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

Carl J. Van Arsdall cvanarsdall at
Wed May 17 21:02:46 CEST 2006

Andy Sy wrote:
> Carl J. Van Arsdall wrote:
>>> Next major objection then, how can one practically use 'tabs as
>>> semantic indentation' without screwing up formatting of code like
>>> the below??
>>>   def sqlcall():
>>>       cursor.execute('select id, item, amount, field4, field5, field6'+
>>>                      'from table1 where amount>100')
>> Why couldn't you tab your third line over as close as possible to the 
>> start of the quote then use a couple spaces?  Then the tabs would work 
>> just fine and you could still have your pretty line.
> This will break if someone tries to view my code using different
> tab settings from the one I'm using
Uh, no it won't.  It should be read in as "one tab and two spaces" 
regardless of the tabstop setting.



Carl J. Van Arsdall
cvanarsdall at
Build and Release
MontaVista Software

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