Archive for July 2006


Elastic Tabstops

Elastic Tabstops, found via Joel on Software. Totally makes sense to me, where can I get Visual Studio & Eclipse support?

I have been on the tabs side of the holy war for a while now. I think tabs will win in the end and the reason is simple: tabs are metadata and spaces are formatting. If you want to be a slave to your code keep formatting with spaces. Code written with tabs will be useful to tools. Code indented with spaces needs rules (sometimes complex rules) to go along with it to extract the metadata from the formatting.

And now a bold prediction; in 5 years this debate will die when we stop storing the raw code in text. Code will get a markup format just like everything else so we can have even MORE metadata and dynamically change the way the code is presented to us without changing the code. Regions just don’t cut it. The 80 Columns/Emacs/Vi crowd wont get it, they will still be on about spaces…