[ntp:questions] PPS only configuration

Ralph Aichinger ralph at pangea.at
Wed Feb 20 19:10:37 UTC 2013

Rob <nomail at example.com> wrote:
> to use 80-character lines.  That was just lazyness and adherance to
> capabilities of hardware available at the time.

No, it was not. It enables formatting text in a sensible way, 
which is not that easily possible with reflowing text.

About 70 characters is also about the most readable line length,
be it on screen or in a book.

> When graphical screens became mainstream, and scalable windows and
> proportional fonts entered the scene, the 80-character line was obsolete.

No, it was not. Just grab any novel from your bookshelf, lines
will be about 70 or 80 characters long, most likely.

> Only, the existing users failed to realize this because they often stuck
> to existing hardware or emulated existing hardware on new environments.
> (including running a 80x25 terminal emulator on Windows)

The relevant "hardware" is the ability of the human visual system
to follow a line without losing the line.

> In fact, it has happened again later.  Now, people want to read their
> mail on small phone screens, and again they prefer wrapped paragraphs
> over fixed line lengths.   For the majority of the users there is no
> problem because they already switched to that system before, but those
> who want 80-character lines again have a problem.

I like to have the same layout on my phone as on the desktop screen.
That way I find things easier (adaptive layouts make web pages sometimes
look completely different on the phone, making it necessary to "learn"
them again). I prefer to just zoom in and out with the normal desktop


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