Wrapping long lines (Was Re: FAQ update suggestion for "I'm having basic problems with find. Why?")

Dave Korn dk@artimi.com
Fri Jul 9 13:48:00 GMT 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cygwin-owner On Behalf Of William Blunn
> Sent: 09 July 2004 12:30

> > That's the whole point of PRE, that it *doesn't* wrap.
> I don't think that is the whole point of PRE.
> I think the whole point of PRE is that newlines and other 
> whitespace in
> the HTML source are interpreted literally.

  The whole point of PRE is that whatever is wrapped in it is PREformatted
> It appears that the design committee took it a step too far 
> and decided
> that newlines in the rendered version of PRE can ONLY appear 
> as a result
> of newlines in the source.

  Well duh.  Adding formatting chars counts as reformatting it.

> This is counter to the normal behaviour nearly everywhere 
> else in which
> text wraps when it hits the edge of the medium.

  No it doesn't.  Different applications have different behaviours.  Many
have a choice of whether to wrap or not.  And the non-wrapping behaviour is
very intuitively obvious to people, because that's how written words on
paper behave.  If I reduce the width of a page by tearing it in half, the
text doesn't reflow, I just lose half the text off the side.  That's what
I'm used to and that's what I'd call perfectly normal behaviour.

> If the "pre-formatted" text is too wide to fit the medium, then
> *something* has got to give somewhere.

  No, you either truncate or scroll it.  What you DON'T do is reformat the
stuff that is specifically tagged with "do not under any circumstances
> There has got to be *some* behaviour.

  Yes, but it doesn't *have* to violate the PRE tag.  You just wish it did
because your argument stands or falls on this false dilemma of the excluded

> Wrapping is a well-established and convenient way of doing this.

  No matter how hard you wish, wrapping text always has and always will
count as reformatting it.  Your complaint appears to be that you believe the
PRE tag ought to have been defined as a meaningless no-op.

Can't think of a witty .sigline today....

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