PEP8 and 4 spaces

Roy Smith roy at
Fri Jul 4 03:37:07 CEST 2014

In article <mailman.11478.1404437416.18130.python-list at>,
 Chris Angelico <rosuav at> wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 4, 2014 at 11:21 AM, Steven D'Aprano
> <steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> >> Summing up: if you care about other human beings, use spaces. If you
> >> don't care about other human beings, you may use tabs, but other human
> >> beings surely will take how you treat them into account ;-).
> >
> > Ha ha, that's funny, I would have said the opposite: if you care about
> > keeping tools that expect spaces happy, use spaces, if you care about
> > allowing people to configure the look of your code, or poor unfortunates
> > who aren't using a programmer's editor, use tabs.
> Right. And hey. If you're a sufficiently competent programmer, you CAN
> get away with not caring about other human beings: either because
> you're so utterly valuable that people accept you despite your rough
> edges... or because you just script away the differences :)
> Now, if your *boss* doesn't understand about these things, it's
> possible to lose your job over stupid stuff like style guides.
> Although to be fair, I'd been planning to quit for a long time, and
> the style guide was the last in a long line of problems, so when I
> kicked back and said basically "No, your style guide is a bad idea",
> it ended up with us parting ways. But that's a separate point.
> ChrisA

The way I figure it, there are two things which have sucked up more 
time, effort, and productivity than anything else.  Buffer overrun bugs, 
and arguments about whitespace (and placement of braces in those sorts 
of languages).  I'm not sure which order they go in.

Solving buffer overruns is easy; you use bounds-checked containers, or 
languages which don't expose raw memory.  Killing whitespace arguments 
seems to be a far more intractable problem.

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