OT: Vertical Tab was Re: indendation question

Erik Max Francis max at alcyone.com
Tue Jan 6 00:18:40 CET 2004

Samuel Walters wrote:

> What exactly *is* a vertical tab?  I don't think I've ever seen it on
> a
> keyboard or used in the wild.  I think I may have seen it on the
> keybindings for a mainframe terminal I once used, but I didn't really
> dig
> too deep because, as far as operating the mainframe was concerned, I
> was a
> well trained monkey who could check and restart failed jobs.

It's a whitespace control character, whose precise meaning is, as far as
I know, left to the implementation.  In the same way that a horizontal
tab (HT) -- what you'd generally think of us a tab -- means "advance the
cursor some amount of space forward on the line," a vertical tab would
mean "advance the cursor some amount of space downward on the page."  I
don't have a copy of the ASCII Standard in front of me so I can't say
more, but it's not used a lot of these days.

 __ Erik Max Francis && max at alcyone.com && http://www.alcyone.com/max/
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