Please verify!!

Ben Finney ben+python at
Fri Feb 24 03:32:55 EST 2012

Andrew Berg <bahamutzero8825 at> writes:

> On 2/23/2012 4:43 PM, Dave Angel wrote:
> > First thing I'd do is to disable tab logic in the editor.  When you 
> > press the tab key, there's no excuse for an editor to actually put a tab 
> > in the file.  It should adjust the column by adding the appropriate 
> > number of spaces.
> Unless, of course, you know, you actually /want/ to use tabs (the
> horror!). The decision whether to use tabs or spaces shouldn't be made
> for the novice programmer.

Those two positions yo describe are in conflict.

Are you referring to novice programmers – who, by any reasonable
definition of “novice”, don't have an opinion on the tabs-versus-spaces
indentation debate?

Or are you talking about people who are experienced enough to have an
opinion and expect their editor to allow them the choice?

> I recommend using UTF-8 always unless there's some reason not to.

Likewise, I recommend using spaces for indentation always, unless
there's some reason not to.

The reason is the same: spaces for indentation and UTF-8 for encoding
will both allow them the best chance of ignoring the issue as
irrelevant, by enabling the smoothest collaboration with the vast
majority of other programmers who have to work with them.

And in both those issues, I think it's ludicrous to expect the novice
programmer to care enough about the matter to have an opinion and select
a configuration option. The editor authors should choose the best option
for them as a default, and let most users sail on, happily ignorant of
the flame wars they have avoided.

 \       “In the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience, |
  `\    and the contradiction which religion offers to both is all too |
_o__)                                        palpable.” —Sigmund Freud |
Ben Finney

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