Tabs -vs- Spaces: Tabs should have won.

rantingrick rantingrick at gmail.com
Sun Jul 17 21:22:20 CEST 2011


On Jul 17, 1:20 pm, Thorsten Kampe <thors... at thorstenkampe.de> wrote:

> > The past is bickering over selfish personal freedoms, the future of is
> > unity.
>
> And a tab is *exactly* four spaces. Not three. Not five. Not eight. For
> you, for me, and for the rest of the world. Amen!

Not *exactly*.

A tab is just a control char in a string that meant to convey a "user
defined space". When a text editor see's a tab in a string it uses the
current "user defined tab width" and creates the proper space (or
moves the proper distance) in the display. The tab control char
carries no information as to how WIDE a tab must be, no, the editor
makes that choice (based on user input or default).

However a tab can be EQUAL to four spaces, or eight spaces , or even
eight-eight spaces if the user wants it to.

The same is true for font. A string contains chars and the display
font is a decision for the editor to make (based on user input or
default).

We cannot always offer unity and freedom in a programming language.
But there are some exceptions; one of which being tabs.



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