[coreboot] Who is still using a 1980's tty for coreboot development?

Nico Huber nico.h at gmx.de
Fri May 25 18:40:32 CEST 2018

On 25.05.2018 10:15, Patrick Georgi via coreboot wrote:
> That is, who would unbearably suffer from 132 characters gper line of code?

Humans. Code quality.

Eyes get too tired too fast. The cost of our eyes' "carriage return"
grows over-linear with the line length. Although, that's hard to
measure, I'm sure 132 chars would have a negative impact on review
quality. The cost of comparing two views side-by-side increases too,
with the distance between them.

A general rule from printed text is that you should keep the column
width below 70 chars on average. You can't apply that directly to fixed-
width fonts and, obviously, code lines are not like running text (ide-
ally a statement ends before hitting any line break). But, in every pro-
ject that allows longer lines, I've seen people starting to use the
extra space also for comments. And comments at 132 chars? that would
really be unbearable.

IMHO, the problem with 80 chars is that it is just a little too nar-
row for code. It's a good length at function scope but even only two
additional levels of indentation, and you have only 56 chars left. So
I generally agree to lift the limit, but not too high and not uncon-

Looking at what has been written in this thread so far, I see three
major cases that people care about:

 1. Function signatures,
 2. Code lines and
 3. Code lines containing string literals[1].

Let's assume 72 chars of visible width (line length minus the inden-
tation) is enough for code lines. If we say two additional indentation
levels are always reasonable (a third might be too, here and there) we
would be at 96 chars.

So I would compromise as follows:

  o Set a hard limit around 100 chars (96 would be a nice number).
  o If a line doesn't contain a string literal, recommend a
    visible width <= 72 chars.


[1] I think we should treat the latter two separately because you can
    easily argue that lines with a string literal might get too long but
    if you apply the same rules to regular code, you'll get all the
    crappy stuff (too many levels of indentation, unnecessary long, less
    distinctive identifiers etc.).

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