Terry J. Reedy added the comment:

Currently, the code displayed is the code saved and run when requested.  Your 
idea would require that IDLE keep a 'true' copy of the code separate from the 
'display' copy in the Text widget, with the two being kept in sync except in 
special situations such as super long lines.  This would be an error prone 
process.  It would require either having two text widgets, one displayed, one 
not, kept nearly in sync, or writing a Python equivalent of the non-display 
part of the text widget.  Or the true copy could be a virtual copy represented 
by the edits required to restore the true copy from the display copy.  Any of 
these would be tedious, error prone, and would make editing slower. I rejected 
the idea of making tabs visible with a special character for the same reason.

I looked at the tk Text doc to see if the line length limitation is mentioned.  
It is not that I could find ('2' occurs in the text, but no longer digit 
string).  It might be Windows-specific.  It is possible that there should be a 
new issue opened on the tcl/tk tracker, but more info should be collected 
first, to test on other OSes and directly with tcl/tk.  I have more pressing 
issues to work on ;-).

While looking, I read the entry on peer text widgets, which allow multiple 
views of the *same* underlying text data.  A peer can be restricted to a subset 
of lines but not part of a line or lines.  (There can also be different default 
fonts and insert cursor positions.)


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