[erlang-questions] Off-topic: source code width and tab stops
Mon Mar 19 19:29:57 CET 2007
On 19-Mar-07, at 3:08 PM, David Hopwood wrote:
> ok wrote:
>> On 16 Mar 2007, at 8:36 am, Vance Shipley wrote:
>>> ok wrote:
>>>> Source files should be kept to a maximum width of 80 columns;
>>> A number of years ago I would have whole heartedly agreed
>>> but no longer. A few years ago I did a project which used
>>> ASN.1 and it ended up having really long names which I did
>>> not have the luxury of choosing. It became impractical to
>>> use 80 column pages. I did all my work in 132 column windows
>>> for that project. I now find I really prefer working that
>>> way as I have plenty of glass these days. I wouldn't however
>>> unecessarily force others into it.
>> The psychology-of-reading results really do seem to be clear this
>> time -
>> narrower columns really ARE easier to read.
> Narrow columns of natural-language text are easier to read. For
> programming languages, statements or expressions that have to be
> split over more than one line are more difficult to read.
As a typographer I was going to make a similar clarification. Agreed.
> The extent
> of the difficulty, and the frequency of long lines, is programming
> language-dependent. Unlike natural-language texts, *most* lines are
> short regardless of the window width.
> For C and Java, I find that a window width of less than 100 columns
> is impractical. I haven't written enough in Erlang to come to a firm
> conclusion in that case.
To me, it seems to mix very short and very long lines, more than say, C.
>> I don't care what keys you press to make indentation happen (the
>> TAB key
>> in Emacs doesn't normally insert a literal tab; Vi uses > and < for
>> changing indentation; Xcode uses Cmd-] and Cmd-[; &c). You could
>> do it
>> by clicking your teeth like castanets for all I care. But if you
>> other people to be able to look at your code and see what you see,
>> tabstops had better be 8 columns apart, and it is best of all if
>> are no tab characters in the file at all.
> David Hopwood <>
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