I couldn't sleep last night and was browsing my phone for a couple hours waiting for the blue light to completely ruin my chances of getting any shut eye. Dark Mode which I had enabled, which is easier on the eyes especially when you should be asleep anyway, wasn't available for certain websites, stack exchange included, and I wanted to find out why.

I found out 2 things, well 3 things.

  1. After some googling I discovered that any forced changes google chrome was contemplating to force enable dark mode for all websites have been quietly backtracked.

  2. Stack overflow recently overhauled their code to enable dark mode as an option (March 2020). It looks very nice when reading when you should be asleep.

  • Sadly, On DESKTOP version of .se not mobile version. A very handy blog article from the techie involved with the overhaul is available, that even a complete noob like me could follow/understand the effort required.
  1. This change won't be foisted on all the stacks unilaterally cos of unique colour schemes etc. It'll be up to each community to work on. (I don't know how these code changes would be made...)

For now, we have no plans to bring dark mode to the many sites across the Stack Exchange network. Many of the designs on our sites have been around long enough that converting them to dark mode would require redoing the artwork completely. We would prefer to avoid giving anyone across our network a substandard experience and we don’t want to change those elements without the input of these communities.

So are there any future plans or hopes to enable dark mode on worldbuilding: Either desktop or mobile-friendly versions?

Is there anything in particular holding us back from doing it?

Is there any particular desire for it amongst our members?

I checked wb.meta for any previous discussions about dark mode and couldn't find anything. So curious if this is a potential future option or not.

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    $\begingroup$ Dark mode is better, period. I'd rather read light on dark any time. My desktop computers all use light-on-dark color schemes and I will enable any dark mode that is available, always. Sometimes for a site I use often enough I'll even create my own custom CSS, though it is a pain when sites changes their CSS frequently. Seriously, you'd think designers would realize that staring into a bright light constantly is not ideal, but no, most designers think that imitating paper is somehow valuable 😭. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ All this feels a little strident. A few of us are freaks and like the lighting for pages the way it is. Please don't shame folks who are fine with stuff as-is. If dark mode is an option, that's great. Don't take away choice in all this. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ @DWKraus, Ha. No shaming intended in the question. Just an expression of curiosity and hope. Now, I can't speak for Matthew's comment 😂 $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Sadly, the answer is no:

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.

You'll have to rely on custom made stylesheets/scripts; this Q&A has some solutions scattered over the answers.

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    $\begingroup$ Well darn it $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ Can they not just hire the artists again? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @AzorAhai: Artists do not necessarily keep old asset files either. They might have to commission a remake of the entire theme from scratch. Plus, a dark theme of Worldbuilding would be more than a simple palette swap; you would have to turn day into night, which entails wholly new lighting and shading as well. So that's two complete remakes. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ It's clear that StackExchange's idea of a "huge challenge" is very different than mine! I could get all the SE sites done in 3 months, easy. I somehow doubt I'm the only one able to overcome such "huge challenges" so easily. My guess is that they never asked anyone. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 4:48

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