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

Richard Kelsall r.kelsall at
Tue Apr 21 10:53:17 EDT 2009

Dusan Kolar wrote:
> Or is the reason much deeper? Or, is the bound set to 78 characters just 
> because it is as good number as any other?
As a little historical detour I think the 80 character limit goes back
to 1928 when IBM designed their punched card format

I guess it subsequently got embedded into printing and screen widths
and related software. The slightly less than 80 characters allows for
CR LF characters.


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