⚠️ IMPORTANT 2022-11-15: Please help me find a job and move countries.

Emacs: minor breaking changes coming to modus-themes 3.0.0

The next release of the modus-themes includes a new default value for three user options. From the Git commit log:

bc8604e 2022-10-23 04:11:05 +0300 BREAKING Make modus-themes-fringes visible
3c272ec 2022-10-23 03:58:36 +0300 BREAKING Make modus-themes-hl-line intense
681e031 2022-10-23 03:50:22 +0300 BREAKING Make modus-themes-completions intense

Each change is small, though still noticeable. The intent is to provide a more usable out-of-the-box experience, prioritising users who are not aware that these themes are highly customisable.

The changes to modus-themes-completions and modus-themes-hl-line increase the intensity of the grey background colour of the highlighted line. Some users have had trouble discerning the previous default value. This is at least in part due to limitations in the underlying hardware, which misrepresents shades of light/dark grey or black.

[ Try to calibrate your monitor’s settings by relying on resources such as http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php and http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/white.php. Or find some software that affects colour output (e.g. xrandr can influence the gamma value of the red, green, blue channels of light). ]

The change to modus-themes-fringes deviates from the previous style as it now makes the fringes visible. The “fringes” are a narrow area to the side of each buffer that can contain indicators such as those for truncated or wrapped lines. I am rendering them conspicuous because they make it easier to spot the vertical border that divides windows in a frame. They also complement nicely the default style of the themes for the display-line-numbers-mode, which many users enable (often globally).

All things considered, these tweaks do not refashion the character of the themes. Existing users may not like them though, in which case they are advised to add this to their init file BEFORE loading either modus-operandi or modus-vivendi:

(setq modus-themes-completions nil
      modus-themes-hl-line nil
      modus-themes-fringes nil)

[ Any change to a user option after the theme has been loaded requires a theme reload. ]

I expect to release version 3.0.0 of the Modus themes before the end of this month. The plan is to have it coincide with the cut of the emacs-29 branch, which is expected to happen in November (the themes are built into Emacs).