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From MiƂosz Tylenda <mtyle...@o2.pl>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Change line length code convention
Date Mon, 08 Jun 2009 15:02:10 GMT
Hi!

I used to hate the 80-char limit but then I realized I quite like it when comparing files
side-by-side. Now I am neutral.

Greetings,
Milosz


> Starting a separate thread to discuss the merit of 80 / 100 / 120 / {your
> favorite length here} line lengths as a code convention.
> 
> Since the project started we've adhered to the Sun code conventions [1] and
> recently introduced changes that enforce this length for source and test
> code. This "archaic" limitation has been problematic in many areas, ie
> generated metamodel classes.
> 
> I think we can all agree that having some limit to line length is a benefit
> and the real contention is about the specific width in question.
> 
> Sun's conventions justify 80 characters as being required for some terminals
> and tools. The debate has been taken up on several other sites [2],[3], with
> other justifications listed :
>   * dispersed development team (some people still have 13" laptop screens)
>   * it's easier to have multiple files open
>   * going past 80 characters indicates a problem with the code. (ed. comment
> nice)
>   * printer friendly
>   * plenty more justifications mainly from the comments sections.
> 
> I am not terribly bothered about where we set the limit so long as we decide
> on one and stick to it. Regarding this limit I think Aaron Rubin [4] said it
> best on the python-ideas list (he was talking about how to break lines
> though) :
> 
> >* >> This is an unsupported, and IMHO largely incorrect, assumption.
> *>* >> Several correspondents have noted that they most often overrun their
> *>* >> intended line length by one or two characters.  Just as there's
> *>* >> nothing magical about the number "80", there's nothing magical about
> *>* >> "81" or "82" either.  In a regime of 90-character lines, the limit
> *>* >> will most often be exceeded by one or two characters.  The same will
> *>* >> happen in a regime of 100-character lines, etc.  We'll still need to
> *>* >> break lines, and wrapping them in parentheses will still be the best
> *>* >> way to do that.
> *
> 
> We started with 80 character columns and I don't think there's a compelling
> reason to change. I may be in the minority though, and if other devs feel
> strongly about this issue I'd encourage them to reply to this thread. If
> there's sufficient interest in a wider margin we can then start a [VOTE]
> thread.
> 
> [1] http://java.sun.com/docs/codeconv/html/CodeConventions.doc3.html
> [2]
> http://richarddingwall.name/2008/05/31/is-the-80-character-line-limit-still-relevant/
> [3]
> http://stackoverflow.com/questions/758545/maximum-line-length-of-your-ide-checkstyle
> [4] http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-ideas/2009-May/004855.html
> 
> -mike
> 

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