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Common Lisp and case sensitivity
- To: franz-friends@berkeley
- Subject: Common Lisp and case sensitivity
- From: ucbvax:<Kim:jkf> (John Foderaro)
- Date: Sun, 30 Aug 82 05:02:05 GMT
- Original-date: 29-Aug-82 22:02:05-PDT (Sun)
As many of you may already know, a new version of Lisp is being designed
by a group of representatives from the Maclisp, Lisp Machine Lisp and
Interlisp communities. This lisp, called 'Common Lisp', promises to be a
very powerful and portable Lisp.
Currently Common Lisp is 'case-insensitive' on input. By that I mean that
the reader converts all non-escaped characters to a single case (currently
UPPER CASE). Thus the symbols foo, FOO, Foo, fOO and FoO are all 'eq'.
Although case-insensitivity may seem strange to Unix users, it is the rule
in Maclisp, Lisp Machine Lisp and Interlisp.
Franz Lisp is case-sensitive (FOO and foo are not 'eq') primarily because
Unix is case-sensitive. I have been trying to convince the Common Lisp
designers that they should consider providing a case-sensitive reader option
so that Common Lisp will fit in on Unix systems. I would like to find out
how important case-sensitivity is to you. I would appreciate it if all
Franz Lisp users would let me know the answers to the following questions.
Please send them to ucbvax!jkf or jkf@berkeley. Please do no send them to
the usenet. I will keep track of replies and mail out a summary of the
1) Do you use the fact that Franz Lisp is case sensitive, that is do you
use variables with capital letters?
If yes, do you ever have two different variables whose names differ only
[When I refer to 'variable' I mean a symbol to which you assign a
variable to distinguish it from something used just for
printing, as in (print 'Results). ]
2) If a case-insensitive Common Lisp was the only lisp available on your
machine would you:
a) use it without complaint about the case-insensitivity
b) ask the person in charge of Common Lisp at your sight to add a switch
to disable the code that maps all characters to the same case, thus
making it possible for each user to make Common Lisp case-sensitive.
3) Do you prefer an operating system to be case-sensitive (like Unix and
Multics) or case-insensitive (like Tops-10, Tops-20, Tenex, etc etc).
End of poll. Please send replies to me [not the usenet]