Historical observation of the day


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From Joe Celko’s Thinking in Sets, talking about the different conventions of capitalisation between programming languages:

COBOL is all uppercase because it was first used on punch cards, which only have uppercase. C was first written on Teletype terminals for mini computers, which have a shift key, but the touch is so hard and so long that you have to hit the keys vertically; you cannot type with your fingertips. C was designed for two-finger typists, pushing the keys with strokes from their elbows rather than the wrist or fingertips. SQL and modern language idioms are based on the ease of text formatters and electronic keyboards that respond to fingertip touch.

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