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Fixing GitHub Gist’s Sudden Case Of Line Wrapping

Published: December 21, 2022

Yesterday, when I was giving my post on pagination using LIMIT and OFFSET in MySQL a once-over, I noticed that my code samples – which are powered by GitHub Gists – were rendering super wonky. When I inspected the runtime styles of the page, it appears that GitHub made a recent breaking change to the white-space property used within their “line of code” CSS class. To “fix” this (ie, turn off “word wrap” for my code snippets), I had to upload a CSS override to my blog:

body .gist .blob-code-inner {
	white-space: pre ;

They were using white-space: pre-wrap. I had never heard of this option before. The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) defines this as:

pre-wrap: Sequences of white space are preserved. Lines are broken at newline characters, at <br>, and as necessary to fill line boxes.

I don’t know what “as necessary to fill line boxes” means; but, apparently that is what is causing my code to wrap. Overriding their CSS with pre fixed it. You can see how my code renders when I toggle my override white-space property on-and-off:

Seems like an odd breaking change for GitHub to make – I can’t imagine that many people find code wrapping easy to ready. But, at least it was easy to fix on my end.

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