Who are the "spacists"?

Marko Rauhamaa marko at pacujo.net
Mon Mar 20 03:37:25 EDT 2017

Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com>:

> On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 6:01 PM, Marko Rauhamaa <marko at pacujo.net> wrote:
>> Pretty much. Try printing out your program with lpr, or sending it to
>> the terminal with cat, or opening it with with Firefox.
> I don't use paper, but I tried cat and Firefox. In each case, the tab
> characters showed precisely as they should: as indentation. Was it the
> exact same amount of indentation that showed when I originally wrote
> the text in my editor? Was it displayed in the same font as my text
> editor uses? Was the window the same size as that of my text editor?
> Was the text colour the same everywhere? And do any of these questions
> even matter?

Those questions do matter when you mix whitespace and tabs, as well as
in cases like these:


The tools I mentioned honor the traditional tab stop columns:

    1, 9, 17, 25, 33, 41, 49, 57, 65, 73

> Semantically, indentation is indentation.

The presence of a HT code point in a plain text file is not a semantic
marker for indentation. It is a silly, traditional compression scheme
for whitespace.

> I prefer to use tabs in my code precisely *because* they are not
> defined in a concrete way.

If you ever had to review C source code pull requests where tabs and
spaces alternate randomly...


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