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Microsoft Programming

Visual Studio 2010 Forces Tab Indenting 390

An anonymous reader writes "For years, Microsoft has allowed Visual Studio users to define arbitrary tab widths, often to the dismay of those viewing the resultant code in other editors. With VS 2010, it appears that they have taken the next step of forcing tab width to be the same as the indent size in code. Two-space tabs anyone?"
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Visual Studio 2010 Forces Tab Indenting

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  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @01:33AM (#30886388) Journal

    Nice. I'm sure you'ld prefer to have something closer to the Windows core than this, but nice first post. If you're going to advocate it pays to have front billing.

    Now if you're going to drive off course from source code formatting to operating system adoption I can be forgiven for also going wide afield.

    How's that Window Mobile thing working out for you? Have they canned Roz Ho yet for the Danger debacle? Will she have to extrapeneur to a startup and bring back its corpse to prove her loyalty, or will she choose to spend more time with her family? Is September a solid date for WinMo7, and even then how do you expect phone vendors to personalize their experience and ship product for Christmas?

    Frankly I think two team reboots in the last year means you've got nuthin' for Christmas '10, and Christmas '11 is looking like less than even money. That's a long time for iSlates and Android tablets to be walking all over you. Of course I've got it being any good at 30:1 against.

    And what about Ballmer? Is an off 40% decade while Apple grew 7x and Google grew 4x not enough evidence that he's not getting it done? You would figure with all of the leverage and cash he's got he could do better if he was any good. Hell, I think I could do better than that even if I gave half the gross profits away to get some global love. With the money Ballmer has wasted on obvious dead ends over the last decade we could buy each Haitian refugee his own quake-proof palace.

  • by bit01 ( 644603 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @02:59AM (#30886838)

    *should* prefer tabs,

    No they shouldn't. Tab characters are nothing but an ancient and very primitive text compression scheme. They add zero value.

    Tab characters have no defined meaning, are interpreted differently everywhere, usually can't be visually differentiated, break code WYSIWYG, mess up cursor movement, often mess up code alignment, sometimes mess up diff's, sometimes mess up file seeks, are the only ASCII character that requires a complex algorithm to display, interact badly with Unicode and are just a waste of time.

    If you want your code pretty printed with a certain indentation then run it through a pretty printer. Trying to get tabs to do this for you is a hack that should've died years ago.

    The first thing I usually do with any body of code I've been given to maintain is to remove all tabs and trailing spaces and if necessary run it through a pretty printer. I also configure my editor to not to insert tab characters and configure the tab key to indent as appropriate.

    Please, just stop using tab characters. They make code harder to maintain and are a pain.


    Monopolies = Industrial feudalism

  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @05:57AM (#30887726) Journal

    No, the simple solution is to use spaces for indentation, because then they appear the same everywhere automatically, without forcing you to individually reconfigure every single program you ever use.

    Besides, tabs have other purposes. Configuring my shell to display tabs as 2 spaces would break programs that actually use them for their intended purpose, i.e. displaying tables.

  • by Iyonesco ( 1482555 ) on Monday January 25, 2010 @10:23AM (#30889490)

    Well it doesn't matter that nobody commented because they don't actually listen to feedback anyway. Take the example of when they changed the file tab order in VS2005 so that new tabs were added on the right. This change caused all your open file tabs to be pushed along making it impossible to keep track of the location of your file tabs and resulting in users wasting considerable amounts of time looking for files. The person responsible for this was Sara Ford and as you can see from the comments on her blog the response was overwhelmingly negative: []

    Despite all these negative comments both her and Microsoft failed to take any action and no changes were made in the VS2005 service pack or in VS2008. Microsoft simply do not care what users think and and while the may put up the pretence of taking user feedback they always just do whatever they think is best. Sara Ford is a classic example of this and despite all the negative comments on her blog she was totally unable to accept that the change was for the worse. What's most absurd about this situation is that Sara Ford has written a book called "Microsoft Visual Studio Tips: 251 Ways to Improve Your Productivity". Given the she herself is responsible for considerably reducing the productivity of Visual Studio users through her absurd interface design I suspect the only use for this book would be as toilet paper.

    Sara Ford is the personification of everything that is wrong with Microsoft today. When Windows 2000 came out I thought it was extremely good, offering the stability of NT and the software compatibility of 98 while running very fast on the hardware of the day. Since that time Sara Ford Syndrome has set in at Microsoft and the company has been over run with "soft skills" people who have these brilliant ideas to improve usability and in the process have rendered Microsoft's software completely unusable. The user interface changes Windows Vista/7 and Office 2007 have made using the software provably slower, are provably less consistent and are extremely wasteful of desktop space. I'd rather face torture than use Windows 7 or Office 2007 and many others feel the same way but despite the wave of negativity above these new user interface concepts Microsoft continue to push on regardless of their customers' opinions.

    This time however it looks like it's going to cost them since they've split their operating system market into two camps with the vast majority in the XP camp. They're suffering revenue declines since people don't want their newer software, they're losing market share to Apple and they were forced to practically give Windows 7 away with their pre-order discount program to try and generate some positive hype. While 14 year olds may be rushing to Windows 7 with it's cool transparent Windows frames the corporate market is staying well away and have clearly indicated they have no interest in the new software Microsoft is trying to force on the market through their monopoly. By refusing to sell the software customers want and trying to force them to use software they don't it looks like Microsoft's latest monopoly abuse may be what finally brings their monopoly to an end.

  • One true tab.

    It's not like we don't have large enough monitors to accommodate it.

    BTW - I wrote a script to change all the spaces used to indent php code for a popular cms to tabs
    s/ {2,8}/\t/g; # replace anything from 2 to 8 spaces with a tab
    Also joined long lines that had ridiculous double-indent for the second, 3rd, 4th, 20th lines,

    Added a few other optimizations, like removing the stupid "xml-like" closing of entities in html files.

    End result - shrunk it from 21 megs to 2.

    WTF is wrong with using a hard tab? Hard tabs mean less data to read and write, fewer characters to interpret at runtime, etc. The hard tab is not only good for performance, it's environmentally friendly.

Why won't sharks eat lawyers? Professional courtesy.