[TUHS] 80 columns ...

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Nov 11 06:59:20 AEST 2017


On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 01:46:30PM -0700, Warner Losh wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 10, 2017 at 1:39 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> 
> > > > Separate from this, I think that the whole 80 column thing is a bit
> > silly.
> > > > I have used 132 as by default for a long time now.
> > >
> > > 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.
> >
> > I've made that point and people blithely ignore it.
> >
> 
> When I was debating style wars in the 90's, we adopted a 'wide is OK'
> approach, but with a soft limit of ~130 and a hard limit of 160 in
> exceptional cases. There was some research that showed that there's a
> limited field of view you want to be able to look at the code without
> moving your eyes side to side, just up and down. With the technology of the
> time, above about 130 would be hard to read 'at a glance'. Years later, I
> went looking for those studies, and couldn't find them and the original
> advocate of the view couldn't provide them.
> 
> I'm the first to admit that 80 is too few. But 200 is definitely too wide
> and 100-120 seems to still be the sweet spot for my eyes and the range of
> hardware that I use.

I could live with 100.


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