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.
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 replied
1) 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 opinionhttp://www.shipspotting.com/support/faq.php?category=How%20to%20Upload%20Photos#76
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