[vbox-dev] Double space after a period; needs update to 21st century standards...

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Mon Nov 6 20:15:20 UTC 2017

Hi all,

On 01.11.2017 13:11, Gianfranco Costamagna wrote:
> Hello,
>> <humor>>If you are the developer that has been modifying _really recently_ the source files, mainly the license text (example: >https://www.virtualbox.org/changeset/69279/vbox), so as to introduce two (2) spaces (" ") after a period (".") at the end of a sentence (what was wrong with one?):
>> * You need to get rid of your typewriter and get something more modern, like a computer (the machine that goes "Ping!").

Don't follow. What's the difference? :) Typewriters are also machines
producing "Ping!" as a warning when you get close to the end of the
line. Some decades ago (for entertainment purposes) I've used a fully
mechanical typewriter. After that I had a lot more respect for the
typists of that age and their finger strength.

>> * Please let me be one of the first ones to welcome you to the 21st century!!! ;)
>>From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentence_spacing):
>>> With the introduction of the typewriter in the late 19th century, typists used two spaces between sentences to mimic the style used by traditional typesetters.[5] >While wide sentence spacing was phased out in the printing industry in the mid-20th century, the practice continued on typewriters[6] and later on computers.[7] ... >From around 1950, single sentence spacing became standard in books, magazines and newspapers,[10] and the majority of style guides that use a Latin-derived alphabet as >a language base now prescribe or recommend the use of a single space after the concluding punctuation of a sentence.[11]

It still looks better (in typesetting...), or did anyone complain about
the formatting of the VirtualBox user manual (PDF flavor)?

> I *really* need to refrain from posting a typewriter video of Jerry Lewis here [1].
> :D
> PS: such diffs are really annoying in general, because some distro (e.g. yocto), are hard-coding checksums of licenses, to spot licenses variations, so bumping copyright years inside the license text and changing white-spaces makes our life a little worse :p

The goal of the effort was primarily to unify licenses again (as one day
the guys from the legal department will ask for a quick update about the
licenses in every corner of VirtualBox). Exactly one wording of a
particular license, please. For some odd reason the reference versions
of the licenses ended having this old-fashioned formatting. Probably
because the people who wrote them are... never mind.

Just one illustration the problem: To our big grief we found 3+ flavors
of the MIT license (some with significantly different wording) which all
have been added in the last month or two to files ending up in the Linux
guest additions. If one lets this go on for too long it'll turn into a
giant nightmare (and the previous incarnation of the script doing these
cleanups got so badly out of hand that it wasn't used for years to avoid
the required manual re-work afterwards).

BTW, I've thought many times about eliminating the copyright year
exercise (knowing that it's been entirely useless while VirtualBox
existed, see the Berne Convention). It's such a familiar thing so that
we'd miss it...


> G.
> [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcDQr75GlxI

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