programming in the
twenty-first century

It's not about technology for its own sake. It's about being able to implement your ideas.

The End is Near for Vertical Tab

Stop the Vertical Tab Madness wasn't based on a long-standing personal peeve. It dawned on me after writing Rethinking Programming Language Tutorials and a follow-up piece that here is this archaic escape sequence ("\v") that no one uses or understands, yet it's mindlessly included in new programming languages and pedantically repeated in tutorials and reference manuals.

One year later, a Google search for vertical tab produces this:

Google search for vertical tab

There's the Wikipedia entry about tab in general, and then there's an essay pointing out the utter uselessness of vertical tab in modern programming.

This is progress!

I will take this opportunity to repeat my plea. If you're a programming language maintainer, please follow the lead taken by Perl and drop support for the vertical tab escape sequence. If you're writing a tutorial, don't even hint that the vertical tab character exists.

Thank you.

permalink July 27, 2011



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I'm James Hague, a recovering programmer who has been designing video games since the 1980s. Programming Without Being Obsessed With Programming and Organizational Skills Beat Algorithmic Wizardry are good starting points. For the older stuff, try the 2012 Retrospective.

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