Considering migrating to Python from Visual Basic 6 for engineering applications

BartC bc at freeuk.com
Fri Feb 19 11:32:45 EST 2016


On 19/02/2016 15:59, Grant Edwards wrote:
> On 2016-02-19, BartC <bc at freeuk.com> wrote:
>> On 17/02/2016 19:49, wrong.address.1 at gmail.com wrote:
>>
>>> Could someone kindly tell me advantages and disadvantages of Python?
>>
>> Something I don't think anyone has mentioned is that Python is
>> case-sensitive.
>
> That's an _advantage_ not a disadvantage.
>
> Anybody who writes code that depends on the assumption that FOOBAR
> foobar and FooBar are identical deserves to have his keyboard explode
> under his fingertips.
>
>> So keywords, identifiers, library functions and so on have to be
>> written just right.
>
> IOW, you're expected to do things correctly

You mean pedantically.

In real life, names generally are not case sensitive. I can call myself 
bart or Bart or BART or any of the remaining 13 combinations, without 
anyone getting confused (but they might be puzzled as to why I'd choose 
to spell it bArT).

And in speech there is no distinction between case (so anyone using 
voice-to-text is going to have trouble with writing code).

Even in computing, many kinds of names are case-insensitive, emails and 
website names for example. I think even MS would struggle to register 
all the 32768 upper and lower case combinations of www dot microsoft dot 
com. It becomes nonsensical.

It's just a popular fad in programming languages, probably originating 
in C and/or Unix, and doing a good job of infesting everything else.

> rather that have the
> compiler try to guess the intent of your inept typing.

That's not being very helpful then. Do I type help, Help or HELP? Or 
would it be a better idea to recognise all of them, instead of 
stubbornly refusing to work until I get it exactly right?

> [OK, I may be a bit touchy on this subject from dealing with code
> written by people used to working on Windows where they assume that
> file names are case insensitive, so therefore seem to feel the need to
> spice up life by using a variety of spellings for the same damned
> file.]

But they're all the same file?

If I had to give you the name of a file over the phone, wouldn't it make 
life much easier if I didn't have to describe, letter by letter, which 
was upper case and which was lower?

[Most of the code I write uses lower-case anyway, but I also like to 
write temporary or debugging code in upper-case. That won't work in a 
language like Python. But it's also a nuisance in remembering if it's 
tkinter or Tkinter. Or are there actually two different packages 
differing only in the case of one letter of their names?]

-- 
Bartc


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