Re: [OT] C-sharp

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue Mar 23 2004 - 08:42:58 EST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: [OT] C-sharp"

    > The file extension is '.cs', since including punctuation marks would
    > cause problems on many systems.
    > The correct spelling is with a sharp sign, not a number sign, as
    > documented by Microsoft themselves in various places:

    Q. What is the symbol in the name "C#"?
    A. It's not the "hash" (or pound) symbol as most people believe. It's actually
    supposed to be the musical sharp symbol. However, because the sharp symbol is
    not present on the standard keyboard, it's easier to type the hash ("#") symbol.
    The name of the language is, of course, pronounced "see sharp".

    Yes the FAQ you reference is still ambiguous, and it does not specify ".cs" as
    the extension to use, and it explictly says that for practical reasons, the hash
    symbol will be used instead of the musical sharp, even if this causes technical
    similar problems as what is explained in the FAQ with the keyboard support.

    So the name (or trademark?) is meant to be pronounced "sharp" (in English),
    visualized logographically with a sharp symbol, and entered as a hash (#) symbol
    which don't work within file extensions in so many tools.

    This leaves its users with problems when they want to choose their development
    tool or platform, as they will use other file extensions than the obvious ".c#".
    I can see this caveat as a way to create a unique identity directly related to
    Microsoft desires to make it adopted the way Microsoft wants it. Having to use
    '.cs' creates fileextensions that are not obviously referencing the 'C#'
    language (remember that this name is pronounced very differently across various
    languages, and NOBODY says "C sharp' in French, where we simply read it as "C
    dièse" using the most common name to refer to the keyboard symbol, which is a
    English number sign or hash, but where the term "hash" is not obvious for French
    has it is homonym with the phonetic /hach/ to designate the letter 'H' in
    French. (Sharp is also a wellknown trademark for computers and calculators, and
    this adds to the confusion, so nobody would use it to spell "C#"; using "Dièse"
    is a much more neutral approach, and from it a ".cd" extension could be used by
    French users rather than ".cs" which "speaks" nothing)

    Having to rename source files found an various places which use many variants
    for the problematic ".c#' extension is an issue that will be solved later
    (remember the similar issue that arose with C++ file extensions '.C', '.cc',
    before '.cpp' was finally more universally accepted as the standard extension to
    use; same thing for the C++ new header names which remove any extension: some
    C++ development tools will map them to filenames without extensions that cause
    integration problems, some will remap these names with a default extension such
    as '.h' or '.hpp'). It's a shame that no standard and usable file extension was
    defined, whatever the name and logo used by this language.

    May be one day, if this language gets approved for a future interoperable
    standard, it will have a different name. For now I see "C#" as a Microsoft
    trademark, and a marketing tactic, similar to the "/2" logographic mark used and
    protected by IBM several years ago to promote OS/2 and other technologies
    developed at that time, and nearly abandonned today.

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