One day I had gotten totally annoyed with the neon-on-day-glo-vomit-with-sprinkles-of-multicolor colorschemes for the Vim editor, so I decided to write my own. After it seemed to be somewhat ready, I named it Zenburn and uploaded it to the Vim site. This was in 2002. Now it seems the little colorscheme has started to grow on its own! What follows is the short history of Zenburn.
After the initial upload, time passed like time has the habit of doing. People seemed to like the color scheme, and I was happy, as I had made it for myself and tweaked it carefully, little by little, while doing real development using the editor, so it was nice to see people appreciate it. Some more time passed, and I had almost forgotten about Zenburn.
Then one day, the people of Cream contacted me and wanted to include Zenburn as part of the Cream distribution. Although a bit perplexed, I was honored that they chose to include it. The Cream posse had some nice suggestions which went in to Zenburn, and a new version was uploaded shortly afterwards.
Again, time passes, and, as I use Zenburn daily, I tweak it little by little whenever I stumble upon odd spots which break the harmony. Around this time or later, moving around at work gets me a place next to a window. The zen which burns too pale doesn’t feel perfect, so I tweak the colors to achieve a slightly darker version. From this point forward, Zenburn is actually two schemes in one – one for light, one for dark, toggleable as described within the color scheme itself.
One day a mail comes in from Kurt Maier. Kurt had done very nice work by porting the entire Zenburn to 256-color cterm entries – this means Zenburn-colors in terminals with 256 color support. We merged my unreleased Zenburn with Kurt’s cterm-Zenburn with a few mail iterations, and a new version was soon uploaded.
Currently I know of the following pages with healthy and nutritious Zenburn-derivatives:
- Zenburn for KDE konsole by Christoffer Sawicki
- Daniel Brockman has a page with adaptations for Emacs (!), XTerm, ion, ratpoison, etc.
- Zenburn scheme ported to Visual Studio 2005 by Jeff Atwood
- Jakub Piotr C?apa Zenburnt his entire desktop!
- Zenburn ported to Notepad++ by Dominykas Dja?enka.
- SubEthaEdit Zenburn by Henrik Bergius.
A tip of the hat to you. May you be forever in the zone.
If you can help make Zenburn better, please contact me. For example, currently there is very little support for the latest syntax groups (which means they will likely end up looking totally strange). This is mostly because I might not use such syntax groups myself, at least not until someone tells me how and where and why to use them.
And I’ll try hard to upload some unreleased changes soonish.
PS. You might want to check this
Vim color scheme testing tipVim color scheme testing tip by Shan Leung Maverick Woo. The page is handy if you wish to see what different color schemes look like and which ones you might want to try.
Edit: thanks to Jakub C. for notifying me I had a wrong name for him!
Edit: added link to Notepad++ port, thank you to Dominykas “Chaosteil” C!
Edit: added link to Henrik Bergius’ page. (Seems to be updating a lot – me thinks I should make a static page of this post….)