Coding Ergonomics

(Da:Sourcerer) #1

With the release of Adobe’s Source Code Pro (a typeface that claims to make typing source code more pleasant) I think we should have a thread discussing things that make our day-to-day job as developers a bit smoother. Fonts, settings, themes, the like …

As a starter: I’m using the Solarized Dark theme for my editors and consoles. I find it much less straining to the eye during extended hacking sessions. I am currently using the aforementioned Source Code Pro font on my Windows 7 machine. I’ve got to say that I needed to get used to it at first, but it really helps after a while. On my Fedora notebook I’m making use of the monospaced variant of Google’s Droid fontset. In addition, I am using the infinality freetype patches for improved font rendering (I find that essential with a limited display).

(Abennouna) #2

I’m still using… Courrier New even on OS X, I haven’t accustomed to the included Menlo, Andale Mono, or Monaco, which are nice the three of them. And I code on white background, and lowest screen brightness.

I guess the font family is not the only criteria: I find my 13,3" MBP screen is more comfortable (brightness and font smoothness) than my XP’s HP 17". Go figure. (Yes, the HP is obviously older).

(Alexander Makarov) #3

Using PhpStorm with almost default black-on-white theme. Windows 7, font is Consolas (haven’t found better one yet).

(Jacob Moen) #4

I am using the default (I guess) color theme in Aptana:



Haven’t bothered to change any font settings - maybe I should?

(Alexander Makarov) #5

What’s the goal of having dark code while all panels are like flashlights? Try consolas.

(Qiang Xue) #6

My editor screen 3296


(Yii) #7

I feel very comfortable in NetBeans with the default configuration.

This week I started experimenting with PhpStorm and it felt bad on the eyes.

Thanks for your recommendations. I’ll try these fonts there.

(Nkdsoft) #8

I started using netbeans and I changed to phpstorm (I hated that the tab reorder in netbeans is very laggy). I am using right now the Monokai theme, and because of the suggestion made in this topic I changed the font to Consolas (from the default Monaco). I am liking it very much!



(Da:Sourcerer) #9

I see no classes or filenames with C-prefix, yet the structure looks very familiar. Are we looking at Yii2 code here?

(Alexander Makarov) #10

He-he, yeah, that’s Yii2 in progress.

qiang, have you tried enabling cleartype and using cleartype-optimized fonts such as Consolas? I’ve spent lots of time without it and when I’ve finally turned it on my eyes felt better.

nkd, and again I don’t see why it’s good when code is on black but panels are still very bright.

(Da:Sourcerer) #11

Interesting. So if we want to see more of Yii2 before the alpha gets released we just need to trick the core devs into posting more screenshots of their IDEs? :lol:

(Alexander Makarov) #12

You can check our gists as well

(Da:Sourcerer) #13

But that’s not as much fun :P Not to mention that those gists do not necessarily reflect the current state of development.

(Jacob Moen) #14

Yeah, but that doesn’t help with Java - that screenshot does look a bit like Netbeans or other Java-based IDE.

That’s a royal pain in the rearside.

No matter how much cleartype you set for your window manager, it doesn’t apply to Java which has it’s very own font rendering engine. :(

(Qiang Xue) #15

@samdark: I’m using Monaco TTF (it is shipped with Mac OS). My screenshot was taken through RDP, so the font looks very edgy. I was using Consolas before changing to Monaco.

(Qiang Xue) #16

@jacmoe: I’m using PhpStorm with some UI customization.

I’m gradually moving towards Mac OS. I found my productivity improves a lot once I master a lot of keyboard shortcuts, and these IDE’s do help a lot.

(Jacob Moen) #17

Finally - the font rendering problems in Netbeans has been solved! :lol:

In <netbeans>/etc/netbeans.conf, I append those options to 'netbeans_default_options’ :

J-Dswing.aatext=true -J-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on -J-Dorg.netbeans.editor.aa.extra.hints=true

Now, the font rendering is acceptable!

And, if you want a different color scheme then here’s some alternatives:



Oblivion-revival and Monokai:


(Jacob Moen) #18

Yeah, I think I’ll try with Solarized. :)

I am old and my eyes needs less contrast - hence me favoring dark color schemes.

(Jacob Moen) #19

Solarized Light:



(Da:Sourcerer) #20

I’ve had a closer look at this Monaco font now. I don’t think I’d want to code with that: For my liking, it has a bizarre scale, effectively wasting more vertical space than needed and making it a bit hard to read.

By the way, there is a nice round-up of coding fonts over at