[development] _drupal_wrap_mail_line()

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Mon Oct 11 04:44:39 UTC 2010

On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 12:52 AM, Earl Miles <merlin at logrus.com> wrote:

> On 10/8/2010 11:47 AM, nan wich wrote:
> > @Gerhard: 80 lines was how long a punch card was. What a ridiculous
> > reason to use 80 any more. Are you even old enough to have ever seen a
> > punch card?  I almost forgot, the original IBM System/3 had punch cards
> Yes, Nancy, there are actually a few adults on this list. Though I doubt
> many of us are old enough to have actually USED a punch card, since
> people who did work on punch cards should be pretty close to retirement
> age by now.


Used them in 1985 in a course, where the norm was to write your code
on a sheet and then send it to an operator who will punch it and then it
would be compiled from cards.

That was a training course though, terminals were available at the same

Also saw vendor system engineers who were puzzled for a couple of days
and could not boot a new system because it was the first of its kind in that
region NOT to have a punched card reader.

Saw at least one client in the early 90s who had working punched card
readers and JCL jobs for them.

Still a decade or two until I retire.

80 characters was the common width of monitors, which descended from
> punch cards, but is also pretty close to the 72 character width of the
> common typewriter (pica, if I remember right) with standard margins.

An 80 character card had a 6 character sequence number, for some
languages (e.g. COBOL) so if the card deck falls on the floor you can do
a sort run and it will sort it correctly. Column 7 was for comments (an *
in COBOL for example). This leaves 73 characters.

Not sure if that was related (can't use the full 80 on a terminal card

> 2822 imposed the limit (as a SHOULD not MUST) because many terminals
> failed to wrap on their own, and terminals often had 80 CPL in order to
> be standard. Though many terminals also had 132 or, if you were
> unfortunate enough to use a VIC-20 (and maybe a PET, I forget) you could
> get 40 CPL.

132 was much later, and was not a standard. Mostly some DEC VT, or that is
where it started.

> Also, RFC2822 is still in effect; if an email message is in text/plain,
> it is polite to go ahead and wrap at 78 per the spec. If your message is
> text/html then wrapping is pointless.

Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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