Case-sensitivity: why -- or why not? (was Re: Damnation!)

Christian Tanzer tanzer at
Tue May 23 01:06:08 EDT 2000

Paul Prescod <paul at> wrote:

> I prefer case sensitivity. But I think that most of the arguments people
> make in favor of it are bunk.

Amen. It's just a matter of taste (or mayby acculturation?).

Having used both case-sensitive and case-insensitive languages, I think
its a non-issue. After a day or two, one just doesn't notice anymore. 

Personally, I prefer case-sensitivity. Judicious use of case increases
the readability of programs. OTOH, misuse of case leads to horrible
> 1. If you spend time with newbies -- especially Windows-trained newbiews
> -- you will note the case sensitivity is a problem.
> 2. Code written in a case insensitive language is roughly as robust and
> readable as that in a case sensitive language.
> The most honest arguments are "case sensitivity feels cleaner" and that
> it "is more popular with existing programmers."

IMHO, the problem starts with changing the case policy midstream. I'd
happily accepted a case-insensitive Python when I started to use it.

I'm not amused to have the language changed after two years of intense
programming in it. It'd be a nightmare to check several hundred Python
modules for errors introduced by such a change. The dynamic nature of
Python doesn't help here, either :-(

Christian Tanzer                                         tanzer at
Glasauergasse 32                                       Tel: +43 1 876 62 36
A-1130 Vienna, Austria                                 Fax: +43 1 877 66 92

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