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Although the MacLisp printer took care to insert "newline"'s ocasionally,
I finally came to believe that PRINT was the wrong place to handle this.
We ultimately made it a per-stream property -- whether or not to break
long lines -- but one thing I proposed for VAX/NIL and for Interlisp-D
(which I don't think ever got implemented) was to put the line-breaking
code into the stream. That is, some low-level byte-output method in a
stream would be paying attention so such matters of whether or not to
substitute a "newline" for an ocasional "space", in order to limit the
line length of the output [of course, you would still lose for long
sequences of characters that had no spaces at all in them]. The main
advantage of doing it "in the stream" is user-coded "printers" based
over WRITE-CHAR or WRITE-STRING would also get the benefit.
-- JonL --