Case sensitivity

rzed Dick.Zantow at
Wed Feb 19 21:52:59 CET 2003

Gerrit Holl wrote:
> Gerrit Holl schreef op dinsdag 18 februari om 13:22:14 +0000:
>> sismex01 at schreef op maandag 17 februari om 17:56:56
>> +0000:
>>>> BTW, does someone know why case-sensitivity isn't in
>>>> the list?
>>> Hmmmm... because case sensitivity is a good thing?
>>> Really, case insensitivity is evil.
>> Guido doesn't seem to  think so:
> ...and I found an answer to my question, too:
> Guido van Rossum wrote Wed, 25 Jul 2001 05:29:41 GMT:
>> But never mind, I'm giving up on making *Python* case-insensitive.
>> The hostility of the user community is frightening.
> Personally, I would mind x and X mean the same, but I would
> like if x and X would be forbidden to occur in one namespace.
> When skimming the thread, Guido seems to be almost alone...

There is no evil in case, just strong preferences.

Case insensitivity effectively creates a 52-character alphabet. It
might be less confusing if we only used a 26-character alphabet, and
perhaps even less confusing if we used a 10-character alphabet. Would
that make the language better? I don't think so.

I've used case-insensitive languages and I can tolerate them, but I
don't like them. I also don't like the effect that takes place when
two coders (one of whom insists on writing in lower-case only, and the
other of whom insists on writing in upper-case) work on the same code.

If Py3K proves to be case-insensitive, I'll still probably use it, but
it's an issue that could easily provoke a fork in Python development.
If an active group continued to develop a case-sensitive version, I
might well go with that instead. It makes too much sense to me to use
a convention where a lower (or mixed) case name is the label for an
instance of a class whose name differs only in case ( myClass =
MyClass() ). I'm not alone in using that convention, I know, so it
seems to make sense to others as well.


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