Released Modus themes 0.8.0

I just published version 0.8.0 of the Modus themes. These are my highly-accessible themes for GNU Emacs. They conform with the WCAG AAA standard for colour contrast accessibility (a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between the foreground and background values). You can find the packages on ELPA, MELPA, MELPA stable:

  • modus-operandi-theme (light)
  • modus-vivendi-theme (dark)

Below are the release notes copied verbatim.

Modus Operandi and Modus Vivendi version 0.8.0

By Protesilaos Stavrou <> on 2020-04-28

This entry records the changes since version 0.7.0 (2020-03-30).  The
present release contains a little more than a hundred commits, covering
one month of intense work.

All changes are aligned with the primary objective of this project,
which is conformance with the WCAG AAA accessibility standard for colour
contrast.  This translates to a minimum contrast ratio of 7:1 between a
given combination of foreground and background colours.

All customisation options mentioned herein are off ('nil') by default.
The project's policy is to offer such features on an "opt-in" basis,
while always respecting the principle of least surprise.

Refer to the README for further information.

Four new customisation options

The options in outline, with their detailed description below:

+ Rainbow headings
+ Section headings
+ 3D modeline
+ Subtle diffs

1. "Rainbow headings" will apply more vivid colours to headings in
   'org-mode' and 'outline-mode'.  The gradation is similar to that of a
   rainbow's colour spectrum.

   The default is to use colour values that are closer to the grey

2. "Section headings" also apply to 'org-mode' and 'outline-mode'.  They
   will draw an overline over each heading and use a nuanced background
   colour that is appropriate for each level.  For Org, this option has
   some additional effects, where it will render keywords and priority
   cookies in a box and add to them a subtle background.  This is to
   make sure that everything feels consistent (to the extent possible).

   The default is to not use overlines, backgrounds, boxes in any of the
   relevant faces.  This is consistent with the standard austere
   colouration of headings: to not deviate too much from a "plain text"

NOTE: "rainbow headings" and "section headings" can work on their own or
be combined together.

3. "3D modeline" will use a faux unpressed button style for the current
   window's modeline (like the standard looks of 'emacs -Q').  The
   colours used for the active and inactive modelines are tweaked
   accordingly to maximise the effect while retaining the visual
   distinction between them.

   The default is to draw the modelines in a two-dimensional style, with
   the active one having a more noticeable border around it.

4. "Subtle diffs" will use colour-coded text for line-wise differences
   without applying any appropriately-coded background value or, where
   necessary, by using only a subtle greyscale background.  This affects
   'diff-mode', 'magit', 'ediff', and 'smerge-mode'.  For Magit an extra
   set of tweaks is implemented to account for the differentiation
   between the focused and unfocused diff hunks.

   Due to their unique requirements, word-wise or refined changes are
   always drawn with a colour-coded background, though it is less
   intense when this option is enabled.

   The default is to use a colour-coded background and foreground
   combination (e.g. light green text on a dark green backdrop) and to
   make appropriate adjustments for refined diffs and modes of
   interaction such as Magit's focused/unfocused diff states.

Other major refinements

+ Thoroughly revise the colours of 'ediff' and 'smerge-mode', so that
  they are aligned with those of 'diff-mode' and 'magit'.  This is in
  addition to the "subtle diffs" options mentioned in the previous

+ Review the faces used by Flycheck and Flymake.  A wavy/curly underline
  is now used in all terminals that support it.  The underlined text is
  drawn with a more nuanced foreground than before.  The previous design
  was exaggerating an already clear effect and could make things more
  difficult under certain circumstances.

+ All language checkers, including the aforementioned linter front-ends,
  now benefit from a new set of colours that are designed specifically
  for this particular purpose.  Makes the affected faces feel more
  different than their context.

+ Use dedicated colours for escape sequences, regular expression
  constructs, and quoted characters.  The goal is to better
  differentiate them from their surroundings.

+ Tweak the colours of 'hydra' to improve the distinction between its
  various types of behaviour.

+ Reduce the overall luminance of the background colours used in the
  fringes by the likes of 'flycheck', 'flymake', 'diff-hl', etc.  They
  should now not stand out more than they should, while retaining their
  intended role.

+ Implement more saturated colours in Elfeed.  The previous choices
  could make it harder to differentiate the various parts of the

+ Make better use of the customisation options for bold and slanted
  constructs where that is allowed.  If a face is not tied to the
  semantics of these styles then it is drawn without them, unless the
  user specifically opts for the relevant customisation options.

Added support for packages (A-Z)

+ ag
+ color-rg
+ ctrlf
+ debbugs
+ eglot
+ forge
+ helpful
+ highlight-symbol
+ ibuffer
+ icomplete
+ iflipb
+ magit-imerge
+ man
+ orderless
+ page-break-lines
+ parrot
+ phi-grep
+ phi-search
+ pomidor
+ rcirc
+ spell-fu
+ switch-window
+ swoop
+ tab-bar-mode
+ tab-line-mode
+ trashed
+ tomatinho
+ tuareg
+ vimish-fold
+ visible-mark
+ vterm
+ wcheck-mode
+ winum
+ woman

Miscellaneous changes and concluding remarks

+ Rewrote large parts of the README to make the customisation options
  easier to discover and understand.

+ Updated the screen shots and their description in the relevant Wiki

For more information, check the git repository of the modus-themes.