Tabs vs Spaces

Shane Hathaway shane at
Sat Nov 4 19:45:50 MST 2006

Steve wrote:
> Just got a bit of a critque on my coding style.
> I realize this has been debated ad-nausem, but does anyone know the
> origin of the tabs vs spaces debate?  I mean seems to me hitting TAB a
> single time is alot easier than hitting the space bar multiple times,
> but I also know there are editors that will convert tabs to spaces and
> vice versa.
> Is there maybe a standard set somewhere on this?  Was there ever a 
> standard?

I hope we can nip this in the bud.  This question is undecidable in 
general.  Projects like the Linux kernel demand 100% tabs, while most 
Python projects demand 100% spaces.  So the correct answer depends on 
the project.  Either standard is OK, but combining spaces and tabs 
always seems to lead to broken formatting.  Even Levi's critique to your 
code came out with bad formatting on my email client.

Hopefully you're not going to ask how wide a tab should be.  The 
decidability of that question is, ahem, undecidable. :-)


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