Who are the "spacists"?

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Sat Mar 18 00:02:31 EDT 2017


Mikhail V <mikhailwas at gmail.com> writes:

> I just wonder, why not forbid spaces in the beginning of lines?
> How would one come to the idea to use spaces for indentation at all?

Those are two very different questions. I think you may be under the
false impression that the decision you refer to was made in a vacuum.

The truth is that there was an impressive culture of programming
convention before Python ever existed; and, now that Python does exist,
there is an enormous amount of Python code to continue supporting.

For the first:

> I just wonder, why not forbid spaces in the beginning of lines?

Because that would make countless lines of existing Python code illegal.

For the second:

> How would one come to the idea to use spaces for indentation at all?

Because, whether in the context of programming or not, the space
character is the most obvious way to make invisible horizontal
separation when typing at a keyboard.

Therefore, it's the most obvious way for people to type what they see in
programming examples. Therefore, it would be astonishing to reject it
for indentation. Astonishment is a property to be minimised in a
programming language.

> I think it would be a salvation to forbid spaces for indentation, did
> such attemps take place?

Feel free to start your own discussion forum for your new programming
language that forbids spaces for indentation. That language will never
be Python, so please don't ask us to discuss it here.

-- 
 \      “We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just |
  `\                                 stuff that works.” —Douglas Adams |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney



More information about the Python-list mailing list