Re: [Fwd: Re: Indention - why spaces?]

Herman Oosthuysen (
Tue, 31 Dec 2002 10:11:47 -0700

I found that if you force people to use indent, by hooking it into the
CVS commit script, they end up writing the code so that it looks exactly
right and indent ends up doing nothing. Somehow people also manage to
learn what not to do, so that indent doesn't screw up!

The trouble with indent is that many combinations of switches causes it
to screw up royally. The documentation is also bad and outright wrong
in some cases. Once you managed to find a workable set of switches, it
is mostly OK. The few glitches are nothing to worry about, but to find
the sweet spot can be tiresome. However, once you got a proper config
file that works for you, all your troubles are over, so it is worth
while experimenting with it a bit.

Larry McVoy wrote:
>>Larry, you can save yourself a lot of trouble, time and money: Create an
>>indent configuration file and tell your people to use it. That is
>>exactly why indent was written many years ago.
> Indent is fine as a first pass, it doesn't handle everything properly.
> If it did, I think I would have figured it out by now. And no, I'm
> not going to go fix indent, I looked at the problems and the fixes
> and decided to pass. Some of them just aren't worth fixing in
> indent.
> Besides, I really don't believe in giving people crutches, I believe
> in teaching them what it is I want and why. That tends to stick.

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