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Re: [PATCH] IR 3 Backend: More auto-sorting.

From: Mark Polesky
Subject: Re: [PATCH] IR 3 Backend: More auto-sorting.
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 10:21:23 -0700 (PDT)

Jan Nieuwenhuizen wrote:
> May I ask what editor you are using?  Most probably others can
> help you configure it better, or help you to use it in a way
> that it handles TABS better.  TAB is a bit special but fairly
> frequently used character, and it would help you if you were
> able to edit sources that contain TABs?  Most probably, LilyPond
> won't be the only project that you'll ever work on?

True. I'm using jEdit. I'm sure my problems are solvable. My main
gripes are:

1) Each subsequent level of block nesting receives one space of
   indentation, not two. Eg. I'd prefer the next "(" to be below
   the "e" of "(define foo" not below the "d". I don't know how to
   change this.
2) After working on a file, I'll go back and notice that some
   lines' initial whitespace is <tabs><spaces><tabs><spaces>
   instead of <tabs><spaces>. That's the problem that Neil kept
   finding in my patches. I don't know how they got there.* But I
   guess all I would need to do is run the spaces->tabs command.

* Wait, I might have just figured this one out. Let's say I'm
going to append a long list of lists, vertically. I start with:

(append list-1

I press <enter> and (because of gripe #1) the second line gets one
space (marked "_"). Since I want list-2 aligned below list-1, I'll
press <tab>, type "list-2", press <enter> and again the next line
gets one space. This time, I type "<tab>list-3<enter>" and then
finally the program gets it right. The line after list-3 gets only
a tab and no space. But now the resulting structure is this:

(append list-1
_| tab |list-2
_| tab |list-3
| tab  |list-4
| tab  |list-5
| tab  |list-6)

Okay, so that's an example of how they get there. And you can see
how this can be difficult to spot, and confusing when you find
this long after you've actually written the lines. Though to be
fair, simply calling spaces->tabs on the file fixes this, so maybe
I should quit complaining. But I do wish the algorithm were
smarter. Maybe I'm expecting too much? Maybe there's an easy fix?

> > I hate them.
> Oh, and as an aside: that does not help.  In fact, that may be
> the cause of your troubles.  Things you resist will haunt you
> until you let go :-)

I agree. I guess I hate them because I don't understand them.
Okay, now that I write that down, I see how terrible that sounds!
I promise, that mentality does not pervade my character... I'm
often *intrigued* by things (and people!) that I don't understand.
But sometimes I let non-intuitive things frustrate me.

> I'm asking because this would be a workaround for your problem
> with your editor, or with how you use it but it does not really
> fix it?  The tab problem would "go away" for you, when working
> on LilyPond, you'll encounter the very same problem with any
> project that uses TABs in source code (that's any GNU project,
> the linux kernel, eg).
> Also, I think that for most people that work on LilyPond, this
> change would make working on different projects harder (unless
> maybe they work exclusively for Google ;-)

Okay, I guess I'll back off with the proposal. I had said that I'd
wait for both you and Han-Wen to comment. And I think you've
successfully killed it. (: Unless other developers are keen to
make the change; but I get the sense that most don't care too much
either way. Most of the responses were "I don't mind". Few of the
responses were "I also want this change made."

I do have one gripe remaining, though: at least on my browser,
tabs are sometimes (always?) wrongly rendered as a spaced string
"Â Â Â Â". Here's an example:

No idea what causes this, but it adds an annoying step to copying
old code out of the archives.

Okay Jan, thanks for being so diplomatic!
- Mark

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