How is incorrectly encoding tabs as spaces an advantage?
It is not that TAB character (that is equivalent to ascii 0x09) is being encoded as spaces, but think of it as binding the function of "inserting the appropriate number of spaces" to the TAB key.
At least in emacs, the functionality can be bound to any key that one prefers, not necessarily the TAB key.
The advantage is that a single keypress of TAB would indent the line as needed, instead of entering the correct number of multiple space characters.
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