[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: upper and lower case
- To: CSVAX.jkf at BERKELEY
- Subject: Re: upper and lower case
- From: Howard I. Cannon <HIC at MIT-MC>
- Date: Sat ,31 Jan 81 21:41:00 EDT
- Cc: LISP-FORUM at MIT-MC
Date: 31 Jan 1981 16:33:30-PST
From: CSVAX.jkf at Berkeley
Could someone tell me why Maclisp and Lisp Machine lisp allow
only upper case printnames for symbols?
. . .
No, because they don't allow only upper case printnames! You are being
confused by the fact that both MacLISP and the Lisp Machine translate
lower case characters in symbols to upper case ON INPUT. You can type
lower case characters into symbols by quoting them (either using slash
for a single character or by using vertical bars for multiple
characters). It is not hard in either Lisp to prevent this translation,
if you have code which relies on mixed case symbols.
We are of the opinion (I of course don't speak for everyone, but...)
that distinguishing between upper and lower case makes it very hard to
remember exactly how to "spell" things. I don't agree that case adds
another dimension, it's just half a dimension, and that's where the
trouble arises. People tend to be inconsistent with casification,
because in many cases there is no clear best way (witness Maclisp,
MacLisp, MacLISP, MACLISP, etc..). Also, if someone arbitrarily picked
one of these spellings, and "enforced" it, then people would probably be
hard-pressed to remember which one was choosen. This of course does not
agree with the Unix philosophy. However, from what I have seen of Unix,
programs tend not to use upper case at all (probably for this reason.
For my information, how many Shell commands use upper or mixed case?).