Why Are So Many Dev Tools Orange?
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Why Are So Many Dev Tools Orange?

This isn't a comprehensive survey by any means... but the four dev tools I'm using right now all have orange icons...

some orange devtool icons
  • Mozilla
  • Visual Studio
  • Codesmith
  • MS SQL Studio

Just as acronyms all scramble to include the letter 'X' so too, dev tools scramble toward the colour orange.

Note to self: 'OrangeX' would be the ultimate name for a dev tool.

(and if you think Mozilla isn't a dev tool... then you're just not using it right)





'Dylan Bennett' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 03:36:29 GMT, sez:

Funny that you mention that. I just looked down in my quick launch and saw my orange Aptana IDE icon.



'James Gregory' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 05:47:53 GMT, sez:

Resharper has a half-purple, half-orange icon, eerie. I think you're onto something.



'brahmma' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 07:44:29 GMT, sez:

Eek! I look at the Embedded Visual C++ icon on my desktop and that's ~orange too!



'Tim Bartle' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 07:58:09 GMT, sez:

Thoughtworks have recently released an agile project management tool called Mingle. Guess what? Orange all over the place!



'Chris Wallis' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 08:09:15 GMT, sez:

Please evaluate our new C++ build environment:

http://www.jaffamake....

Only kidding. Yup - all orange here.



'Mike' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 08:55:54 GMT, sez:

It's because orange and light gray look good.



'Suraj' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 11:56:18 GMT, sez:

And valve just released 'Orange Box'. Hmmm so lets see: http://www.google.com/search?q=orange+color+psychology

Some amusing things are there about the orange color.



'John' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 12:12:22 GMT, sez:

On a long enough timeline, every color stabilizes to orange.



'Jim Lang' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 13:17:08 GMT, sez:

Slickedit - Green & Black
VB6 (don't laugh) - other colors
Visual Studio - has orange
Firefox - orange
Query Analyzer - lt blue & gray
Dreamweaver - green & blue

But most of the stuff I'm working on has orange involved in the icons. It's pretty easy on the eyes.



'Kyralessa' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 15:03:49 GMT, sez:

Hmmm. The icon for dotTrace has an orange dot in the middle.

And the inner part of the SourceSafe 2005 icon is kind of orange.

And one of the gears in the Reflector icon is...orange.

Creepy.



'Jon Schneider' on Fri, 26 Oct 2007 15:47:06 GMT, sez:

My Windows XP theme itself is black and orange!

Microsoft released this theme several months ago to celebrate the release of the Zune. I'm not a Zune owner, but I thought the mostly-black theme was cool, so I installed it and had been thinking of it as a "Firefox" theme. But I like the "dev tools" idea better. :-)

You can get this theme at: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=75078



'Karter' on Sat, 27 Oct 2007 10:03:57 GMT, sez:

RSS icons.



'Ryan Patterson' on Sun, 28 Oct 2007 12:32:21 GMT, sez:

I think it's because construction's colors are orange.



'Chas' on Mon, 29 Oct 2007 13:11:08 GMT, sez:

Lotus Notes is orange too.

(Yes, I do hate it, no I have no choice.)



'Rob' on Tue, 30 Oct 2007 17:11:45 GMT, sez:

I add Outlook, Explorer, Paint Shop Pro, RoyalTS, and Winamp to that mix: http://blog.throbs.net/2005/12/22/Notice+A+Chromatic+Theme.aspx



'Rob' on Tue, 30 Oct 2007 17:17:48 GMT, sez:

Oh, and I just remembered the TMBG theme song for The Chopping Block: ojustinking73.webhost4life.com/ "oranges and graphic design" ojustinking73.webhost4life.com/



'Nidonocu' on Mon, 05 Nov 2007 00:09:02 GMT, sez:

You might be fooled in to thinking the Expression suite breaks this rule..
Until you look at the primary colour on the Expression Suite box art: http://www.microsoft.com/expression/



'RV' on Fri, 09 Nov 2007 10:56:26 GMT, sez:

Funny you noticed that. Orange is a great color though!



