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Case-sensitive filenames on Windows 9x?

Hi all.

Does anyone know of any way to enable case-sensitive filenames on windows 95/98/ME?

Bjorn
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Whatever it is you're thinking of doing is doomed.  Find another way around.

Mister Fancypants
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

What he said. I think some Windows versions have a registry setting to enable case sensitivity but... do NOT do this! You will break every Windows application in a 100 mile radius. And as I recall, there are even some Windows system components that rely on the file system being case insensitive (i.e. same file name spelled with different casing in different locations).

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

hmm, does this mean this registry setting could also be called "useless registry setting to break everyting" ?

moses whitecotton
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

NTFS is a case-sensitive operating system. The Win32 APIs are not case-sensitive. The case sensitivity in the file system is there for the Posix subsystem only, not for Win32.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I always heard Windows & Mac described as "case-preserving but not case-sensetive." If Windows were case-sensetive you would be able to make two folders on your desktop, "test" and "TEST", but you can't. OS X is case-sensetive *if* you format the volume as UFS (Unix filesystem) which is not recommended as it will break many things.

null fame
Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Actually I dislike case sensitivity.  It sure as hell isn't intuitive or user friendly.  That's probably why Unix pisses me off sometimes.

Mike
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Agreed that it's not user friend or intuitive. That's why Windows chose case preserving instead of case sensitive. Had Microsoft not thought Posix were important, they likely never would've added case sensitivity to NTFS's feature set.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

My favorite example of case-sensitive hatred is in web site URL's, back in the days when people were still figuring out standards.

You would go to something like:

htt-etc-p://www.cnn.com/ARCHIVE/Online_Editorials/LARRY_KING/

If you mistyped a letter in the wrong case, the URL would return a 404.  Absolutely ridiculous.

..
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

.., case sensitivity of websites depends on the server. Windows/IIS, not case-sesitive. UNIX, yes.

The best argument against case-sensitiveness can be found at
http://www.birdhouse.org/macos/beos_osx/redux.html under the heading "Apple's way makes sense" (about 3/4 the way down.) (BTW, searching for that article is a lot easier if you know it's spelled 'sensitive', not 'sensetive'. :-) ) A few excerpts:
-----
As for the "rightness" of using a case-preserving, case-insensitive filesystem, though... well, I come from a UNIX-geek background myself, and it was many galling years before I understood why it was designed that way in the first place.

Case-sensitivity seems like a great idea to UNIX-heads. These are people who want every possible command and workflow to have a distinct, deterministic result -- the kind of thinking you expect from an academic/research environment. Synonymous workflows that arrive at the same result are anathema to science. Students filling up directories with lab data like for there to be a difference between "a.dat" and "A.dat" and sorts them according to ASCII value rather than orthography. It's a sure-footed, obedient scheme, one where the computer does exactly what the user wants it to do -- because the user is one who has the expertise to issue instructions that are very clear and precise and speak the same internal language that the computer does.

But that's not who desktop OSes are written for. In a desktop OS, there is no conceivable reason why you would want to have two files in the same folder that are, for all intents and purposes, named the same thing. "Picture1.jpg" is the same thing as "picture1.jpg". No, really -- it is. It's the metaphor by which you organize the people in your address book. Would you consider "john thomas" to be a different person from "John Thomas"? Would you be unconfused by a set of introductions at a party with both these fellows in attendance?

It's telling that over the past several years, in attempts to reassure myself of the usefulness of case-sensitivity, I've asked UNIX geek after UNIX geek to name a single truly compelling reason for it to exist. And to a man, not one of them could think of anything more concrete than "Well... y'know... it's just better."
-----

null fame
Friday, January 09, 2004

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