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Re: Docstring line length

From: Ken Raeburn
Subject: Re: Docstring line length
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 22:12:55 -0500

On Dec 20, 2005, at 19:54, Luc Teirlinck wrote:
Drew Adams wrote:

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.

Yup, but I wonder how many people resize their windows to something convenient to whatever they're working on, and ignore the 80-char "standard". Especially with the popularity of variable-width fonts, I'm not sure how important a column-count width standard is these days. Certainly for code and RFCs and such it makes sense, but what's the average user doing, and is she going to care about fixed- width fonts and 80-column limits? I widen my Emacs window for some things, and at least on my Mac, resizing doesn't tell me how many columns wide it is, so when I go to put it back, I have no idea if I'm back at 80 columns; so I probably use not-80-column widths more than I realize....

It occurred to me recently to wonder, perhaps we should consider making the doc strings a little more structured and their display more intelligent: Explicit markers for line breaks and indented sections, and wrapped paragraphs for the main descriptive text, using whatever width (and font) the user has chosen for her window. (Of course, that gets a bit more complicated if a help buffer is displayed in two windows of different sizes.) Not *today*, obviously, but somewhere down the line....

(No, I haven't thought much about how to actually accomplish it.)


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