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On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM, Raymond Hettinger email@example.com wrote: >
As pointed out elsewhere in this thread, very often the superior solution is not to re-format the same statement to fit, but to re-factor the code so it's less deeply indented or does less in each statement.
Yes, "refactor" is a much better word than "reformat" for what I was thinking.
So, it seems that support for an 80 character limit is rooted in a desire to have other people program differently than they do, somehow making their programs better just because they are adhering to an arbitrary limit on horizontal text width. That seems somewhat magical. Maybe the limit should be 40 chars, then everyone will have to refactor, and line wrap, and use smaller idents (like Google does), and use more abbreviated variable names.
Maybe the origin of the 80 char limit isn't an anachronism. Maybe it had nothing to do with teletypes and low resolution CRTs. Perhaps, the programming gods of old were reaching into the future with certain knowledge that they were forcing everyone to do the right thing.
Or we can simply interpret the N-chars bound as a soft limit and feel free to exceed it by one character or three if it makes more sense. I am certainly not breaking a line for a single extra character.