[stdlib-sig] textwrap module and hyphenation

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sat Apr 19 09:08:58 CEST 2008

On Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 11:18 PM, Sylvain Fourmanoit
<syfou at users.sourceforge.net> wrote:
> I just noticed the textwrap module in the standard library will break and
>  line-wrap hyphenated words given the opportunity:
>  >>> from textwrap import wrap
>  >>> wrap('yaba daba-doo', width=10)
>  ['yaba daba-', 'doo']
>  I have two questions about that:
>  1) Wouldn't it be worth mentioning this in the Python Library Reference
>     (or it is just too obvious)?

I think it is obvious, but patches against the docs mentioning this I
am sure would be welcome.

>  2) Wouldn't it be useful to have a simple way to turn it off? Something
>     like:
>  >>> from textwrap import wrap
>  >>> wrap('yaba daba-doo', width=10, break_hyphenated_words=False)
>  ['yaba', 'daba-doo']

I personally don't think so as you could easily just walk the list and
just concatenate the hyphenated words. So -0 from me.

And if you do try to pursue this, you might want to try to come up
with a shorter keyword argument name.


>  Since proper line-wrapping of hyphenated words is language-dependent and
>  can interact with other orthographic and typesetting practices, I think it
>  would be nicer to have a documented way to turn it off completely.
>  Granted, it's not hard to manually do either; on Python 2.5.2 (as well as
>  on Python 2.6 r62386), it's just a matter of setting the
>  "TextWrapper.wordsep_re" attribute to "re.compile('(\s+)')"...  I
>  think having a publicly documented attribute wouldn't hurt anyway.
>  --
>  Sylvain <syfou at users.sourceforge.net>
>  The IBM 2250 is impressive ...
>  if you compare it with a system selling for a tenth its price.
>                 -- D. Cohen
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