Theme management in Eclipse

I develop software for a living and also as a hobby, meaning that I spend at least 8 hours each day writing code in front of the computer. I have the opinion that your choice of IDE or text editor is extremely important for two main reasons:

  • Mastering it will make you more productive so that you will be able to write more code in less time, making you and probably your employer happier.
  • It is the prime tool of your toolbox. You need to feel comfortable using it, because you will be doing so in a great extent and there’s no point on using something that feels like a pain on the ass.

My work in the office involves programming in Java almost all the time, with the exception of meetings (lately more often than I’d like) and the eventual sysadmin tasks. Although I am a die hard Vim/Emacs user (in that order) and I’d like to use them every time, I have to admit that Eclipse makes it easier to write and debug Java code at the cost of huge bloatedness.

If I asked ten random people in the world about their favorite color, I am completely sure that results would vary. Colors are a very personal preference, and to me they play a very important role on feeling comfortable while programming (I go for easy on the eye dark themes). Therefore, being able to switch color themes is a feature that should be available in every single editor or IDE out there.

Apparentely, the people behind Eclipse do not agree with me, and one thing that I can’t stand about it is how freaking unfriendly the theme color management is: you have to adjust colors one by one, for each one of the languages you’re coding in. To me, this sounds absurdly lame.

I’ve been looking for decent dark themes for Eclipse for almost two years until last week I finally stumped into Eclipse Color Themes. There are over 500 different themes in the site, which is great. But even greater is that a plugin to make it easy to switch themes is also available at no cost at the Eclipse Marketplace or directly from Github (see instructions here).

Eclipse keeps being a pain on the ass most of the time, but at least it looks nicer now. Find below a screenshot with my current theme, Zenburn.

Zenburn theme

Update 03-04

Actually I fancy the Obsidian theme more than Zenburn:

Obsidian theme

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