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From Paul Gear <>
Subject Re: [Collections] MultiMap status?
Date Fri, 04 Jun 2004 11:47:09 GMT
Simon Kitching wrote:
> ...
> I'll bite. Tabs in source code are a major nuisance.
> The code is only readable (ie indenting not badly stuffed up) when
> viewed with exactly the same tab settings used by the author of the
> code.
> The default tab setting is equivalent to 8 spaces. That's certainly what
> you see if you use "more" or view the output of "cvs diff" or similar.
> But almost no-one uses tab settings of 8 in their editors, because it is
> far too much indentation for normal source code. People usually set tabs
> to render as equivalent to 2, 3 or 4 spaces in their editor. And then
> when they put a "hard tab" char into the document they are editing the
> text looks fine. But when someone else looks at it with "more", or uses
> an editor with different settings, the code looks like ****.
> The simple fix for all this is to require all source code to be indented
> using spaces, not tabs. It is then guaranteed to be consistently
> indented regardless of what tool is used to view it, and what the local
> OS and editor settings are.
> Most editors have an option to use "soft tabs", so that when the tab key
> is pressed 2,3,4, or whatever spaces are inserted into the file. 

So you're saying that this is all about catering for those editors which
make insufficient distinction between tabs and indents?

That is why i asked if you are trying to torture everyone who uses vi
correctly.  Vi distinguishes between tabs (using the tab key, and
controlled by the 'set tabstop' command) and indents (using Ctrl-D and
Ctrl-T and controlled by the 'set shiftwidth' command), and creates
indents using the correct number of tabs and spaces.  IIRC, emacs does
the same.

Why are people still worrying about stuff which was solved 15 years ago
by the standard editing tools?

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