[TUHS] tabs vs spaces - entab, detab

Steffen Nurpmeso steffen at sdaoden.eu
Sun Mar 7 09:21:37 AEST 2021

Greg A. Woods wrote in
 <m1lIG8S-0036urC at more.local>:
 |At Fri, 5 Mar 2021 11:44:49 -0500, M Douglas McIlroy <m.douglas.mcilroy@\
 |dartmouth.edu> wrote:
 |Subject: [TUHS] tabs vs spaces - entab, detab
 |>> The reason to use tab was file size for one
 |> This is urban legend. The percentage of 512-byte blocks that
 |> tabs would save was never significant.
 |Using tabs to save space was definitely more than an urban legend for
 |some of us!  (but there is a caveat below)

That, for example if you have to use 1.44MB floppies for
incremental backups and the project is larger.

But i admit it became fashion of the day at some time.
I had times where functions were separated by two newlines,
modules ((anonymous) namespaces) by three, i had long separators
like ^#+$ for shell/perl and '// -+ //' for C++ etc etc, where the
number backing "+" was dependent upon what it separated.  What
a tremendous waste of space, and was it any clearer.

I am not such a pragmatic person when doing creative work,
especially not when starting from a white paper, well i know it is
hopeless, and did so for a long time indeed, but over and over
again you find yourself longing for the absolute clarity and
perfection (well, surely in a frisky and at the same time
blinkered way), and having a style pigeon-hole belongs to this.
It just grew like that.  There are more important things however,
and i learned (but do not adhere to the conclusion) that what is
really needed is a comment here and there, because if you have to
touch code, then you need to read and at best understand it
anyhow, and then all the above is just noise that is skipped over.

|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

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