[tz] tabs vs spaces

Ian Abbott abbotti at mev.co.uk
Wed May 1 20:13:22 UTC 2013

On 01/05/2013 13:46, Tobias Conradi wrote:
> On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM,  <random832 at fastmail.us> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 1, 2013, at 8:08, Tobias Conradi wrote:
>>> On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM,  <random832 at fastmail.us> wrote:
>>>> Tokens in the timezone files are separated by _any whitespace_.
>>> I don't see the word "token" in ftp://ftp.iana.org/tz/code/Theory
>> It's the plain english meaning of the word.
> http://www.wordreference.com/definition/token
> lists seven English meanings.

Okay, so it's the common meaning of the word when talking about parsers.

>> Any whitespace is the separation in the format that zic accepts (as
>> evidenced by the fact that these lines don't, in fact, break anything),
>> I have no idea why people are trying to impose a tab-separated format on
>> it,
> And because you do not have any idea why, you reject it?

One reason for rejecting it is that it is already documented that the 
fields on a line are separated by any number of white space characters.

>> particularly when they don't have a consistent _number_ of tabs
>> regardless (in northamerica alone, there are 455 lines that begin with a
>> tab, 9 that have extra tabs at the end, and 7 that have two tabs between
>> two fields).
> The variable number - I don't know whether it is not consistent - was
> a topic on the list before, e.g. for zone.tab:
> http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2012-March/017507.html
> I don't know about benefits of having a variable number, but if there
> is none, it is a benefit to have a constant number, e.g. for opening
> files in OpenOffice.

One benefit is that it allows you to line things up neatly, at least if 
diplayed monospace with tab-stops every 8 character columns as the Unix 
god intended.

-=( Ian Abbott @ MEV Ltd.    E-mail: <abbotti at mev.co.uk>        )=-
-=( Tel: +44 (0)161 477 1898   FAX: +44 (0)161 718 3587         )=-

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