Subject: Re: ACL 6.0 Trial Edition ships with non ANSI reader behavior.
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 06 Nov 2000 07:19:15 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kent M Pitman <>
| Did they change this right before the final spec?  I'd swear it was
| not case sensitive (except entities) right up until the end.  SGML
| is not case sensitive for element names, is it?  How can XML be an
| SGML subset and have case sensitive names?  Am I just hopelessly
| confused here.

  SGML does not specify case sensitivity, only the means to specify
  it.  The SGML declaration includes that specification in the NAMING

| I think facility of manual typein is WAY more important.

  Curiously, that _is_ also an argument for lower-case symbols as well
  as a case-sensitive reader.

| Not to mention the other niceties like usefulness in transmitted
| ascii text of uppercasing CAR, CDR, etc. to make them stand out when
| fonting isn't handy.  I could go on but won't.

  I think it boils down to familiarity.  You don't need upper-case
  symbols in Lisp to write them in upper-case in the text.  I grew up
  on TOPS-10 and -20, where upper-case and case insensitivity was the
  rule, on TOPS-10 also without exception...  It was a hassle to get
  lower-case letters in filenames under TOPS-20 as they each had to be
  escaped with ^V, even in source code.  (Why _do_ I remember these
  things? :)  Several of the (now) old-timers I met at the time have a
  fondness for upper- case that escapes me (no pun intended, sadly).
  I learned to write a technical handwriting as a kid and I never got
  used to this longhand cruft that could not possibly become readable
  no matter how you did it, so I have very legible small letters, too,
  and highly prefer them to writing print in capital.  Over the years,
  I have found a strange attraction to lower-case that predated my
  exposure to Unix, but it sure felt good the first time I met a Unix
  system in 1980.  And all upper-case still feels "clunky" to me.

  Does anyone remember where I parked Air Force One?
                                   -- George W. Bush