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Group.format_commands needs to know col_spacing to calculate the width of the 2nd column (i.e. the short help limit). But it:
doesn't set col_spacing in formatter.write_dl and,
it assumes that the formatter won't necessarily use the default col_spacing value (note that the only way to change it is to subclass HelpFormatter and override write_dl; not a very clean use of inheritance).
As a consequence, it makes the conservative choice of "allowing for 3 times the default col_spacing" subtracting 6 to limit (i.e. max_length). Because col_spacing will always be 2, the limit will always be 4 characters smaller than needed, compensating for the eventual excess of 3 characters due to the bug reported in this issue.
Let me know if I misunderstood something.
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