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

John W. Baxter jwbnews at
Mon May 22 19:47:31 EDT 2000

In article <x7itw6qndn.fsf at>, Dieter Maurer 
<dieter at> wrote:

> >     "I note with some embarrassment that Hypercard, Pascal and LOGO
> >     were designed for novice or infrequent programmers and each was
> >     case insensitive. It may be that Microsoft's Visual Basic 
> >     programming
> >     environment provides the best of both worlds by following the user
> >     to type in a case-insensitive way, while the programming 
> >     environment
> >     applies the proper case to the program text on behalf of the user
> >     whenever possible."
> I just reread the Pascal specification.
> Nothing suggests that Pascal was supposed to be a case insentive
> language.

However, some very commonly used implementations were/are 
case-insensitive.  I suspect Wirth started Pascal when it wasn't much of 
an issue:  what you got from keyboards was upper case.

And I think I remember that not all implementations made
either, although it was common (what the "optional" underscore did to 
8-character name significance varied as well, IIRC).

I tended to write Pascal code in lower case, then run a utility to 
convert the keywords to upper case.  Until I decided I didn't like it 
that way (there are so few keywords one really shouldn't need help 
remembering them, and some things that "feel like" keywords aren't).

   --John (who is unable to comment on Visual Basic)

John W. Baxter   Port Ludlow, WA USA  jwbnews at

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