February 26, 2009

Nick Gravgaard’s elastic tabstops are an interesting development in the tabs vs. spaces debate:

Since the days of the character mapped display, programmers have argued over whether tabs or spaces should be used to line up text. … For as long as we continue to define each tabstop as being a multiple of N characters we will never be able to solve this problem satisfactorily. The problem is that we’re using tabs and spaces to format text for aesthetic reasons rather than treating them semantically–tabs are for indenting and aligning text, spaces are for separating keywords.

Via Albert Skye on markdown-discuss. I’m curious to try it out but there doesn’t seem to be an Emacs implementation yet.