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Discussion on: 🙏 Please Add .gitattributes To Your Git Repository

thepeoplesbourgeois profile image
Josh

Or how about 1 tab = 12 spaces, on an 80 character wide screen? Yeah, that was a thing.

My inkling is that the developer who had that rule was either not using a lot of tabs, using a screen a few more than 80 characters wide, or had some other environmental rationale for why they had adopted what seems, to you and I, an exorbitant amount of spacing for our specific environments. If they were working in a new environment where such spacing was no longer reasonable, or if there was a better standard of spacing in their own environment, I maintain that you (or the colleague who pointed it out to you) found yourself at the crux of a teaching opportunity as opposed to the heart of a war-invoking, crucial difference in the ways different people see the world we share.

I continue to draw countless lessons from the time I spent working at Pivotal, where the Tracker team established the code-formatting rule:

If a pair commits code that's legitimately unreadable, it is a call to reassess our hiring policies, writ large. If it is unfamiliar, but still readable, it is an opportunity to ask and learn why the pair determined the feature necessitated this style for the code. In this case, whether we take the opportunity to learn its motivations or not, if it resolves the ticket and doesn't break integration tests, leave it alone until you have actual work you need to do in that part of the codebase.

(EDIT: My words seem to have reverberated through the collective subconscious [no they didn't] and land in the latest update to Visual Studio Code. In spite of everything else, at least people can say I'm prett yified.)

It might sound crazy to most of the people here, I know, but in short, the way we stopped having endless arguments about code formatting, was to stop having endless arguments about code formatting.