[TUHS] The Elements Of Style: UNIX As Literature

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat Nov 7 01:07:21 AEST 2020

Will, I do still the same thing, but the reason for 72 for email being that
way is still card-based.  In FORTRAN the first column defines if the card
is new (a blank), a comment (a capital C), no zero a 'continuation' of the
last card.  But column 73-80 were 'special' and used to store sequence #s
(this was handy when you dropped your card deck, card sorters could put it
back into canonical order).  So characters in those columns were
typically ignored.   Thus when "Model 28 ASR" (a.k.a. ASR-28) created it
had 72 columns.  It's interesting that when its follow on the Model 33 was
created, it actually had 74, but most SW configured it to 72 [search for a
manual on bit savers or the like if you want the details].

IIRC, the original DEC 'Glass TTY' - the VT-05 was 72, but later
terminals like the VT-52 were 80 columns, as was the ADM 3A.

The one thing I will give the 'tyranny of 80-columns" is when I look at
code it starts to break that line size by a lot, I often think that is a
bell-weather of something that needs to be rewritten and simplified, and/or
the abstraction might not be right.   Like, most/many rules there >>are<<
often break exceptions, but when I do look code with really long lines, I
admit I am suspect.


On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 8:21 AM Will Senn <will.senn at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 11/6/20 12:34 AM, Rob Pike wrote:
> >
> https://github.com/golang/go/commit/a625b919163e76c391f2865d1f956c0f16d90f83
> > <
> https://github.com/golang/go/commit/a625b919163e76c391f2865d1f956c0f16d90f83
> >
> Hilarious. I use fixed font - Monaco 14. But, 80 columns? not on your
> life. I hate wrapped text output, if I can avoid it. That said, I set my
> soft word wrap in the text editor at 72 :). My convention comes from
> early email though, not punched cards.
> Will
> --
> GPG Fingerprint: 68F4 B3BD 1730 555A 4462  7D45 3EAA 5B6D A982 BAAF
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