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

Raoul Duke <>
Wed Feb 5 20:24:20 CET 2014

> - Fix erlang-mode to default to all spaces
> - OTP team includes the appropriate Emacs code headers in the source
> files (or the dot file in the source root directory as Magnus just
> pointed out) and leave them horribly formatted, per their preference
> Does this not trivially solve the world's Erlang indent problems?


i think the general problem is that whatever will be enforced is
enforced by the writer, not by the consumer. formatting should ideally
always be subjective and subjectively controlled. so i can see things
*how i want* (dammit) and *so can you* (even if you swing a different
way when it comes to formatting).

the problem is that tools don't take this perspective, so simple
things like diff end up spitting out horrible answers under such

so everybody assumes that we *must* have it be pushed / agreed upon.

all wrong wrong wrong personally i believe.

the tools have to change. the computers have to serve the people, not
the other way around. so any language should have a fundamental markup
version of itself, say some xml schema, and everything is done under
the covers in that format. then when presented to the user it is
converted to their subjective preferred rendering style.


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