I don't think so. As you note, this has been the behavior for a long, long time.
Although the ide.properties file in the user settings folder may store some size information on the single record view panel, I believe our code ignores it and uses an algorithm instead to initialize that panel. The longer the column names, the less space is initially available for the column values.
The fact ide.properties stores anything at all for it must be an artifact of SQL Developer being based on the JDeveloper IDE.
SQL Developer Team