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Re: lynx-dev screen widths

From: Philip Webb
Subject: Re: lynx-dev screen widths
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 11:25:02 -0400 (EDT)

990416 Thomas Dickey wrote: 
> 990416 C J Lawson wrote: 
>> 990416 Philip Webb wrote:
>>> anything wider than c 80 chars is likely to be hard on R -> L eye movement
>> Just for the sake of information is that 80 chars or 80 'chars width'
>> I use SvgaTM @ 132x25: I haven't seemed to notice any difficulties
>> in reading (and I tend to read almost everything in html these days)

my reason for saying that was that you have to make very definite movements
with your eyes L -> R , then go back & be sure you have the beginning
of the next line; when you read columns in a newspaper, your eyes move
straight down step-by-step, with minimal movement L <-> R.
that's why newspapers are printed in columns.

> ordinary (typeset) text runs more than 80 columns, e.g., in a book.
> newsprint runs shorter.

no: i carefully listed the width of books & newspaper columns,
counting several lines chosen at random & averaging: see my first message.
if you have books or journals which are different, please name them.
> 80 columns simply happens to correspond to punchcards
> (because programs were developed on punchcards,
> the video terminals that were developed to replace them had 80 columns,
> except for the less common ones used for replacing point-of-sale terminals
> aka cash registers - those are commonly 40 columns.

i'm not sure that is accurate: CRT terminals replaced typewriter terminals,
which typically had more like 132 columns IIRC.
> let's not confuse cause (historical legacy)
> with effect (relative ease of use)
ease of use here is a function of physiology, not familiarity.

anyway, i asked because it's time we had some real information
& so far replies have been informative.  there's no question
people respond to machinery of all kinds in very different ways.

SUPPORT     ___________//___,  Philip Webb : address@hidden
ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|  Centre for Urban & Community Studies
TRANSIT    `-O----------O---'  University of Toronto

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