79 chars or more?

AK andrei.avk at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 06:12:47 CEST 2010

On 08/16/2010 11:51 PM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Aug 2010 22:35:49 -0400, AK wrote:
>> As monitors are getting bigger, is there a general change in opinion on
>> the 79 chars limit in source files? I've experimented with 98 characters
>> per line and I find it quite a bit more comfortable to work with that
>> length, even though sometimes I have to edit files in 80 width
>> terminals, it's still easier to adapt to some inconvenience when that
>> happens than the other way around, since about 95% of time or more, I do
>> use wider editor window or terminal.
>> Is going over 79 still a terrible thing to do?  -andrei
> For your own code, you are free to do anything you like :)
> But if you want to submit code to the Python standard library, you have
> to restrict lines to 79 characters. This is no different from any other
> project -- you need to stick to the project's coding conventions.
> There are still good reasons to stick with 79 chars, even on large screen
> monitors. People with poor vision will appreciate being able to increase
> the font size. Others might like to have two windows side-by-side, each
> showing 79 characters. Some people don't have wide monitors.

There's no doubt that there are pro's and con's, but to be fair, it's
not like code becomes unreadable over 79 chars - the difference is that
when your terminal is 80 chars, it's less convenient for you to read
code that's wider and when your terminal is wider, it's less convenient
to read code that's 79 chars.

I guess I'm just curious what percentage of people prefer 79chars - is
it 5/95% or 15/85% or 50/50? -andrei


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