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I would like to know where to send my money so that Dark Mode can come to Ask Different. Stack Overflow has had it for two years and it is an absolute delight. I mostly spend time at AD in the evening hours and the difference between SO in Dark Mode and AD in its current Light Mode is - very literally in this case - like night and day. I notice that spending time on AD at night often interferes with my circadian rhythm (above and beyond just being irritating on the eyes).

I recognize that there are workarounds available by using third party browsers but, this being an Apple user community, I see no reason that we can't offer AD the same tool that SO has been offering Safari users since 2020 and not force users to change browsers. (I can give half a dozen technical reasons why not to use Chrome on Mac, too.)

From what I can tell, most of the pages on AD would look fine with basic inversion, so I don't see a big technical challenge in mostly copying the work that SO did to become Dark Mode-enabled and tweaking the colors a bit to match AD's existing design language.

What I'd like to know in this question is:

  1. Does anyone have direct knowledge of whether this is actively being worked on today (and if there is a planned release date)?
  2. How can I help to get this done sooner?
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    A literal bounty on a feature request - your attention and voice are appreciated as I know many love that look and just inverting colors isn’t enough to achieve this.
    – bmike Mod
    Mar 22 at 12:18

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Some new features, such as following questions and answers, are very easy to roll out across the entire network. Just update the codebase and it works. Dark Mode is sadly not one of those things; they'll have to go over all the sites individually (at least the ones with a custom design) and tweak the colors and images.

Some relevant references: the announcement of Dark Mode on Stack Overflow:

Future releases

At this point, the focus of Dark Mode is on Stack Overflow and we’ll eventually bring it to MSO. While the retheming we did across the network two years ago makes updating our LESS easier, creating dark versions of all of our sites, particularly the custom-designed ones, is going to be a huge challenge we’re not able to contemplate at this time. The artwork on some of those sites simply can’t be made dark because we don’t have access to the original art files and, to be honest, some of the themes will always be better as-is.

and a discussion on a community feedback post, with an answer by a staff member:

Q: You mentioned paying off a lot of technical debt to implement Dark Mode on Stack Overflow. How much of this effort would be useful in expanding Dark Mode to the entire network? For example, would you need to re-implement it mostly from scratch on each individual site, or is there now a Dark Mode Module that can be installed, tested, and tweaked pretty much anywhere you want to with a much smaller amount of effort than was necessary to implement it the first time around for Stack Overflow?


A: From talking to Aaron... it's kinda complicated. We can't just turn a lot of sites dark because their artwork was designed with light mode in mind (excepting for Science Fiction & Fantasy, for the most part). So plopping dark mode on, say... Worldbuilding or English Language Learners or Seasoned Advice... would be pretty impossible without redoing their artwork... again. This is one of those... rare cases where beta sites have a leg up... :)

(copied from an earlier answer of mine on Electrical Engineering Meta)

As you indicated, Ask Different's theme is pretty basic and should be about as easy as the generic beta design. But Stack Exchange isn't working on this right now (they regularly publish an update about their priorities on the Stack Overflow blog).

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    Especially meta - we should be able to test drive dark mode here with much less effort than main and then help build consensus how desirable this might be.
    – bmike Mod
    Mar 22 at 21:42

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