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

Fred Hebert <>
Mon Feb 10 23:19:17 CET 2014

The best part of your conjecture is that we can forget about tabs
entirely and still have everything working fine.

Sounds like a good deal.


On 02/10, Loïc Hoguin wrote:
> On 02/10/2014 11:01 PM, Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:
> >>- Mixed tabs and spaces present challenges for programmer using
> >>different editors and contributing to projects with varied or poorly
> >>defined white space standards
> >
> >This is somewhat misleadingly phrased.
> >Tabs do this all by themselves.
> >
> >For example, I once spent some time using a programming
> >language where the IDE on Macs insisted that tabs were
> >equivalent to 4 spaces and the Unix command line tools
> >insisted that tabs were and could only be equivalent to
> >8 spaces, AND the language was indentation-sensitive.
> >
> >So remember, it's not "mixed tabs and spaces present
> >challenges", it's "tabs present challenges".
> Tabs are perfectly fine for indentation. You had issues only because you
> were doing both indentation *and* alignment. If you don't align your code,
> it doesn't matter what the tab length is.
> Just like the CAP theorem, I posit the TIA theorem: tabs, indentation,
> alignment, choose two.
> -- 
> Loïc Hoguin
> http://ninenines.eu
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