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bug#20322: 25.0.50; indent-tabs-mode should default to nil

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: bug#20322: 25.0.50; indent-tabs-mode should default to nil
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 22:25:23 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:36.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/36.0

On 04/21/2015 04:25 AM, Stefan Monnier wrote:

That suggests that it might be OK to set indent-tabs-mode to nil in
javascript-mode and in elisp-mode.  Maybe even in C++.  But clearly not
in C nor in Java.

C -- seems so. But I disagree about Java: my run was inconclusive, and the analysis I originally linked to, http://sideeffect.kr/popularconvention/#java (66% spaces), is almost (thought not quite) within the margin of error.

The "\s\s" vs "\s{8}" distinction is also unlikely to matter in that community, because if they do use tabs, it's almost always one tab per indent level. Any Java developers reading this should feel free to contradict me.

Considering that Java is a corporate-driven language, and both Oracle's and Google's Java style guides advise to use spaces, it seems to be the way to go.

Now, provided we agree to default to spaces in the majority of the popular programming languages modes, what's the reasoning not to flip the default? Have I missed some important languages (note that Python and Ruby are already covered), or is using tabs supposed to be beneficial for the text modes?

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