Tabs -vs- Spaces: Tabs should have won.

Cameron Simpson cs at
Mon Jul 18 00:14:16 CEST 2011

On 17Jul2011 09:53, rantingrick <rantingrick at> wrote:
| On Jul 17, 4:49 am, "Anders J. Munch" <2... at> wrote:
| > Originally, tabs were a navigation device: When you press the tab key, you skip
| > ahead to the next tab column.  The notion that whitespace characters are
| > inserted into the text would have been very alien to someone using text
| > processing software anno 1970.  Same thing with space and enter; on typewriters
| > the space bar doesn't "type" anything onto the paper, it moves to the next
| > column, and that thinking carried over to computers.
| And how much longer are we going to live in the past? Who cares about
| backward compatible tabs.

Anders was explaining, not supporting-for-the-future.

| Mandate the four space tab now! Mandate that
| Python takes four space and four space only! We shall lead the charge
| for universal tab unity in all programming languages.

You really don't know what you're talking about, do you? If Python
mandates this (hahaha!) the Perl crowd will immediately move to a more
advanced standard, likely 5 space indents (nicely decimalisable) while
indenting by two tabs (to flexibly leave room for more intermediate
logic to be inserted later with less diff noise, which they will find
hard to distinguish from program code).

| > The reason the tab stop is a full 8 positions: for faster navigation.  If it
| > were 3 positions, it would take forever to skip from the start of line to column
| > 60.  You'd appreciate that, if you were e.g. writing a fiduciary report with
| > some text to the left and two number columns to the right, back in the day
| > before spreadsheets and word processor tables.
| Just in case you were not aware this the year 2011. Spreadsheets have
| been around for a LONG time. Stop living the past.

The past was better. Always was and will be increasingly so in the
future. Stop fighting the tide!
Cameron Simpson <cs at> DoD#743

Pardon my driving, I'm trying to reload.

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