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…



One Response to “Elastic Tabstops”

  1. Gravatar of Lele Lele
    4. March 2009 at 10:42

    I hope your bold prediction will come true. Using either tabs or spaces to format text is low level. Even entering comments as plain text is low level: why do we have to wrestle with tags and can’t embed images in them? I’m waiting for WYSIWYG comments to become reality.