Why Should Anyone use Colours? or, Syntax Highlighting Beyond Code Snippets

28 Jan 2020  ·  Marco Patrignani ·

Syntax highlighting in the form of colours and font diversification, is an excellent tool to provide clarity, concision and correctness to writings. Unfortunately, this practice is not widely adopted, which results in often hard-to-parse papers... The reasons for this lack of adoption is that researchers often struggle to embrace new technologies, piling up unconvincing motivations. This paper argues against such motivations and justifies the usage of syntax highlighting so that it can become a new standard for dissemination of clearer and more understandable research. Moreover, this paper reports on the criticism grounded on the shortcomings of using syntax highlighting in LATEX and suggests remedies to that. We believe this paper can be used as a guide to using syntax highlighting as well as a reference to counter unconvincing motivations against it. read more

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Software Engineering


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