lowercase keywords, redux

I’m back from vacation and finally got a chance to wade through the 47 comments on my previous entry on lowercase keywords. Anything that touches on lexical or syntatic issues usually provokes a pretty strong response, and I was glad (?) to see that this still held true. Reading through the comments, I think there are a few things that I should add to my previous entry:

  • I was only musing about changing the appearance of keywords and was saying nothing about changing case insensitivity. I like case insensitivity and there are absolutely no plans to propose changing that at all.
  • The purpose of this thought experiment was not to chase some imagined “C# vibe,” it was to see if there is anything that might improve the visual experience of using VB. If I wanted to work on C#, I could walk down the hall, talk to a few people, and it would be done. I wouldn’t even have to move my office, probably. But I don’t. I respect C#, but I really like VB and am always on the lookout to see if there are things that might make working in VB an even more pleasant experience for myself and the millions of other developers out there.
  • I also wasn’t proposing this as some grand solution, it was more of an off-the-cuff curiosity. I agree with the comments that there certainly are other things to look at when we think about lexical simplicity. (My #1 desire is to get an option or something that will make the pretty lister stop adding back the superfluous “ByVal.” My hope was to have that in Orcas, but…)
  • Along with the previous point, I’m not saying this is somehow more important than, say, the few things we didn’t get done in Orcas but wanted to. Not at all…
  • I’m not sure what I was thinking, of course this would have to be an option. There’s no way we’d force something like this on people. In an ideal world, this would be part of a larger constellation of formatting options. We’re well aware that our automatic formatting is not to everyone’s liking and we see this as a place we can improve.

Oh, and I had to bootleg the compiler, as someone observed, not because the core language services wouldn’t accept lowercase keywords, but just to get the pretty lister to stop listing things back upper-cased…