Language change and code breaks

Guido van Rossum guido at
Fri Jul 20 16:39:51 CEST 2001

Mikael Olofsson <mikael at> writes:

> On 19-Jul-2001 Guido van Rossum wrote:
>  >  Bruce Sass <bsass at> writes:
>  >  
>  > > The short of it is... ya got less symbols to work with, therefore it
>  > > is less <something>... why is that good for programmers?
>  >  
>  >  You flunked math, right?  The number of available identifiers is still
>  >  infinite...
> That comment was not necessary. What Bruce must mean is that the average
> length of an identifier will be larger with case insensitiveness than 
> with case sensitiveness. I am sure you understood that.

I apologize for the comment.  But I don't find the argument (that
case-sensitivity reduces the expressivity or the number of available
good identifiers) convincing at all.  Given that in current code,
case-insensitive name clashes are very rare, I don't believe for a
second that the average identifier length will go up.  If you use this
a lot (message = Message() etc.) your code is less readable than it
should be.  It also makes it harder to discuss code in person or over
the phone -- spoken language is not case-preserving, as anyone who has
tried to give someone a URL over the phone knows. :-)

--Guido van Rossum (home page:

More information about the Python-list mailing list