[R6RS] Case-sensitivity

Anton van Straaten anton at appsolutions.com
Sat Feb 18 16:08:18 EST 2006

Michael Sperber wrote:
> Anton van Straaten <anton at appsolutions.com> writes:
>>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.
> I hate to continue this discussion,  but for the record: this is false.

I wrote "necessary", which is too strong.  Change that to "very useful".

> First off, we already have a method for writing down case-sensitive
> symbol literals via |...| which perfectly suits SXML's needs.
> Moreover, their choice of using symbols for tags is purely
> arbitrary---they could just as well have used strings, which arguably
> would have been more appropriate.  

Working with an XML dialect in which many tags have to be quoted with 
|...| or "..." would significantly detract from the usability of 
something like SXML, IMO.  The code would look more cluttered and less 
readable, which undermines one of the benefits of using SXML over XML.

That prospect immediately makes me think gee, wouldn't it be nice if 
there were some way to specify that a region of code uses case-sensitive 
symbols, so that quoting wouldn't be necessary in that region...

What's your opinion about providing a mechanism to choose between 
case-sensitivity and insensitivity?  In the archive-reading I've done, I 
don't recall having seen discussion of that.


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