Tabs -vs- Spaces: Tabs should have won.

Andrew Berg bahamutzero8825 at
Sun Jul 17 04:36:31 EDT 2011

Hash: RIPEMD160

On 2011.07.17 02:56 AM, Thorsten Kampe wrote:
> What is the difference between indentation and alignment? Well, 
> indentation works with tabs, alignment not.
The use of spaces for indentation is as much of a hack as the use of
tabs for alignment is. Not everyone agrees on how many spaces an indent
should be (whether an indent is a tab or a space-tab), which is a good
reason to use tabs. In fact, spaces have absolutely /no/ advantage over
tabs when it comes to pure indentation. It may be possible to configure
an editor to compensate using space-tabs (and perhaps even detect the
length of indents, changing the number of spaces to conform to what the
reader thinks is the right number of spaces per indent), but this is all
to make a pretty delicate environment just to be even with tabs.
On the flip side, tabs can't maintain alignment because again, not
everyone agrees on how big a tab should be. This is a good reason to use
spaces. Using tabs for indentation and spaces for alignment solves the
problem. I really can't think of any problems this would cause that
aren't superficial.
> The author's conclusion "simply just use what ever you want for 
> indenting, but use spaces for aligning" leaves only two choices for 
> Python programmers: use spaces for indenting or don't align.
It's possible to indent with tabs and align with spaces in Python; see
my earlier post.

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