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spacing of ls output in emacs shell

From: Strozzi, David J.
Subject: spacing of ls output in emacs shell
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 08:43:26 -0800
User-agent: Microsoft-MacOutlook/

Hi folks,

I like running shells in emacs (overheard at MIT, regarding OSes: linux is
nice, but I prefer emacs).  I am using emacs 23.2.1, on a linux server,
viewed over X11 on a mac.  I usually use M-x shell, not M-x term (since
the latter does not play well with emacs commands like C-x, M-x).  The
output of ls is not spaced into straight columns.  Well, when I select the
text and paste it into this email, it is (at least on my screen):

> ls
3wave  emacs-23.2  lsp91  papers        tests
Filament eos-dt.i  manuals plasma        tmp
Fis  epws   math  pres        tpd
Gist  estopscat  matlab  profiles_and_gains.i  trapper
Give  fastig   matlab-emacs proposals       vgroup.i
IDLWorkspace71 filelist.txt  matlab7.11 psc        vlasbk
LspJobLog  matlab78       workspace
Old  foobar.txt  mpreorg.i reports        xbamp
Take  gausstest.i  mpreorg_drv.i research       ydjs
Zumahydra gv-notes.txt  mydata  resist.i       yorick
barcode.txt h5-yorick-0.8.0  newlip  runint_dndta.i       yorick-cvs
bashrc-ext h5yor-notes.txt  nif  sap        yutils-1.4.0
benisti  hydra   notes_lc seas        yutils-1.5.0
bin  hydrhsp   numerics sigvdt.i       zfunc_test
bookmarks.html juttner   oldlsp  slurm-289901.out      zohar
computers kemp   openmp  spears        zuma
deplete  kil.   oreports squ_rpp
download lib   p4.cfg  srs
ellis  lpildrd   p4.command startup.m
elvis  lsp25   palastro svnrepos

The reason is that there are tabs, and my email client interprets the tabs
as consisting of eight spaces, while in the original emacs window it is

So this gets into the morass of tab spacing.  I have tabs setup, perhaps
not perfectly, but the way I like them for editing files.  So "just make
all tabs all the time do 8 spaces" is not the answer I'd like.

Any advice?  Can I tell emacs "tab = 8 spaces for shells?"  Or tell it not
to use tabs but spaces in shells?

Thanks for your help,
David Strozzi

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