Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why go boing ?

In the canon of coders' religious wars tab-vs-spaces is one of the greats. Up there with brace-style as an enduring indicator of what coders like to do when there's no code to be written.

So it might be good to see an actual advance in the debate: "elastic tabstops" as proposed by Nick Gravgaard.

Of course this is a guarded welcome, becuase tabs-vs-spaces is a great ol' time-waster, and braces aren't half as interesting (especially since I changed to belts).

Unfortunately Nick reminds me of Arthur Koestler who, in the end of an epic analysis of human pyschology, suggested dumping brain-altering chemicals into drinking water, to fix it. Similarly Nick's solution needs new editors and "code written in this style may be slightly misaligned in older text editors". (Slightly ?)

So - forget about using vi, emacs, Eclipse, ... for code-editing then. But, ar an lámh eile, maybe it is time we did stop using text-editors for code anyway. because "forcing programs into text form causes lots of problems that you might not even be aware of".

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