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RE: Case insensitivity ad nauseum

From: Jim.Hyslop
Subject: RE: Case insensitivity ad nauseum
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 13:03:41 -0500

Ingolf Steinbach [mailto:address@hidden wrote:
> On Solaris with SUNWspro installed:
> CC is the C++ compiler while cc is the C compiler.
Thank you for supplying an example that supports my point.

Using that convention, it is impossible for you to know which compiler is
which, unless someone tells you or you refer to external documentation.
Wouldn't it just be easier to distinguish the two programs by giving them
names that are different and that *tell* you which one is which, such as gcc
and g++?

Just as in my earlier message I pointed out that "jim" and "Jim" are the
same name, "cc" and "CC" are the same name, from a human point of view. Read
them out loud. Both "jim" and "Jim" come out the same, don't they? We
*speak* labels as much as we read them, and spoken language does not make
case distinctions. I don't know about you, but when I read, I do not just
see the shapes of the letter combinations, I *hear* the words associated
with those combinations. Arcane labels such as "cc" and "CC" are spoken as
"see see", unless you would habitually say "little see little see" and
"uppercase see uppercase see".

BTW, in response to the earlier comment (not made by you, IIRC) that my
grade school teacher should have pointed out that only "Jim" is correct -
that's not really important (I refer you to e.e. cummings, a.a. milne and a
variety of other people who do not use capital letters in their names, by
the way). "Jim" may be the correct way of spelling it, but if I leave a note
for my wife and sign it "jim" she won't say "Who the hell is jim? My
husband's name is Jim."

Jim Hyslop
Senior Software Designer
Leitch Technology International Inc. (http://www.leitch.com)
Columnist, C/C++ Users Journal (http://www.cuj.com/experts)

Let's build software that works the way people expect.

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