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War Declared on Caps Lock Key 1230

pieterh writes "I've launched a campaign to rid the world of the caps lock key. Sure, there are more serious problems to solve but please, think of the children! How am I going to explain to my kids why some of the most valuable keyboard real estate is squatted by a large, useless key that above all you must not press! Our campaign mission is simple: to send a message to the computer industry to force it (by any means necessary) to retire the CAPS key. It's going to be a hard, long, and possibly very embarassing war on uppercase, but some things just need to be done. "
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War Declared on Caps Lock Key

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  • by crazyjeremy ( 857410 ) * on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:12AM (#15918314) Homepage Journal
    This instructional image has helped some people through the years... geurl=2005%2F2005-08-23-0002%2FCAPSLOCK.GIF&showfo lder=0 []
    Maybe you should post it in forums for the tards instead of declaring war on Uppercase.
    • Useful for Vi users (Score:5, Informative)

      by suso ( 153703 ) * on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:16AM (#15918379) Homepage Journal
      Put this in your .Xmodmap

      remove Lock = Caps_Lock
      keycode 66 = Escape

      I find that the Capslock key makes a nice Escape key so I don't have to reach up high for it.
      • by wilper ( 103281 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:45AM (#15918683) Homepage
        And we that prefer the superior editor can replace it with Ctrl, to ease the strain on the wrist.

        I did this six years ago and have never looked back, I even do it on Windows-machines these days. There is a nice little util called ctrl2caps (or possibly caps2ctrl) that does this for you.
      • Exactly. Getting rid of caps lock is retarded. It's current location is retarded. War on Caps Lock? War on stupid keyboard layouts!

    • by flosofl ( 626809 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:18AM (#15918395) Homepage
      bUT hOW wILL pEOPLE KNOW wHEN I aM BEING sUPER CEREAL? cEREALOUSLY! (fucking lameness filter)
  • gOOD lUCK (Score:5, Funny)

    by h890231398021 ( 948231 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:12AM (#15918315)
    • Re:gOOD lUCK (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rwven ( 663186 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:20AM (#15918441)
      LOL, while it is annoying when people type in all caps and things like that, I use the caps lock key for legitimate reasons all the time. I'm in a data-mining job working on a UniData database and all UniQuery must be written in all caps. This would be a supreme pain to do sans a Caps-Lock key. This is just one of MANY things that falls under that umbrella. I also use the caps lock key as my "walk" key while playing CS. :-D

      Frankly...I find the idea of getting rid of the caps lock key...slightly appalling. :)
      • Re:gOOD lUCK (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:26AM (#15918500) Homepage Journal
        I don't mind it existing, it just pisses me off where it actually is.
        Its one thing to have an accidental character in your text, its another to completely mess up the rest of the line.
      • For most people, the caps lock key is useless. Even for someone who uses it, you should at least agree that it certainly doesn't need to be right in home row. A lot of manufacturers will actually change the shape of it to prevent accidental pressings of it.

        There are several useless keys that could be removed; print screen, and pause and the other two "lock" keys: scroll lock and num lock. I hate the num lock key as I usually use it immediately after keying in what I thought were numbers only to move the
        • I can't fathom why someone would chose to use the number keys as arrow keys when there are actual arrow keys sitting right there

          For me, that reason is Civilization (2, 3, and FreeCiv, haven't played 4). Diagonal directions are very important. Clicking the mouse can be error prone (though goto is useful). I could probably remap the directions nethack-style onto the keyboard, but I've never gotten used to those keybindings.

          In fact, this makes playing Civ for me much less convenient on a laptop. I often e

  • by zubernerd ( 518077 ) * on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:12AM (#15918319)
    Must be a slow news day, again!
    Stories to be seen soon on Slashdot:
    "Jihad declared on SysRq key" and "Crusade declared on 'Scroll Lock' Key"
  • I can't believe it.

    Anyhow, I think he's right. I haven't used the CAPS key since I programmed in FORTRAN. It's called Fortran now and accepts lower case like everything else. In fact, I didn't even use the caps key to type FORTRAN. I just held down the shift key with my little finger. So, what use is this CAPS key?
    • So, what use is this CAPS key?

      I actually use CAPS LOCK regularly when writing macros in C. It's much easier on the finger to not have to chord full words with the shift key pressed. Try it sometime. Once you get in the habit of using it on long stretches of capitalized letters (like CAPS LOCK), you'll never go back.

