Should one wrap text in .markdown files at 80 columns or should one not?
First, let me say that I don’t care. Except that I do. Wrapped text in markdown really feeds my OCD in the worst possible way, right behind missing periods at the end of sentences, and two spaces. Oddly, I don’t care about tabs vs. spaces.
Here’s a logical argument for not wrapping text in markdown.
Markdown doesn’t use line the breaks: whether you include a line break in your markdown or not the rendered result is the same, unless you use 2 line breaks.
For example, consider the following text wrapped at 23 characters for illustration purposes.
A quick brown fox jumps
over the lazy dog.
We swap “a” and “the”, producing the following new text.
The quick brown fox
jumps over a lazy dog.
Because of a line wrap, this 2-word change is now a 2-line change. It hurts.
Without the wrap the diff would have been super clean.
>A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
<The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.
Furthermore, GitHub does an even better job at the 1-line diff.
Notice how the word “jumps” was highlighted, even though it wasn’t actually changed.
For an argument for wrapping text, see this comment.