[erlang-questions] Indentation of multiline strings

Carsten Bormann <>
Fri Feb 7 17:21:01 CET 2014

On 07 Feb 2014, at 16:48, Loïc Hoguin <> wrote:

>> most of the Erlang community uses emacs and erlang-mode

Every community goes through this as the members get more diverse.
It’s probably worth to learn from other communities here.

Most developer communities have learned the hard way that any occurrence of a tab character (ASCII HT) in source code is evil.

Emacs can be taught to stop inserting them in a single line:

(setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil)     ; for general good taste

Put this in your .emacs, and life will be so much brighter.
(There are equivalent settings for all other useful source code editors out there, but I only can speak for Emacs.)

Yes, there is all this old code out there with those smelly HT characters.
It will fix itself over the course of a couple decades.
(Don’t try to untabify everything at once.)

Grüße, Carsten

PS.: Yes, I know why those HT characters really are there.
An LA36 dot matrix printing terminal at 300 baud is considerably faster skipping indentation with HT characters in use.
I do think we have outgrown them.

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list