Tabs -vs- Spaces: Tabs should have won.

Ian Kelly ian.g.kelly at
Sun Jul 17 14:48:04 EDT 2011

On Sun, Jul 17, 2011 at 9:15 AM, rantingrick <rantingrick at> wrote:
>>  I can write my code to 80
>> columns using 4-space tabs, but if somebody later tries to edit the
>> file using 8-space tabs, their lines will be too long.
> THEIR LINES is the key words. A tab control is a tab control is a (you
> guessed it!) a tab control. No matter how small or large your tab
> settings are the source only reflects one tab control char per press
> of the tab key. Heck, people are already (unwisely) using "8-space-
> spaces" and i don't hear you making the same argument.

Because the problem does not apply.  If I use 4 spaces, and somebody
else opens my file who uses 8, the code will still be limited to 80
columns.  They will just have to see my ugly 4-space indentation
instead of their preferred 8-space indentation.  You know what?  They
can cope.

>> Rick's answer
>> to this might be to just mandate that everybody uses 4-space tabs, but
>> then this would pretty much defeat the purpose of using tabs in the
>> first place.
> We already mandate four space spaces so what is the difference? I'll
> tell you, the difference is Freedom and Unity living in perfect
> harmony.

Let me get this straight.  You want us to use tabs so that individuals
can set their tab width to however many spaces they want, but then you
want everybody to set their tab widths to 4 spaces.  You're
contradicting yourself here.

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