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The present article studies the finite Zariski tangent spaces to an affine variety X as linear codes, in order to characterize their typical or exceptional properties by global geometric conditions on X. The discussion concerns the generic minimum distance of a tangent code to X, its lower semi-continuity under a deformation of X, as well as the existence of Zariski tangent spaces to X with exceptional minimum distance. Tangent codes are shown to admit simultaneous decoding. The duals of thearXiv:1409.4583v2 fatcat:l6b4yoc3pjbvxddqpfthrjuzca