[Haskell-cafe] Re: Is 78 characters still a good option? Was: breaking too long lines

Christian Maeder Christian.Maeder at dfki.de
Tue Apr 21 09:18:39 EDT 2009

Dusan Kolar wrote:
> I would like to know, whether 78 characters bound still makes a sense...

Yes, but I wouldn't fight for a single character.

> Even if I connect to my linux box with text terminal, it is not a 80x24
> characters HW text terminal, but a window emulating this in whatever
> else OS, thus, I can usually extend this to see longer lines easily.

It's still distracting to change the window size or the font, but the
main reason is:

The longer a line the more difficult it is to move the focus to the
beginning of the next line when reading.

Therefore wide news papers use columns. Also consider source code
printed on paper.

> Or is the reason much deeper? Or, is the bound set to 78 characters just
> because it is as good number as any other?

Unlimited length (as for plain text) would be an option if automatic
wrapping wouldn't destroy the layout.

Cheers Christian

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