Jamie Zawinski commented that his perfect Mac experience continues with light grey text on light grey backgrounds.
These have been a problem for years, and it’s only getting worse.
It’s why I use the Adwaita-Dark theme and Solarized Dark for Gedit and GNOME Terminal.
I think they’re all making the default theme so unusable unless you jack up the display backlight to “IT BURNS US! IT BURNS US PRECIOUS!” so they can market “Dark Mode” as if it was a special feature, when I’ve always used them in one form or another.
When I started using Solaris, I got hooked on one that Sun wrote for GTK2 called Nimbus. The icon pack was pretty sharp too. And even the light version was quite lovely.
Here is a screen shot of Nimbus Dark.
Now here’s what my desktop looks like:
Notice how either one of these is legible?
Even the much older desktop environment was more usable than a Mac is today, and especially it didn’t look completely sterile with gray on gray. Soulless, lifeless, boring. Conformist. Apple.
Even JWZ realizes that the Mac is unpleasant, even though he won’t come right out and say it that way. He has to look at it every day because he chooses to do his computing that way. That’s his loss. There’s worse things about proprietary software for sure, but GUIs are important. It’s important to note that Free Software GUIs can look however you want. Don’t like it? Change it!
When Apple had their mock funeral for Mac OS 9 in 2002, they signaled that there wasn’t anyone left who worked for Apple who knew basic concepts of acceptable GUI design.
Worse, with OS X, they brought in a bunch of clowns who managed to get everything about UNIX wrong (and paid to get conformance violations ignored on the Single UNIX Specification tests, but that’s another matter).
If anyone is interested, here’s Nathan Lineback’s ToastyTech GUI gallery with screenshots of Mac OS 9.
Other than looking a little dated, it was a much better setup than Apple’s current OS.