Tabs vs Spaces

Gary Thornock gthornock at
Sat Nov 4 21:59:48 MST 2006

--- Steve <smorrey at> 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?

Standards vary from one project to another, and from one company
to another.  At work, our standard is tabs; on personal projects,
my standard is two spaces.

The best argument I've seen for tabs is that, given a decent
editor, they can look like whatever number of spaces you prefer.
Thus, I can have my editor show them as two spaces, while my
co-workers have theirs set at four.

I prefer spaces, though, for exactly that reason.  A space is
always a space is always a space, and it's consistent no matter
where you view it.  I don't have to worry that less, a2ps and
Yahoo! Mail (or is it Firefox?) display tabs as 8 spaces,
making for fairly unreadable code.

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