Coming soon to Meta 🌑 DARKNESS 🌑

I can’t get enough of the darkness! I love the freakin’ darkness like I love chop suey!

Edit: In 5 months can you do “Ice”? Discourse could become like Google’s Doodles except with themes.

It makes sense for people who use a computer in a dark room. Staring at a bright white screen in a dark room gets very painful, very fast.

On the other hand, a dark theme in a bright room can look equally ridiculous.

I’d also love a user toggle for the theme.


@KevinWorkman there’s a discussion here about user selectable themes.

holy shitballs, this is amazing.

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Oh god when will the pain ennnnnnd… I decree darkness is over 5pm pacific time Friday 8/21. So we’ll fix what we can until then.



I think it looks great – very cool! I don’t think I’d use it though. Whiteness all the way.

Hm, yeah… at this point I think I actually like the dark theme. Very interesting. Don’t know that I’d deploy it anywhere, but it gives me ideas on how I might style other discourse.


OK, we fixed a ton of dark bg CSS issues. Back to defaults for now.

(any replies to this topic that were 100% addressed with our fixes were deleted, so we’d have a record of just remaining issues, not fixed things.)

For posterity the darkness settings we used were


I rather like the Darkness theme too. Is there a way I can choose it as preference to use when I view Meta? Seems like it would be nice to provide alternate color schemes to users and allow them to pick one they prefer.


You can install a browser plugin that lets you override browser colors with custom style sheets at will.

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And one reason this wouldn’t work as well as hoped is if I as a site admin post CSS modifications for the theme that I’m using.

If I knew that my users could pick any theme, that would be umpteen more levels of testing for my CSS modifications


YouTube lets you “turn the lights off” and countless sites allow you to change your background, if not more.

Thanks for your suggestion for custom meta theming. But my stronger interest is for user selectable theme for my (future) site.

Presumably DC will ship with the Darkness theme available for the admin to select. Why not allow the admin to make darkness (or other approved schemes) available for their users to select as a preference? Is it because @codinghorror abhors it? :rageguy:

I doubt even 1% of my users know how to override the colors, and only a few more would take the trouble to do so if they knew how. But a much larger percentage (25?) would select an optional theme if provided as a preference.

I hope that my site will be my one of my users’ online homes. Being able to personalize it a bit makes it much more “homey” and encourages them to take up residence (and be on ongoing contributor).


In (nearly) 20 years of using the Internet I have never selected a user theme for a website I use. I just don’t see a lot of value in it versus other things we could spend time on that would benefit a lot more users not just the ultra rare few that will select a user theme…

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That said, I really want us to get “preview” working on “color scheme”, at the moment there is no way of experimenting with colors short of interrupting the entire site with the experiment. This should work same as customizations do.


I made a quick mockup of what a theme selector could look like.

Expanded (note that it only shows part of the menu, as I only had time to make one part; ignore the font glitches):

Another option would to have boxes next to the name with the colors (like in the category color selection dialog).

I assume you are talking about an admin selector.

We would like to ship with some sane defaults here:

More than happy to see visual mockups on how to improve this UI.

That said this topic has totally run its course and needs to be split off. Closing it in favor of topics with specific action points and feedback.


Logged in users, try out the dark theme :arrow_right: here: