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On 24 Jan '06, at 11:58 AM, Ben Sunshine-Hill wrote:

For the specific case of

collaborative Open Source development, where you have a bunch of

programmers each with their own editor setup, and in particular where

those programmers are unwilling or unable to set up their development

environment to deal with tabs the same way, tabs can become a real

problem. In the case of development within a company, it's not really

a big deal.

IMHO it's still problematic inside companies, unless management takes the Orwellian approach of locking down everyone's applications and prefs. At Apple we have the headache of having two source-bases and two cultures (Mac and Unix), one of which used four-character tabs, the other eight-character-tabs-but-four-character-indents. So the Carbon and QuickTime source code uses different tab settings from the kernel and Cocoa source, for example. In newer projects it seems to depend on what culture the various engineers came from; usually there's a bit of a hallway argument at the beginning, and then they agree to set the editor prefs one way or the other. But whenever I browse (or incorporate) source code from another team, there's a 50-50 chance I'll have to muck around with the tabs before it's readable. God only knows what would happen if we started using Python...

ObLua: Yes, something like RubyGems or PEAR for Lua would be awesome. It would make Lua more attractive for people writing desktop or web apps, while leaving the core language small and portable for the embedded and console folks.