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Re: Ignore patterns should not be case sensitive (usability)

From: Jared Hardy <jaredhardy_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 12:25:03 -0700

On Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 11:51 AM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell_at_gmail.com> wrote:
> Karl Fogel wrote:
> > "John M. Black" <johnmblack_at_gmail.com> writes:
> >> [...]
> >>
> >> Please consider making Ignore pattern-matching case insensitive.
> >>
> >> OR at the very least, let the user choose. Maybe the easiest way to
> >> do this is to keep the current Ignore property intact, and add a new
> >> property "svn:ignoreNoCase". That way users can have it either way
> >> for any item.
> >
> > How about a new property, "svn:Ignore", that means...
> >
> > Okay, sorry, bad joke.
> Actually I think it would make perfect sense to make mixed case in the
> property name trigger case insensitivity in handling its values wherever
> that would have any meaning. Unless you already have inconsistent
> handling and accept mixed case names.

While I like the amusing subtlety of the suggestion here, I think a
lot of this discussion is ignoring the basics of good interface
design. Useful defaults are very important to all interfaces, even
command-line tools -- especially when appealing to a broad user base.
Most (if not all) users try to avoid files having the same name with
mixed case, and by the same token don't think about case when writing
comparison rules. In Windows, they don't even really have a choice in
the matter, so all features that favor case-insensitivity there should
be enabled at all times, regardless of user preference. Even in my
C/++ programming, I tend towards case-insensitive string comparison
routines by default. Forcing humans to be that consistent, about
something as subtle as case, is just a fool's errand.
    So, I'm obviously biased here, maybe in part from dealing with
artists as my primary users. I just tend to think case-insensitivity
should be the default for ALL user facing string operations,
especially with something as arbitrary as file names.

;) Jred

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Received on 2008-03-24 20:25:25 CET

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