      My biggest gripe is that I have to press shift to use the underscore key.
  • Best Real Estate? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 )
    The bottom left corner of my keyboard is harly prime real estate. Oh, you didn't leave the default PS2 keyboard mapping for Caps Lock did you? That's my Ctrl button like the good Lord intended.

    On second thought, that's far too annoying.

    If the proposed abolishment of caps lock keys is successful, I grow concerned about what myself and my predecessors will celebrate on INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY [] which happens to be October 22. And don't tell me it's not a real holiday because that is one convincing website. It has a news flash with a picture of a potato, uses the word "bitches" and has a countdown for the days remaining to INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. And look at this other reputable site, Out House Rag [] that also backs INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. That's more than Adults Day in Japan [] has to say! Please, if I have to put up with one more Nevada Day [] (October 31) the least you can do is let me have my INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY. Please don't remove your caps lock key [] because they're not evil []!

    You know, there's this horrible site [] that actually encourages you to remap your caps lock to a more suitable function ... but of course that would just be sacrilegious [] and a very dangerous process [] (don't try it at home!).
  • Bloody lameness filter runied the original version of this post. "Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING." That's the WHOLE FUCKING IDEA!
  • hurrah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by tolan-b ( 230077 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:14AM (#15918342)
    Personally I often remove the caps-lock key so as to not accidentally turn it on.
  • by Pope ( 17780 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:14AM (#15918345)
    What a toally useless key to have in such a prominent keying position. The old school 'boards had it right: big-ass Control key next to the A, tiny Caps Lock in the bottom left corner. It made even more sense when Windows starting adopting the Mac's Command-letter keyboard shortcut as Control-letter, like Cut/Copy/Paste.

  • not enough (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    taking down the caps lock key isn't enough, we must go for the head of the dragon - the windows key.
  • by jonv ( 2423 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:14AM (#15918349)
    Slashdot seems to have a solution. Tried to post a funny message in all Caps and Slashdot responded:
    Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
  • Data entry issues (Score:5, Informative)

    by sirstar ( 789206 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:15AM (#15918355)
    What about the Data entry people that have to type things in all caps? Holding down the shift button to type in a whole line will be more of a pain then someone learning how to turn their caps lock off.....
  • by grommit ( 97148 )
    There's plenty of keyboards that you can buy that don't have a caps lock key on them. What's the point of this stupid crusade other than to annoy those of us that do use caps lock on occasion?
  • by Korgan ( 101803 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:15AM (#15918358) Homepage

    Ooops. Sorry, caps. :-P

    Seriously though, I know lots of people who's business requires them to enter data into their company's systems using caps. I don't know about you, but my little pinky would get extremely disfigured having to swap to and hold the shift button all the time. You'd slow typists down immeasurably.
  • So when I want to code constants in my scripts, my pinkies will have to dance all about? What about repetitive stress (my left pinkie used to go numb)? What about the extra time? Who cares about the children. Think about the people who's job it is to type words in upper case all day long.

    Const STATUS As String = "UNHAPPY"
  • by AviLazar ( 741826 )
    Because caps lock has uses. Let us say you need to type in all capital letters (acronym). Now you have to put a period between each letter. That is annoying. Let us say you want to capitalize a sentence, now you have to hold the shift key down. That is annoying. While I agree there are annoying people WHO ONLY LIKE TO TYPE IN CAPS and these people should be lobotomized, I enjoy my caps lock.

    Also, if this is the best thing you can figure out to challenge in life then you need to get a life.
  • While you are at it. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ErroneousBee ( 611028 ) <neil:neilhan[ ] ['coc' in gap]> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:16AM (#15918371) Homepage
    Sort the rest of the keyboard out.

    Insert and Caps lock need to be moved out of the way, so that you can use them, but you dont accidentally change a mode while going for another key. The Windows button can be moved too. I keep hitting it when using windows and defocusing the window Im working in. They have no effect in KDE so its not a bother there.

    Backspace and delete need to be side by side.

    Minus and plus need to be given the same level, as shifting to get a plus is not logical compared to minus.
    • Sort the rest of the keyboard

      Yeah! I completley agree with that statement. We should get rid of this OLD [] keyboard layout intended for mechanical machines of 1868 and use something more in accord with current technology [].

