80-column width

Perry E. Metzger perry at piermont.com
Fri Mar 9 12:02:04 EST 2007

Josh Sled <jsled at asynchronous.org> writes:

> On Fri, 2007-03-09 at 11:00 -0500, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>> You can rail against how stupid this is, but it won't get you very far
>> with those of us who live this way. You can thus choose to make the
>> code unreadable by a large chunk of the developer community, or stick
>> to 80 columns.
> I'm not saying it's stupid and it shouldn't make it "unreadable".
> Actually, I'm suggesting the code is more readable.

It isn't more readable if it wraps, and those of us who have our
emacen and xterms and such set this way are not likely to change.

> Editors shouldn't wrap preformated code.

That's a personal preference. I'm not even sure you *can* set vi to
scroll instead of wrapping, for example...

>> As an aside, generally speaking, I think identifiers and type names
>> are no longer than they were in the early 1980s. I also think humans
>> are no smarter, so we can't deal with keeping larger blocks of code in
>> our heads at once than we could 25 years ago.
> Identifier lengths, perhaps ... function-local variables and class-local
> field names tend to have the benefit of scoping and context to allow
> them to continue to be short.  I think too much code uses meaningless
> abbreviations, but ...
> But functions and type names are clearly getting longer, especially as
> libraries do more and higher-level stuff.

I suggest having a look at lisp machine sources (like the code to
Genera) from circa 1985. If you can find anything modern that comes
close to competing for name length, I'd be interested in hearing about

Perry E. Metzger		perry at piermont.com

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