[Haskell-cafe] Doubting Haskell

Cale Gibbard cgibbard at gmail.com
Tue Mar 4 11:21:15 EST 2008

On 04/03/2008, Luke Palmer <lrpalmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 4:16 AM, Ketil Malde <ketil at malde.org> wrote:
>  > Paul Johnson <paul at cogito.org.uk> writes:
>  >
>  >  > I'm surprised you found the significant whitespace difficult.
>  >
>  >  I wonder if this has something to do with the editor one uses?  I use
>  >  Emacs, and just keep hitting TAB, cycling through possible alignments,
>  >  until things align sensibly.  I haven't really tried, but I can
>  >  imagine lining things up manually would be more painful, especially
>  >  if mixing tabs and spaces.
> Especially if mixing tabs and spaces indeed.  Haskell does the Python
>  thing of assuming that a tab is 8 spaces, which IMO is a mistake.  The
>  sensible thing to do if you have a whitespace-sensitive language that
>  accepts both spaces in tabs is to make them incomparable to each
>  other; i.e.

I honestly think that tab characters occurring anywhere but in a
comment should be considered a lexical error and rejected by the
compiler outright. More problems are caused by trying to continue with
only tabs, or some mixture of tabs and spaces than just getting one's
editor to expand tabs automatically.

 - Cale

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