[thelist] [Case] alternate case in HTML

Liorean Liorean at user.bip.net
Thu Dec 19 06:16:01 CST 2002

At 11:40 2002-12-19 +0100, Ben Morrison wrote:
>Is it safe to use alternate case such as:
>  myWebImage.jpg
><a href=²myWebPage.html²>
>I know this was an issue a long time ago as was the 8 char length, but
>does it still apply now?

In fact, it isn't an issue and never really were, as is the case with 8.3
DOS format - as long as uploading software and the browser sends the
correct info, and supports incoming information given the same format. That
it got an impact on the internet nonetheless is because of failure on the
client system's side to support the features of or the server system side.

The problem then was that DOS and Win3.1 users couldn't create files with
long filenames, and that their file systems were and still are case
insensitive. As the internet mainly run on unix systems, it supported long
filenames and was case sensitive.

Nowadays, there's not many systems left that doesn't support long
filenames, so that problem is out of the way. There is still the problem of
case sensitivity on unix/linux systems, though, versus the case
insensitivity of Windows and other systems. That means that a linux/unix
server, unless sporting some case-insensitivity filters, will be case
sensitive, while a Windows server like IIS will (in most, but not all
cases) be case insensitive.

So, the question is really if that case sensitivity matters - you'll likely
use the correct case in your hrefs and linking, and you'll know yourself
the case that it uses. So, if people are going to reach the file that way,
mixed case is just fine. If the user is likely to enter the url in the
location field of the browser though, it's a nuisance for them - most of
them aren't actually aware of the fact that urls may be case sensitive.

Then there exists - of course - the servers that force everything to
lowercase. This is all fine in a case insensitive server, where your link
using mixed case will still point to the file with lowercase name - but if
it's on a case sensitive server, you'll not be asking for the same file.
This breaks your link.

I hope that helps somewhat.

// Liorean

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