[Ffmpeg-devel] [Ss][Nn][Oo][Ww] spelling^wbranding

Gary Corcoran gcorcoran
Tue May 17 19:17:53 CEST 2005

Erik Slagter wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-05-12 at 22:02 +0200, Fran?ois Revol wrote:
>>>Fran?ois Revol wrote:
>>>>>On Thu, May 12, 2005 at 07:57:17PM +0200, Erik Slagter wrote:
>>>>>>On Thu, 2005-05-12 at 09:00 -0600, Mike Melanson wrote:
>>>>>>>>Sorry for bothering, but is there an official spelling or not?  
>>>>>>>>Or is it
>>>>>>>>just "I don't care, follow your own preference.", which is also 
>>>>>>>	Conventionally, FOURCCs from AVI files are uppercase. I would 
>>>>>>>vote for 
>>>>>>>SNOW (and that is the current FOURCC).
>>>>>>Aarrrgggg, capitals are ugly! Also they tend to be favoured by 
>>>>>>operating systems and applications (= because they are archaic).
>>>>>Anyone know the reason why legacy systems used all caps? It's 
>>>>Because primitive terminals only had caps.
>>>	That's not very creative. I think a better theory is that ALL CAPS 
>>>a de facto standard foisted on us by Microsoft. Apple came out with a 
>>>computer that could do lowercase but MS asserted that their customers 
>>>did not want or need lowercase. At least, not until MS supported 
>>>lowercase. Naturally, Unix had supported lowercase since the dawn of 
>>>time but was also the subject of much patent wrangling.
>>>	Is that closer to the answer you were looking for, Felker?
> LOL ;-)
>>Lol, that would be funny but it was before the whole M$ thing really :P
>>teletypes and friends... :)
> What really puzzles me is that those "caps-only" terminals probably
> already where using ASCII (yeah, caps ;-)). This means that inputting
> lower-case characters only needed a shift/caps key on the keyboard. For
> output, 26 extra entries in character generator rom would be necessary.
> I can hardly believe that was taking that much space it wouldn't fit in
> the rom.

ROM ?  There was no ROM !!  There were only solid metal characters
that struck an ink ribbon to produce the characters on the paper.  So
no, it would NOT have been an easy thing to add lowercase characters.
It was amazing that they could more-or-less reliably mechanically
print characters at 10 per second that way.  :)   And even when ROMs
were invented, they were small and expensive.  The first commercial
EPROM, the Intel 1702A, had just 256 *bytes* of storage.  See:

And as to the reason for caps versus lowers, strange as it may seem,
I seem to recall reading about 20 years or so ago that the reason
Felker gave ("god" vs. "GOD") *was* (one of) the reason(s) for choosing
caps.  Of course that might just be a legend, but remember that was about
50 (or more) years ago, and it could have well been the case
(no pun intended).


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