The Sun Also Rises: John Gruber Honors Steve Jobs With Subtlety
It was around 6:30 in the evening that day when my wife sent me a text: Did you know Steve Jobs died today? I was at work, unplugged; I couldn’t have known. I called her to tell her I was already on my way home. I spent that 30 minutes disbelieving, hoping, almost holding my breath till I could confirm once I got home. Headlines and eulogies showed the world in seemingly the same state. A spontaneous moment of silence.
Minimal Mac reversed its theme to a black background with white text. Many words, some echoing similar stories and terms, were published. Shawn Blanc had a few short entries. Steve’s several acts were replayed. News agencies outlined which technologies and industries had been revolutionized. Pundits kept looking foolish with their wrongheaded thoughts. And others pointed that out. WordPress worked through the night to release a retro Mac OS theme and followed it quickly with another dubbed iTheme 2.
But my favorite was John Gruber’s theme change at daringfireball.net. Usually a medium to dark gray background with white text, Gruber changed it to a darker gray/slate color with white text. The contrast was greater and it made the text seem to scream a bit more.
But that wasn’t all. It faded to the original gray as the page was scrolled down. Every few days or week the background got a bit lighter until it was back to its original color. This subtle sunrise said more to me than some of the global words that flowed so freely in those immediate hours and days following. For Steve Jobs, such subtle and simple things seem quite appropriate.