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Re: Module abstract: Is its length still limited?

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From:
James E Keenan
Date:
November 10, 2005 03:13
Subject:
Re: Module abstract: Is its length still limited?
Message ID:
4372C1EA.2090705@yahoo.com
Sam Vilain wrote:
> On Mon, 2005-11-07 at 21:08 -0500, Ricardo SIGNES wrote:
> 
>>* "Andreas J. Koenig" <andreas.koenig.gmwojprw@franz.ak.mind.de> [2005-11-07T17:29:50]
>>
>>>I will be very happy if you guys decide something and let me know.
>>>I'll adjust the code for the forms on PAUSE then.
>>
>>Here's my official vote:
>>
>>(length $module_name + length $abstract + 3) should be under 80.
>>
>>This means that the whole header and abstract will fit in one line.
>>That's more than 44 characters for short module names.  Longer module
>>names, which should be pretty descriptive, need shorter abstracts.
>>
>>Wombat - a framework for building reusable fruit-counting applications
>>Application::Framework::FruitCounting - for reusable produce applications
>>
> 
> 
> My feeling is that this wouldn't really work when the module name gets
> too long, for example when a namespace under which you are contributing
> has chosen verbose terms.

I agree.  The maximum length of the abstract should be independent of 
the length of the module's name.

But I also like one aspect of Mark Stosberg's suggestion:  the 
truncation of overly long abstracts in space-constrained formats.  In 
the body of a module's documentation, I don't really care how long an 
abstract is.  If the author is foolish enough to write an overly long 
abstract, I'll simply ignore the module.

But where I do think ellipses should be used is in the tabular displays 
of search.cpan.org.  If, for example, the rule were formulated as "In 
search.cpan.org and other CPAN search engines, abstracts will be 
truncated starting after the 80th character," then -- going back to my 
original question -- I could revise ExtUtils::ModuleMaker to warn the 
user of the consequences of exceeding 80 characters (but not mandating 
that length, as EU::MM can be used for non-CPAN modules where the space 
constraint doesn't apply).

Jim Keenan

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