[Edu-sig] On case sensitivity

Gerrit Holl gerrit@nl.linux.org
Fri, 4 Feb 2000 17:05:56 +0100

Guido van Rossum wrote on 949654367:
> Randy explained the importance of user testing, and mentioned that
> only two Python language issues were a problem: (1) case sensitivity
> and (2) integer division.  I believe he said that case sensitivity was
> by far the worst offender, affecting as many as 75% of the students.

I understand. But it would be yet another show stopper for many users,
especially those coming from a Unix environment. I think changing
this will cause a huge quarrel, and maybe even a split of the project.

This question araises:

    * Is teaching imporant enough to change the Python
      interpreter in a way *many* people won't like and
      causing *much* backward-incompatibility?

> For those who still don't like it, trust me that the programming
> environment will enforce case *consistency* -- if you name a function
> or variable "Spam", later references to it as "spam" or "SPAM" will
> quietly be changed to use "Spam".

Where and by who? Will 'SPAM' be changed in 'Spam' while typing in an IDE?

But the change is not backward compatible. I think this idiom is used
very often:

>>> class Foo:
>>>    # some methods
>>> foo = Foo()

if 'foo' would be silently changed too 'Foo', this code would be
equivalent to:

>>> Foo = Foo()

So future references to Foo would refer to the instance instead of the class. 

The keyword 'Class' is also used now and then (in HTMLgen, for example).


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