Case distinction in var names

Guido van Rossum guido at mcvax.UUCP
Mon Nov 12 09:53:45 AEST 1984

In article <455 at uwmacc.UUCP> rick at maccunix.UUCP (Rick Keir) writes:
>Fine:  you give me a program that is 32,000 lines long and uses capitalization
>as a way of distinguishing variables and try and maintain it!
>	Given the wealth of information concerning the difficulty of programmers
>making distinctions between similarly spelled variable, why do language 
>designers insist on giving us these damn case-sensitive languages, which
>make it even more difficult to distinguish variables than before?

All the flames about case-sensitivity seem to assume that programmers
randomly use variables Foo, fOo, FOO and foo.  This would surely be
antiproductive (when the variables have overlapping scopes).  But in actual
programming, case is mostly used to flag different types of identifiers:
since the "dark ages" of unix, FOO used to be a macro (manifest constant)
or typedef, and foo a variable of function.  There are other, similar
conventions that greatly HELP the programmer by hinting about certain
properties of identifiers: Gosling's Emacs uses FooBar for external

	Guido van Rossum, "Stamp Out BASIC" Committee, CWI, Amsterdam, Holland
	guido at mcvax.UUCP

"Life is like a sewer.  What you get out of it, depends on what you put
 into it."

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