Re: elastic tabstops implemented for GTK

2007/8/30, Nick Gravgaard <me nickgravgaard com>:
> On 30/08/2007, Kalle Vahlman <kalle vahlman gmail com> wrote:
> > 2007/8/29, Nick Gravgaard <me nickgravgaard com>:
> > [snip]
> > > But wouldn't it be nice to have the choice over how big your
> > > indentation is without forcing it on anyone else?
> >
> > OTOH you are forcing anyone wishing to look at your code to have a
> > suitable viewer. If you think about how source code is viewed these
> > days, the range of viewers does not include only editors. I see code
> > in emails, different web applications, on the command line (grep,
> > diff, etc) and so on.
> True, but code often looks wrong on different viewers anyway.

That's not a good reason for anything...

> I've
> seen code displayed using proportional fonts in web browsers/email
> clients which screws up space and tab aligning, and then there's the
> problem where Unix terminals assume tabs to be 8 characters wide, but
> Windows assumes 4.

Spaces are more robust as they only have the propotional/fixed-width
problem, which is visually less distinct than jumping between tab
stops or different length of tab stops.

> > > If you don't want to save files with tabs in and be able to manipulate
> > > your text outside the editor etc you can always just use elastic
> > > tabstops in editors that support them and make sure they export files
> > > using spaces.
> >
> > In effect, this is the only realistic way to work in my opinion. But
> > then this cool notion becomes simply yet another indentation technique
> > for writing code (which doesn't work over saves), not the silver
> > bullet it is meant to be...
> IMO it's still better than anything I've seen in exisiting editors...

Sure it is, but if you market it as "The solution to the
tabs-versus-spaces issue", you have to provide more than just a new
way of interpeting tabs when you write code. Since the different
viewers showing different levels of broken alignment is exactly the
tabs-versus-spaces issue, and in these Web2.0 days it's no longer an
issue of preference and/or editors, it's about how everybody sees the

So, to my eye, the two solutions are:

1) patch the world to understand elastic tabstops
2) use spaces and bare with the propotional/fixed-width issue

Whatever each individual's editor does before outputting the code is
irrelevant, but the end result should be something that is

*If* people care enough about seing relatively sensible code listings
everywhere. I doubt people do though, and there will be many adopters
for this fancy indentation system :)

Kalle Vahlman, zuh iki fi
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