Use of tab characters in indentation-sensitive code

Kirsten Chevalier krc at
Sat Jan 24 14:26:58 EST 2004

On Sat, Jan 24, 2004 at 12:21:03PM -0800, Sean L. Palmer wrote:
> Why has HTML been out for many many years, and yet programming languages
> still use plain ASCII text exclusively?  Don't we have similar needs as
> other electronic document manipulators?

Because HTML was designed as a language for constructing hypertext documents.
It's (moderately) good at that. It would be terrible for constructing programs
(if you're not convinced, try reading HTML e-mail in a text-based mail reader
sometime).  This is not to say that we *shouldn't* take advantage of technology
going beyond ASCII text for expressing programs, just that HTML would be
entirely the wrong technology.

Kirsten Chevalier * krc at * Often in error, never in doubt
"The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth."--Camus

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