The tab character is not a meta-character. It
belongs in the group of 'control' characters, the first 32 codes
as ASCII, whose historical mission was to control the
the output device; as such, the meaning of each control
character varies for each device -- for example,
a printer will advance the head horizontally, but
another device might do something different.
As for code, I agree with you philosophically; although,
the is always the danger when code is passed around
for the tab character to transform
into either a single space, or into 8-spaces. Spaces are
never candidates for transformation, but tabs travel with
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