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

Garrett Smith <>
Thu Feb 6 17:02:28 CET 2014

This has been a very productive thread. If I may try to summarize, for

- Mixed tabs and spaces present challenges for programmer using
different editors and contributing to projects with varied or poorly
defined white space standards

- There are a number of possible solutions to this problem, many of
which have been mentioned here

- The cost of discussing this problem is so much higher than cost of
actually dealing with it - even in cases where a programmer has to
manually copy and past formatted lines to preserve a source file's
dark, twisted and immortal formatting - it's *still much easier* than
talking about how to fix the underlying problem

I feel a certain liberation knowing this.

These are my opinions, which are facts.


On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 7:59 AM, Bengt Kleberg
<> wrote:
> Greetings,
> If you are driven insane when I write that my opinions are my opinions, and you are sufficiently angered to write me about it when I do not make such a claim, I do not see how I can make you happy.
> I will go back to how I used to do it before.
> Sorry to say I do not understand how your statement "indention in Erlang is not fixed" rules out using tabs for indention. Can tabs only be used when indention is fixed? Fixed to what?
> bengt
> ________________________________________
> From: Anthony Ramine []
> Sent: Thursday, 06 February 2014 1:47 PM
> To: Bengt Kleberg
> Cc: erlang-questions
> Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Controversial subject of the day: tabs and spaces for indentation
> We can't use tabs for indentation in Erlang because indentation in Erlang is not fixed.
> I'm now out of this debate because this constant << These are my opinions, not facts. >> is driving me insane.
> --
> Anthony Ramine
> Le 6 févr. 2014 à 13:43, Bengt Kleberg <> a écrit :
>> Greetings,
>> These are my opinions, not facts.
>> It is strange that you hate tabs when it is the tools that are doing it
>> wrong. Please try to not kill the messenger...
>> bengt
>> On Thu, 2014-02-06 at 13:29 +0100, Anthony Ramine wrote:
>>> I hate tabs because tools without settings, and default settings of most historical tools, render tabs with 8 spaces. Thus this is the de facto standard.
>> _______________________________________________
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