[TUHS] 80 columns ...

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Sat Nov 11 06:36:31 AEST 2017

On 2017-11-10 2:05 PM, Jon Steinhart wrote:
> Nemo writes:
>> On 9 November 2017 at 14:14, Ron Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
>>> At least it’s not python where the indenting makes a semantic difference.
>> And for that reason, I have never used Python.  (I have a mental block
>> about that.)
> ...
> 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.  Would go wider but just
> because I have always found it worthwhile spending money on the best monitors
> doesn't mean that everyone else can.  Everything including my laptop is now
> a UHD monitor which rocks!
> I feel that longer lines work better than one-character variable names.
> And, longer lines are way more readable than wrapped lines.  I have never
> been fond of the notion that code should be broken up into functions for the
> purpose of keeping lines short; I feel that code should be broken up into
> functions if it makes sense to do so, for example if the functions are used
> more than once.  Writing for the limitations of the I/O device doesn't seem
> to be a good paradigm.
> In any case, I don't think that being an old UNIX person means that one has
> to live in the past.  There was nothing magic about 80 columns; it was just
> the technology of the time.  Technology has changed, so move on.

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". :)


> Jon

More information about the TUHS mailing list