The Caps Lock key takes up valuable keyboard real estate, encourages shouting (accidental or intentional), and results in mis-typed passwords. The CAPSoff blog has become a rallying point for users who want to encourage manufacturers to either ditch it or move it up into no-man’s land alongside Scroll Lock, et al. Wired News:

“The Caps key is an abomination,” Hintjens writes on his blog. “It’s a huge key, stuck right there where the Ctrl used to be, and as far as I know, it’s only used by 419 scammers and Fortran programmers.”

“Obviously the keyboard producers have been so indoctrinated that they don’t even inspect their own products any longer,” Hintjens writes. “Listen, dudes: No one wants that crummy Caps key. It’s history.”

File under: Noble effort, but historical momentum is too hard to fight. If you want the keyboard to be logical, may as well throw out the whole thing and start over. Or go Dvorak.

Music: Tom Glazer :: Where Is The Stratosphere?

9 Replies to “STOP SHOUTING”

  1. Doesn’t every OS have a keyboard mapping utility today where you can make the keys whatever you want no matter what they say on the physical device?

    If they feel the market wants a new keyboard, why don’t they make one? There are a ton of small players in this arena.

  2. There already is a keyboard without caps lock – the Happy Hacking range that are a joy to type on.

  3. Hey, Java programmers use caps lock too… constants, by convention, are all in caps.


    public static final String GOTO = “Considered harmful”

  4. Les, OS X definitely does allow re-mapping of keys like that, but I’m not sure Windows does (at least not without 3rd party utils).

  5. luckilly, it’s pretty easy to just pop off the caps lock key-cap on most keyboards, something i’ve been doing for years.

  6. What’d be doubly awesome is if they used the extra key space to allow the re-introduction of the “cent” key, so that millions of people can stop typing the ever-awkward, “Just throwing in my $0.02!”

  7. Sheesh….. after reading the CapsOff blog website, I can understand why we have so many homeless people, why taxes are so high, why we have no world peace or an end to world hunger. It is because people seem to think that using or not using all caps is an issue worthy of conversation. Having recently made an un-intentional faux pas while trying to make a point, I was summarily verbally thrashed for “shouting” in an email. I took a poll of random computer users and asked them what they thought about people that used all caps in emails. The response was nothing short of astounding. Mostly all the users said it would be either rude or weird. I am flabbergasted that “all caps” has got such a bad rap now. What’s next? The mis-usage of multi-syllabic words? No more Bold type? How about axing that symbol above the number 6 key? My point is there are a lot of more important world issues out there to spend a million dollars on. And, if you do manage to get the worlds supply of keyboards changed to eliminate the caps-lock key, then I will move to an island with no electricity and live out my days reading books…. especially ones that occasionally use all caps!

    Yours compassionately,

    The original GEEK. (There. I’ve done it!)

  8. Well, we can’t all fight the homeless / world peace battles… we all have our little campaigns. Computers get better because people and companies put lots of money and time into the process, and the guys at capsOFF have definitely identified a weak spot in computer design that we’ve unfortunately inherited from the FORTRAN days.

    I’m not surprised at the general reactions you received in your straw poll – almost any basic guide on netiquette puts not typing in all caps as rule #1, so most people consider this a very basic rule when doing any kind of online communications.

    I wouldn’t say “has gotten a bad rap now” — this has always been THE fundamental rule of netiquette, and has been in the DNA of the internet for decades.

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