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From Rick Hillegas <rick.hille...@oracle.com>
Subject Re: Official stance on tabs
Date Tue, 22 Mar 2011 13:22:04 GMT
Hi Tiago,

Derby approved a set of coding conventions in August, 2006, mostly to 
satisfy an Apache requirement that projects should establish standards 
in this area: 
http://old.nabble.com/-VOTE---Approve-coding-conventions-for-the-Derby-project-to5771191.html#a5771954

The Derby conventions include a large primer published by Sun (now 
Oracle) plus a couple explicit modifications to that primer. I have 
never seen a reviewer even mention, let alone enforce any of the rules 
in that primer. Three of the explicit modifications have earned special 
mention on the checklist for new contributors: 
http://wiki.apache.org/db-derby/DerbyContributorChecklist These hot 
buttons are:

i) A preference for 4-space tabs.
ii) Elimination of @author tags.
iii) A preference by some for 80 character lines.

In order to get a submission committed, a new contributor needs to 
conform to the coding philosophy of the committer who reviews the patch. 
Once in a great while, someone will rework an already committed patch to 
enforce a hot button preference. There is little enthusiasm for 
enforcing the Derby conventions systematically. I think this is because:

a) Most of the classes pre-date the adoption of conventions and don't 
conform to them.
b) Contributors are discouraged from reformatting existing classes in 
order to make them conform to the conventions. This eliminates cosmetic 
diffs which complicate code archaeology.
c) To promote readability, contributors are encouraged to follow the 
coding style of the class they are working on.

To answer your specific question about tabs: 4-space tab settings are 
preferred but not systematically enforced.

Hope this helps,
-Rick



On 3/21/11 2:24 PM, Tiago Espinha wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> What's our (Derby's) official stance regarding the tab spacing? How 
> strict are we being with patches? Are we enforcing the 4-spaced tab or 
> are we happy with the tab-spaced tabs?
>
> I remember when I was a GSoC student I was asked to change my settings 
> in Eclipse, but I seem to remember have seen patches being committed 
> after that with just tabs instead of spaces. Do we have an official 
> position on this?
>
> Cheers,
> Tiago


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