[linux-elitists] Seperating Content from Presentation

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Sun May 30 22:28:17 PDT 2004


On 31-May-2004, Mike MacCana wrote:
> On Sun, 2004-05-30 at 17:28, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > Please set your mailer/editor linewrap to 68-75 characters.  I
> > strongly recommend 72 as a good default..
> 
> Maillers shouldn't wrap at all. Wrapping is a terrible idea which
> assumes one's audience:
> 
> 1. Reads their email in a monospaced font

No, it doesn't assume this.  If the line-wrapped mail is rendered in the
user's chosen font, it is no less readable if the lines are wrapped.

> 2. In an eighty character wide terminal.

Or wider.  This assumption is better than assuming the MUA somehow knows
the difference between a line that should be automagically wrapped and
one that shouldn't.

HTML documents can assume that their lines will be wrapped, because in
the cases where they shouldn't be wrapped there is markup to say so.
Text documents (like email messages) cannot make that assumption.

Remember, make the data smart, so the software can be simple.

-- 
 \     "He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let |
  `\           that fool you. He really is an idiot."  -- Groucho Marx |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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