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Old 12-15-2003, 07:49 AM   #1
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Why is linux case sensitive?

I know that linux is case sensitive and have just thought....why?
Old 12-15-2003, 07:59 AM   #2
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I wondered the same thing when I first started using linux. Consider the possibility of two commands spelled the same way, with different case. Like run_command and Run_Command. In dos, or dos box in windows, they'd be the same command, but in linux they're not. I could immediately see the freedom it gives the programmer or the casual user, you have a lot more choices for script names, etc.
Old 12-15-2003, 08:10 AM   #3
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ooooooh yeah, makes sense now, cheers.
I have seen commands like 'command -U' and 'command -u' for the same program.
Old 12-15-2003, 08:16 AM   #4
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Having it as case sensitive always made sense to me.. I always wondered why Windows wasn't case sensitive..
Old 12-15-2003, 08:52 AM   #5
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Linux is case sensitive because 'a' and 'A' are different as far as the OS is concerned. Historically, MS-DOS only used uppercase to represent filenames. In an attempt to allow lowercase while retaining backward compatibility, Windows 95 introduced LFNs (Long File Name) into the FAT filesystem. LFN allowed filenames longer than the MS-DOS 8.3, and in an effort to keep things uncomplicated, made no distinction between upper and lower case letters.
Old 12-15-2003, 10:09 AM   #6
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linux use these way because you can have alot of options in command like -t -a -T -A and etc

most linux command has alot of options

u'll see alot when you type mount --help
Old 12-15-2003, 10:52 AM   #7
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Well, I'll give you a different answer: because case sensitive is simpler and faster to sort. Case insensitive sorting is much slower. I don't know about it being simpler for the user, but luckily the tab key does most of the typing for me.
Old 12-15-2003, 09:44 PM   #8
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What I like about case sensitivity is that it enforces consistency. For example, filenames will always be refered to the same way in scripts etc. You will not have ls, LS, lS, Ls, etc.

Also, about the sorting ls will sort case sensitive. This why we usually write README, Makefile instead of readme, makefile in source directories, they all go to the beginning...

Old 12-15-2003, 09:49 PM   #9
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LINUX is and was and will be developed using the C Language.
C is case sensitive and case sensitiveness also gives a lot of freedom and extra options.
Hence Linux is and must be case sensitive forever!
Old 12-16-2003, 07:05 AM   #10
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Small and capital letters have different ASCII-representations, thus for the system they are not the same. And Unix being a byte stream oriented OS ... DOS/Win has consistently to "to_upper()" any file name related input as their problem.


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