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Re: Case insensitivity ad nauseum


From: Chris Garrigues
Subject: Re: Case insensitivity ad nauseum
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2003 10:15:22 -0600

> From:  address@hidden (Larry Jones)
> Date:  Thu, 6 Nov 2003 10:08:01 -0500 (EST)
>
> Jim writes:
> > 
> > Oh great so now tags like 'CheckPoint' 'CHECKpoint' 'checkpoint' are all
> > different? how useless is that?  it's the IDEA of the word not the techni
> cal
> > content of the word that should matter....
> 
> And don't the "words" Therapist and TheRapist convey totally different
> ideas?

Even after 15 years of being a Unix weenie, I continue to be amazed at the 
mental contortions that people will go through to defend the claim that the 
English language is case sensitive.

Yes, "Therapist" and "TheRapist" do convey different ideas.  However, in an 
actual English sentence, it's pretty damned clear what "I'M GOING TO SEE MY 
THERAPIST THIS AFTERNOON." means even without mixed case to clue you in.

In English, case can be an indicator as to meaning, but it's entirely 
secondary to context.  I can also say "I got a tear in my eye when I saw a 
tear in the document." and you will know that the first "tear" is a spot of 
water, and the second on is a rip.  That's how the English language works.

Unix's case sensitivity is because Unix is build on C with C philosophies and 
in C we do things that are friendly to the machine rather than things that are 
friendly to the user.

The idea that this reflects the way any human being reads text is pure 
bullsh*t.  Even you read text case insensitivity.  I'm sure by the time you 
get to this point, you have no idea if I spelled "english" with a capital or 
lower case "E" in my previous paragraphs.  That's because the 
capitalization is there to clarify, not because it has anything to do with the 
meaning of the word.

How often have you stared at a line of code for an hour before you realized 
that the variable name was "thisTest" instead of "ThisTest"?

Chris

-- 
Chris Garrigues                 http://www.DeepEddy.Com/~cwg/
virCIO                          http://www.virCIO.Com
716 Congress, Suite 200
Austin, TX  78701               +1 512 374 0500

            If you don't apply what you've learned, you haven't 
               learned anything.

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