HomeTechnologyLinus Torvalds reaffirms preference for tabs over spaces in kernel development.

Linus Torvalds reaffirms preference for tabs over spaces in kernel development.

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In a recent development in the Linux kernel world, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the kernel, responded to a commit that involved changing a tab character with a space. This seemingly small alteration ignited a debate over the tabs versus spaces coding convention, a longstanding issue in programming circles. Torvalds, known for his straightforward and often blunt communication style, addressed the matter by adding hidden tabs to emphasize the importance of parsing tabs correctly.

The commit that sparked this discussion was made by Prasad Pandit, who sought to help Kconfig parsers read a file without error by replacing a tab with a space. Torvalds, in response, inserted hidden tabs to highlight the necessity of being able to parse tabs accurately in the kernel’s coding style. This episode sheds light on the intricacies and nuances of coding standards within the Linux kernel community, where even minor changes can lead to significant discussions and adjustments in coding practices.

Ultimately, Torvalds’ decision to incorporate hidden tabs in the Linux kernel 6.9 release candidate underscores the importance of adhering to established coding conventions. The tabs versus spaces debate, a perennial topic among programmers, continues to generate interest and debate within the coding community. Torvalds’ approach to addressing the commit issue showcases his ongoing commitment to maintaining the integrity and consistency of the Linux kernel’s coding style.

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