[Oberon] Help in using an Oberon systems.

Bob Walkden bob at web-options.com
Mon Dec 17 23:20:42 CET 2012

> From: Douglas G. Danforth [mailto:danforth at greenwoodfarm.com]
> On 12/17/2012 11:32 AM, Les May wrote:
> > by
> > using upper case keywords only he imposed an additional 'cognitive
> load'
> > on users because text written in upper case is more difficult to
> > comprehend (at least by me)

> Really?  I find the opposite to be true.

numerous studies[1] have shown that people find all-caps texts more
difficult to read than mixed case, but the tests were typically conducted
using texts significantly longer than any string of consecutive keywords
you're ever likely to read in a program.

I find upper case keywords very useful with mixed case source text because
they provide navigation markers when scanning source code. In this way they
are rather like paragraph and section headings, which should normally differ
from the body text in 2 ways (at least according to Tufte) to be effective
in helping readers to scan.

I was brought up as a COBOL programmer on mainframes, with a significant
amount of BASIC, when everything had to be in upper case. It was very
liberating when I first started using Modula-2 on PCs to be able to use
lower case. It also strengthened the muscles and increased the flexibility
of my pinky fingers as I had to learn to use the shift keys while typing;
this in turn proved invaluable when I started learning flamenco. So the
upshot is, Wirthian languages improve your rasgueado.


[1] the one I'm familiar with is "Type and layout: are you communicating or
just making pretty shapes" by Wheildon

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