On May 19, 2009, at 1:43 PM, Aaron Rubin wrote:

7) Python is designed to be written more like English than other programming languages.  English is written horizontally, not vertically.  In furtherance to an attempt to make "readability" an objective argument, here is a scientific study which finds that greater character width lines improve readability:  http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/72/LineLength.asp.
To summarize, the study found that of the choices of 35, 55, 75 and 95 character lengths, 95 was able to be read the fastest.  Please note that they did not try 115, 135, etc. and that they found their maximum data point at the farthest edge of their study.  One can conclude that they probably should have gone even further to determine where (if ever) it tapers off.  This study focuses on reading English, not on reading code.  But given the first sentence of this point, it should at least loosely correlate.  At any rate, it's an attempt at something scientific on the issue.

What they found is that text set on one single column of 95 cpl was faster to read than if it was less cpl. That was pretty obvious for the get go in the way they organized the text (divided in many screens with next/previous button). They should have either focused on texts that fit on one screen or provided two or even tree columns for the smaller text.

I theorize that python has much more semantic information density than common english  news (and in a completely different dimension) so you can't possibly extrapolate the results of that paper.

Leonardo Santagada
santagada at gmail.com