Who are the "spacists"?

Mikhail V mikhailwas at gmail.com
Sat Mar 18 18:32:14 EDT 2017


On 18 March 2017 at 21:19, Bob Gailer <bgailer at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mar 17, 2017 9:23 PM, "Mikhail V" <mikhailwas at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> So Python supports both spaces and tabs for indentation.
>>
>> 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?
>
> One problem for me with tabs: there is no standard visual representation (1
> tab = ? Spaces)

Hi Bob,
The rendering of each character, including tab character is up to the
renderer, i.e. editor or IDE. This means, if the editor supports
customisations, then you can define the width of the tabs.
With more advanced rendering, editor can 'know' if it is
a preceding (indent) tab or some other indentation, e.g.
multiline list definition (e.g. 'elastic tabs', but that is more
about future). In VIM I set the tab width = 4 spaces
and VIM is a monospaced-only editor.

>>
>> Space is not even a control/format character, but a word separator.
>
> Huh? The character sets I'm familiar with don't have "word separators".
> Space is just another no -control character.

Yes that is what I mean. So it is quite logical to use a tab, i.e. different
character than space for this specific case, 1 char for 1 level.

>
>> And when editors will be proportional font based
>
> Editors allow your choice of font. Some are proportional, some monospaced. I
> fail to see any benefit from making a proportional-only font based editor.

Well, if there will be a decent IDE/editor with realistic font
rendering and good tabs mangement, I will not ever
want to switch back to a monospaced font.
So put another way, there will be no need to use
a monospaced font.
And if one uses spaces to indent e.g. multiline list with proportional
font, then it is not possible to achieve exact alignment.
Anyway, why use space? space is space, a character for
specific usage.
Also if I increase the font size I don;t necesserily want to increase
the tab width.

I treat monospaced editors more as an anachronism,
I mean of course only the 'visual' component.
So VIM, despite its monospaced nature, is for me high
above all products I've tested so far, if speak about input, editing.


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