Case sensitivity

Erik Max Francis max at
Sat Feb 22 02:30:31 CET 2003

Alex Martelli wrote:

> Case sensitivity, while still small, is worse, because it
> recurs EVERY time you use a large module for which you have
> not fully memorized every case choice -- it keeps hurting your
> productivity because you DO have to memorize, or check, every
> such detail, forever.

I'm still not really buying this argument.  When you're about to use
some function/class/object in a module somewhere, you need to remember
its name -- case sensitivity or identifier style naming conventions
(LikeThis or likeThis or like_this) aside.

Is the overhead between 1. remembering the thing's name and 2.
remembering the way it's spelled taking into account conventions and
case _all_ that significant?  I have a hard time believing that it is.

Beginners are not stupid, they merely lack knowledge.  A programming
language which has at least one of its goals being ease of use for
beginning programmers should minimize complexity when there is no overt
need for it (or, at least, the exposure to that complexity should be
minimized to only those who need it).  But that doesn't mean that the
beginners can get something for nothing.  Not everything in a language
can be 100% obvious or instantly intuitive.  The beginners lack
knowledge; they _still_ need to _learn_.  The idea is simply to make
that learning process easier.

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
 __ San Jose, CA, USA / 37 20 N 121 53 W / &tSftDotIotE
/  \ There are defeats more triumphant than victories.
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    Python chess module /
 A chess game adjudicator in Python.

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