[TUHS] long lived programs

Bakul Shah bakul at bitblocks.com
Fri Apr 6 15:57:49 AEST 2018

On Thu, 05 Apr 2018 22:03:40 -0400 Random832 <random832 at fastmail.com> wrote:
Random832 writes:
> On Thu, Apr 5, 2018, at 17:38, Bakul Shah wrote:
> > May be case itself is such a historical artifact?  AFAIK all non-roman 
> > scripts are without case distinction.
> Greek and Cyrillic both have cases. And the Hiragana/Katakana distinction in 
> Japanese is similar to case in some ways (including limited computer systems 
> using only one)
> Full list of scripts in unicode that have case distinctions (based on analyzi
> ng character names): Adlam, Armenian, Cherokee, Coptic, Cyrillic, Deseret, Ge
> orgian, Glagolitic, Greek, Latin, Old Hungarian, Osage, and Warang Citi.

Thanks. I was being lazy. I understand old Latin, Greek &
Cyrillic scripts used only one case?  And that modern Georgian
does not distinguish cases though its alphabet has *several*
variants.  Osage is very new and Cherokee script was designed
in early 1800s (influenced by the europeans). So it seems
a) case sensitive scripts are mainly alphabets and 
b) lower case letters must've been a later addition. 
[I can see why case was never added to abugida languages like
 the Indian languages -- they already have a large number of
 glyphs and complex shapes to remember!]

Getting back to programming languages, I am not sure case
distinction really helps. Many of the earlier languages such
as Algol, PL/I, APL, Pascal, Fortran, Cobol, Lisp didn't have
it and I don't think it was solely due to an attempt to pack
more chars in a word. Capitalization can improve legibility in
written languages but the meaning of a word often doesn't
change in spite of case change. In modern PLs the meaning can
be entirely different, and even the category (DO vs do) and I
am not sure that increases legibility. Not to mention the
camelCaseHorror. Much prefer hyphenated-words (and use of
space before the negative sign when needed).

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