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globally setting tab=4 spaces?

it's trivial to set

	:set ts=4

to have VI (vim) use every fourth console column for a tab stop,
but displaying things via LESS or MUTT, everything is still at 8

is there a way to set TABS=4 globally? (badly-behaved programs
may hardwire it into their code, but who, using debian, condones
badly-behaved code? :)

maybe something via readline (~/.inputrc)? an environmental
variable? surely there's a way...

does a brain cell think?

http://sourceforge.net/projects/newbiedoc -- we need your brain!
http://www.dontUthink.com/ -- your brain needs us!

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