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RE: [Nano-devel] Tabs To Spaces Patch?

From: Stephan T. Lavavej
Subject: RE: [Nano-devel] Tabs To Spaces Patch?
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 11:15:05 -0700

[David L. Ramsey]
> It slipped through the cracks, apparently.

Ok, I'm glad I pointed it out.

>> Insert Tabs As Spaces
>> Tabify
>> Untabify

> I'm somewhat reluctant to implement these for one reason:
> Inserting tabs as spaces/converting one to the other reminds
> me too much of the problems I had trying to use MS-DOS Editor
> to create makefiles years ago
> in all likelihood, you'd quickly lose track of whether you
> were dealing with tabs or spaces.

Ah, but I want Tabify and Untabify /precisely/ to make working with
Makefiles easier.  If a Makefile fails to work, you just Tabify it, and all
spaces are converted to tabs, and off you go.
Esoteric mixes of tabs and spaces could cause even Tabify to fail (if a user
put a non-full-tab-stop number of spaces before an action line).  I don't
experience this problem in Metapad, though, because Insert Tabs As Spaces
removes the need for me to manually indent things.

If you like, to completely solve your concerns (which I admit are valid),
nano could additionally be patched to regex-highlight spaces and tabs, which
it apparently cannot do right now.  I remember checking, and it couldn't
highlight tabs.  I saw someone else using another editor which highlighted
true tabs with a red background.

If that was implemented, then I think you'd agree that Insert Tabs As
Spaces/Tabify/Untabify would pose no problems.  They are, after all, "you
asked for it, you got it" options - users can always choose /not/ to use
them, and get the existing behavior.

I really hate working with embedded tabs in source files, which is why
Insert Tabs As Spaces and Untabify are desirable; Tabify is for Makefiles,
and the regex tab highlighting would also be for Makefiles.

>> Smart Home

> This certainly seems useful.  As in my other email to the
> list, I've tried implementing it in this patch against
> current CVS:
> patch.txt

Neat!  I'll try it out, and if I encounter problems with it, I'll let you

Will it become a part of Nano 1.3.3?

Stephan T. Lavavej

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