... I have noticed a couple examples leately of dbaron requesting source lines be limited to 80 characters. I think he needs a larger monitor so he can view longer lines - at least 100 characters would be good ;-) It's not right that someone who contributes so much to the project has to suffer with horiziontal scrolling while hacking or reviewing the source code. Hold on, this might mean we have to buy a larger monitor for lots of others in the Mozilla community too - maybe I need to think about this some more.
Wait a minute. I have a large monitor. I have a monitor large enough that I can view two files *next to each other* (although I have to shrink the width to 72 characters or shrink my font). Standard Unix terminal windows are 80*24 (as are Command prompts in Windows and terminal windows in MacOSX, although the 24 might vary a little), and many Unix users still use them at that size. Most code can easily fit at that size too. The existing style in much of the layout code (at least most of the parts kipp wrote) is to have lines under 80 characters.
Oh. Maybe we need to standardize or something then. Marking INVALID, and I extend my apologies for presenting bad humor on a Monday.
One more comment, while we're on the topic. If we move to a standard line length larger than 80, what would it be? The number of characters on your monitor? Suppose that's 100. Then suppose someone comes along who likes 110, and makes you shrink your font sizes a little. But the next font size on your machine makes it so your monitor holds 120 characters. So you start writing 120 character lines. And so on... There's a significant precedent for 80 -- it's probably both the minimum and the mode of number of characters per line in people's editors (thanks to default terminal window sizes, which go back to graphics cards that held 80x24 characters in text mode). If we start going longer, where will we stop?
My personal opinion is that we do not need a standard line length, we just need lines to be formatted 'reasonably'. Different people use different editors, and different window sizes and font sizes. Sticking to 80 chars because traditionally we all used VI on a character mode terminal seems a mistake since so few people still use character mode editors, what with the proliferation of GUI environments on pretty much all mainstream computing platforms. But, that is my opinion only, not backed by facts or anything even approaching science. Brendan, does Moz care much about source formatting? Should something be said about it in the coding standards document? What are the definitive coding standards docs anyway? I look at: http://www.mozilla.org/newlayout/doc/codingconventions.html and http://www.mozilla.org/hacking/portable-cpp.html but they don't say much about formatting style...