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

Richard A. O'Keefe <>
Tue Feb 11 00:00:55 CET 2014

On 11/02/2014, at 11:12 AM, Loïc Hoguin wrote:

> On 02/10/2014 11:01 PM, Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:
>> 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.

To the limited extent that I understand the distinction you are
making between "indentation" and "alignment", I don't understand it.
To me, indentation simply *is* "making some aspect of structure
directly visible by mapping nesting depth to distance from the
left margin".

A 'character' which corresponds to an unpredictable and uncontrollable
amount of white space simply isn't up to the job.  (Yes, if you put an
Emacs mode line into a file, tab width *is* predictable and controllable
for that file, BUT ONLY IN Emacs.)  If you mean that the indentation
will be *logically* correct as far as a parser is concerned, fine.
But it won't be *visually* correct.

By the way, the IDE didn't, for all practical purposes, offer me any
choice in the matter.

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