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Re: [RFC] Characters per line: from punch card (80) to line printer (132) (was: [Patch][OpenMP/OpenACC/Fortran] Fix mapping of optional (present|absent) arguments)

On 12/5/19 9:24 AM, Paul Koning wrote:
>> On Dec 5, 2019, at 11:17 AM, Joseph Myers <>
>> wrote:
>> On Thu, 5 Dec 2019, Thomas Schwinge wrote:
>>> In the relevant session at the GNU Tools Cauldron 2019, Michael
>>> Meissner stated that even he is not using a 80 x 24 terminal
>>> anymore, and that should tell us something.  ;-)
>>> So, I formally propose that we lift this characters per line
>>> restriction from IBM punch card (80) to mainframe line printer
>>> (132).
>> I thought these line lengths were based on readability studies
>> suggesting lengths that lines shorter than 80 columns were more
>> readable?
> That's certainly a general rule.  There is a reason why books aren't
> wide, and why newspapers have columns.  The eye can't deal well with
> long lines.  So while 132 column lines are certainly possible with
> modern computers, it doesn't mean they are desirable.
I'd like to see the restriction relaxed.  THe 80 column limit really
presents readability problems and excessive expression wrapping to
accommodate the limit.  132 seems like a very reasonable compromise.

My biggest worry with moving to 132 columns is that it will discourage
refactoring when indention levels cause excessive wrapping.


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