[Python-Dev] Two spaces or one?

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Tue Jul 24 16:54:55 CEST 2007

On 7/24/07, Aahz <aahz at pythoncraft.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 24, 2007, skip at pobox.com wrote:
> >
> > I'm with Barry.  I still use Emacs.  Emacs's paragraph filling algorithm,
> > whether invoked explicitly via M-q or implicitly via auto-wrap mode,
> > distinguishes the usage of periods based on the number of spaces following
> > them.  Two or more spaces are used to separate sentences.  One space (for
> > example, G. D. Montanaro) following a period is considered a non-breakable
> > space.

I made this argument in private to Talin before he went here for a
second opinion. Apparently it wasn't strong enough. :-)

> There's no need to invoke Emacs to argue for the superiority of two
> spaces after each sentence, according to this vi user.

Indeed. After all, we're talking about PEP 9, which is a *plaintext*
format. Check out http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0009/ and you'll
see that it is rendered in a fixed-width font with line breaks exactly
where they are in the source, and the two spaces make a difference for

How about in PEP 9 we keep the recommendation, perhaps weakened to
"should" or "ought"; but in PEP 12 (the ReST equivalent) we remove it
altogether because it doesn't affect the rendering.

And let's please not make this into a bikeshed discussion than it already is.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list