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From "Peter V. Gadjokov" <>
Subject RE: Case Sensitivity in URLs (was RE: BugRat Report #92 was close d(apparently by: Craig R.)
Date Tue, 12 Sep 2000 00:58:02 GMT
Why do we keep referring to this as a Windows or IIS 'problem' or even
'subtle lock-in'? I'm not a big fan of Windows or many MS products
myself but I think portraying this as an MS problem is inaccurate. The
whole thing is largely a consequence of case-insensitive comparison in
filenames and paths under Windows. Case is preserved but not used to
distinguish one path from another. This is a _different_ design
decision from most Unix filesystems but that doesn't make it an
unreasonable one - there is, in fact, now a case-preserving,
case-insensitive Unix environment - MacOS X on HFS+. Here's a little
blurb from Wil Sahnchez' recent USENIX paper on the issue and how it
affected the Apple porting effort:

"Typical Unix filesystems are, in contrast, case sensitive. At the
start of the Rhapsody project, which preceded the current Mac OS X
work, we had anticipated that this would be a big problem. Later, when
we started using HFS+ as the primary filesystem in Darwin, we found
surprisingly few problems resulting from this behavior, and those
which we do find tend to be trivial to fix. We have yet to encounter a
problem in this area which requires a complex solution."[1]

So, if an entire Unix port can somehow deal with this problem
(resources having case-insensitive paths), surely so can Tomcat. It
seems like a perfectly reasonable option to support as there are
platforms in which it makes a lot of sense. A goal of Java and Tomcat
is portability. But let's not forget the goal of portability - to run
(well) on as wide an array of platforms as possible.


[1] Wilfredo Sánchez, The Challenges of Integrating the Unix and Mac
OS Environments,

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