Going Dark – Why and How to Use TotalView’s New Dark-Themed UIBill Burns | May 21, 2019
Why a Dark Theme User Interface?
Dark theme backgrounds for desktop and mobile applications have experienced recent popularity, and for good reason. Dark interfaces provide a higher level of visual impact for the content they display and can be advantageous during certain times of day or in particular environments.
Complex user interfaces benefit from using a dark theme, as it allows important information to easily be highlighted on a user’s screen. In addition, different users may also simply have a specific preference in the UI style they are most effective working in. A dark theme is desirable for many of TotalView’s users, as developers need to focus on their code, the values of their variables, and other complex information displayed by the debugger.
From the initial designs and architecture of TotalView’s new user interface, we wanted to enable the ability to select from multiple UI themes in order to provide a debugging interface and experience developers were comfortable using daily. The team started with a light theme and as the new UI gained momentum, several users have requested a dark theme. We’re excited to announce, for the 2019.1 release, TotalView is going dark and is officially providing a dark theme!
How to Use the Dark-Themed UI in TotalView
Watch this short video or follow the steps below to switch from the light to the dark user interface in TotalView or CodeDynamics.
Step-by-step changing themes
By default, TotalView starts with a light theme, presenting the user with a light-colored interface using dark font colors.
To switch to the dark theme, bring up the Preferences dialog by either clicking the “gear” icon in the toolbar or selecting the Preferences menu item under the top-level File menu. Select the Display tab on the Preferences dialog and toggle from the Light theme screenshot to the Dark theme screenshot.
Press OK. On the next restart, the dark theme will come up as the interface default.
You can also change the theme using the -theme command line option:
totalview -theme light
totalview -theme dark
Developing a dark theme for TotalView was a fun development exercise that involved talking to users, researching how to create a useful dark theme palette, and designing efficient stylesheets that allow themes to be easily swapped based on user preferences. Watch for further theme enhancements that will enable additional levels of theme control in future TotalView releases.
Please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback about the dark theme or any other features in TotalView’s new user interface!
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