Case insensitivity

Alex Martelli aleax at
Sat Feb 22 18:35:03 CET 2003

Arthur wrote:
> I was all ears when you were talking about *you're* experience.
> Among the problems:
> If I disagree (which I do) what can I say other than:
> "yeah well that's what *you* say".

That's exactly the problem if all that is of interest is "talking
about one's experience", as opposed to _reasoning_ about the issues,
bringing examples, and so on.  You witness to your experience, I
witness to mine, that's it.  So why would you "be all ears" in such
a brief and sterile exchance of anecdotes?

Incidentally, if exchange of personal experiences is all that interests
you, the if you "disagree" (with what?  with my _experiences_?!), you
presumably just present your own in return, and that's it.

If the "best hard evidence" you mention is Sheila King's survey 
with 129 responses out of over 2000 teachers asked, and close to 
a 50-50 split in opinions), I can disagree and point to the Alice
study which showed case sensitivity of Python as being the number 
one problem, affecting 85% of novices, almost on a par with
division (so the Alice guys forked Python to have 1/4 -> 0.25
instead of 0, and Bunny and bunny be the same identifier).  As
neither is very "hard", and I don't know of any well-funded study
measuring the impact of case sensitivity with all the trimmings
(control groups, etc), such allegedly-hard data will not be much
more effective in swaying anybody's opinion, anyway.

> So do let's stop.

I didn't start it, and was specifically and repeatedly goaded to
answer even while I kept explaining it would do nobody any good
(and see, strange isn't it, my prediction was right...).  So, sure,
just as I would have preferred you didn't twist the knife in this 
specific wound, so will I welcome it when you stop.


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