Scott Hanselman

Is it case-senstive? No seriously, check and check again. Are URLs Case Sensitive?

January 19, '05 Comments [4] Posted in DasBlog | XML | Bugs
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I spend an hour today debugging a possible problem only to notice that "SignOn" != "Signon"

If I had a nickel for everytime Case-Sensitivity or Case-Insensitivity bit me, I'd have like seven or eight bucks. Seriously.

Moral: Know if whatever you're working on cares about Case, and if it does, make a Post-It to remind you and stick it to your monitor.

Oops, there's another 5 cents. Omar says FlexWiki uses Case-Sensitive Urls so http://wiki.shahine.com/default.aspx/DasBlog.VersionHistory != http://wiki.shahine.com/default.aspx/dasblog.versionhistory

This page says URLs are Case Sensitive if the Web Server exposes the underlying sensitivity of the OS and File System. This guy says yes, also but reminds us that the base domain ISN'T Case Sensitive (DNS doesn't care).

Of course, it gets even more fun when you remember that XHTML is Case-Sensitive (because XML is) while HTML 4.01 isn't. This sensitivity is exposed in the DOM for both.

Sigh. - sCotT hanSELMan

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 2:21:37 AM UTC
We VB guys please innocent to this mess. It's those guys with the Unix/C/C++/Java/C# background that put case-sensitivity into all those places. (Tell me again why you want your application programming language to be case sensitive?)

Well, at least sanity reigned long enough to keep interfaces in the CLR case insensitive.

Billy
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 5:06:29 AM UTC
I realize that as a guy who's obviously not smart enough to code in C-style languages (well, maybe javascript), I'm not qualified to comment on this issue, but although I've asked a number of people who *are* smart enough to be C jockeys, I have yet to hear of a cogent explanation as to why case sensitivity is useful. I mean, sure, you can distinguish your mungeString() routine from that other MungeString() routine, and obviously your foo variable is quite different from your Foo variable. But that mostly sounds like bug farming to me. So, question: does case sensitivity result in more bugs and debugging time or less? Compared to, say, VB's case tolerance. (And I know that someone will -- because I've already seen this -- write something like "wHaT iF reGUlar SpeLLing waS casEInsenSitiVe?" and my comment is that that's different, bucko, because "Mike" and "mike" are not *completely different* entities, as are, say, "Mike" and "scott.")
Wednesday, January 19, 2005 11:52:20 PM UTC
I'm glad to see at least one developer speaking out on this issue rather than silently accepting the status quo. Case sensitivity is just wrong. Why keep perpetuating the mistakes of K&R?
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 2:07:57 AM UTC
Personally, I very much like and want case sensitivity. I equate it much to writing a document, a white paper or thesis. When writing, how you spell something and when you capitalize implies meaning. The same can be said for a coding standard. Camelcase for your variables. Proper case for your Properties...ad nauseum. It's a royal pain with vb that you cannot declare a variable such as streetName and then have a property called StreetName. Per the issue you described above (signOn!=signon)...a consistent use of constants and/or enumerated values can negate many/most of these problems.

My opinion anyway.
-Mathew Nolton
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.