W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 2007

Re: controlling tab size

From: James Justin Harrell <herorev@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 08:07:25 -0700 (PDT)
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <991054.15820.qm@web50107.mail.re2.yahoo.com>

--- Harry Maugans <hmaugans@gmail.com> wrote:

> James - Have you considered the "text-indent" property?  Or depending on
> what you're doing, "word-spacing" might be might be appropriate as well.

I don't see how those properties could be used to fake tabs without adding enormous amounts of
otherwise useless markup, and it wouldn't work for textarea unless every line had the same level
of indention. Even if it's possible, it's not semantic, and the indents couldn't be copied and
pasted the way tabs can.

> I don't see much advantage in adding a "tab-size" property when it's so
> seldom used

That sounds like a chicken-and-egg problem to me. As long as tabs are poorly supported, few people
will use them. There is an enormous amount of source code on the web that would benefit greatly
from tabs. At rosettacode.org there are often code examples on the same page using a varying
number of spaces for indention. If tabs were used instead, the indents would be uniform.

> and there are a wide-range of alternatives that would produce a
> near identical outcome.

That's true, but as far as I know there aren't any *good* alternatives. I don't think <span
class="indentionlevel2">...</span> is a good alternative to proper tab support.
Received on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 15:07:35 UTC

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