'Michael' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 13:16:33 GMT, sez:

Hmmm. The most orange icon I have is Outlook. Either this theory has some holes, or my managers are secret ninja developers.



'Steve Hazel' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 13:48:18 GMT, sez:

Not to mention http://codeproject.com
(not a tool, per se - but awesome)



'Arun Mahendrakar' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 14:41:12 GMT, sez:

I don't think that's limited just to dev tools:

Winamp, VLC player, Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007

are other examples.



'Mircea Chirea' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 14:44:47 GMT, sez:

Sorry, you're wrong, as Qt Creator has a green icon.



'Arun Mahendrakar' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 15:09:43 GMT, sez:

Hey even the icon foro blogs.msdn.com has a streak of orange in it.



'Kevin Connolly' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 20:09:34 GMT, sez:

Wouldn't the ultimate dev tool be XORange? Bonus points for the logical operator?



'Nathan' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 20:37:39 GMT, sez:

Eclipse isn't orange...I will stop using it immediately and switch to a more chromatically-correct development environment!

Thank you for bringing this to my urgent attention good sir!



'Andrea D'Alessandro' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 20:43:06 GMT, sez:

Visual FoxPro on my desktop is a ORANGE fox !!!



'ryan' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 21:41:13 GMT, sez:

Great observation! WinMerge can also be added to the list.



'Eber Irigoyen' on Tue, 08 Sep 2009 21:45:05 GMT, sez:

you've been oldnewthing'ed



'Ben Pearce' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 00:32:43 GMT, sez:

VMWare console and the stackoverflow logo - also orange



'Christopher' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 00:34:33 GMT, sez:

Aquamacs and EmacsW32 are orange.



'decoder' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 05:02:54 GMT, sez:

well... Delphi is also Orange.



'pjwhams' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 06:59:12 GMT, sez:

TestTrack Pro also orange (at the icon size in the quick launch bar it's hard to distinguish from the emacs icon)



'SH code' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 07:37:37 GMT, sez:

well, i'm using NetBeans and PSPad, which both have blue icon... sorry to ruin your theory :-)



'mam' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 08:35:22 GMT, sez:

And one of my fav. tools that i use - Hex Editor Neo... Its icon is also yellow/orange :-)



'Mattias' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 10:15:00 GMT, sez:

Strange. My favourite IDE and build tool, Notepad.exe, is blue, not orange.



'John' on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 19:54:37 GMT, sez:

I've got Altova MapForce...and it's orange too.



'CodeMonkey' on Thu, 10 Sep 2009 04:56:52 GMT, sez:

Hmm.... I just observed this, WinAmp, WinMerge and GoToMeeting are orange also...



'Coder' on Thu, 10 Sep 2009 12:24:24 GMT, sez:

Psychology?



'spugbrap' on Thu, 10 Sep 2009 15:03:43 GMT, sez:

Firebug is orange, too!



'Tom Joad' on Thu, 10 Sep 2009 16:23:56 GMT, sez:

Avanade's logo ant typeface is also ORANGE. Those guys make great Orange dev tools!



'RG' on Fri, 11 Sep 2009 17:27:35 GMT, sez:

Instrumentation (which is essentially the development world of Aircraft) uses orange wire for all of the gauges that they install, I think this conspiracy is broader than you realize.



'OrangeX Ultimate Dev user' on Fri, 11 Sep 2009 19:59:32 GMT, sez:

Sorry, you're late.
OrangeX is a trademark already.



'Gareth' on Tue, 15 Sep 2009 08:19:31 GMT, sez:

Kaxaml's icon is also orange, mostly.



'oliver' on Thu, 17 Sep 2009 12:13:36 GMT, sez:

Creepy... Meld is orange, and Gedit is primarily orange (does white count as color?).

OTOH Kdevelop and Konsole have no orange at all. Someone should file a bug report.



'LuisG' on Thu, 17 Sep 2009 13:28:08 GMT, sez:

Hey, this finally explains why Flash sucks so much as a development tool! It's not orange!




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