Note: This is taken from the Chicken Wiki, where a more recent version could be available.


There is no denying that ASCII tab characters are an archaic abomination [JWZ]. Savvy Emacs users might have noticed that the [Quack] option variable quack-tabs-are-evil-p defaults to true. Note also that quack-tidy gladly slays any tab in sight, laughing maniacally as only the truly righteous can. Sadly, not all strings in the universe are Scheme code subject to the wrath of Quack, therefore...

This very simple Scheme library provides procedures for expanding tab characters. It was written early one Sunday morning to complement the plethora of PLT-specific solutions being offered to the problem on the nascent Schematics cookbook Wiki. Its source code is a bit verbose, but it tries not to generate much garbage, it supports non-zero starting columns, and it should work with any R5RS Scheme implementation that supports [SRFI-6]. (A future edition of this continuing epic might remove the dependency on SRFI-6, should we bother to benchmark and find that some implementations are not as efficient as we'd like.)

At time of this writing, the author notes with no small amount of interest that the Internet domain name @code{} has not yet been taken.


Three procedures are provided. Most applications will use the simple tabexpand.

[procedure] (tabexpand/stop/col str stop col)
[procedure] (tabexpand/stop     str stop)
[procedure] (tabexpand          str)

Yields a new string that is equivalent to string str except that any ASCII tab characters have been expanded to space characters. stop, a positive integer defaulting to 8, is used as the tabstop. col, a nonnegative integer defaulting to 0, is the context starting column for the beginning of the string, with respect to which tabs positions should be calculated. All characters other than tab are treated as if they were normal printable characters with no special effect on the column.


Neil W. van Dyke


(c)2004 Neil W. Van Dyke.  This program is Free
Software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the
GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any
later version.  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be
useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of
merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.  See the GNU Lesser
General Public License [LGPL] for more details.

Version History

fixed bug in setup script
initial release