[Gretl-devel] Regarding long variable names

Allin Cottrell cottrell at wfu.edu
Mon Oct 29 10:22:16 EDT 2007


On Mon, 29 Oct 2007, Riccardo (Jack) Lucchetti wrote:

> On Mon, 29 Oct 2007, Allin Cottrell wrote:
> 
> > On Mon, 29 Oct 2007, andreas.rosenblad at ltv.se wrote:
> > 
> > > Would it be terribly difficult to let gretl allow longer
> > > variable lengths?
> > 
> > Yes.  Basically, it would require that all output-formatting
> > routines be re-written from scratch.  With 15-character variable
> > names we're at the limit of what we can support using the current
> > formats, and given a sensible maximum line length of around 80
> > characters.
> 
> ...which begs the question: is the 80-column limit 
> anachronistic? Please note that mine isn't a rhetorical 
> question.

Fair question.

> I do agree on the fact that very wide output is unreadable 
> anyway, but the 80-character limit is in itself a legacy of the 
> punched card era.

As I see it, it's mostly a readability issue; and there's also the 
matter of printability: even today, paper is of a finite width!

However, to address Andreas's subsequent question: yes, it would 
be possible to allow longer names for scalars and matrices without 
having to redo all the printing functions.  It would be tricky 
though.  Perhaps after 1.6.6.

Allin.


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