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Subject: RE: [dita] hyphens and file names

Hello JoAnn,

Here's a definition from Wikipedia.

CamelCase is the practice of writing compound words or phrases where the
words are joined without spaces,
and each word is capitalized within the compound. The name comes from the
uppercase "bumps" in the middle
of the compound word, suggesting the humps of a camel.

Hope that helps.

Kind regards,
Eric A. Sirois
Staff Software Developer
DB2 Universal Database - DBA XML Tools Development
IBM Canada Ltd. - Toronto Software Lab
Email: esirois@ca.ibm.com
Phone:(905) 413-2841
Blue Pages (Internal)

"Transparency and accessibility requirements dictate that public
information and government
transactions avoid depending on technologies that imply or impose a
specific product or
platform on businesses or citizens" - EU on XML-based office document

             "JoAnn Hackos"                                            
             tech-serv.com>                                             To
                                       "Esrig, Bruce \(Bruce\)"        
             02/21/2005 12:03          <esrig@lucent.com>, "Robin Cover"
             PM                        <robin@oasis-open.org>          
                                       "Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre"        
                                       RE: [dita] hyphens and file names

Could someone please explain camel case?


JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
Comtech Services, Inc.
710 Kipling Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80215

-----Original Message-----
From: Esrig, Bruce (Bruce) [mailto:esrig@lucent.com]
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 9:31 AM
To: 'Robin Cover'
Cc: 'Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre'; dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [dita] hyphens and file names


Thanks for the pointers. The naming conventions thread is interesting.

The more recent document, OASIS Artifact Naming Guidelines, uses hyphens
for major divisions, and underscores for minor divisions. If camelCase is
acceptable for minor divisions, then underscores would be unnecessary.

The earlier document, Proposed Rules for OASIS Document File Naming (ed.
Eve Maler), is much less enthusiastic about underscores, leaving them as an
option but not a recommended option. In RFC 2119 language, I'd use "should
not" or "not recommended" with regard to underscores.

Quotation from Proposed Rules ...> Hyphens are recommended between words
within the description and extended description portions, though
underscores may be used. Hyphens are preferred because they are easier to
see in displayed URIs and easier to type.

Instead, how about ...> Hyphens are recommended between words within the
description and extended description portions. For minor punctuation,
meaning punctuation that is more closely binding than hyphens, camelCase is
recommended and underscores are not recommended. [?? rationale ??:]
Compared with underscores, hyphens are easier to see in displayed URIs and
are easier to type. camelCase is normalized away in some contexts, so when
it is used, names should be chosen to be unambiguous even when reduced to a
single case.

Best wishes,

Bruce Esrig


Postscript: Kavi is a marvelous facility, but I was thinking something much
more mundane. Just a misunderstanding between people: "Could you please
post this?" "How's this?" "Oh, why use underscores in the URL?"

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Cover [mailto:robin@oasis-open.org]
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 5:49 PM
To: Esrig, Bruce (Bruce)
Cc: 'Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre'; dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [dita] hyphens and file names

On Fri, 18 Feb 2005, Esrig, Bruce (Bruce) wrote:

> > 5. And then there is the issue of files names that turn
> into parts of URNs, donšt get me started!
> This one was the last straw for me, and the reason I raised the
> question. I sent someone a request for a URL with a filename in it,
> and it came out with underscores. It has happened again since.
> Here's a chance for the DITA TC to do something absurdly small
> yet exemplary ... standardize on hyphens only in identifiers.

Bruce, have a look at the earlier (October 25) draft of the "OASIS Artifact
Naming Guidelines".  I don't know what you mean by "and it came out with
underscores" but if you're talking about Kavi or the TC Process tools, I'd
bet that these draft naming guidelines are the culprit, ultimately.  URLs:

http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/chairs/200410/doc00003.doc (main doc)
http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/chairs/200410/doc00002.doc (diff)

Since this draft has not yet been put out for formal review by the
membership (only informally to the Chairs), I would hope there's a good
chance to have some broader input on various topics, including the notion
of converting hyphens to underscores in the construction of a URL for a
URN-based artifact name.

