BLM – Black Lines Matter aka IBM i RDi Dark Theme

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October 16, 2017

How do we set the IBM i RDi Dark Theme?

I’m getting old — 50 earlier this year — and my eyesight is failing. Seriously, I bought some of those old man reading glasses from Walmart. You know the ones, the “old people” ones! 🙂   Five bucks for a little old Victorian style pair of readers that perch on the end of your nose and let us old programmers read comfortably for a change (without squinting or holding things out at arm’s length)…. but I digress…

Last week I was grinding away writing some RPG OA Screen handlers. Kind of new territory for me, lots of reading web pages, scrimping code samples, editing, refactoring and many hours of nose to screen, typing and coding. I had a slight head ache at end of a couple of days.

“Must be from squinting” I think “perhaps a darker desktop will be more relaxing on my eyes?” I decide

So, I decided to switch my desktop into a dark mode and make the fonts slightly bigger. It’s taken me a couple of days to get used to it but I like it.

If you fancy doing the same thing, you can make Windows Dark like this:

Enable Dark Mode for Windows 10 Settings and Apps

To enable the dark theme, head to Settings > Personalization > Colors.

Scroll down and select “Dark” under “Choose your app mode”.

The Settings application itself will immediately turn dark, as will many other “Universal Windows Platform” applications. However, it’s up to each developer to support the dark theme, and some applications will continue using their normal colors.


Make your IBM i Terminal Emulator Dark

Head to Edit > Preferences > Appearance > Colors (or just click the COLOR button on the toolbar)

I change the BACKGROUND color setting to Black. But it looked a little to dark so I used custom color button to set it a few clicks lighter – now its a comfortable dark grey. I also set the GREEN to use a foreground color of a white/yellow which I like the look of:

BLM - Black Lines Matter aka IBM i RDi Dark Theme 1

Make your Rational Developer Code Editor Dark

Take RDi to the Dark Side

First, set the main theme to dark in Preferences> Appearance > General > Appearance and set THEME to DARK

RDi Dark Theme

This will make the RDi main tool all dark but if you choose to only have the code editing BODY (the LPEX editor) you can tweak Preferences > LPEX EDITOR > Appearance and choose BLM – Black Lines Matter aka IBM i RDi Dark Themeas the Pallette

BLM - Black Lines Matter aka IBM i RDi Dark Theme 2

That’s all she wrote.

Having said that I prefer a slightly lighter code entry window so I choose a light grey for my preferred colour:

BLM - Black Lines Matter aka IBM i RDi Dark Theme 3
Dark theme with grey entry window in RDi

Just goes to prove that #BLM really does matter 🙂


IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.

Nick Litten

related posts:

  • I too have gone black and I’m never going back. There is a great chrome extension called “Dark Reader” that will make most of your web sites dark. Also, one of the more recent Windoze 10 updates makes file explorer dark, and outlook dark theme even shows emails as color on black background. The only thing is I’ve yet to find is a way to make ACS “run sql scripts” dark. I use this heavily, but can’t find a way go dark. Does anyone know a way to do this?
    Once I get that the transformation will be complete. How much more black could this be? The answer is…none. –come to the dark side

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