Case sensitive and ludicrous statements

Douglas Alan nessus at
Mon Dec 8 22:07:39 CET 2003

"rzed" <Dick.Zantow at> writes:

> Douglas Alan wrote:

>> 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.
>> IfCamelCaseWereAGoodIdeaEvenInACaseSensitiveLanguage,thenPeopleWouldWriteLike>> ThisAllTheTime.
>> |>oug

> There's nothing about case standards that suggests that removing
> spaces between lexical units is a good thing.

Right -- removing spaces is not a good idea, because spaces aid in
readability.  The traditional (i.e. pre-CamelCase) way of separating
words in indentifies was to use dashes or underscores.  As in,


And they probably would, if there weren't able to use spaces.  It's
much more readable than the CamelCase version.

> In any event, it would
> be preferable to
> case-insensitive language.

That's for sure, but I don't think that that idea is on the table.
It's always been common, when not using CamelCase, to use dashes or

> 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.

All the more reason to standardize on dashes or underscores.

> The reason people chose to mix their cases is that one-case code is
> difficult to read.

no it isn't.  it isn't even difficult to read one-case english.


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