What if Ruby adopt Python style indentation?

Python’s most famous feature

One of the famous features in Python is its semantic indentation. Here’s a code snippet from Python official documentation:

There are no “end”s, no curly brackets. Python uses indentations to group statements, which is one of the features I like Python over Ruby. Here’s the identical code written in Ruby:

If Ruby adopt Python style indentation, the Ruby version can save 4 lines, which will become something like this:

Curly Brackets are less noticeable

Indentations are used to improve readability in the source code. But since then, curly brackets remain exist for compilers. Programmers don’t really pay attention to them when reading codes. Have you ever tried fixing the missing closing brackets? Your code looks completely fine when you scan through the structure, but that missing bracket screw the compilation.

Repeat yourself with that indentation + curly brackets

By using indentation and curly brackets together, we are violating the DRY rule – Don’t repeat yourself. In order to follow the rule, you need to pick either indentation or curly brackets. I would pick indentation over curly brackets because of the visual benefit.

We interprete the code by indentation

The the famous “if-else” pitfall of C code, which seems to be fine at first sight. But it turns out that in case Country A is friendly, when president has some time, he will make a phone call to Country A. If president doesn’t have time, he will bomb Country A.

Turns out organising blocks by indentation can solve this problem. Since organising blocks by indentation is more intuitive, less faults will be made by programmers even if he is somehow careless or less familiar with the language syntax.

Conclusion

Why write more if you can write less? Some programmers argue this limits the way they can organise the code, but I would say it gives more benefit than its cost. After all, all programming languages limit the coder in some way. Another language which follows the Python indentation syntax is F#, which is developed by Microsoft.  I predict more programming languages will adopt this syntax in the future.

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