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

Bengt Kleberg <>
Thu Feb 6 12:27:43 CET 2014


Greetings,

These are my opinions, not facts.

Does your "erl-indent" program format according to the current OTP style
guide? It would be very good if that was the case.


bengt

On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 10:43 +0100, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 10:31 AM, Lukas Larsson <> wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM, Loïc Hoguin <> wrote:
> >>
> >> Plus this doesn't help your code get merged at all. If you submit code
> >> with broken whitespace, then tools will also display this whitespace change.
> >> You can of course hide whitespace changes, but the problem is that
> >> whitespace does matter in some places, so you're basically hiding
> >> potentially important information by doing that.
> >>
> > This is in my opinion the reason why it would be a very bad thing to do a
> > huge commit that changes the current whitespace format of a project to
> > another. It is already very hard to figure out what change could have caused
> > a bug without having to deal with whitespace changes in the middle of a
> > diff.
> 
> Yes, if such a thing would be done, the best time is as a separate
> commit right before a release, this will minimize the number of
> merges/rebases with mixed styles of indentation. Of course, as Lukas
> points out, if diffing with older code, then you have a problem.
> 
> Anyway, I have a suggestion for a workaround at
> https://gist.github.com/vladdu/8841089. Put those files in your ~/bin
> (which should be on $PATH), edit them to match your system and style
> and you can reindent files simply by running "erl-indent
> /path/to/myfile.erl". It still requires to have emacs installed, but I
> can live with that.
> 
> The downside is that if you want to use only spaces, then the whole
> file will be changed to use them. The really big downside is that with
> this tool there will be even less incitament to change the indentation
> style...
> 
> regards,
> Vlad
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