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Should we allow capitalized tags?


So this has been bugging me for a while now. Recently, the tags Chinese, Cantonese, and Mandarin were changed to lowercase. When asking why on the discord, I was told that it was because "tags are lowercase".


@ArtOfCode why'd you change them to lowercase though


because tags are lowercase

just haven't got around to enforcing that yet

Note that this isn't a technical issue, the site was perfectly fine while the capital tags were being used (they're both just text, after all). This is just an arbitrary restriction to ... I don't know, make tags consistent? (at the expense of English capitalization rules)

So, I'd like to ask the broader community: Should we allow tags to be capitalized?

Why should this post be closed?


@Moshi are they meant to link to the tags, or just for the look? ‭Dani‭ 2 months ago

@Dani just for the look ‭Moshi‭ 2 months ago

Hah, I didn't realize how divided this post would be... Its at +3/-2 right now ‭Moshi‭ 2 months ago

4 answers


I think tags should be case-preserving and also case-independent. By this I mean: I do not want us to have two tags that differ only in capitalization, because I think that will lead to errors and confusion. (If you need tags for "apple" the fruit and "Apple" the company on the same site, find some other way to distinguish them.) If there's a technical benefit to pushing them all to lowercase in the database that's fine. But it should be permissible to capitalize proper names for presentation.

As a user I would find it a little puzzling for tags to allow other character sets (like Hebrew or Kanji) but not allow capital letters in the Roman alphabet. And we do currently allow other character sets.


In your example, if someone does write your "apple" tag with upper case, it will appear to have a totally different meaning than intended, but the system won't catch "apple" and "Apple" as being different. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ 2 months ago

@Olin I don't see how that's different from misapplied tags now. People sometimes use the wrong tag because they assumed from the name it was one thing when it's actually meant to be something else. I'm saying we shouldn't allow both "apple" and "Apple" to be tags on the same site; that'll just add even more chaos. ‭Monica Cellio‭ 2 months ago


Yes! Tags presentation should not obey to any technical constraint.

Store tags any way you like, present them in English



Capitalization is part of spelling. Tags should be allowed to be spelled correctly. Forcing all lower case not only looks stupid, but may lead to confusion.

For example, "microchip" is quite different from "Microchip".

If you don't think capitalization matters, consider the sentence

I helped my uncle Jack off a horse.



It bugs me when some of the tags are capitialized and some are not, I would much rather they all be one way or the other.

It's way easier to enforce that they all be lowercase and to automatically set them that way in the DB (I can write the SQL in my sleep) so I would rather all the tags be consistently in lowercase.


I guess to each their own. I personally find it more annoying when proper capitalization is ignored. ‭Moshi‭ 2 months ago

@M̶̡͓̘͖͍̟͍͎̰͕̯̎̂̊ȍ̵̀̐̎̇͝s̸̩̪̓̈́h̴͙̜̺̀̆͐̀͜i̷̧̧̩̹̦̯̲̒ There may be a price not worth paying (in speed etc) but for sure improper capitalisation sets a bad precedent for quality within the body of Qs and As. ‭pnuts‭ 2 months ago

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