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96652Re: spaces

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  • A. S. Budden
    Oct 2 12:32 AM
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      2008/10/1 Matthew Winn <vim@...>:
      > On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 15:06:27 -0700, "Steve Hall"
      > <digitect@...> wrote:
      >> This always comes up because Vim can not indicate intermediate spaces
      >> with the 'list' option, the obvious feature to do this since it
      >> already indicates tabs, nbsp, eol, and trailing spaces.
      >> Is there a purposeful reason for this?
      > I would imagine that the reason Vim doesn't do this is because there's
      > not really much use for it. Trailing spaces can be made visible, but
      > the visibility of space within a line is implied by the characters
      > surrounding it:
      > This line has spaces in it.
      > Thislinedoesn'thavespacesinit.
      > In applications that use proportional fonts it's occasionally useful
      > to make spaces visible because it can often be difficult to see the
      > difference between one space and two, but with a fixed-width font
      > that's trivial. The only possible use for this feature would be if you
      > needed to know exactly how many spaces were in a long gap, but there
      > are easier ways to find that out than making them visible and counting
      > them by eye.
      > What problem is solved by making spaces within a line visible?

      The only benefit I've ever really gained from having visible spaces is
      in a couple of slightly obstinate UTF8 files which had several
      different characters used as spaces (causing some very confusing
      problems): I ended up opening it up in a different editor that
      highlighted character 32 as a space and none of the other 'space'
      characters. I guess I could have solved this in Vim by working out
      what ALL of the possible 'space-rendered' UTF8 characters were and
      highlighting them (or just s/x/ /), but it seemed easier to do it the
      manual way in this case as I didn't know how many different characters
      there might be.


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