[Python-ideas] 80 character line width vs. something wider

Ron Adam rrr at ronadam.com
Thu May 21 17:07:17 CEST 2009



Jeremiah Dodds wrote:
> 
> 
> On Thu, May 21, 2009 at 9:04 AM, Lie Ryan <lie.1296 at gmail.com 
> <mailto:lie.1296 at gmail.com>> wrote:
> 
>     Raymond Hettinger wrote:
> 
> 
>             Some people find their productivity is enhanced with an 80
>             character limit.
> 
> 
>         Perhaps this is true, though I've not heard one jot of evidence
>         to support it
>         and certainly no evidence focusing on Python coding practices
>         which are
>         affected by the use of whitespace for control flow.  Nor have I
>         seen evidence
>         of comparative productivity of 80 char limits versus 100 char
>         limits.  All we
>         have is anecdotal evidence and personal tastes.

[clipped]

> But yeah, this is all anectodal evidence and personal taste, as Raymond 
> points out. The 80 char limit _had_ a practical reason for existing, and 
> I don't doubt that there are people out there that are still using the 
> (hard|soft)ware that caused the limit to be practical, but they're 
> probably few and far between. I also haven't seen anything other than 
> anectodal evidence and personal taste in favor of increasing the limit, 
> which suggests to me that it should just stay how it is. It is just a 
> convention after all.

With the popularity of smaller netbooks, laptops, and other hand held 
computing devices going up, I think the 80 char limit guideline may still 
serve a good and practical purpose.

So I'm for keeping it as it is on the principle that it is only a guideline 
and anyone can disregard it if it is advantageous for them to do so.

    Ron





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