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Request for input from blind programmers 

Saw a tweet saying that tabs work better than spaces when you're using a braille display

Seems logical, but this information doesn't seem to be coming from a blind person, so I thought I'd check

Which form of indentation is more accessible to you?

(sighted people: don't vote, be patient)

I ended up going with tabs; one of the votes here was in error, and it turns out mozilla's accessibility lead is the one who made the post, and is in fact blind

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote sighted person, so not voting for the obvious reason. Glad you're asking though. I read through a GitHub issue on the prettier project discussing this exact thing. Would be great to know!

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote Like a lot of other a11y stuff, it depends. Some screen readers can say, or make a beep for, indentation levels. Like "indent 1" for four spaces. But others, mostly text console screen readers, can't. Emacspeak can though so that's nice. But yeah usually it doesn't matter *too* much. Others may have other thoughts though.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@devinprater Yeah the post I'm referencing suggested tabs were better for braille displays in particular

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote Yeah, it depends on how the screen reader interprets tabs and sends it to the display.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote It would be great if it were all configurable, but usually, in most screen readers, it's not.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@devinprater I guess, if I'm concerned about fitting within braille displays, it'd be better to aggressively obey the 79 column limit specified by pep8

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote Yes. Although, some displays are 20 characters long, or 40, or 18, or 16, or 80. It's... kinda messy.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote @devinprater Generally speaking sticking to a reasonable line length is good. Even if it's true not all displays are 80 cells, it will make it easier to scroll.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote Even between blind people there's arguments about this. The advantage of a tab is that it can be represented by a single character (a ctrl-i) on the display, so it only eats up one cell.
The disadvantage is that any sort of alignment (for example putting the params at the same column as the ( from a function) becomes impossible to tell, whereas we can with spaces.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote Also thinking a bit more about this, for myself, and while this may depend on braille table configuration, I like how spaces means those cells are completely empty so I can easily get the sense of the indent level scanning with my finger without having to read in detail. Whereas tabs (on my table) are represented with 4 dots and it takes more counting to tell.

re: Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote I believe it was actually coming from a blind person.

If it's the Tweet that's been going around (nitter.net/Rich_Harris/status/), the author was showing a comment from Marco Zehe, an accessibility engineer at Mozilla who was born blind (marcozehe.com/about/). He seems like a good authority on the issue.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote oops, mispressed moving to boost, you can count one less "4 spaces" vote

Request for input from blind programmers 

@clayote I am not a programmer by any means, just someone who reads code sometimes, so pinch of salt and all that. But I know I used to prefer spaces just because the braille table I was using with NVDA (Slovenian) does not recognize tabs properly, leading to the hex codes being displayed instead, which took a up a lot of precious space. However, since installing the Braille Extender add-on, I've been able to adjust the display of tabs as I see fit (namely as two spaces), so I am happy with either.
From what I've heard, tabs are better for visually impaired people who need to enlarge text, as they can be adjusted on their end.
And as far as speech goes, there's obviously no difference either way -- although I haven't messed much with indent reporting features.
As with all things, the most important thing is consistancy.

Request for input from blind programmers 

@talon, I summon thee! Oh great dev, share with us your wisdom! :eyeless_grin:
@clayote

Request for input from blind programmers 

@Mayana @clayote you know, I don't really have any specific preference either way. I used to be firmly in the tabs over spaces camp, but nowadays I feel like it hardly makes a difference. And even if it does to you, you can usually tell your editor of choice to convert back and forth. But for the most part I've been using spaces lately. So...

@clayote from what i heard, tabs are better for accessibility in general because their width can be customized to the user's liking, whereas for spaces it is not?

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