One line per idea - the feedback

1 minute read

I wrote a bit more than a year ago on how to wrap lines for markup languages. I promised to give feedback on this experiment and specifically the use of one line per idea or clause.

Remember that to me, using one line per paragraph is problematic:

  • navigating through it is a bit cumbersome
  • reviewing a git diff is annoying when you need to scroll horizontally
  • editing one character leads to the whole paragraph as being seen edited in your favorite diff tool (at least if it is not that smart)

I am sad to say that the one line per idea concept does not work for me despite its big advantages on paper and its elegance. In practice, forcing myself to split each sentence in separate ideas lead to a slight writing slow down and cognitive dissonance. In a nutshell finding the natural split is not as easy as it sounds. And I could not really convince at least some of my colleagues enough of the benefits of this rule.

I settled for the following. One line per sentence. If the sentence is too long, one line per idea. And I won’t mind if someones breaks the sentence at “odd” places.

It’s one of those nice ideas that are not worth their cost.