No announcement yet.

Linus Torvalds Injects Tabs To Thwart Kconfig Parsers Not Correctly Handling Them

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #21
    Originally posted by panikal View Post
    Which existing tools did he break? The existing unnamed tools were already broken or they wouldn't be trying to modify the source to fit their parsers weird expectations.
    I don't know or care which tools were broken, but that some tools were knowingly broken without a good reason.

    Anyway I think you misunderstand the definition of fiasco.
    I think what Linus did was worse than what the submitter did, so if what the submitter did was a faux pas, then what Linus did was a fiasco; I was extending your original claim to an illogical conclusion to criticize the original claim. I don't actually think what Linus did was a fiasco because I don't think what the submitter did was a faux pas.

    It might have unintended future consequences, but this is neither out of place for Linus nor embarrassing for him and achieved his goals, namely ensuring that people won't start trying to play the 'tabs vs space' commit-war game and he won't have to parse a thousand diffs of tabs vs space changes himself because someone doesn't want to fix their parser.
    I agree that it could become a problem eventually, but we're talking about a very small number of tabs (I think just 1) in this case. Anyway, if most of the code uses spaces then tabs shouldn't be used just for the sake of consistency.


    • #22
      Originally posted by timrichardson View Post
      troll[ing] people who predicted the kernel code of conduct would be the end of Linux and that Linus no longer calling people idiots would be the end of Linux [...]
      He still calls them idiots, just not with the literal word "idiot". A commit says more than a thousand words or something ;-)


      • #23
        My man


        • #24
          Originally posted by Old Grouch View Post
          I guess you've never used a manual typewriter. Setting up left aligned columns of text without tabs is not a fun exercise. The intention was never to save storage space on devices that hadn't been invented yet. If you set the tab stops too wide, the momentum of the platen hitting the tab stop would physically move the entire typewriter to the left. They were not a 'gimmick'.

          It's worth understanding why the concept of tab stops was retained in the transition from typewriters to word processors, and why the 'word processors' that programmers use to write their code continue to include tab stop functionality.
          I learned on a manual, gloriously funky steampunk machine!

          I'm quite glad tabs were kept. Tabs and monospace font are moderately important in my workflow.


          • #25
            Originally posted by curfew View Post
            This time he's wrong. Tabs have no purpose in anything. It's an ancient gimmick aimed at saving meaningless amounts of storage space and computing resources by inventing a silly character that can substitute multiple somewhat redundant characters, while also including annoying side-effects, and sometimes even bugs as evident. Those days are gone, have been for 30 years already.
            The only "annoying side effects and bugs" are caused by programs made by dumb people who want to force the world to use spaces instead of the character that's been around for 40 years specifically designed for tabulation. Any software that admits that tabs exists and handles them normally functions perfectly fine. Anybody who says tabs "need to go away" might as well stop using brackets and semicolons. Just use Python if you care about whitespace that much.


            • #26
              Good to see the chief penguin molester giving the turkeys a hard time.
              Funny I haven't really thought of tabs (tab chars, HT, '\t') as space compression or substitute but rather as a field separator with new lines the record separator. (Very old school.)
              I suspect Linus' point is more if you cannot write a parser that handles white space what does that say about the rest of your code.
              Tabs obvious from tabulate (table) have a long history going back to very early typewriters for typing tables such as itemised bills etc. Hardware terminals supported user setable tab stops as do terminal emulators like Xterm.


              • #27
                LOL gotta love how he handles things.
                Meanwhile, Team Spaces vs Team Tabs, fight!


                • #28
                  Originally posted by pppkin View Post
                  LOL gotta love how he handles things.
                  Meanwhile, Team Spaces vs Team Tabs, fight!
                  I'm on Team Spaces for something like KConfig. This is not Java or HTML..


                  • #29
                    I don't really see the technical necessity to drag notions that were useful in the days of mechanical typewriter machines all the way into an os kernel section. Honestly, it is bad enough they are still parsing text. Bring your own stone table chisels and punch-cards.

                    What's with software and legacy fetish... it's like walking around with the combined umbilical cords of your past 10 generations...

                    This is a source of massive overhead, bloat, bugs and maintenance cost. It's like... everything has to be done in the most tedious, needlessly laborious way.

                    And to top all of that, this means that only big companies can actually afford to do stuff, squeezing out independent software creatives, forcing them to commit themselves to service the big tech blob, at least till they train their own replacement and code themselves into obsolescence.

                    YEY FOSS, for facilitating that. The "solution" to "evil proprietary" turned out to be its complimentary part, which big tech needed to feed its malignant growth.
                    Last edited by ddriver; 16 April 2024, 01:31 AM.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by c117152 View Post

                      Tabs enable elastic tabstop.
                      That sounds like a highly specialized concept with very strict restrictions on usage then. As it also states in the description. Somewhat out of context. Of course we can invent new special characters if we want, but then we also cannot whine when it's only supported by a handful of tools.