View Poll Results: How do you indent?

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  • Tabs

    19 55.88%
  • 1 space per level

    0 0%
  • 2 or 3 spaces per level

    6 17.65%
  • 4 through 6 spaces per level

    7 20.59%
  • 7+ spaces per level

    2 5.88%

How do you indent: spaces or tabs?

This is a discussion on How do you indent: spaces or tabs? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I use tabs at work. The reason is that some people like a larger visual indent and some people prefer ...

  1. #16
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    I use tabs at work. The reason is that some people like a larger visual indent and some people prefer a smaller one. By using tabs, you can adjust this by changing your editor's tab width.

    For non-work, I indent with 4 spaces. I don't really have a strong feeling about it, but what I do hate are source files that have been mangled up with a mixture of tabs and spaces.
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    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  2. #17
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    I like tabs and always keep my code 80 characters wide at most. Only one problem though: Let's say your company has a rule that code should not be more than 80 characters wide, and you start using tabs that are only 4 characters wide. What happens when someone who likes their tabs to be 8 characters wide opens your file and find that every other line soft wraps or disappears into the marginal?

  3. #18
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    I use tabs at work. The reason is that some people like a larger visual indent and some people prefer a smaller one. By using tabs, you can adjust this by changing your editor's tab width.

    For non-work, I indent with 4 spaces. I don't really have a strong feeling about it, but what I do hate are source files that have been mangled up with a mixture of tabs and spaces.
    So true. I can use either tabs or spaces but it absolutely sucks when someone uses both.

    I personally use tabs as it makes doing find/replace regex a lot easier, plus hitting the tab key is easier than hitting the space bar a bunch of times. Though with a good text editor you don't have to worry so much about that as it takes care of it for ya.

  4. #19
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memloop View Post
    I like tabs and always keep my code 80 characters wide at most. Only one problem though: Let's say your company has a rule that code should not be more than 80 characters wide, and you start using tabs that are only 4 characters wide. What happens when someone who likes their tabs to be 8 characters wide opens your file and find that every other line soft wraps or disappears into the marginal?
    Tell 'em to turn on line wrapping and deal with it.

  5. #20
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >It would allow us to see how everyone slowly trends from their
    >imperfect indentation style, to the correct style of 4 spaces over time

    Heheh.

    >I was just wondering: how do you indent your source code?
    I prefer two spaces, but any even number is comfortable. Odd numbers are unnatural.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  6. #21
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    I use 8 spaces (set my editor to convert tabs to spaces). No particular reason.

  7. #22
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    This pool has become a revelation to me. I was pretty sure until now very few people used ASCII(9) for their code indenting. And I certainly haven't been seeing much of that when looking at code online or when copy pasting it to my editor from many different sources.

    My guess... this pool is fixed!

    tabs are evil.
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  8. #23
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    I most definitely use ASCII(9), a.k.a. '\t'. It's the best way to go to keep things properly aligned, in my opinion. I hate it when I edit code that uses spaces and I have to backspace a million times to delete an indentation instead of simply backspacing once.
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  9. #24
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidP
    I hate it when I edit code that uses spaces and I have to backspace a million times to delete an indentation instead of simply backspacing once.
    Depending on your editor and its configuration, you may only need to backspace once, or to use something like shift + tab.

    Anyway, I note that this thread is about the amount by which one indents, not about whether one indents with space characters or tab characters.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidP View Post
    I most definitely use ASCII(9), a.k.a. '\t'. It's the best way to go to keep things properly aligned, in my opinion. I hate it when I edit code that uses spaces and I have to backspace a million times to delete an indentation instead of simply backspacing once.
    With vi, I use:
    :set tabstop=4
    :set shiftwidth=4
    :set expandtab
    :set softtabstop=4

    With these settings, you don't even know you are using spaces instead of tabs. The tab key, delete key, and formatting behave exactly as you would expect. Plus you get the added benefit of consistent formatting since you are actually using spaces instead of tabs.

    There is probably equivalent settings in other editors, but why would anyone ever want to use a different editor?
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  11. #26
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >I note that this thread is about the amount by which one indents, not
    >about whether one indents with space characters or tab characters.

    The amount is far more interesting. But I use real spaces because the amount is small enough that there's really no difference between tabbing once and spacing twice. If I used an indent of four or more spaces, I would be more inclined to switch to tabs.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    Tell 'em to turn on line wrapping and deal with it.
    I guess this situation should never happen since any company that has a policy that code should be at most 80 characters wide, will most likely also specify how long the indentation width should be.

  13. #28
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ!
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    Me, I like tabs. Usually I think that 4 spaces is an ideal indentation level, and it is the default of Visual Studio, so that is what I use.
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  14. #29
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude
    The amount is far more interesting.
    Aye, but I see that either I missed the ": spaces or tabs", or EVOEx has changed the topic.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    So tabs are evil because of broken editors and programmer misuse? Ignoratio elenchi.

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