Case-sensitivity: why -- or why not? (was Re: Damnation!)
bwinton at tor.dhs.org
Tue May 23 14:43:37 CEST 2000
On 21 May 2000 05:45:16 GMT, Will Rose wrote:
>Mike Fletcher <mfletch at tpresence.com> wrote:
>I think the problem is not case-sensitive vs. case-insensitive, it's
>case-sensitive/case-preserving vs. case-insensitive/case-preserving.
>I have no problem reading COBOL or early BASIC in monocase (apart
>from the obvious problems of the languages). It's when one token
>can have several different forms that the problems start.
Well, there we go. Perhaps we can have something which is neither
case-sensitive, nor case-insensitive, based on the following principles.
1) Your variables can be named anything you want.
2) Any variable which differs from a preceeding one only by case
generates an error.
It should be _very_ easy to tell which variable generated the error, and
how to fix it, but in order to "encourage" newer programmers to think
more methodically, I feel that the compiler shouldn't make the change
for them. Perhaps the IDE, in beginner mode, would be nicer.
I suppose that's similar to case-sensitive, but I feel it differs in two
main points. Firstly, the error messages would be much nicer to users.
Secondly, people wouldn't get confused by stuff like "abc=aBc", since
the second form would be disallowed.
>It would be nice if the language enforced reasonable default rules,
Something like Java's guidelines?
>I'd suggest enforcing the use of upper or lower case only, rather than
>mixed case. That seems the least bad option; not much more of a
>nuisance than the current whitespace rules.
Speaking as someone who had to use Modula-3, Ugh!
(Modula 3's largest mis-feature, for me at least, was that all keywords
had to be typed in ALL-UPPERCASE. My little finger got really sore
after four months of programming. :P)
Move beyond the C64!
Bill gave us the shift key for a reason, let's use it! ;)
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