[OS X Emacs] Aquamacs status update

Win Treese treese at acm.org
Wed Oct 28 21:22:17 EDT 2020

> On Oct 28, 2020, at 9:15 AM, Tom Van Vleck <thvv at multicians.org> wrote:
> [I am not sure I would use a new default theme for Aquamacs.  
> Whenever I move into a new Mac or install a new macOS,
> I spend some time configuring it the way I am used to.
> (See https://formyfriendswithmacs.com/aquamacs.html )
> ]

[I’m going to wrap some thoughts about themes from several replies here.]

I would certainly expect that many people would use different themes for Aquamacs no matter what comes in the box. Emacs has an enormous range of themes now, so there’s a lot of choice.

The current version of Aquamacs has the contemporary theme machinery of Emacs, which didn’t exist at the time it first came out, and the Mac look has evolved quite a bit as well.

My sense of what Aquamacs should be is “The most Mac-like Emacs can be, while still being Emacs.” In a lot of ways, it’s like that now, as it started out. I think the out-of-the-box appearance isn’t as Mac-like as it could be, and the idea about making it more attractive for newcomers and for those who aren’t inclined to fiddle with the appearance, but who might prefer something a bit more polished. 

It might also make sense to convert some the Aquamacs changes to appearance into a theme for consistency with the way things work now, although that’s not high on my list at the moment.

That said, I’m not sure what that should be, and it’s an area I’m not that good at. I could imagine that Aquamacs ships with a bundled theme from the many that are available now, or that some set of us design a unique Aquamacs theme with a pleasing Mac-style appearance. It’s definitely not something I can do on my own!

As for dark mode, I do think that it would be best to have out-of-the-box light and dark themes. I don’t know how hard it would be to build that in. As John noted, there’s a bug report, so at some point someone will look at it, I hope. On the other hand, I noticed that there’s code on GitHub that claims to do it using AppleScript to check the dark/light mode status: https://github.com/LionyxML/auto-dark-emacs/blob/master/auto-dark-emacs.el

Ideas (and code!) welcome.

Thanks also to Robert and John for their comments in the thread.

- Win

P.S. With respect to donations: we don’t have a working donation system now, and it may be back in some form after 3.6 is out. Thanks for your support!

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