On 3/5/21 11:08 AM, Clem Cole wrote:

On Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 9:07 PM Will Senn <will.senn@gmail.com> wrote:
Ha. I didn’t intend to reignite a flamewar.
I warned ya ...  🤔

 But, i’m still curious about entab/detab abd expand, etc. Were they oor some of them created to help with this or what?
That's probably best for bwk, Ken, or Doug that go back to pre-UNIX times at BTL.    As was pointed out, bwk had them the SW tools book, so the need/use go back pretty far. 

As someone else pointed out, in the days of printing terminals like the 10 cps horizontal tabs sometimes printed faster if they were a mechanical scheme built into the HW.  On the other hand (and I don't feel like finding/looking up at an ASR 33 manual), my memory is that it did not have tabs stops and the UNIX TTY hander expanded them to spaces so even that was not going to help.  Also as someone else said, in those days we had 132/133 column line printer listing - which again printed >>much<< faster than the 10 cps terminal.   So the 8-space = 1 tab scheme certainly >>might<< make sense since it was enforced by the HW. 

Interesting. I continually forget the hardware that existed back in the day. I vaguely remember using line printers, but then it was laser not too long after that, so it's pretty fuzzy. My coding days came in the dot matrix days, but again laser was not too long after that :). I definitely heart 72 character lines - but prolly cuz of email more than anything else except maybe the adage of, if it won't fit on screen (in a terminal window), it's probably too complicated, which I still think is reasonable.
After this thread, I think I'll probably stick to tabs because they seem to work better across environments.