The main reason for using things like <quote> and <acronym> is to separate function from appearance. With tags that describe the function of an entity, even if the appearance is currently just plain text, it can be changed at any time by altering the rules for rendering entities, without having to rewrite the xml code for the whole document. The principle is to use a different tag for any entity that the manual *might sometime* want to render in a special way.
Regarding tabs, the reason for using spaces instead is that there is no fixed rule for converting tabs to spaces, so when tabs are used, the appearance of the document will vary depending of which editor is used to work on it. -- Bill
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