the width allowed for the left column constantly has to be increased as more items are added
which items are added? new columns added? what is "width allowed for the left column"? i think it is tab size. then, if you make longer strings in any column, not only left column, then tab size has to be increased, or, more tabs has to be used between columns, and, if there are elements of much different size, different count of tabs need to be used between columns.