Deprecate tabs for indenting (was Re: Indenting with tabs vs spaces)

Steve Lamb grey at
Mon Dec 3 10:21:48 CET 2001

On Sun, 2 Dec 2001 20:13:37 -0600, Jeff Hinrichs <jlh at> wrote:
> my 0.02$US:
> Actually, spaces are the problems not tabs.  A tab is a tab, where is
> indenting by spaces....hmm.

    No, a tab isn't a tab.

> You should be able to configure your editor to display tabs in a width that
> is to your liking WITHOUT mucking with the data.

    As you just said, "You should be able to configure your editor to display
tabs..."  Oh, so a tab isn't a tab.  I like indention of 4 so my tab is 4
spaces.  You like 8 so yours is 8 spaces.  A tab is not a tab.  A tab is a
collection of spaces, visually.

    Now, if you had read my post you would have seen where your whole "a tab
is a tab" bubbub breaks down.  Here it is AGAIN since you missed it the first

some_dict = {'Jane':{'Age':'21', 'Dept':'0001', 'Ext':'1234'},
             'John':{'Age':'22', 'Dept':'0010', 'Ext':'5678'},
             'Jeff':{'Age':'23', 'Dept':'0100', 'Ext':'9009'},
             'Jody':{'Age':'24', 'Dept':'1000', 'Ext':'8765'},
             'Jeny':{'Age':'25', 'Dept':'0110', 'Ext':'4321'}

    With spaces that always comes out the same.  With tabs set to different
lengths you get different results.  The only constant when it comes to
indention is a space.  A space is a space.  A tab is not constant and
therefore should NOT be used for indention.  Ever.

    Indention isn't about preference, it is about making the code readable.
And as the above example shows, readable code could be rendered unreadable by
tab "preferences".

         Steve C. Lamb         | I'm your priest, I'm your shrink, I'm your
         ICQ: 5107343          | main connection to the switchboard of souls.
    To email: Don't despair!   |  -- Lenny Nero, Strange Days

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