Tabs versus Spaces in Source Code

Bill Pursell bill.pursell at
Wed May 17 16:14:33 CEST 2006

Peter Decker wrote:
> On 17 May 2006 06:51:19 -0700, Bill Pursell <bill.pursell at> wrote:
> > In my experience, the people who complain about the use
> > of tabs for indentation are the people who don't know
> > how to use their editor, and those people tend to use
> > emacs.
> In my experience, whenever there is a 'religious' issue like this, one
> side tends to be quick to pronounce the other as 'evil', and insist
> that everyone do things their way, while the other tends to feel
> comfortable with people having their own preferences. If I ever find
> myself on the side of the former, I always wonder if I'm missing
> something obvious.

I think you unfairly snipped context on me.  I was directly responding
to the assertion that vi is unable to handle tabs well.

As far as tabs vs. spaces, I don't think the spacers are evil, and in
fact I am one for pragmatic reasons.  I would much prefer to use
tabs for indentation, especially since in the last few weeks I've
decided to upgrade from 4 to 8, and now all of my spaced code
requires much more effort than ":ts=8" to fix.   But in today's world,
it's easier to go with the flow and use spaces.

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