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. 

Space was always an issue in the old days, but frankly; again I have no memory of thinking -- "better use tabs as it will save space in my file" or that it would process faster since few characters had to be read/written.  I do remember the programs existing, but don't have any memories of ever using them. 

In my own case, I had been taught the golden rule of "use the style that is already in use" - which I admit, was a hard lesson when I was young I admit.   But since I was working in those says supporting (assembler) code that existed, and I was very much the padawan to many great masters, I was trying to learn.   At some point, I started to work with HLLS on the PDP-10, as opposed to IBM BAL and I started to 

But when I started to learn C, it was strange, since it forced me to accept 'one true bracing style' of the kernel/K&R even if it was different from what we had been using with BLISS/SAIL/Algol/Pascal from whence I just come.  But like many people that have finished re-education camps, came to prefer and anything else ugly and difficult to read.