Tabs -vs- Spaces: Tabs should have won.




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Summary
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As we all know python allows us to use either tabs or spaces but NEVER
both in the same source file. And as we also know the python style
guide says we should use four spaces and refrain from using tabs at
all costs. Up until now i have blindly followed this pronouncement
form our leader.

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Realization: A splinter in my mind
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However lately i have begun to question this convention. Not only the
idea of spaces over tabs, but also the idea of allowing both types of
indention in a language simultaneously. The latter of which greatly
reflects Guido's lack to remove multiplicity from this language. I
believe he included both due more to emotion than logic.

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Evidence: Tabs ARE superior!
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I have begun to believe that tabs are far more superior to spaces, and
there are many undeniable facts that support this belief that "tabs
only" was the correct and ONLY choice:

1) Using only one indention token removes any chance of user error.

Unlike many syntactical errors, indention is invisible in a text/
source editor. Sure there are tools that can make indention visible,
however why do we constantly create asinine rules that force us to use
complicated tools when we could have choose tabs and none of this
would have been a problem? Another big issue with allowing two types
(and not allowing them to be mixed) is the huge confusion that
beginner get when they see a "inconsistent indentation" error. They
had no idea that creating a file with notepad and then editing it with
IDLE would case the source to blow up. We should have never had these
problems arise because we should have never allowed spaces for
indention.

2) Tabs create unity in the source code base.

When we use "tabs only" we create a code base that promotes unity and
not conformity. There shall no longer be "inconsistent indentation
errors" due to mixing tabs and spaces. Also we can remove multiplicity
from the compiler. The compiler no loger has to consider BOTH tabs AND
spaces as valid indention tokens, only tabs. The logic would be much
simpler.

3) Tabs create freedom in the form of user controlled indention.

Indention width should be a choice of the reader NOT the author. We
should never "code in" indention width; but that is EXACTLY what we
are doing with spaces! No, the reader should be able to choose the
indention width without ANY formatting required or without any
collateral damage to the source code. Tabs offer freedom, spaces offer
oppression.

4) Tabs remove the need for complicated indention/detention tools.

With "tabs only" you no longer need those fancy tools to indent or de-
dent after a tab or backspace key-press. THAT IS EXACTLY WHY TABS
WHERE INVENTED! Why are we not using this technology? Why are we
continuing to promote spaces when tabs are obviously more superior?

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Conclusion: There IS freedom in unity!
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When you can create a mandate that brings both UNITY and FREEDOM to
your community you know you made the correct choice! Tabs are both
unity and freedom at the same time because tabs UNIFY the code base
whist giving FREEDOM to view source in any indentation with WITHOUT
extra formatting required.

Source code must follow rules. And source code authors must follow
these rule. Anyone who claims that syntactical rules in a programming
language are evil because these rules "somehow" quell freedom is just
a complete nut job. Programming languages MUST have rules or
ambiguities will run a muck and bring the entire system crashing down.

Some would argue that allowing both tabs and spaces is freedom,
however this line of reasoning is flawed. Allowing a programmer to
format his code in way he pleases is bad, bad, bad. As a member of a
community we must all format our code in the same manner. We are each
responsible for the community as a whole and as such much follow some
rules.

Would it be wise for folks to choose which side of the road to drive
on?
Would it be wise for folks to choose which red lights to stop at (or
not stop at)?
Would it be wise to allow people to kill other people in the name of
freedom?

If we continue along this flawed line of reasoning then one could
extrapolate just about any excuse for any action under the guise of
personal freedom. These people are selfish by nature and they don't
care about their own responsibilities to a greater community. They
exist only to please themselves. We (as a community) should not care
what they think until they decide to stop being selfish.

We should never create languages that cater to the selfish. Our rules
must take in consideration the "good of the many", and NEVER "the good
of the few". We should ALWAYS give our community freedoms; but only
the freedoms that foster unity! Tabs meet both criteria and as such
should be Pythons only token for indention formatting.

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