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Re: Changing line widths in the Emacs source code

From: Stefan Kangas
Subject: Re: Changing line widths in the Emacs source code
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2020 07:25:09 +0000

Vladimir Sedach <vas@oneofus.la> writes:

> The optimum line length for legibility has been found to be 55-60
> characters over hundreds of years of book publishing experience. 90
> characters per line is considered the absolute maximum, and you
> rarely see it. "Today's wide screens" is as bad of a reason for
> increasing line length in text files as "today's wide paper" would be
> an excuse to increase line length in books.

For published books?  On dead trees (a.k.a. "paper")?  Sure.  But note
that this optimal figure could go as high as 75 characters depending on
which source you quote.

I personally haven't seen any research that shows that what is
applicable to reading prose or newspaper copy in print is also
applicable to reading and understanding code on a screen.  I would have
assumed that these cases are different.  Just to give one example,
monospace fonts are a nightmare to read in a book but works well for

(In any case, this proposal seems impopular enough that it's unlikely to
happen.  Oh, well.)

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