The right way to do this is to set your Windows' font size. If you're using Windows 7, just open a "Windows Explorer" window, and enter for its address this: "Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display" (without quotes). You can then get Windows to display fonts larger (say 150%).
There's a reason for 2-space code format policy. Traditionally, it is to produce more compact code pages; having a printout showing wide tabs/indents will mean more paper to carry around for a given amount of code. But that is moot now, since we are "paperless". We need to respect the project owner's preference, given that it is reasonable, when it comes to code formatting. Personally, I think 4-space indents is better for most people (my eyes are keen, so I don't care).
There is no need to be insulting or rude. If you don't brand me a heretic for 3-space indents, I won't brand you one for insisting on ridiculously large margins and font sizes.
Yikes! I must have expressed myself wrong! I didn't mean to be insulting at all!
But seriously, the right way to do it is to increase the Windows font size. I do that all the time with my smaller 21-inch monitors (am too used to 32-inch monitors when at home, good for eyes, won't cause strain which leads to myopia, I believe).
I'm not sure if we're on the same page regarding SVN (and other version-control) repository management. But there really are valid reasons for spaces (not tabs), as Joel had mentioned. These reasons are here to stay because most all of us have learned our lessons, and learned them painfully in most cases. A straightforward way to understand that painful lesson is this: anything that can be interpreted in more ways than one isn't written right. In short, such a thing is called "vague". For eg, a tab can be interpreted as 1-inch or 4-inches, depending on the editor.
Likewise, to further illustrate that "anything that can be interpreted in more ways than one isn't written right", and that also means "vague"... I'll attempt to apologize for any possibility that my message was rude or insulting. As can be seen, my message was possibly vague enough that it is construed as rude by you, though construed as well-meaning by myself. (That is, I meant to make things easier for Joel, as well as assist you in adjusting to a tried-and-true practice). And that's that! My previous message was a perfect example of a message that is just not right, since it can be interpreted in more ways than one!
If you're thinking that my explaining how to use Windows is being condescending, you should know that I just recently learned Windows 7! No, I never went to Vista. I stuck with WinXP and avoided Vista like the plague. I thought you might be as unfamiliar with Windows 7 as I am! Many people avoided Vista like the plague. Plus, I never was much good with Windows.
About 4-space indents, it actually is a norm for Java code. I don't know why. Maybe it has a reason tied to being Object-Oriented, not sure. I only know that most people I work with hate 2-space indents (except hardcore masochistic veteran coders, I think).
As for 3-space indents, I don't know why 2-space and 4-space were the norms in the first place. Maybe 2-space was better than 1-space, and the new exercise to "increase the indent" simply doubled the 2-space (equals 4-space) indent?
pgeerkens wrote:Actually, I believe the real reason for narrow newspaper columns is to disguise that they are written at a grade-5 reading level.
Oh. So that's why grammar errors are the norm there? Hmm. I always thought newspaper folks were rushed for time, and language mistakes were somewhat forgivable. Gosh, my grade-5 English must be bad. Even now, most words in newspapers are beyond me. (I'm not a native English-speaker, by the way).