Site logo with a green fedora hat image and Gordy's Discourse in text, which is the title of the site.

What colour is computer code?

Somebody asked me why the code blocks in my articles are such an 'ugly' green, and why I didn't use one of the many Javascript plugins that style code blocks instead.

After intense counselling to help me come to terms with a part of my website being described as ugly, I realised the slur was because the accuser didn't start out writing code on IBM 3270 terminals.

If he had done so, he'd know the natural colour of code is green. Or at least it was before code evolved. It has since mutated into a multitude of colours to avoid detection by predators (i.e., programmers) who now have to use fancy IDEs to tame it. It's evolution in action, rather like the baboon's bottom.

Another characteristic of code relates to entropy. This is called code rot. It's the reason why code that used to work perfectly suddenly starts failing even though it hasn't been touched by anyone. Code simply rots away if you don't keep an eye on it. It's certainly not the programmer's fault.

I hope you've found this educational.