[erlang-questions] Controversial subject of the day: tabs and spaces for indentation

Ulf Wiger <>
Wed Feb 5 19:40:27 CET 2014

One thing for emacs users (or those who need to deal with them) to do is to insert the following at the top of each erlang module:

%% -*- erlang-indent-level: 4; indent-tabs-mode: nil -*-

(Perhaps others have suggestions for the ultimate settings here)                    

Ulf W

On 5 Feb 2014, at 19:14, Vlad Dumitrescu <> wrote:

> Hi all,
> It's been almost a full day since the last controversial issue was
> discussed here and I feel it's time for a new one (well, it's actually
> old).
> The default indentation used by the erlang-mode uses a mix of tabs and
> spaces. Whatever side one is in the "tabs vs spaces" war, mixing them
> is the common enemy!
> Not everybody uses emacs, nor should they be forced to. This means
> that creating a patch might take less time than adjusting the
> whitespace afterwards, which feels a horrible waste of time and
> energy.
> Of course, we the non-emacs-using hackers of the OTP code might be in
> a crushing minority, and then the issue will get closed quickly. I
> feel however that I need to try to change this. I have abstained
> before from submitting small fixes just because of this (instead I
> sold the idea to someone else, but that doesn't always work).
> So my question is: are enough people bothered by this issue? If yes,
> can we try to agree on a solution? Such changes are best done in
> connection with a release.
> best regards,
> Vlad
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Ulf Wiger, Co-founder & Developer Advocate, Feuerlabs Inc.

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