Shipspotters all over the world => Site related news, functions and modules => Topic started by: davidships on February 28, 2020, 12:52:36 am

Title: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: davidships on February 28, 2020, 12:52:36 am
Unsurprisingly this has arisen afresh in the context of the website upgrade, and in particular whether, if there were agreement on one style, software could ease the change and future uploading.  That technical aspect is the only thing that makes it necessary to review this question now. 

In my experience, auto-alteration from lower to upper case can work, though when this site introduced it in c2014 it did not work well enough and was soon abandoned - mainly, I recall, over treatment of non-standard letters, which we no longer use, and punctuation (hyphens, apostrophes, full stops etc) as well as those categories which are not ship names (eg ports, funnel logos).  It does not usually work at all properly the other way around, because the software cannot identify where the capital initial letters should go. The grosstonnage-based vessel identification box under every photo uses this, producing logical abominations like "Cma Cgm L'etoile", "E.r.camargue", "Xxvii Syezd Kpss", "P&,osl Picardy".

Since 2014, each time it has been discussed it has just revealed a lack of willingness to accept a change to a common approach by one side or the other, even though that would look more professional and serious for the site.

For the record, the following is copied from yesterday's thread on Members' suggestions for improvement of the website
Pieter InpynSuggestions for improvement of the website:
1)   Conversion of all vessel names of all the posted photo’s so far to uppercase characters. Now it is a strange mix of upper and lower case text. A vessel like “Devonia” can be posted as devonia, Devonia and DEVONIA, with entries as such in the index-table mentioned at point 3.
2)   During posting / adding a photo, the vessel name is converted to upper case characters straight away.
1) On the bow and stern of ships I see for 99.99 % only uppercase characters
2) The search-engine of the "Ship Photo Search" index table on the right hand top of the main screen has a problem with different entries like DEVONIA, Devonia and devonia.
Allan RO
I do not consider using upper-case for names is the right option and would certainly not improve the site.  Stolt, for example do NOT use capitals and neither do the Mein Schiff vessels, just to mention 2 that spring to mind.
and I replied1) Capitalisation of ships' names
It is true that the vast majority of ships' names are in all-caps on ships themselves.  But this is just a matter of tradition and, in some places, national registration law.  There are indeed some exceptons where owners have themselved adopted something different for individual styling or branding preference - including cursive scripts, some miniscule words, misplaced full stops and hyphens etc.  None of this is directly relevant to what we do on here.

This has been discussed several times before; and the site's guidance was revised in the light of the last round to reflect the division of opinion (

Whether a name has capitals or not makes no difference to a name search - devonia, Devonia, DEVONIA, DEVoniA etc all produce the same 35 photos.

Contributions that can help reach a consensus (whatever it is) are welcome


Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: andrecas on February 28, 2020, 05:06:32 am
In the title box I typically insert the ship name in either CAPITALS and/or Title Case, consistent with how it appears on the bow/stern of vessel. To add to Allan RO's comment, there are quite a few  upper/lower case examples "floating" around out there. i.e. Celebrity Cruise vessels/B.C. Ferries, etc., etc.....More examples below....

Queen of Cowichan / Oak Bay
Queen Mary 2

I've noticed from time to time, moderator(s) will change name from "title case" to all "capitals".
As indicated in one of David's comments, whether a name has capitals or not makes no difference to a name search. At the end of the day I prefer seeing a title that is consistent with how name appears on bow/stern  (foreign names/letters, etc.,the exception).

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Bob Scott on February 28, 2020, 12:26:45 pm
Since the vast majority of ships have their names painted in capitals and the registers use capitals (regardless of how the name appears on the vessel, eg AIDAbella on the ship/AIDABELLA in the registers), it follows logically that using capitals for ship names should be the mandatory "house style" on this site.

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: emdee on February 28, 2020, 12:57:37 pm
Ships names in capitals is my preference.

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Jim McQuarrie on February 28, 2020, 02:16:01 pm

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Kyle Stubbs on February 29, 2020, 05:32:56 pm
In my opinion, for a comprehensive site standard it can work out three ways, only one of which is straightforward.

1. All Caps: Easy, everything is converted.

2. Leading first letter capitalized, except acronyms and other various situations: Complex situations such as finally having to sort out whether this tug is a name or an acronym...

3. By Appearance on Hull: Complex situations such as having to adjust for every yacht owner that thinks they're being funny by alternating caps and lower case, or representing the boat name with a symbol, etc...

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: MattB on February 29, 2020, 05:53:32 pm
All in capitals for me. We could have a poll, if the site allows for such things.

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: canberra97 on March 01, 2020, 08:17:23 am
I also use all capital letters when I'm using the ship's name, it's more uniformed and more appropriate. Judging by the the other posts I'm certainly not alone.

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Tuomas Romu on March 01, 2020, 05:19:44 pm
I support all caps for consistency.

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Richard Paton on March 02, 2020, 06:09:16 pm
I write the ships name in capitals when loading it onto the site, it just looks better in capitals full stop.

That said i can go through my photos and many many of them have been changed to lower case by admins, which i guess is done as a point of reference to say they've looked over that particular photo - but if the poster has taken the time to enter the photo name in capitals it really should stay like that for all eternity.

Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Robert J Smith on April 10, 2020, 09:58:05 am
I always use capitals in the titles but as Richard says above, some get changed to lower case for some reason, notice this the most in military ships.

Should be capitals.



Title: Re: Ships' names in 'CAPITALS' or 'Title Case'?
Post by: Russell Judge on April 12, 2020, 12:01:57 pm
All new entries will be in capitals and I will slowly get gound to changing existing entries
All the best in these stressjul times
Everybody keep well