Who are the "spacists"?

Nathan Ernst nathan.ernst at gmail.com
Sat Mar 18 17:50:06 EDT 2017

My issue with using spaces instead of tabs, is that, as mentioned earlier
in the thread, everyone has their own preferences on indentation. I've
worked on teams where different developers used 2, 3 & 4 spaces as
indentation. Obviously, if you're using spaces, several of the members will
be unhappy.

Tabs have the benefit that most editors used by developers allow the
adjustment of the width of a tab. If you use tabs, everyone can be happy
with the visual presentation of their code.

My rule of thumb: tabs for indentation, spaces for alignment (i.e. trying
to line up anything after a non-whitespace character on a single line).


On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 4:24 PM, Mikhail V <mikhailwas at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 18 March 2017 at 16:54, Lutz Horn <lutz.horn at posteo.de> wrote:
> > Am 18.03.17 um 16:18 schrieb Mikhail V:
> >> On 18 March 2017 at 05:02, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au>
> >> wrote:
> >>> Mikhail V <mikhailwas at gmail.com> writes:
> >>>
> >>>> 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.
> >
> >> So you are the opinion it would be more productive to invent a new
> >> language instead of just cleaning up spaces?
> >
> > Productive in solving what problem exactly? Why do you think a cleaning
> > of spaces is necessary?
> Ehm, why is it necessary? I won't mix them and I use tabs, so if I become a
> source with spaces and edit it, I must replace them, then if a spacist
> becomes
> tabulated code he replaces tabs with spaces again. Not a big
> deal, but seems strange.
> >
> >> I think it still helps to realize that in the future this will become
> >> more noticable problem than it seems now
> >
> > Why? What could be the problem? I fail to see how the Python policy of
> > preferring spaces over tabs while allowing both if used consistent is
> > causing any problem.
> There can be some problems, say in one class a teacher says: never
> use tabs, in other class a teacher says: don't use spaces.
> Who is right?
> This is not a major problem, but technically seen using tabs
> is more logical way, but de-facto spaces are recommended.
> I've noticed a tendency that more and more users
> choose tabs. Indeed if you think about it, using several spaces for
> one level of indentation is ridiculous and it is not only my opinion.
> So tabs are quite natural choice, but with spaces being a 'recommended'
> style, there are two 'camps' within one language.
> New users will be always frustrated, and ask why is it bad to use tabs.
> But can all teachers explain exactly the difference? So it starts as a
> problem of choice.
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