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Re: Source code formatting: line length limit?

From: Robert J. Chassell
Subject: Re: Source code formatting: line length limit?
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 13:26:33 +0000 (UTC)

   Until recently, I've implicitly assumed that lines should not exceed
   79 or so columns.

70 columns is better, since that length enables readers to quote you
readily and to send easily readable patches.

Moreover, over the past half millenium, printers have found that
people have difficulty swinging their eyes down to the next line when
the line is too long or when the between-line spacing is too wide or
too narrow.  A fill-column of 70 works well with the usual
between-line spacing on a computer screen.  (Shorter lines work well
with the usual between-line spacing of printed books.)

    File: elisp,  Node: Margins

     As a practical matter, if you are writing text for other people
     to read, you should set `fill-column' to no more than 70.
     Otherwise the line will be too long for people to read
     comfortably, and this can make the text seem clumsy.
     The default value for `default-fill-column' is 70.

While these remarks apply to people writing sentences and paragraphs,
they also apply to people writing code.

    Robert J. Chassell                         Rattlesnake Enterprises
    http://www.rattlesnake.com                  GnuPG Key ID: 004B4AC8
    http://www.teak.cc                                     address@hidden

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