Case sensitive file names was Re: SOLARIS RULES, LINUX SUCKS!!!!

Case sensitive file names was Re: SOLARIS RULES, LINUX SUCKS!!!!

Post by Guy Harr » Tue, 25 Nov 1997 04:00:00

>Only if that poor newbie comes from a M$ background.  In English we are
>taught that there is a distinction between upper & lower case (ie, that
>English is case sensitive),

I.e., the "In" at the beginning of your sentence is different from the
"in" in this sentence?  (The "in" that comes before the last "this" in
the sentence in question.)

Sometimes, English is case-sensitive (e.g., "polish" as in "furniture
polish" is different from "Polish" as in "Polish economic policy",
although there are other words with the same spelling that can't be
distinguished by case, so it's not clear that this *really* counts as an
example of case-sensitivity - you can probably distinguish by context as
well); other times, it isn't.

Quote:>For English, read any language that uses an Arabic alphabet.

E.g., Farsi? :-)  (Methinks you meant "Roman alphabet".)

Quote:>It's only DOS' crappy "filesystem" that encouraged people to think
>this way (that case is irrelevant) in the first place.

Case-insensitive file names antedate MS-DOS, just as case-sensitive file
names antedate UNIX (unless my somewhat-faded memories of Multics have
faded into illegibility).

I've yet to be convinced that there's a strong case either way; most of
the arguments appear to boil down to "I like
case-{sensitive,insensitive} file names better than
case-{insensitive,sensitive} file names", or maybe "I find XXX more
convenient than YYY".
Reply, or follow up, but don't do both, please.


Case sensitive file names was Re: SOLARIS RULES, LINUX SUCKS!!!!

Post by Guy Harr » Tue, 25 Nov 1997 04:00:00

>I'll give you a good reason to think about: Languages. In icelandic,
>for example, there is this character: e, it's upper case version is:
>D. Now, would the file system honour the current locale?

If the file names are stored in a standard character set, the file
system wouldn't have to care about the locale, in that particular case -
just as it knows that upper-case "a" is "A", it would know that
upper-case "e" is "D".

For example, in VFAT and NTFS, file names (long names, rather than 8.3
names) are stored in Unicode, so the file system would know how to map
case without having to know the language of the file name - it would
*always* treat "e" and "D" as equivalent.

However, I have the impression that if you capitalize the German "?"
character, it becomes a double-"S"; if so, I don't know how that case
would be handled.  Perhaps VFAT and NTFS just punt on characters that
don't turn into a single character when capitalized.

>I think you're missing the point here. Even if the case were preserved,
>you'd still have case sensitive names since the command interpreter does
>not know the connection between the upper- and lowercase letter.

Why would the command interpreter care?

If the command interpreter just looks in the command search path for a
file with a name that matches the command name (unless there's a
pathname separator in the name, in which case it just uses the path it's
given), and passes the rest of the arguments on to the command, why
would the command interpreter have to know that upper-case "e" is "D"?

And even if it does, as long as the command-interpreter's locale is set
correctly, "tolower()" and "toupper()" (or whatever it uses) should do
the right mapping.
Reply, or follow up, but don't do both, please.


1. Case sensitive file names was Re: SOLARIS RULES, LINUX SUCKS!!!!

Um, not true.  50^3 needs 17 bits to fit in it.  The smallest cube that
fits in 16 bits is 40.

Also, uncubing a number with division like this is computationally

It is possible they used the trick Infocom did in the early 80s--you store
a single letter/digit in five bits, using bit shifting tricks to expand it
out. You had special symbols meaning things like "change case" or "make
the next symbol a non-letter".
"You can...turn sadness into laughter" -- Sunscreem, _Love_U_More_

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