Prothon Prototypes vs Python Classes

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Mon Mar 29 21:27:03 CEST 2004

"John Roth" <newsgroups at> wrote in message
news:106gg1jifa2n9c2 at
> I think you misunderstood. There is no "standard" length of
> a tab. A tab is supposed to insert (or otherwise render the
> equivalent of inserting) enough spaces to go to the next "tab stop",
> which by convention is a multiple of 8 columns on a fixed
> width mechanical typewriter. This is where tabs originated.

Actually, the mechanical typewrite standard (in US, 1960s) was every 5
spaces == 1/2 inch (10 chars per inch, fixed).  That was also the standard
paragraph indent.  WordPerferct, for one program, stuck with 1/2 inch even
as it accommodated different fixed and variable pitched fonts.  I remember
thinking 8 spaces a bit weird when I first used Unix (early 80s).
Power-of-2 4 and 8 are computerisms.  Don't remember about Teletypes, nor
about typewriters in non-inch countries.

Terry J. Reedy

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