PEP8 79 char max

Skip Montanaro skip at
Tue Jul 30 17:44:12 CEST 2013

> So if everyone basically follows PEP8 we all benefit from playing by
> the same game rules, as it were.

(I think I'm agreeing with you, but nonetheless, I will forge ahead.)

To the extent that 80-column window widths have been common for so
long, PEP 8 or not (and Python or not), there is a ton of code out
there which abides by that convention.  More-or-less unilaterally
increasing the recommended max line width to 100 (or 99?) columns
isn't likely to improve things.  People like me (who prefer the status
quo) will complain about all the new-fangled code written to a wider
standard (and will be tempted to reformat).  People who like the new
standard will complain about old code wasting all that white space
(and will be tempted to reformat). :-)

Finally (I promise this is my last word on the topic), most lines
don't need to be wrapped as they stand today.  See the attached graph
for the distribution of line lengths for the current project where I
spend most of my time these days (just Python code, blank lines
elided, comment lines included).  Stretching the max out to 100
columns when most lines are less than 60 columns just wastes screen
real estate.

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