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Using and Porting GNU Fortran

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9.1.2 Tabs

A source line with a TAB character anywhere in it is treated as entirely significant--however long it is--instead of ending in column 72 (for fixed-form source) or 132 (for free-form source). This also is different from f2c, which encodes tabs as `\t' (the ASCII TAB character) inside character and Hollerith constants, but nevertheless seems to treat the column position as if it had been affected by the canonical tab positioning.

g77 effectively translates tabs to the appropriate number of spaces (a la the default for the UNIX expand command) before doing any other processing, other than (currently) noting whether a tab was found on a line and using this information to decide how to interpret the length of the line and continued constants.

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