Since we spent so many hours reading text and code in this site, could we somehow customize the colors of the site?

Maybe give the possibility to anyone make their own themes. It's undeniable that in a few weeks there will be some very good themes available, and some dark themes with low contrast will make reading easier.

  • 6
    One word: userstyles.
    – Doorknob
    Jun 27, 2013 at 23:00
  • Is there a reason you don't want to just download a browser extensions for this? This would take up far too much resources for little effect, in my opinion.
    – Daedalus
    Jun 27, 2013 at 23:00
  • If the focus group gives a thumbs up for stage two of the rainbowificaiton project, disco feverification will take care of all your custom color needs. You'll simply need to reload the page until the random colors satisfy you.
    – jball
    Jun 27, 2013 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


I can't see this happening, for a few reasons:

  1. We use LESS which lets us inherit/share styles, mixins, and variables between all of our sites.
  2. The LESS is compiled to CSS at build time, so...what would you be editing exactly?
  3. The CSS is served by our CDN, it is a simple as can be file being served setup.
  4. What would happen when we deploy a new feature? Who maintains the theme?
  5. You can already do this for yourself via broswer extensions like Stylish for Firefox and Chrome. In fact, there are some Stack Overflow themes available already.

For the small portion of people who would change the theme (the level of utilization we see with any preference we offer), I think this problem is already solved on the browser side.

  • Is this LESS thing new, or always was being used? Jun 27, 2013 at 23:28
  • @ShaWizDowArd we've been using it a few years now, actually need to do a large refactor on it based on how it gets used currently...but it saves a ton of code and time. Jun 27, 2013 at 23:31
  • There are ways to do it without touching LESS. Wikipedia lets you create JS and CSS files in your userspace and include them as you see fit. There's a strong userscripting culture there, I used to participate a lot. It's quite useful to have persistent userscripts/styles when switching from one computer to another. Allowing people to include external JS/CSS without browser extensions would be great (especially for those who want to customize the mobile site)-- but it's not worth the dev time. Jun 27, 2013 at 23:57
  • @Manishearth Chrome syncs your extensions and prefs now...the need for even Wikipedia to have it is going away. Also, there's an inherent penalty there with render time and reflow which can be fairly expensive. Really no point in going into the other 20 reasons this wouldn't be close to easy or work at all though (e.g. wikipedia has only one site)...it's just not at all worth spending the time required on. Jun 28, 2013 at 1:49
  • @NickCraver Oh, I agree that it's not worth the time, and that there probably are a million other issues at play here. Just that it's possible without breaking LESS. Jun 28, 2013 at 9:40

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