Subject: Re: invert-string revisited
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 00:22:15 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kragen Sitaker
| So far, this is all theoretical.  I don't know of any Unicode language
| that has actually taken the plunge and declared itself committed to
| case-insensitivity.

  It seems more appropriate to require lowercase-only names in a Unicode-
  based language than to allow and preserve mixed case.  I think it is a
  serious design blunder to allow the programmer to decide on the uppercase
  version of an ordinarily lowercase letter just because of an arbitrary
  rule to avoid interword delimiters.  If what you say is true about
  locales, a Turkish, say, programmer would make a different uppercase
  choice than a French, say, but now without the benefit of preserved
  locale information.  So, if you wanted to be the most reasonable and
  "international" in a Unicode-based language, you should outlaw the use
  of uppercase letters from the language altogether and use an explicit
  interword delimiter.

  I have argued elsewhere that embedding case information in the encoding
  of letters, with a resulting near doubling of the code space requirement,
  was a huge mistake, like early Common Lisp had encoded the font in its
  character type.  In a better world, we would have developed writing
  systems with individual markers for sentence start, not just their end,
  and proper name start and end, too.  All our other punctuation marks and
  conventions developed haphazardly and each has an interesting story to
  tell, so it is only an historical accident that we fixed and encoded our
  character set(s) at the time we did and much would have so very been
  different if we had just waited a litte longer to solidify it all, but
  they say that about NTSC and HDTV, too...
  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.

  70 percent of American adults do not understand the scientific process.