[fpc-pascal] Underscores in numerical literals - grouping

James Richters james at productionautomation.net
Tue Nov 22 00:59:04 CET 2016

>IOW I don't like editors that store in formats that are nearly useless in
other editors.

I total agree with this statement,  proportional editors are only good if
you are the only one who will ever look at the code, if anyone else EVER
looks at it, it's just a giant mess, you can't put snippets of it in
pastebin for ask for help, or really collaborate in anyway with anyone else
without manually re-formatting it for a monospaced font, and there is really
no point in even bothering.  I find Consolas VERY easy on the eyes and have
no problems organizing my code with it.   I, l, 1, AND | are all distinctly
different with it as well as 0 and O.    I have a REAL pet peeve about
font's that these characters look identical, unfortunately Arial is one of
them, and guess what font stock installations of windows use..  and the VAST
majority of windows users have no idea it can be changed, never mind how to
change it..   My son's teacher sent home spelling words typed in Arial and
my son was spelling Illusion - i i i u s i o n because it was just not clear
what the characters were.  When writing code we have a LOT of variables and
such that are not normal readable words so it's a really bad idea to have a
font with any questionability in what the characters are at all.  Also a lot
of proportional font indent corrections only work if your font is a
particular size,  if you change your mind and decide you are getting older
and now need a larger font than you did 10 years ago,  now all your code
that used to look good, is all misaligned.  The only way code will be
properly aligned all the time, in any editor, at any size is to use a
monospaced font, and do not use tabs at all, set your editor to insert
spaces for tabs.   The only thing that ever looks good all the time to
everyone is a nice grid of character cells.   Even if an editor COULD make
it come out right with a proportional font, you are back to now having code
that only one person can ever read, making it useless,  so why bother with
the effort at all... it's also impossible to autocorrect every situation
with a proportional font.. for example:


With a monospaced font, they are all perfectly aligned, but with a
proportional font, there is nothing the editor could do automatically to fix
this.  Sure you could put some space between the variable and the [ and try
to adjust that space in a reverse proportional method, but that doesn't make
it look right, and you CAN'T stick any space in the actual variable name to
make all the _Range align again once the initial proportional letter has
fouled everything up.   I have been programming for a long time, (also
started with a VIC20) and I just don't see how structured programming can be
done effectively with a proportional font.. you will spend more time trying
to force the proportional font to look good than actual programming.  As it
mentions on the Freepascal wiki, pascal itself doesn't require any
formatting, you can put your whole program on one long line if you want, but
no one else will ever understand it.  The formatting is for our benefit, so
why would you use some kind of editor that now takes all your nice
formatting and saves it in a way that requires a specific editor to read.
The spacing and formatting is much more important that the actual reading of
individual 'words' in a program, you need to identify the variable you are
working on quickly and follow the structure accurately, thus monospaced
fonts are far and away the best choice for this. 

-----Original Message-----
From: fpc-pascal-bounces at lists.freepascal.org
[mailto:fpc-pascal-bounces at lists.freepascal.org] On Behalf Of Marco van de
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2016 2:26 PM
To: FPC-Pascal users discussions <fpc-pascal at lists.freepascal.org>
Subject: Re: [fpc-pascal] Underscores in numerical literals - grouping

In our previous episode, Graeme Geldenhuys said:
[ Charset UTF-8 unsupported, converting... ]
> On 2016-11-21 16:05, J?rgen Hestermann wrote:
> > Why?
> > I like monospaced fonts for code very much.
> See my reply to Stephen. More intelligent editors can let you use 
> monospaced and proportional fonts with ease - yet you don't loose code 
> alignment, indentation etc. Elastic Tabstops do just that. It's simply 
> about editors becoming more clever about there text rendering instead 
> of forcing everything into a grid of character cells.
> Plus proportional fonts overall look much better than monospaced ones. 
> ;-)

IMHO editors should be like network protocols. Liberal in what you accept,
and conservative in what you write.

IOW I don't like editors that store in formats that are nearly useless in
other editors.
fpc-pascal maillist  -  fpc-pascal at lists.freepascal.org

More information about the fpc-pascal mailing list