[tex-live] filename clash (upper/lower case)

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Mon Jan 15 03:12:03 CET 2007

>>>>> "Robin" == Robin Fairbairns <Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> writes:

  > Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:
  >> >>>>> "Karl" == Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org> writes:
  >> > Case-insensitive filesystems are a pain.  Sigh.
  >> Maybe some operating systems expect that people have a teletype
  >> machine as an output device.

  > the first unix machines probably had teletypes for output
  > (certainly i was working on a teletype at that time ... though our
  > machine was admittedly a mainframe).

I guess that your typewriter was an ASCII machine which is (per
definition) case sensitive.  I also guess that UNIX required ASCII
machines from the beginning.

ASCII teletype machines had been used only in the computer world.

Everywhere else teletype machines used a 5 bit code.  This code had
been case insensitive.  There had been two commands to switch from
"letters" to "numbers and punctuation marks" and vice versa.  See also:


In the late seventies and early eighties these machines had been
available for a low price on the surplus market and many computer
freaks used them because no better output devices had been available
for a reasonable price.

They had a hex keyboard and a hex LED display and the only way to
display text was to send output to a teletype machine.

Anyway, I suppose the reason filenames on Windows are case insensitive
is that it had been derived from VMS, which is quite old.  And
compatibility to MS-DOS seems to be a problem too.

Unless Microsoft is willing to provide a modern OS, I fear that we
have to live with all the mess.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-4592165
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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