[TUHS] 80 columns ...

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Nov 11 06:58:06 AEST 2017


On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 12:43:36PM -0800, Jon Steinhart wrote:
> Toby Thain writes:
> > Just don't move on without some limit. There are real
> > cognitive/typographic reasons why excessively long lines hurt
> > comprehension. This is why both 500 year old books and 5 month old books
> > have narrow measures.
> > 
> > 80 might be too narrow for most, but at some point beyond 132 is "too
> > far". :)
> 
> Well, I would claim that books have technological limitations that are
> different than computer monitors.  It's a matter of doing what's appropriate
> instead of taking a dogmatic approach.
> 
> I will point out that while it's sometimes a pain, the reader/writer ratio
> is a major driving force.  I save on typing and use very terse code when
> writing stuff for myself.  But, when writing stuff where there are many
> readers I feel that it's my job to put in the extra work to make it more
> accessible to the reader, partly because I don't want the readers bugging me.

So for the Nth time, there are people who read, I'm one of them,
by looking down the middle of the text and getting the rest through
peripheral vision.  I read easily 3-4x faster than a decently fast reader
and I get enough info that I can find the place where I need to go read
more closely later.

I can't imagine I'm the only person who does this, I'm special but not
that special :)  So for me, wider is optimizing me out, not optimizing
for me.


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