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Re: coaxing scientists to use cvs

From: Greg A. Woods
Subject: Re: coaxing scientists to use cvs
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 16:38:45 -0400 (EDT)

[ On Monday, July 12, 2004 at 14:30:48 (+0200), marko wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: coaxing scientists to use cvs
> I used to write one-line-paragraphs in Emacs to be able to have automatic
> line wrapping, but doing so leads to huge ,v-files eventually, because a
> tiny change in a paragraph triggers a complete substitution of the whole
> thing... If you do the word wrap yourself you have similar problems, just
> because of a single letter you can still end up with many diffs all over
> the place...

There's more than one reason for letting the markup language / formatter
do your paragraph filling for you and to instead always end every
sentence (or similar construct) with a newline (and to only wrap long
"lines" (sentences) when absolutely necessary).

(just as one usually ends every code statment in a program with a
newline regardless of whether the language syntax requires whitespace
formatting or not)

Unfortunately too many emacs edit-mode authors tend to like their text
to appear in "pretty-printed" form and they tend to forget that it's
better to clearly delineate the structure of the text in the form it is
edited (and stored) in.  As a result there are few, if any, emacs
editing modes for text that do the right thing.

(BTW, the old and perhaps original reason for not filling paragraphs in
document source text was to avoid having to edit multiple lines
unnecessarily with a line-oriented editor.  Note that many full-screen
editors are still very line-oriented in their editing methodology, such
as 'vi' where paragraph pretty-print filling has to be done with an
external command.)

                                                Greg A. Woods

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