C & undefined behaviour - was Re: tumble under BSD

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Sun Apr 3 20:48:55 CDT 2016

>> Why not? Is your email client incapable of wrapping text?
> Well, paragraph/lines is the way most email clients function
> nowadays.

Windows is the way most computers function nowadays.  Shall we
therefore reject any suggestion that Windows is not the way everyone
should work? :-)  (My point is that popularity, in itself, should not
be taken as a recommendation.)

> Maybe there's a setting in Thunderbird that wraps the lines on
> writing a new email,

I should certainly hope so; if not, I would call it broken and most
certainly would say it should not be used (at least not for
arm's-length email; for email between mutually consenting parties with
prearrangement, anything agreeable to all parties goes).  Or unless the
user is willing to manually insert suitable line breaks, I suppose;
personally, I maintain that the software should adapt to the human, not
the other way around, in such cases.

> but most clients are perfectly happy to wrap incoming mail to fit the
> windows/screen size.

Perhaps, but (a) not everyone reads mail with "client"s (my MUA, for
example, is not a client in any meaningful sense) and (b) we're back to
popularity being used as a touchstone of goodness, as if anything
that's popular is necessarily acceptable.

> But I'll be happy to comply to the wishes for preformatted text; just
> tell me how.

I'd say, for running text, wrap somewhere before 80 characters per line
(preferably before about 78, since some programs lose a column or two
on display - personally, I wrap at column 72).  I'm sure others will
differ in various details, but I suspect most will probably be
somewhere close to that.

Of course, if you have something where line breaks have semantic
relevance, such as output from a build script, leave the breaks where
they belong unless you have some _really_ long lines (1000 chars or
thereabouts, I think, is the SMTP maximum), in which case you can
either go ahead and break them manually (preferably with a warning in
accompanying text), encode the output with base64 or btoa or uuencode
or some such, put the output up for fetching somewhere and just provide
a link to it, etc.

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