[TUHS] The Elements Of Style: UNIX As Literature

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Nov 7 01:06:09 AEST 2020

On Fri, Nov 06, 2020 at 05:37:25PM +1100, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> On Friday,  6 November 2020 at  0:04:28 -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> > On Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 8:41 PM Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> >
> >> I click but I mostly live in terminal windows.  Which are all 80
> >> columns because that's the right width (I can go on and on about
> >> that).
> >
> > Aw, c'mon.  You're going to tell us that the number of punch holes
> > that IBM could fit on a punch card in 1928 that was exactly the size
> > of the dollar bill used in the U.S. from 1862 to 1923 so that it
> > could be stored in a mechanical cash register is miraculously the
> > Right Thing when it comes to reading monospaced text on a screen?
> I think you're jumping to conclusions.  The importance of 80
> characters (for small values of 80) is that it's a comfortable text
> width for human eyes.  

Exactly this.  I'm a very fast reader, easily 2-3x the average.  I read by
running my eyes down the middle of the page and get the left and right
from peripheral vision.  It's super fast but it doesn't work when you
get much bigger than 80 columns.

Even if you read normally, the wider it is, the more back and forth your
eyes do so less is more.

It's also why I'm fine with smaller screens, I tried the giant apple
displays and found that those required head movement along with eye

I'm lazy.

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