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Dylan Baker 1 year ago
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+---
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+title: Back to Solarized
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+slug: back-to-solarized
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+date: 2020-07-14
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+---
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+
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+I've been through a lot of color schemes over the years. I've spent hours
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+combing through [vimcolors.com](https://vimcolors.com){target="_blank"}, I've
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+created my own color schemes and tweaked ones that I've found, and devoted a
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+lot of effort to porting color schemes made for one environment to others so
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+that all my workspaces can match. What do I have to show for all this time and
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+energy?  Nothing. I'm sick of this self-imposed constant struggle for some kind
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+of perfect aesthetic in the tools of my trade. I have decided to settle down
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+with an old classic, Solarized. This article is maybe more for myself than
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+anyone else; laying down the motivations behind the change will hopefully keep
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+me reminded of how and why I got here.
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+
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+There are a number of things I look for in a color scheme. First, I prefer a
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+dark scheme, though I also like to use light themes on occasion; I've found
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+that I prefer writing prose with a light theme and code with a dark theme. I
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+like my themes to be relatively low-contrast and low-saturation; if the colors
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+are too vivid, I find it distracting. Probably my most important and most
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+difficult to achieve requirement is that a theme be _portable_. Throughout a
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+workday, for various reasons I'll switch between Vim, VS Code, and Sublime
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+Text, and of course, my terminal. If at all possible, I want all of these
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+environments to more or less match. Historically, this has meant doing a lot of
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+work to port a theme I like that only exists for one environment to all the
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+others and maintaining a repository of themes I've ported. This is both
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+extremely difficult to manage effectively and correctly and a _pain_.
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+
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+Solarized easily ticks all of these boxes. It's low contrast, has light and
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+dark versions, and is available in every environment on my list, oftentimes by
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+default without needing to install any extensions. Solarized goes above and
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+beyond by being available not only in the environments I listed but also, for
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+example, in my GUI HTTP client of choice,
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+[Insomnia](https://insomnia.rest/){target="_blank"}, and in the
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+[Neocities](https://neocities.org){target="_blank"} in-browser editor.
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+
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+You don't care what color scheme I'm using, but maybe you have similar
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+compulsions that take up time you could be using more productively. If I had
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+spent all the time I've wasted converting Vim themes to Emacs for no reason
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+actually writing code, I'd have finished one of my many side projects by now.
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+There's something to be said for spending a bit of time up front to be more
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+productive later, but at some point you have to stop sharpening your tools and
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+actually use them to do what you want to do.

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