Tabs versus Spaces in Source Code ('semantic' vs. arbitrary indentation)

achates aylwyn at
Thu May 18 10:34:58 CEST 2006

Edward Elliott wrote:

> What really should happen is that every time an editor reads in source code,
> the code is reformatted for display according to the user's settings.  The
> editor becomes a parser, breaking the code down into tokens and emitting it
> in a personally preferred format.

I completely agree, and I guess that is what I was groping towards in
my remarks about using modern editing tools.

At the same time I would be resist any move towards making source files
less huiman-readable. There will still be times when those tools aren't
available (e.g. for people working on embedded s/w or legacy systems),
and that's when having ASCII source with tabbed indentation would be so
useful. But it looks, sadly, like we're fighting a rearguard action on
that one.

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