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Re: upper and lower case
- Subject: Re: upper and lower case
- From: CSVAX.jkf at Berkeley
- Date: Sat ,31 Jan 81 20:33:30 EDT
Could someone tell me why Maclisp and Lisp Machine lisp allow only upper
case printnames for symbols? My guess is that Maclisp does it because it saves
space, but why does Lisp Machine lisp do it? Are there Lisp Machines with upper
case only keyboards? Does the Lisp Machine use upper case only because Maclisp
does? What about Multics Maclisp, does that allow both cases in printnames? And
finally, will Nil be a single case lisp system too?
I ask these questions for two reasons, one is that I am simply curious. The
other is that Dave Barton (drb) has written a symbolic algebra system which
requires a two case Lisp system. Dave follows the mathematical convention of
using upper case names to denote sets (like Z for the integers) and lower case
to denote variables (like z). In order to run Dave's code on any of the
aforementioned Lisp's we will have to do something ugly, like translating upper
case characters like Z to *Z.
I think that the use of upper and lower case adds a third dimension to print
names. I would call names which are restricted to a single character one
dimensional names (such is the case in many Basic [ugh] systems). By allowing
the names to be any length you add a second dimension. Finally by allowing both
cases you get the third dimension.
Finally, a lisp system with both case capability can easily masquerade as a
single case system.
::: jkf :::