[pmwiki-users] Polish vs polis

Joachim Durchholz jo at durchholz.org
Thu Nov 10 14:07:14 CST 2005

chr at home.se schrieb:
> On Wed, 9 Nov 2005, Patrick R. Michaud wrote:
>>(and it goes against what others have been asking, which is
>>that page names become case *in*sensitive).
> Just to chime in from the other end, I do want page names case sensitive
> in some case. By some weird coincide a co-worker actually told me today
> about a word in English where the meaning changes with the case of the
> first letter. Here are two example sentences
> * To 'polish' a car.
> * A Polish car.
> So maybe someone out there would really like to refer to the page 
> [[polish]] in the first form, as well as to [[Polish]] in the second form.
> I also think the URI .../Polish and .../polish should be different here.

There are situations where different words have the same letters, down 
to letter case. (Say, "print" may mean "write to a screen" or "produce a 
piece of paper". In German, the words for "lock" and "castle" are the 
same, "Schloss".)

The strategy for such homonyms is to create a "disambiguation page". 
E.g. the page for "Schloss" would say
   See "Schloss (building)"
   or "Schloss (locking device)"
so people can follow the link. (It's done all the time in Wikipedia.)

Now that disambiguation is an established practice, we don't need to 
differentiate between "polish" and "Polish". It could be reasonable to 
do that, but it's not necessary, and certainly a per-Wiki (or even 
per-field) decision.

I also see a reason not to differentiate letter case. People constantly 
get letter case wrong; and reading out a page name to a buddy (across 
the room, our through a telephone line) gets quite awkward if you have 
to communicate the letter case as well.
So I personally would configure my wikis in a case-insensitive manner.


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