

So if we compare it to the windows xp flash ide default:
(click to enlarge)

I hope you think twice about using that white background of yours and have this a try...

The settings Im using are:


Foreground: #FFFFFF
Keywords: #996600
Identifiers: #00CCFF
Background: #333333
Comments: #666666
Strings: #009900


Font: Consolas
Font size: 11

You can use any colours of course but remember to make them not to strong...

I hope you can tell me a better combinations if you find them :)


Gez Page said...

Interesting, I use Komodo Edit ( and based on your points I've changed my colours for php/html/css/javascript highlighting and I quite like it!

Here's how to get Cleartype on XP:
Display Properties > Appearance > Effects > Check the 2nd box and choose Clear Type.


peteSK said...

Quite tricky in Flex Builder, as the options are in lots of places. After some poking around heres what i found...

Change Font :

General ->Apperance -> Colors and Fonts-> Basic ->Text Font

Change Background and FG Colors:

General ->editors ->Text Editors ->Appearance Color Options

Change syntax highlighting:

Flex -> Editors -> Syntax Coloring

SO now I have a nice dark code panel, but i have to change the colors and fonts of all the other panels as well!! doh!