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Re: Tabs vs Spaces lets give this a go

by ioannis (Monsignor)
on Oct 08, 2006 at 06:09 UTC ( #576942=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Tabs vs Spaces lets give this a go

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 danger.

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Re^2: Tabs vs Spaces lets give this a go
by EvanCarroll (Chaplain) on Oct 08, 2006 at 10:18 UTC

    "The tab character is not a meta-character." Sure it is, if you think otherwise you are wrong. A tab character, traditionally as GrandFather would say, is meant to relay information about the distance of your text from the left margin. As he also pointed out, to no end, it is often visually portrayed as 8 spaces. While you point out those 32 codes in ASCII, you should review how many of them are in fact meta characters, which by definition are chracters, thats pertain to relaying information about other "characters." You can find them for own reference at, upon reviewing them you will find a great many of them are indeed :"meta characters."

    Evan Carroll

      Actually, no. ASCII provides control characters which may carry meta-information, at least according to the article that you linked, but clearly didn't understand:

      ASCII reserves the first 32 codes (numbers 031 decimal) for control characters: codes originally intended not to carry printable information, but rather to control devices (such as printers) that make use of ASCII, or to provide meta-information

      Any character can carry meta-information. That depends on the context in which it is used. That doesn't make it a meta character.

      Clearly, according to the reference that you give, you are wrong.

      DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
        "The tab character is not a meta-character. It belongs in the group of 'control' characters"

        This is why I responded, and we jointly agree it is either an equivocation, or fallacious.

        BTW GrandFather, I must say, I find you to be the least useful monk in the monastery, and the most discouraging towards involvement. You never seem to appeal to logic, or take things into context. If a control-character CAN BE a meta character, per your own statement than the post I was replying to is wrong, or at the very least doesn't say enough to make a valid point. I additionally NEVER said in my post that a tab wasn't a control character, only that it IS a meta character. So in this you bend what should be an overt straightforward post, and interpret it to better fit your own needs.
        And by better fitting your own needs, I mean interjecting inane blather that almost appears to be witty; all for what, some lame attempt towards acceptance? Please stop responding to my posts, your utter lack of a worthy contribution is irritating.

        Evan Carroll

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