Tab completion

Ben Finney ben+python at
Fri Apr 3 04:41:50 CEST 2009

Steven D'Aprano <steve at> writes:

> I do not wish to type four literal spaces to indent the 'return'
> line, or backspace four times to remove it, but with tab-completion
> I am forced to. I'm used to pressing the TAB key once to get an
> indent. Within the interpreter, I do not care whether it inserts a
> tab character or four spaces or seven formfeed characters, so long
> as the Python parser recognises it as a single indent level and
> typing backspace once removes that indent level.

It sounds like, instead of pressing <Tab> once, you can press <Space>
once and meet your requirements.

> On Fri, 03 Apr 2009 08:51:47 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> > “M-tab” is Emacs-speak for “<Meta> plus <Tab>”. Not all
> > keyboards have “Alt”, you see (maybe none, when Emacs first
> > started referring to the Meta modifier?).
> But on my keyboard, I have no Meta key, I have an Alt key.

AFAIK, no keyboard has a “Meta” key. The term was chosen AFAICT to
refer to “the modifier key that's conceptually the next level up from

For you and I and just about everyone whose keyboard design has been
influenced by the IBM Personal Computer, that's the <Alt> key. But at
the point that was introduced, it was merely one keyboard layout among
many, and by the point it *was* de facto standard, Emacs keyboard
terminology was long established.

> > Suck it up and accept the truth! U+0020 is the unambiguous
> > indentation character that always does what it should, and U+0009
> > is a horrible mistake which must be suppressed with extreme
> > prejudice. No true Pythonista would disagree.
> The "No true Scotsman" fallacy.

No true Pythonista would point that out.

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Ben Finney

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