Recursively fixing indentation for a project

An interesting thing happened recently. My team had a discussion about various coding standards in order to come up with company guidelines. We all did a survey indicating our preferences on various questions.

One of the questions which came up was spaces vs tabs.

Now, having done a bunch of work with python in the last decade or so, it has seemed to me that spaces are preferred in the python community by the vast majority of people – projects with correct indentation seem to be few and far between, so I expected this question to be a slam-dunk for spaces.

But it wasn’t. It was split right down the middle. And in the end – tabs won out! :O

Maybe there’s still a fighting chance for doing indentation the right way in the python community?

If you, like me, have been stuck in a codebase with incorrect indentation, I’ve put together the incantation necessary to fix the situation:

find . -name \*.py -exec bash -c 'echo {} && unexpand -t 4 "{}" > "{}-tabs" && mv "{}-tabs" "{}" ' \;

* you may want to include more file extensions by doing e.g: find . -name \*.pr -or -name \*.txt -exec blablabla
* You may want to change the -t 4 to another value if your project doesn’t use 4 spaces for its indentation width

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