Hexadecimal Numbers: Uppercase or Lowercase?

Do you prefer hexadecimal numbers written with uppercase letters (A-F) or lowercase letters (a-f)?

For example, do you prefer the integer 3102965292 written as B8F37E2C or b8f37e2c? Do you prefer the floating-point number 126.976 written as 0x1.fbe76cp6 or 0x1.FBE76Cp6?

I ran this poll on my sidebar, and after 96 responses, about 70% are “prefer uppercase” and about 9% are “prefer lowercase”. What do you think? (For the “depends on context” answer I meant things other than numeric values, like the memory representation of strings. However, for the purposes of this article, please answer with just numeric values in mind.)

I had always used uppercase but switched to lowercase when I started this blog. (I don’t remember why, but I think I was under the impression that the wider programming community preferred lowercase.) My article examples are in lowercase (I use “%a” rather than “%A” for hexadecimal floating-point constants), as are the outputs of my floating-point converter (the Hexadecimal floating-point constant and Raw hexadecimal output formats) and base converter (with the default digit characters). Since I’m writing an app that displays hexadecimal numbers, I figured this would be a good time to check my assumptions.

(I think lowercase is easier to read, but uppercase fits better with numeral fonts, making it look more uniformly numeric.)


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