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RE: Docstring line length

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Docstring line length
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 17:37:14 -0800

       I'm sure most people do not do as I do, but I'm not sure
       that most people use fixed 80-char frames. Do we have any
       user data to go on?

    80 char frames are the default configuration of Emacs.

Sure. But do you think most people use that? Maybe so.

       Fair enough. How long is too long?

    67 for the first line.  That is a given.  68 already forces an ugly
    continuation line in the apropos output.

Only because we use 11 or 12 chars for "  Variable: ". If we used "  Fun: ",
"  Cmd: ", and "  Var: " (and "  Opt: " for option), then up to 72
characters could be in the first line. Those abbreviations are clear enough
(and large enough as buttons) - no?

If we indented one space instead of two, then up to 73 chars could be used.
If we allow for "  Face: " in the future, then we're back down to 71 or 72
max. 70 is a good guideline.

(In any case, many Plist entries already wrap as ugly continuation lines, so
they need to be fixed first.)

BTW - Wouldn't "  Props: " be better than "  Plist: "?

    To me 70 for most subsequent lines with an absolute limit of 79 seems
    better than the current 60.  But I do not believe that this is a
    really big deal.

    [I meant that whether the convention for "most" subsequent lines is at
    most 60 or at most 70 colums is no big deal (to me).]

No, of course it's not a big deal. But a guideline has been published and
the question was raised (by Bill about 60, by me about 67). If there is no
guideline, the result will be (more) variety (inconsistency). I vote for a
70-max guideline for all lines, getting rid of "most", and shortening the
button text in *Apropos*.

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