Compare source code

Roy Smith roy at
Sun Nov 7 15:39:15 CET 2010

In article <87oca1b8ba.fsf.mdw at>,
 mdw at (Mark Wooding) wrote:

> Vertical space is a limiting factor on how much code one can see at a
> time.

Yup.  Over three decades of programming, my personal upper bound for how 
long a function should be has always been "fits on one screen".  In the 
old days, that meant a CRT with 24 lines (by 80 columns).  These days, 
it means about 100-120 lines (depending on how squinty-eyed I'm willing 
to go).  Thus, over the years, my idea of how long a function can be has 
grown several-fold.

I still try to keep things well under 100 lines per function.  I'm 
willing, however, to tolerate anything up to where I can no longer see 
the entire thing and the font is still big enough to read easily.

Of course, in the real old days, with 66 lines to an 11-inch page of 
line printer paper, and 8 foot high ceilings, you could tape about 500 
lines of code to the wall, but I digress :-)
> I've no idea how people manage with these ridiculous widescreen monitors.

My 15-inch laptop has 1680 x 1050 resolution (the new high-res flavor of 
the MacBook Pro).  I love it.  Mostly I use the screen real estate for 
one main shell window where I'm doing most of my work, and a variety of 
other windows (browser, pdf viewer, etc) which contain documents I'm 
referring to in support of what I'm doing in my main window.

At work, I've got two 1920 x 1080 monitors side-by-side.  I find I don't 
use the second monitor much.  I'll generally shove some windows over 
there which I watch, but almost never interact with.  Mostly things 
tailing log files or some other kind of status monitor function.

I also find that to keep the angle of view comfortable, I can't sit as 
close to the monitors as I usually keep my laptop screen.  So, I have to 
make the font size a little larger, which in turn means fewer lines of 
code visible.  Ergonomics is complicated.

I'm thinking of rotating the monitors 90 degrees, running them in 
side-by-side portrait mode.  I know X11 can handle the video rotation, 
but I'm not sure I've got the right mounting brackets.

Another factor is that the Mac display is sharp as a tack compared to my 
big LCD panels at work.  I think it's party the display hardware itself, 
and partly that the Mac's text rendering just blows Linux out of the 
water.  I can easily read text on my laptop at much smaller font sizes 
than I can on my desk monitors at work.

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