Is phobos too fluffy?
Adam D. Ruppe
destructionator at gmail.com
Sun Sep 20 22:09:42 UTC 2020
On Sunday, 20 September 2020 at 21:42:54 UTC, mate wrote:
> Thanks. So it does look like you have an implicit soft line
> length limit for code, but not documentation.
Well, it isn't so much a limit as just a lack of demand or some
other kind of natural traffic calming.
This makes me think about cities. Locally, the city planning
department has been doing a "road diet". They are changing the
designs of roads to make them narrower, planting more trees, and
other changes that just generally make them more difficult to
navigate in an effort to make them safer.
It might sound weird that a strait path with a narrow gate would
make the road safer, but it has been proven to have that positive
safety effect because it makes drivers more likely to naturally
slow down and pay attention. Whereas a posted speed limit on a
wide, straight road is just a suggestion you only really think
about when you see a police car, the designed-in "speed limit"
created by trees, curves, narrowness, obstacles, etc. are
something you think about for pure self-preservation if nothing
else. At that point, you don't really need a legislated/posted
speed limit at all (though you might keep one anyway just in case
there is a particularly reckless or inexperienced driver who
needs the tip, it would rarely actually need active enforcement).
Well, to bring this back to code, excessively long lines are
already disincentivized by design. There's really no need in the
majority of cases, and when there is, the natural benefits of
two-dimensional layout (and the fact so many programming tools
are line-based anyway) create an incentive for the author - for
their own self-interested benefit - to break it up as
appropriate. They don't have to be TOLD to by some kind of
And if they choose to not break it up, it is probably because
they judged it to not actually be a benefit in this case and
someone complaining about the line length is more likely to be
seen as patronizing than helpful.
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