[R6RS] Case-sensitivity

Anton van Straaten anton at appsolutions.com
Fri Feb 17 13:43:22 EST 2006

Michael Sperber wrote:
> I'm concerned about our decision to make Scheme case-sensitive.
> So---do you agree we should have a rationale on this?  If so, what is
> it?

I agree that it would be useful to have an "official" rationale 
available, even if it's not in the R6RS itself.

Although I usually prefer to work in a case-insensitive language, I 
don't think that simply sticking with case-insensitivity would be good 
enough.  For example, case-sensitive symbols in Scheme programs are 
necessary when working with case-sensitive XML data using SXML.  The 
same goes for any other embedded sublanguage which maps to some 
case-sensitive external language.

Ideally, I would like to see a standardized way to choose between the 
two options, such as the #cs and #ci expression markers in PLT.

I had previously thought that requiring support for both modes might be 
too demanding as a requirement for R6RS.  However, on c.l.scheme today, 
Jens Axel Søgaard raised another issue:

> From an implementation point I don't think it is an either-or. In
> order to support r5rs-code, implementations need to keep some kind of
> case-insensitive mode. 

At least in the short term, then, implementations are likely to support 
both, which makes me think that standardizing the mechanism for choosing 
between modes could make sense.


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