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

From: Les Mikesell <lesmikesell_at_gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 14:44:31 -0500

Jared Hardy wrote:
> 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.

Err... you mean repeatable, reusable, consistent patterns instead of a
gazillion special case exceptions?

> 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.

I think you mean users who only have experience on only one platform here.

> 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.

But absolutely necessary if you ever have any hope of escaping your
single-platform trap.

> 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.

Yes, you are biased. It is absolutely wrong to not be aware of the
difference, especially in filenames and the problems it causes in a
mixed-platform world.

   Les Mikesell
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Received on 2008-03-24 20:41:29 CET

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