tech-kern archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Old Index]

Re: style change: explicitly permit braces for single statements

On Mon, 2020-07-13 at 09:18 -0700, Greg A. Woods wrote:
> At Mon, 13 Jul 2020 09:48:07 -0400 (EDT), Mouse <mouse%Rodents-Montreal.ORG@localhost> wrote:
> Subject: Re: style change: explicitly permit braces for single statements
> >
> > Slavishly always
> > adding them makes it difficult to keep code from walking into the right
> > margin:
> These days one really should consider the right margin to be a virtual
> concept -- there's really no valid reason not to have and use horizontal
> scrolling (any code editor I'll ever use can do it on any display), and
> even most any small-ish laptop can have a nice readable font at 50x132,
> or even 50x160.  (i.e. that's another style guide rule that should die)

Sorry, but I strongly have to disagree.

Text line length does matter to those of us who put several
copies of code side by side. In that scenario your total screen
size does not matter, there still is not enough room for 120
characters on a line in one of the files, or all of them. "But
_my_ screen is soo wide" only kind of works when one considers a
single file on the screen at any time, or only vertically split
windows. That's only half the truth. Even with multiple screens
you still may want to put several applications including editors
or text windows side by side, and avoid having to switch between
them, or chose which of them you can see at a time.

And no, I would not want to _have_ to side scroll, just to (start
to) see the code with runs out of the screen's right hand side.
It breaks the flow, is terribly slow and tedious to control, and
makes it hard(er) to spot matching braces that are vertically
aligned to their opening construct. While none of the flow
breaking obstacles are necessary.

There are useful cases where longer text lines are appropriate
("stupid" data tables, user visible string literals that you want
to be able to grep for when researching a bug report). Those
_are_ useful, but should remain the exception. From personal
experience I found the 80 chars limit the hardest to get used to,
but once you get it, a very useful one. Even today. Because
reasons, it's not as arbitrary as it may seem.

There is a reason why papers and web pages are laid out in
columns. It's more than just a tradition. Has to do with
readability. Really. Try to find the start of the next line after
the previous line was rather long. Even more so with the tiny
fonts that you mention above. And screens got smaller again with
mobile devices after they got bigger before. History keeps
repeating. :)

virtually yours
Gerhard Sittig
     If you don't understand or are scared by any of the above
             ask your parents or an adult to help you.

Home | Main Index | Thread Index | Old Index