bugmake - Bugs: bug #39943, Add an alternative parsing mode...


bug #39943: Add an alternative parsing mode that regards space and tab as identical tokens

Submitted by:  Byron Hawkins <byronhawkins>
Submitted on:  Wed 04 Sep 2013 08:09:21 PM UTC  
Severity: 3 - NormalItem Group: Enhancement
Status: NonePrivacy: Public
Assigned to: NoneOpen/Closed: Open
Component Version: NoneOperating System: Any
Fixed Release: NoneTriage Status: None

Add a New Comment(Rich Markup)

You are not logged in

Please log in, so followups can be emailed to you.


Wed 04 Sep 2013 08:42:04 PM UTC, comment #1:

IMO any editor which automatically replaces TABs with spaces should never be considered to be a useful programming tool. But YMMV of course.

Please see the NEWS file for the current release (GNU make 3.82):

Regarding creating a new mode that allows both TAB characters and space characters: that would break so many makefiles that I don't believe it would be used enough to warrant the complications it would introduce.

As for your suggestion regarding the term "hard tab", when I wrote that message I'd never heard this term. I'm still not sure why the prefix "hard" is added; what is being distinguished by this? A TAB is a TAB, and there's only one TAB character. There's no such thing as a "soft tab": I don't really know what that means. However, I'm willing to change the message text if people think it will be significantly clearer.

Paul D. Smith <psmith>
Project Administrator
Wed 04 Sep 2013 08:09:21 PM UTC, original submission:

Many popular text editors replace tabs with space automatically. This makes it a tremendous hassle to create makefiles that differentiate between the tab and space characters. Please consider adding a new parsing mode which regards space and tab as identical, and introduce a new (visible) token to the syntax for delimiting rules and commands.

At the very least, it is effectively cruel to print an error message about the lack of hard tabs without using the exact text string "hard tab". Tell the user that the error is all about a "hard tab" missing.

Byron Hawkins <byronhawkins>


(Note: upload size limit is set to 16384 kB, after insertion of the required escape characters.)

Attach File(s):

No files currently attached


Depends on the following items: None found

Items that depend on this one: None found


Carbon-Copy List
  • -unavailable- added by psmith (Posted a comment)
  • -unavailable- added by byronhawkins (Submitted the item)

    Do you think this task is very important?
    If so, you can click here to add your encouragement to it.
    This task has 0 encouragements so far.

    Only logged-in users can vote.


    Please enter the title of George Orwell's famous dystopian book (it's a date):



    No Changes Have Been Made to This Item

    Back to the top

    Powered by Savane 3.1-cleanup1