[Haskell-cafe] question about indentation conventions

Darren Grant dedgrant at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 02:41:46 CEST 2013

Hi Richard,

This page helped me when starting out:
On 2013-06-30 4:55 PM, "Richard Cobbe" <cobbe at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:

> I hope I'm not starting a holy war with this, but I'm curious about an
> aspect of coding style that's been bugging me for a while, and I'm not
> finding much discussion of this question on the web or in the mailing list
> archives.
> Two questions:
> 1) Are there wide-spread conventions in the Haskell community for how to
> indent an application expression that's split across multiple lines?  For
> how to indent an expression that uses infix operators?  Or does everyone
> pretty much do their own thing?
> 2) If there is such a convention, how do I make Emacs's haskell-mode do it?
> By default, in most cases Emacs's haskell-mode with
> turn-on-haskell-indentation does
>     function firstArgument
>     (second argument)
>     thirdArgument
> Personally, I'd prefer some indentation on the 2nd and 3rd lines to
> indicate that they're continuing an expression begun on a previous line.
> I can use parens around the entire application to force haskell-mode to
> indent subsequent lines (and of course this is necessary in some contexts,
> like a 'do' expression), but haskell-mode only indents that by a single
> space:
>     do (function firstArgument
>         (second argument)
>         thirdArgument)
>        nextAction
> I'd find a larger indent---even just 2 spaces---to be more readable.
> My inclination to indent the second and following lines of a multi-line
> application expression is informed by my long experience in Scheme, Racket,
> and Lisp, whose S-expressions lend themselves to fairly straightforward
> (and automatable!) indentation conventions.  If the Haskell community does
> things differently, though, I'm happy to adapt.
> This is the sort of thing that one picks up from the community, as in other
> languages.  I don't, however, have a whole lot of contact with that
> community outside this list -- thus the post, despite the dangers inherent
> in discussing subjective stuff like this that people often feel strongly
> about.
> Thanks,
> Richard
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