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Discussion on: Who Killed The Tab?

merri profile image
Vesa Piittinen • Edited

One guy claimed that Sun Java source was written in 8 tabs and was not very readable if you tried to look at it in 4 tabs.

But this is also interesting about Linux kernel docs:

Tabs are 8 characters, and thus indentations are also 8 characters. There are heretic movements that try to make indentations 4 (or even 2!) characters deep, and that is akin to trying to define the value of PI to be 3.

So can we blame Linus Torvalds? It would be nice to get some anger back from him.

But interesting in general that there actually were 8-space indents in the 90's.

I also wonder if the 8-space tabs could have come from spreadsheet editors of the old age. Weren't the cells 8 characters by default?

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bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

Ooh, I like that link. Specifically, I like the idea of using longer tab lengths to highlight potential code smells. Despite my long experience, it was only about, ohh, 4-5 years ago when I really started aggressively attacking my own nested code blocks. Originally, I didn't see much problem with them. But I've now come over to the camp that deeperNesting === codeThatShouldProbablyBeRefactored.

As for the spreadsheet observation - yeah... I think that may be one of the original culprits. I know I've heard that before.