Re: Automated indentation

Chris Hoffmann (
Wed, 11 May 94 16:43:20 EDT

Except that with C you don't have to indent. You could enter:

if (x)
x = 2;
x = 3;

Sure is ugly, but if you're doing quick and dirty prototyping/querying
and you don't have a tool that has any auto-indent, it gets the job

Believe it or not, actually I'm the only one I know of at my company
that actually liked using indentation for syntax when first shown
Python. And I still like it, especially when reading programs (as long
as they don't decrease nesting by more than one indentation level at a
time!). I certainly don't want to get rid of this feature, even if
backward compatability weren't an issue.

But I do have several concerns with not having the option to use
delimiters and not require indentation to be meaningful. This text
entry problem is just one of them.

Most importantly, as I've said before, this indentation feature was
literally the first complaint about the language from everyone else
here. [Lest I sound too negative I'll mention that it was sometimes
the only complaint amidst the praises. Personally, I now bow down to
the prophet Guido at least once a week (is that often enough?)]

Maybe our site is totally out-of-whack with the rest of the universe,
but the typical reaction here makes me concerned about how this
feature may affect the spread of Python. People seem to like having
delimiters and don't like having required indentation.

>> The solution is to design a tool to match the task, not to change the
>> task to match the tools you happen to have lying around!

I guess I don't like the task requiring me to design new tools when it
doesn't really have to, and there seem to be (to me at least) other
reasons for making the change as well.


Chris Hoffmann VI Corporation 47 Pleasant St. Northampton MA 01060