[TUHS] 80 columns ...

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Sat Nov 11 08:46:16 AEST 2017


On 2017-11-10 3:43 PM, 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.

It's _reading_. Code doesn't magically escape typographic factors. The
human visual/processing system is the constraint, it does not care
whether you're reading paper or the more hostile LCD - and it has not
changed materially in the millennia we've been doing writing (and
certainly not the 500 years we've been doing books). There is also a
body of modern research on this. Even research specifically focused on
code, I believe.

> 
> 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.
> 
> Jon
> 



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