Case distinction in variable names

DAVID DYER-BENNET MRO1-2/L14 DTN 231-4076 ddb at mrvax.DEC
Thu Nov 8 01:49:26 AEST 1984

>>1. C is not English
>>2. This is an automatic way to break LOTS (also lots) of code
>>Gene E. Bloch (...!nsc!voder!gino)

1. Reading C uses many of the same skills as reading English.  Also the
   same skills as reading most other programming languages.  I believe that
   there is a "population stereotype," as it is called, among readers
   (other than those specifically trained to C and, now, Modula-2) that
   case distinctions do not alter the basic meaning of a string of characters.
   Attempting to fight a population stereotype is like pissing into the wind --
   for example, have you ever watched the traffic pattern in a building 
   where they put the up escalator on the right and the down escalator
   on the left (like one place in the Prudential center in Boston, for
   example)?  (from the point of view of someone walking down the corridor
   towards the escalator heads.)
2. Do people really write code with variables differing only in casing?
   **shudder**.  I suppose they do.  Given the user communitie's attitude
   on compatibility it's probably too late to save C, but as a basic
   principle I think case distinction in variable (or file) naming
   is EXTREMELY BAD ergonomic design.

More information about the Comp.lang.c mailing list