Tabs -vs- Spaces: Tabs should have won.

Gregory Ewing greg.ewing at
Mon Jul 18 02:26:22 EDT 2011

Steven D'Aprano wrote:

> Why 78? Because it's one less than 79, as mandated by PEP 8, and two less
> than 80, the hoary old standard.

There's another possible reason for the number 78, although
hopefully it doesn't still apply today.

There's an application I work with that stores free text
in database records of 78 chars each. I suspect it's
because early versions go back to the MS-DOS era, when
it was common to make windows out of box-drawing characters.
80 columns minus two border chars equals 78!


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