Tabs vs. Spaces, VIM vs. EMACS (Was Re: Larry Wall's comment on python...)

Chris Gonnerman chris.gonnerman at
Thu Sep 26 07:10:31 CEST 2002

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James J. Besemer" <jb at>
> I myself still prefer tabs as I find "indenting" and "out 
> denting" sections of code to be a common operation (in Python 
> and in other languages).  Inserting or removing an "if" or 
> changing inline code to a function makes indenting and out 
> denting a common operation.  In the environments I use, this 
> works well with tabs and not so well or at all with spaces.  

At the risk of starting another sort of flamewar, I'll weigh
in here.  I am a user of VIM, and with the "smartindent" and
"expandtab" options activated, spaces are just as convenient
as tabs... I use the tab *key* to get my four-character
indents, and can backspace to cancel an indent (i.e.
"outdent").  No actual tab characters ever get saved that 

When I receive code that contains tabs, I use a global
replacement to quickly detab any module I need to modify.

Surely emacs can do as well as VIM...  (and I expect a rabid
emacs user to fill me in posthaste).

Chris Gonnerman -- chris.gonnerman at

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