Case sensitive and ludicrous statements

rzed Dick.Zantow at
Mon Dec 8 18:13:07 CET 2003

Douglas Alan wrote:
> David Eppstein <eppstein at> writes:
>> This doesn't make sense to me as an explanation.  Smalltalk didn't
>> reach much of a mass audience until Goldberg's book was published
>> in 1983, and other object-oriented languages (e.g. C++) did not
>> immediately adopt CamelCase (I see none in Stroustroup's 1986 C++
>> book).  In the meantime, CamelCase (with or without the initial
>> capital) was certainly used prior to 1983 in languages such as
>> Pascal.
> Someone else in this thread claimed that CamelCase came to Pascal
> via Apple.  And we know that Apple was lapping at the time from the
> font of Xerox Parc.  This would explain how CamelCase made it from
> Smalltalk to Pascal.
> I used Pascal in the very late '70's and very early '80's, and I
> never saw anyone use CamelCase in it.  And now that David Epstein
> has jogged my memory -- it is indeed in SmallTalk that I first saw
> people using CamelCase, and, I must say, I was rather aghast.
> ThisAllTheTime.
>>> oug

There's nothing about case standards that suggests that removing
spaces between lexical units is a good thing. In any event, it would
be preferable to
case-insensitive language.

The worst-case (as it were) scenario that I can remember happened when
I was working with PL/I on an IBM mainframe, using 3270 terminals.
This was a case-insensitive language, so some people adopted the
conventions others have mentioned (constants in ALL_CAPS, functions
and procedures in camelCase (sometimes) -- but some didn't. Some coded
with the terminal set to *display* all caps (which allowed typing in
lower case without being aware of it), and some didn't. Some of each
group modified the code of programmers from the other group, and when
the terminals displayed case as entered, the result was an unholy
hodgepodge of upper and lower case clumps of letters in the oddest
places imaginable. There was no apparent rhyme or reason to the case
changes, even though everyone was utterly systematic about how they
did their coding.

The reason people chose to mix their cases is that one-case code is
difficult to read. That's why alphabetic languages developed case
conventions in the first place; the cases contain information in


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