[TUHS] 80 columns ...

Theodore Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Thu Nov 9 11:00:29 AEST 2017

On Wed, Nov 08, 2017 at 04:43:05PM -0500, Dan Cross wrote:
> > Sure, my laptop can.  But what about the ones that can't?
> That's why I think this argument doesn't hold up well. If we're to
> consider those, then what about the ones that can't handle two
> 80-column windows at the font size required by the user?

At the end of the day we have to pick *something*.  Since those of us
older farts with the older eyes tend to have more say, thankfully its
stayed at 80 columns as opposed to people who can say "I have *no*
trouble with terminals at 6 point font, what's your problem?"

Sure it's arbitrary, but it's arbitrary the same way that if you want to
make sure a car or an RV is legal in all states in the US, it had
better not be more than 96 inches (8 feet).  Most states will allow
102 inches (8.5 feet); but funny thing --- car manufacturers hate
having multiple SKU's for different states.

Heck, for that matter, chosing 8 bits for a byte and making words be
mulitples of 8 bits was arbitrary.  I'm sure the designer of 18-bit
and 36-bit machines thought so, anyway....

						- Ted

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