[Haskell-cafe] Records (was Re: [Haskell] Improvements to GHC)

Jesper Louis Andersen jlouis at mongers.org
Sun Nov 20 06:28:03 EST 2005

On Sat, 2005-11-19 at 15:40 +0300, Bulat Ziganshin wrote:

> my 15" CRT holds entire 100, even 102 chars in line and i don't want
> to lose even one of them! :)  especially when comment to this function
> occupies another 7 lines :)

The best argument I can come up with when advocating lines of 80 chars
for most programming code is subtle, but important:

Code is easier to read for me when it is printed on good old paper.
a2ps(1) is magnificient, but it takes 80 chars only if you want two
pages on a single A4. Quite a number of projects violates the 80 column
principle with the result it is unreadable on print.

The human eye is not good at scanning long lines. You tend to miss the
beginning of the next column and has to scan longer for it when reading
code. It helps quite a bit that code is indented though, so it is not
entirely impossible.

I tend to use rather big fonts and not maximize my emacs. I can cram 80
columns in, but no more.


On the other hand, having long lines improves the chance that the
grep(1) catches what you want when searching for context.

You have some empty space in the end of lines to provide a helpful
comment more often than in an 80 column setup.


All in all, this is bikesheds on greener grass (google for bikeshed and
Poul Henning Kamp).

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