[Pkg-mc-devel] Bug#657992: mc: Default tab / indentation settings are worst possible

Witold Baryluk baryluk at smp.if.uj.edu.pl
Mon Jan 30 16:10:52 UTC 2012

Package: mc
Version: 3:
Severity: normal


mcedit have this interesting "fake half tab" mode, in which single tab key
generates 4 spaces, and second single tab key press generates 4 more space,
which are automagically converted to real tab which is displayed as 8 character

I found that this mode makes after a while real mess in a code base.
This is because after a while, especially when coping and reindenting pieces
of code from other files or editors, you start having mix of space and tabs
used for
indentation, which is extreamally bad for maintaince and readibility reasons.

I personally always change it to not use "fake half tabs", and display tabs as
4 character width
(however leaving current 8 characters is also fully acceptable by me, and
somtimes preferable).
I would like to have this become standard and default setting for mcedit. One
can argue about
to eventually not use tabs (with 2, 4 or 8 or whetever width), but use spaces
(when using
"Fill tabs with spaces" mcedit option), but this bug report is about
consistency. And because mcedit
already uses hard tabs, I just think that logical conslusion is to disable
"fake half tabs" in default/initial

Fake half tabs mode have other undesired properties, like fact that pressing
tab two times,
gives you single hard tab, and then you can remove it using single backspace
press, makeing
it highly assymetric and unreversible.

Whichever you choice, please be consistant and do not mix spaces and real hard
for indentation. This implies disabling "fake half tabs" option by default, as
I indicated.
Simple single change.

I want to raise awerness of this problem, because I find more and more people
use mcedit
with its default settings, especially computer science students, and it drives
me mad
when I see mixed indentation and messed source code due stupid mcedit defaults.
It is not that I cannot change the setting in my own mcedit. But this is
because I understand
the problem, however many beginers doesn, and often doesn't care, makeing mess.
If they doesn't understand or care, please make default settings a sane ones.
(just disable "fake half tabs" option, which of course can be reenabled by


-- System Information:
Debian Release: wheezy/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux 3.2.0-1-686-pae (SMP w/1 CPU core)
Locale: LANG=pl_PL.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=pl_PL.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

Versions of packages mc depends on:
ii  e2fslibs      1.42-1
ii  libc6         2.13-24
ii  libcomerr2    1.42-1
ii  libglib2.0-0  2.30.2-6
ii  libgpm2       1.20.4-4
ii  libslang2     2.2.4-5

Versions of packages mc recommends:
ii  mime-support  3.51-1

Versions of packages mc suggests:
ii  arj                  3.10.22-10
ii  bzip2                1.0.6-1
ii  catdvi               <none>
ii  dbview               <none>
ii  djvulibre-bin        3.5.24-9
ii  evince [pdf-viewer]  3.2.1-1
ii  file                 5.09-2
ii  gv [pdf-viewer]      1:3.7.3-1
ii  imagemagick          8:
ii  links                2.5-1
ii  lynx                 2.8.8dev.9-3
ii  odt2txt              0.4+git20100620-1
ii  perl                 5.14.2-7
ii  python               2.7.2-10
ii  python-boto          <none>
ii  python-tz            2011h-1
ii  unzip                6.0-5
ii  w3m                  0.5.3-5
ii  xpdf [pdf-viewer]    3.03-7
ii  xpdf-reader          3.02-12
ii  zip                  3.0-4

-- no debconf information

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