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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
case sensitivity
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text Whether a text matching operation distinguishes
upper-case (capital) letters from lower case (is "case
sensitive") or not ("case insensitive").
Case in file names should be preserved (for readability) but
ignored when matching (so the user doesn't have to get it
right). MS-DOS does not preserve case in file names, Unix
preserves case and matches are case sensitive.
Any decent text editor will allow the user to specify
whether or not text searches should be case sensitive.
Case sensitivity is also relevant in programming (most
programming languages distiguish between case in the names of
identifiers), and addressing (Internet domain names are
case insensitive but RFC 822 local mailbox names are case
Case insensitive operations are sometimes said to "fold case",
from the idea of folding the character code table so that
upper and lower case letters coincide. The alternative "smash
case" is more likely to be used by someone who considers this
behaviour a misfeature or in cases where one case is
actually permanently converted to the other.