The color associated with OCaml on Github is bad. Let's make it good

The current color associated with OCaml on Github is very… bright green. Which doesn’t seem to have much to do with OCaml, and has now reached the point of annoyment for me where I’ve decided it needs to change. These kinds of changes should be anchored in the community though (and also the PR process requires it), so I’d like to ask for your approval, and any objections you might have, before pulling the trigger.

The color I propose is #ef7a08, picked from about the mid-point of the gradient in the background of the logo


Apparently that color is too close to the color of some other language. As is every other color I’ve tried from the logo and the header of I’ll have to get back to this after finding something that works.

Is there any summary table for all GitHub languages that will allow to compare?


Kotlin and Haxe seems to be the closest and most troublesome ones. But there’s also BlitzMax, MATLAB, Jupyter, Groovy and Clarion at least in the same space.

It shows just a blank page to me… Seems the wrong CORS request was blocked by the browser:

Cross-Origin Request Blocked: The Same Origin Policy disallows reading
 the remote resource at 
(Reason: CORS request did not succeed).

That green is unmistakable, it’s from the old ocaml manuals


But that color is super recognizable now! Personally, I like it. :frowning:


Familiar, not recognizable :wink: Personally, even after years, I still associate the color more with shell scripts.

Ah, yeah the manual green is significantly darker, but that probably is it!

Hmm, it works for me in Chromium, Firefox and Epiphany/Gnome Web…

I’ve found a few colors that pass the test, but none of them are particularly appropriate, unfortunately.

Here’s the page with instructions for changing the colour:

And a test script that checks proximity:

The only reasonable course of action is to infiltrate the communities of the troublesome languages and propose that they change their color so that the OCaml community can claim that which is rightfully ours! To arms!


Yeah, I’ve been using this. The problem is that the notion of “proximity” is unclear, so it basically boils down to semi-random trial-and-error, and of course running the test is dog slow.

What I’d like is to have all the existing colors plotted in color space, with the proximity tolerance drawn as a circle around each of them. That would make it much easier to see and pick valid colors. Unfortunately since colors are three-dimensional, this isn’t a trivial visualization tool to make. Sounds like a fun project though, if someone has time and is up for the challenge! (pretty please?)

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There is a LAB-space color difference with all formulas and visualizations defined. You could check if it’s suitable for you. Something like this R package might be useful:

I like the colour currently being used for ocaml. It’s a memorable colour. I also don’t find it unpleasant. I would vote to keep it as is!


The third is more or less what you get if you ask for “camel” as a fabric color. I don’t think a lot of people would be delighted with the change, but if OCaml is going to be linked with camels (as in the logo), that color does go along with that.

As long as the languages aren’t likely to be used in the same repository having colours close to them seems fine to me :thinking:

If the logo has been a certain colour for years, that seems like an appropriate choice.

I agree. Unfortunately there’s an actual automatic test that needs to pass, which doesn’t take that into account and which uses a very opaque and complicated measure of proximity. As I understand it, it’s this:

Ugh that’s silly, so there are a finite number of languages that can exist in github’s colour scheme? I wonder if they have a plan for when they run out.

I’m reviving this topic because there is now a concrete proposal to change the Github Linguist color for OCaml from “neon green” 3be133 to “orange” ee6a1a. The person proposing the change wants to know whether “the OCaml community” agrees with the proposal and opened a poll:

Please go there if you want to give your opinion on the proposed change.

Note: “github linguist” is used to detect which languages are used in git repositories, with summaries shown automically and a color code to display the proportions. This is used on both Github and Gitlab. See for example the “Languages” section at the end of the right column on the webpage GitHub - ocaml/ocaml: The core OCaml system: compilers, runtime system, base libraries.

Note: past discussions in the present thread are irritated by a limitation that one is not allowed to pick a color close to an existing language’s color. My understanding is that this limitation has since been removed, so any choice of color for OCaml would do.

@glennsl you previously proposed a slightly different shade of orange, ef7a08 rather than ee6a1a. If you happen to have a strong opinion on one rather than the other, now would be a good way to voice it on the poll/discussion thread.


Hello i’m that person from GitHub.
In my opinion if my poll gets accepted we could do another on which shade to use.
I think ef7a08 would actually be a better choice due to it having more contrast to html e34c26.