Please verify!!

Dave Angel d at
Sat Feb 25 03:36:41 CET 2012

On 02/24/2012 08:25 PM, Chris Angelico wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM, Mark Lawrence<breamoreboy at>  wrote:
>> Oo, thou sinner, fancy violating PEP 8 and standardising on tabs.
> PEP 8 applies only to Python code, our standard is across all our
> languages :) But yes, I'm a horrible sinner and I like tabs. They
> separate the display (do you want tabs to show as four-space indent,
> two-centimeter indent, or fifty-pixel indent?) from the structure
> (this line is indented two levels). Spaces merge those.
> ChrisA

If tabs were ever implemented consistently and reasonably in both an 
editor and a matching language, then I'd consider leaving tabs in the 
file.  But to me, they're just a crude way to compress the file, and the 
space they save is no longer worth the pain they cause  (I came to this 
conclusion 30 years ago, and have re-evaluated it dozens of times as new 
editors and new languages changed the rules.  At that time, I had one of 
my developers write an editor (shipped with our MSDOS system, instead of 
Edlin) that implemented it.)

Some time when i have a lot more time, I'll state one of (many possible) 
the ways that tabs could be made acceptable in a limited environment.  
Almost 40 years ago, I wrote an editor and assembler whose file format 
used a separation character between fields.  I used A0 because our 
screens at the time ignored the high bit, so a file was sort-of readable 
right out of the box.  And the way that the developer jumped between 
fields was the semi-colon key, of course, since that's the position of 
the skip key in the keypunch we were replacing.

However, I don't intend to foist my opinions on others, just to state 
them as opinions.  At the office, we use special comment fields at 
end-of-file to tell Emacs how to deal with a mixture of tabs and 
spaces.  Code written by a dozen people over a dozen years, and nobody 
wanted to enforce a conversion to something common.



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