Skip to main content

It's Only Getting Darker

Continuing my quest on getting a darker UI (see my previous post I Have Gone Dark), I thought I would share some of my experience. This time it's about Eclipse, Visual Studio and iTunes. Yes, I'm slowly darkening (at least, trying to) all the programs I typically use.


I am using Eclipse Indigo, so the screen shots below are Indigo specific. I also tried the approach for Eclipse Juno and it works too. Juno has a neat in-built support for theming, while Indigo relies on the Operating System color theme. However, that Juno is so slow, that you need a very decent machine to run it properly. I'm keeping with Eclipse Indigo for now.

I installed the plugin Eclipse Color Theme from There are plenty of color themes there. I ended up using one of the most popular ones, Oblivion. It's very relaxing for eye (compared to most of the other dark themes). Other good themes are Obsidian, Wombat.
 And this is what Eclipse looks like. One thing to note here is that the themes from will only skin your editors in Eclipse. If you want to skin the rest of the IDE, you will need to change the OS theme (for Eclipse Indigo) or use an Eclipse theme (for Juno).

Visual Studio

I'm using Visual Studio 2010 Professional, so the screen shots below are the that specific version. Theming VS 2010 is a two-step process.

First, the UI itself should be themed. This is not an in-built feature, so I downloaded an installed VS plugin Visual Studio Color Theme Editor. This will give you an item Theme in the top menu and the possibility to change the UI colors and fonts, import, export color schemes, etc. I used the import function to set a theme called Dark Expression.

Second, you will need to style the editor itself. Just like Eclipse, this feature is available in the product and it allows changing the fonts and colors of different editors. I found a nice dark editor called Son of Obsidian (plenty of styles to choose from at, which comes in the form of a .vssettings file export.


There is no support for themes in iTunes for Windows (I am using version 10). I heard there is some support for Mac.

So, in order to skin iTunes, you will need to hack the bits out of it. This is exactly what Silent Night dark theme does (and does it very well, by the way).


Popular posts from this blog

Running sp_updatestats on AWS RDS database

Part of the maintenance tasks that I perform on a MSSQL Content Manager database is to run stored procedure sp_updatestats . exec sp_updatestats However, that is not supported on an AWS RDS instance. The error message below indicates that only the sa  account can perform this: Msg 15247 , Level 16 , State 1 , Procedure sp_updatestats, Line 15 [Batch Start Line 0 ] User does not have permission to perform this action. Instead there are several posts that suggest using UPDATE STATISTICS instead: I stumbled upon the following post from 2008 (!!!), , which describes a way to wrap the call to sp_updatestats and execute it under a different user: create procedure dbo.sp_updstats with execute as 'dbo' as

Scaling Policies

This post is part of a bigger topic Autoscaling Publishers in AWS . In a previous post we talked about the Auto Scaling Groups , but we didn't go into details on the Scaling Policies. This is the purpose of this blog post. As defined earlier, the Scaling Policies define the rules according to which the group size is increased or decreased. These rules are based on instance metrics (e.g. CPU), CloudWatch custom metrics, or even CloudWatch alarms and their states and values. We defined a Scaling Policy with Steps, called 'increase_group_size', which is triggered first by the CloudWatch Alarm 'Publish_Alarm' defined earlier. Also depending on the size of the monitored CloudWatch custom metric 'Waiting for Publish', the Scaling Policy with Steps can add a difference number of instances to the group. The scaling policy sets the number of instances in group to 1 if there are between 1000 and 2000 items Waiting for Publish in the queue. It also sets the

Toolkit - Dynamic Content Queries

This post if part of a series about the  File System Toolkit  - a custom content delivery API for SDL Tridion. This post presents the Dynamic Content Query capability. The requirements for the Toolkit API are that it should be able to provide CustomMeta queries, pagination, and sorting -- all on the file system, without the use third party tools (database, search engines, indexers, etc). Therefore I had to implement a simple database engine and indexer -- which is described in more detail in post Writing My Own Database Engine . The querying logic does not make use of cache. This means the query logic is executed every time. When models are requested, the models are however retrieved using the ModelFactory and those are cached. Query Class This is the main class for dynamic content queries. It is the entry point into the execution logic of a query. The class takes as parameter a Criterion (presented below) which triggers the execution of query in all sub-criteria of a Criterio