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This was asked on SO a few minutes ago, where the title and the entire question were in all caps: FIREFOX AND YAHOO INCOMPATIBLES — JUST HOW DEEP ?

Would it be a good idea to auto-convert posts entered in all caps to lowercase? Or is that overkill? The system does seem to have worked, as this was quickly downvoted and closed, but if it had been a valid programming question maybe an automatic conversion to all-lowercase (or sentence case) would have helped it avoid the firing squad?

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Me wants an automatic system. I'm sure Community can help out with these edits easier than a human can. –  bjb568 Feb 26 at 18:51

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think editing is the key here. This is exactly why SO is part wiki. If this were a valid question that for some reason was in all caps, then it absolutely should have been edited by user's with the appropriate amount of rep so that it was readable and answerable. I don't think spending time developing a programmatic solution to this would be meaningful, because there is already a process designed into the system (editing) to handle precisely this scenario. Especially because going to all lower caps is not really a solution, it simply changes the problem. Certainly an algorithm could be written to detect the appropriate punctuation marks and capitalize the next letter could be developed, but again, I don't think this would be worth the effort it would involved to implement and maintain.

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1. There is no valid question that should be in all caps. 2. The sentence "FIX THIS CAPITALIZATION." requires 20 letter substitutions to get to "Fix this capitalization.", whereas "fix this capitalization." requires 1. The margin may be closer generally but still: running through tolower() is easy to implement and maintain while accomplishing most of the work. 3. There's a quality filter (now, not sure if there was when you posted this); adding another case and blocking them at the source shouldn't be much of a hassle. I've proposed that here. –  Matthew Read Feb 9 '12 at 0:18

Seems like sort of a special-case. Personally, i'd rather the SO team wrote code to detect such posts, and then automatically set up a PayPal account to accept donations towards a new keyboard for the author of the question. I think it'd be a better long-term solution...

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haha +1 for making me laugh –  Kip Jul 27 '09 at 13:01

Actually, it wasn't closed it was moved, which was completely the wrong thing to do. In this case, the best option was closing as not programming related / not a real question / spam, etc. If it happened to be a real question, the best thing would have been to edit it to remove the all-caps. But people just took the easy route and sent it to another site for them to deal with instead.

SuperUser is not your trash bin!

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fwiw, my close vote was actually a vote to close it, not to move it –  Kip Jul 27 '09 at 12:59

Posts in all-BILLY MAYS should be auto-converted to close/deleted state. That would have totally avoided the firing line of down votes.

Put them to rest like OxiClean does stains.

This answer sponsored by the beard of the late BILLY MAYS.

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