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Is the default 283-column text OK for human reading?   [OT]

By: Greg Akers       
Date: Feb 21,2019 at 17:44
In Response to: Is the default 283-column text OK for human reading? (Slobodan Vujnovic)

> I just opened this post in
> Firefox and hit Ctrl+0 to select
> the default font size, for "normal" people - why else
> would that be set as the default size by the product designers?
> http://www.ztw3.com/forum/forum_entry.php?id=122146
> This sentence spreads itself until the word "ways" hits
> the right margin and wraps. The position is column 283!
> Agreed. All the more so because most techniques that are being used
> today to display text (plain text, RTF, HTML, markdown et al.; and the
> appropriate multiline editing controls in all OSes) have been in use
> since at least two decades, and have supported ‘soft’ line breaks and
> ways
> I can't think of a place in real
> life when this is acceptable, except, of
> course, the legalise small print, that you are supposed NOT to even
> attempt to read. This is what reading more elaborate posts in this
> forum
> look like, unless you increase the font considerably, or reduce the
> browser width.

The short answer is, Yes, a default 283-column text is "OK" for some humans to read. It's not my preference, but I can do it. At least it is within my control to reduce the window width or increase the font size for my easier viewing, without interfering with however anyone else choses to view it.

But text with artificially added CRs, hwoever well intended, needlessly eats up the vertical space while simultaneously wasting loads of unused horizontal space while leaving no good recourse but to sigh and accept it. It reminds me of times past when trying to consolidate notes from several co-workers into a single, well formatted team report and having to remove CRs at the end of lines to use the word processor's automated formatting features. I don't recall, just now, if it was due to the primitive email app or something else, just an annoying memory.

Here I prefer the long text string to the short ones:

Because I can shorten the long text string, but can do nothing with the short ones:

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