Per-Project Whitespace with EditorConfig

By  on  

Standards can change from project to project.  Single quotes or double quotes?  MooTools, Dojo, or micro-frameworks?  And then the question that has started wars:  spaces or tabs?  I'm a tab guy myself but the team that I work on has set a two-space standard.  It's not my preference but it was a team decision so I have to drink the Kool-Aid.  I still want to use my typical tab whitespace on other projects but just this one project should use spaces.  I thought this would be a nightmare but enter EditorConfig, a utility with plugins for several text editors which allows developers to specify settings per project.

Start by creating a .editorconfig and placing it at the root of the project which you'd like to create whitespace for:

touch .editorconfig

Once the file is in place, it's up to you to set the spacing settings per file type as you wish:

# EditorConfig is awesome: http://EditorConfig.org

# top-most EditorConfig file
root = true

# Unix-style newlines with a newline ending every file
[*]
end_of_line = lf
insert_final_newline = true

# 4 space indentation
[*.py]
indent_style = space
indent_size = 4

# Tab indentation (no size specified)
[*.js]
indent_style = tab

# Indentation override for all JS under lib directory
[lib/**.js]
indent_style = space
indent_size = 2

So not only can you set spacing per project but you can set them per file too.  I've found EditorConfig to be a lifesaver as I can code per usual without having to think about spaces or tabs.  EditorConfig made my day!

Recent Features

  • By
    Creating Scrolling Parallax Effects with CSS

    Introduction For quite a long time now websites with the so called "parallax" effect have been really popular. In case you have not heard of this effect, it basically includes different layers of images that are moving in different directions or with different speed. This leads to a...

  • By
    Responsive and Infinitely Scalable JS Animations

    Back in late 2012 it was not easy to find open source projects using requestAnimationFrame() - this is the hook that allows Javascript code to synchronize with a web browser's native paint loop. Animations using this method can run at 60 fps and deliver fantastic...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Animated AJAX Record Deletion Using jQuery

    I'm a huge fan of WordPress' method of individual article deletion. You click the delete link, the menu item animates red, and the item disappears. Here's how to achieve that functionality with jQuery JavaScript. The PHP - Content & Header The following snippet goes at the...

  • By
    Add Controls to the PHP Calendar

    I showed you how to create a PHP calendar last week. The post was very popular so I wanted to follow it up with another post about how you can add controls to the calendar. After all, you don't want your...

Discussion

  1. MaxArt

    In Notepad++ you can change the indent behaviour clicking on Preferences / Tab Settings and defining the tab width and characters as a general behaviour or on a per language basis.

    • RC

      Yeah, nearly every editor and IDE worth its salt can do this.

      But you’re missing the point. EditorConfig is most useful in a COLLABORATIVE development project, where you have a multitude of devs and a multitude of IDEs/editors. EditorConfig attempts to establish a common standard for IDE/editors to enforce whitespace rules.

  2. I recently started a repo of my editorconfig, lint config, and sublime text user preferences, this way I always have them and can keep several machines in sync.

    https://github.com/PeteSchuster/dot-config-files

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!