INN indentation

Richard Kettlewell rjk at
Sun Sep 19 13:00:36 UTC 2021

On 19/09/2021 13:02, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> Delurking for a moment...
> On 9/19/21 06:26, Richard Kettlewell wrote:
>> (My personal preference would be to completely ban the tab character 
>> from source code, enforced with build time tests, since the meaning of 
>> the tab character depends on local configuration and it is, 
>> empirically, unrealistic to assume that everyone will share the same 
>> configuration.
> Git offers the ability to check constraints like this on check-in.

That's a good point, although I don't know if you can enable those on 
GitHub in the same way as a local repo. would be the place 
for it if not.

> I agree with the notion of banning tabs characters from from source 
> code. This doesn't of course mean that one doesn't still use the tab key 
> while typing in one's editor, just that one configures it to indent with 
> spaces. See, for example:
> for a thorough discussion of the options in the choice space.
> If, however, such a thing is going to be done, it would mean a lot of 
> whitespace changes to review. Luckily, many modern versions of diff 
> (including that in git) can be configured to ignore whitespace changes 
> when diffing, to make review of such modifications easier. That said, 
> the bigger issue is that large changes like this often break development 
> branches quite badly, though again, the ability to do 
> whitespace-indifferent diffs can help somewhat.

Also good points.

In my view the way to make any change would be to use an agreed script 
(or one-liner). That addresses both issues as follows:

1) Review can be done by the reviewer reviewing the script and then 
running it independently to verify that it produces the same result, 
rather than by attempting to review a giant diff.

2) Long-lived branches, or short-lived branches that happen to overlap 
the change, can be repaired by running the script, effectively carrying 
out the same change in the branch.


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