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

Xiao-Yong Jin xj2106 at
Tue Apr 21 12:22:02 EDT 2009

Edward Kmett <ekmett at> writes:

> I find a hard 80 character line length limit to be somewhat ridiculous in this
> day and age. I've long since revised my personal rule of thumb upwards towards
> 132, if only because I can still show two windows of that side by side with no
> worries, along with all the IDE browsing baggage, even on a fairly crippled
> laptop, and I've been able to have 132 columns since I picked up my first
> vt220 terminal in 1984 or so.

I prefer 3 coding windows side by side.  And being able to
read one line at a glance is a huge advantage.  The size of
my urxvt is 80x77 FYI.

> It seems silly _25 years later_ to still not be able to have even that much
> breathing room.

It is not silly.  With larger monitor, I can fit more
windows side by side.

> Shorter lengths work very poorly in languages like C# with long LINQ queries,
> you tend to have verbose enough member and method names that you obtain some
> pretty ridiculous splits. You wind up with some similar scenarios with list
> compehensions in Haskell.

I know nothing about C#, and I don't care about that.  In
Haskell, your list comprehension would be much more
readable, if you break your lines.  The same as complex RE
in perl code.

> I'm not saying that every line should be 130+ characters long, I'm just saying
> that 132 characters seems like a more natural hard cut off point.
> -Edward Kmett
    c/*    __o/*
    <\     * (__
    */\      <

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list