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Re: Source code formatting: line length limit?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Source code formatting: line length limit?
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 20:21:33 -0500

> 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.)

Note that in source code, most lines don't start in column 0, so for
a given line, the number of columns of text is not necessarily the same
as the column of the rightmost char.

I happen to think that 60 columns is more legible, but I also think
that in most cases, source code that spans 80 columns is perfectly legible
because almost none of the lines actually takes more than 60 columns
of text.  Also the non-constant indentation of the code also helps
your eyes find the next line.

And since I find vertical screen-real-estate to be at a premium, I advocate
using all 80 columns for code (text is obviously another matter).


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