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5n vs 7n: is it an objective question?

From: Alejandro Colomar
Subject: 5n vs 7n: is it an objective question?
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2023 22:43:18 +0200
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Hi Ingo, Branden,

I'm not going to answer in Savannah, because as Ingo, I also do not
like interactive web interfaces.  Let's discuss it over email.

Ingo claimed 7n is wasting screen.

Branden claimed that preferring 5n is subjective.

I agree with Branden that it is subjective, and moreover, prefer 7n.
For my rationale, I'll say that I like indenting code with tabs, and
tabs are of course 8-columns wide.

Quoting the Linux kernel coding style:

> 1) Indentation
> --------------
> Tabs are 8 characters, and thus indentations are also 8 characters.
> There are heretic movements that try to make indentations 4 (or even 2!)
> characters deep, and that is akin to trying to define the value of PI to
> be 3.
> Rationale: The whole idea behind indentation is to clearly define where
> a block of control starts and ends.  Especially when you've been looking
> at your screen for 20 straight hours, you'll find it a lot easier to see
> how the indentation works if you have large indentations.
> Now, some people will claim that having 8-character indentations makes
> the code move too far to the right, and makes it hard to read on a
> 80-character terminal screen.  The answer to that is that if you need
> more than 3 levels of indentation, you're screwed anyway, and should fix
> your program.
> In short, 8-char indents make things easier to read, and have the added
> benefit of warning you when you're nesting your functions too deep.
> Heed that warning.

That pretty much tells all I think about this, except for one thing.
Long lines are hard to read, and I tried reading a few pages with 5n,
just to see, and I run `mman 3bsd arc4random` and a few more, just to
see how it looks like.  The first impression is:  too much text.

I have similar issues with the PDF book of the Linux man-pages that
Deri produced.  Too loong lines.

I'm not saying all this to start a war between 5n and 7n, but rather
to agree that we will disagree in what we consider sane defaults, and
so I think having this configurable will be good for both.


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