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    This seems like a workaround for using a bad diffing program. On Mac OS, use the opendiff that ships with XCode, it graphically highlights changes within a line. It’s great, as long it’s not one of the odd years where Apple breaks it for no good reason. I’m sure there are similar diff programs for other platforms.

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      I see your point, but I like this style of linebreaks primarily because it helps my writing. I like seeing the lengths of my sentences. Are any wildly long? If so, I’ll see it right away. Are the lengths too similar and monotonous? If so, I’ll see it right away. Also, I write more slowly if I enter a linebreak after every sentence.

      The discussion at https://sembr.org (which Tenzer suggested) talks about the benefits to writers and readers without any special focus on diffing. Maybe I should have posted that instead, but I only learned about it this morning!

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        Agreed. And when this style was invented, it was a workaround for primitive line-oriented editors like ed where making changes in a line was a lot harder than operating on the line as a whole.

        I used to see Usenet posts and emails like this back in the day, from people who presumably either composed them in ed or had just got in the habit of writing everything that way. It’s kind of weird to read, like everything becomes a kind of modern poetry.

        The various Git GUI apps I’ve used over the years tend to highlight changed words too. (I currently use Fork, which is so good I almost never use the CLI anymore.) it’s very useful even in source code.

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          Fair enough, though I partly disagree for the reasons I gave to @carlmjohnson.

          You both may find this funny (or unsurprising): the comments to the original post have pretty much this same debate. Some people respond that the advice doesn’t apply now that we don’t all write in ed and have shitty diff tools. Other people reply that they like the tip for writing and not just for tools.

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        See also https://sembr.org/.

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          That’s terrific: thanks.

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          Related: I wish there were a writing tag for this and similar posts. I can think of one other recent post that really deserved that tag.

          If you can think of others that would fit a new writing tag, please link here. (I’m going to start a search myself and make a proposal if I can gather a reasonable number of them.)

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            I wonder, given that the idea is to ensure that the line breaks do not maul the final output, shouldn’t one call these syntactic line feeds rather than semantic line feeds? Yes, it is meaning carrying, but so does syntax in traditional PL.

            Stories with similar links:

            1. Semantic Linefeeds (2012) via vfoley 3 years ago | 17 points | 4 comments
            2. Semantic Linefeeds via joshuacc 7 years ago | 12 points | 4 comments