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Re: does emacs wrap lines that are exactly 80 characters long??

From: Arthur Davis
Subject: Re: does emacs wrap lines that are exactly 80 characters long??
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 12:33:51 -0500

Even though the extra column exists to give the long line wrap
indication (which is an improvement, I agree), emacs still displays an
additional, blank line below the 80 char line.  This has always been
an irritation to me that I have just learned to ignore.  However, is
there something that I can set to cause emacs to not display a new
line until it actually contains characters from a line wrap?  Showing
the cursor on the first column of the new line is fine, but if I
pressed return at the end of an 80 character line, I would want the
cursor to stay put.

But regarding the quote from the original post referring to long lines
in program code, I couldn't agree more.  It makes code *very*
unreadable when lines wrap 4 and 5 (or more) times in the window.  A
few characters wrapped to the next line are occasionally tolerable,
but I still feel that there is rarely a time when you are unable to
keep lines within the 80 character limit, assuming you don't use
8-character tab widths.


Christian Seberino writes:
 > So if I understand you correctly, 80 char long lines WERE a problem
 > in 80 char long windows PRIOR TO VERSION 21  because of the slash at the 
 > end??
 > But, in current version of Emacs and beyond this is not a problem
 > anymore and I don't need to have <= 79 char wide l lines??
 > Chris
 > Barry Margolin <> wrote in message 
 > news:<f1Vnb.292$>...
 > > In article <>,
 > > Christian Seberino <> wrote:
 > > >I don't know what this means but Python style guide says to set Emacs to 
 > > >79
 > > >character long lines....
 > > >
 > > >    There are still many devices around that are limited to 80
 > > >    character lines; plus, limiting windows to 80 characters makes it
 > > >    possible to have several windows side-by-side.  The default
 > > >    wrapping on such devices looks ugly.  Therefore, please limit all
 > > >    lines to a maximum of 79 characters (Emacs wraps lines that are
 > > >    exactly 80 characters long).  For flowing long blocks of text
 > > >    (docstrings or comments), limiting the length to 72 characters is
 > > >    recommended.
 > > >
 > > >I don't seem to have a problem with 80 char long lines.  Maybe I'm
 > > >missing something
 > > >here??
 > > 
 > > What size is your window?  The comment is probably referring to Emacs being
 > > used on a traditional 24x80 terminal.  With a window system, you can change
 > > the window size, and the wrapping will be appropriate to that size.
 > > 
 > > Also, prior to Emacs 21, Emacs wasted a column for the "\" character that's
 > > used to indicate that a line has wrapped (Emacs 21 replaced this with a
 > > marker closer to the window border).  So a line that's exactly the window's
 > > width would be wrapped -- the first n-1 characters would be on the line,
 > > then there would be a "\", and then the next line would contain the nth
 > > character.
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