I'm unfamiliar with all the computing history around hyphens and
underscores as name characters (I do recall SGML), but in the modern
context where filenames get used in URLs, the matter of underscore
"disappearing" (as Deborah puts it) feels like a real problem.  When
viewing an address in a typical browser, or when sending the HTML document
to the printer, an troubling ambiguity is introduced: fromm visual, we
don't know whether the character is SPACE or UNDERSCORE.

There was a famous article about a train wreck and (non) use of SGML. I can
envision a similar article about the time someone lost a big contact
because they had only 20 seconds to communicate on a cell phone (nearly
dead battery), and told a business partner to look at *this vital
information* at "this URL..."  He reads the URL from the paper printout and
says: 'http COLON [hmmm]-SPACE-[hmmm]-SPACE-[hmmm]-SPACE-[hmmm]-SPACE-
[hmmm]-SPACE-[hmmm]-SPACE (etc)'... <phone dies> but the URL entered as
such failed, and so did the bid for the contract. The Web lookup fails, and
the poor contract writer assumes he made a mistake writing down the URL.
But he didn't: the real URL did not actually contain any SPACE characters.



> > all the rage in the URN and Unix communities
> One reason to avoid hyphens in Unix was to avoid confusion with the flag
convention ("cmd -flags").
> Second, spaces were token delimiters on the command line, so file names
couldn't contain spaces, and underscores were the most unobtrusive
alternative. At that time, underlining of running text was a novel and
underutilized feature that was only supported on certain terminals, so
there was no conflict with underscores. And of course, URLs didn't exist
> Rubato,
> Bruce
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre [mailto:dalapeyre@mulberrytech.com]
> Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 3:18 PM
> To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
> Cc: Deborah Aleyne Lapeyre; dita@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: RE: [dita] hyphens and file names
> I know they are all the rage in the URN and Unix communities, but I
> have never liked underscores in file names. In vaguely decreasing
> order of importance, I dislike underscores because:
> 1. Lack of distinctness and clarity
> My primary objection to underscore is that in file names it is
> frequently unclear. When you underline text, a space becomes
> indistinguishable from an underscore. The underscores can't really be
> seen.
>    a. Many older websites indicate links by turning the text
>       blue and underlining it. The underscores vanish.
>    b. Some editing packages default to underlines to show
>       change (effectivity) or badly spelled words.
>       Yes, you could change the default but many don't.
> 2. Hard to see - Underscores are (to my eyes) hard to see, especially
> in print with close leading.
> 3. Confusion with commands. I avoid periods in element names because
> they look like classes and mess with the java folks heads. Similarly
> "HTTP_Get" and it's ilk are commands in my world. Similarly,
> underscore is a command character in LaTeX.
> 4. Underscore has a history that hyphens lack.
> Underscores has been used historically as an "I can't cope"
> character. Certain older version of both IE and some Adobe products,
> inserted underscores when they could not cope with a character in a
> filename
>           deb.taz.zip ==> deb_tar.zip
> for example, so many people (and some software) treat underscore in
> certain locations in a file or path name as errors or artifacts.
> Software like IDEAs converted all characters (such as #,%, {,},(,),
> etc.) to underscore in filenames.
> 4. Accessibility -
> On most modern keyboards, underscore is a shift-click and hyphen is a
> single click. Folks using their feet or a pen in their teeth avoid
> shifting and all double motions.
> (Yes, you can program them to be single, so this may be a wash.)
> Pronouncing software folks used to dislike underscore (don't know if
> this one has been solved more recently)
> because:
> a) There were too many different ways to pronounce it.
> b) There was no one-syllable way to pronounce it (whereas
>     hyphen can use "dash").
> c) It was tricky (slower) to indicate in speech the difference
>     between a character underscore that stands alone (or
>     does it underline a space?) and an underscored
>     character or word.
> 5. An then there is the issue of files names that turn into parts of
> URNs, donšt get me started!
> --Debbie


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