Compare source code

Tim Harig usernet at
Thu Nov 4 20:37:25 CET 2010

On 2010-11-04, D'Arcy J.M. Cain <darcy at> wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Nov 2010 17:55:55 +0000 (UTC)
> Tim Harig <usernet at> wrote:
>> What Seebs is refering to is that it is difficult or impossible to
>> re-indent Python source automatically after the indent structure has been
>> broken (such as his email being converted to html on the server or a web
> Right.  If you mangle spaces in Python or mangle braces in C then
> recovery becomes impossible.  I don't think anyone is contesting that.

Examples of communication channels that mangle white space abound.  I don't
know of any that mangle either braces or pascal style start/end blocks.

You are the one who seems to be on a crusade against against braces.  It
would seem to me, that if you want people to accept that white space
formatting is superior, that you would be looking for a simple way to solve
the white space mangling problem.

> What we question is the idea that somehow Python is special in this
> regard.  If you move files around in ways that change them then your
> tools are broken.  The fact that the breakage is somewhat "friendlier"

The world is full of broken tools that many of us have to use; but, why
should we accept that your choice is superior when other choices manage to
work with these tools without issues.

> tools are broken.  The fact that the breakage is somewhat "friendlier"
> to some types of files is interesting but irrelevant.  What would you
> say to a file transfer program that changed Word documents?  What about
> executable files?

Transfering binary programs has always been an issue and using text based
communications (preferably human readable) has always been considered a
good design decision.  I put up with Python's white space idiosyncrasies;
I wouldn't even bother looking at a language that requires me to enter
the source in binary.  I also consider the move toward XML based document
formats a move in the right direction.

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