      Seriously, I *know* it is possible to change the layout in the operating system (in the same way it is possible to remove the CAPSLOCK key from the keyboard) but I believe current typing courses should teach Dvorak, you really wold get impressed on the speed and commodity of typing with tha
  • I'm being tired of these fights with my girlfriend (yeah, I know, /.) who insists on using this damned key and DARES using it on MY computer and leaving caps lock ON when she has finished using it.

    (No key under the 'tab' key has been used for this post)
  • Have found the tweak utility to remap it to what it should be and always has been before "PC"'s: The CTRL Key. That, and turning off those damn Windows keys!
  • by smash ( 1351 )
    Caps is useful for entering DEFINES.

    I certainly use it a lot more than scroll lock or the windows menu key.

    Get rid of it for what? I may use it 5 minutes a year, but if it's not there, it's going to be missed...

  • And Num-Lock too! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adhemar ( 679794 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:17AM (#15918381)

    While we're at it, can we get rid of NUM LOCK too? At least on normal 100+ key keyboards.

    It should be on, not only by default, but all the time. We have arrow keys, Page up and down, Home and End, Insert and Delete between the letters and the right-side number pad. There's no need to duplicate those keys just beside it.

    Only negative point: it was up to now a cool hack to make flash the LEDs indicating CAPS and NUM LOCK, like the Knight Rider car, or make it send messages in Morse.

  • +1 Righteous.

  • In my opinion, you might as well keep it until a better key is found to be placed there to replace it. In turn, maybe add a feature that turns off the Caps Lock key. So when the feature is enabled, hitting the Caps Lock key does nothing.
  • by rayde ( 738949 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:17AM (#15918393) Homepage
    i propose that keyboards should place caps lock up in no-man's land with Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break, rather than doing away with it completely. For the few times you actually would WANT to activate caps lock, it shouldn't be a problem for people to reach up there. And those who need caps lock a lot for their old programming language or somthing can use a legacy keyboard.
    • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @10:37AM (#15919244)
      That's certainly a better option than getting rid of it altogether. The reason for the current location of the caps lock key actually has nothing to do with usability but rather was for compatibility with old typewriters. The caps lock key on typewriteers (actually a 'shift lock' key which affected the numbers and punctuation as well) had to be directly above the shift key since it was a mechanical latch that physically kept the shift key held down.
  • ...what about writing queries?

    SELECT * FROM `table` WHERE ...
  • Although I expected something a little bit more substantial in a web presence.

    Maybe even a geocities webpage, for cryin out loud.
  • Useless? Not at all! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lars Clausen ( 1208 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:18AM (#15918402)
    My Caps Lock key is gainfully in use to change the keyboard layout between English and Danish. It's wonderful as it lights up an LED, so I can easily see the state I'm in, and it's very handily placed. Please don't take my Caps^H^H^H^HLayout Lock key away!
  • by mschaef ( 31494 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:18AM (#15918409) Homepage
    On Windows, Caps Lock and Control can be swepped. A similar technique can be used to make caps lock a redundant control key: []

    There are also ways to do this on Unix, but I don't remember what they are.
  • I need it (Score:5, Funny)

    by mombodog ( 920359 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:19AM (#15918410)
    What? Get rid of it? How will I make posts on EBay and Craigslist? ;-)
  • by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:20AM (#15918435)
    The old-timers in the crowd probably already know about this one:

    Replacing CapsLock with Left-Control on X
    Create the file ~/.Xmodmap with these contents:

                remove mod4 = Meta_L
                remove mod1 = Alt_L
                remove lock = Caps_Lock
                keysym Meta_L = Alt_L
                keysym Alt_L = Meta_L
                add mod4 = Meta_L
                add mod1 = Alt_L
                add control = Caps_Lock

    If you are running something like XFree86, add

                xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

    to your ~/.xinitrc file or ~/.xsession file. If neither of those exist, you can always do it from the command line.

    text stolen from []
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) * on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:41AM (#15918651)
      And remember, whatever you do, do not use what you have just learned here to remap your collegue's keyboard when goes out for lunch. It would cause him a certain amount of consternation, especially if he isn't the sort that would know about these things.

      Maximum effect is actually obtained by only changing a few keys, not just messing everything up.

      But remember, if anyone should ask where you got the idea, I specifically said "do not."

    • by pilkul ( 667659 )
      Copy the following into a .reg file (not including the --- lines) and run it to replace Caps Lock with Left-Ctrl:


      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\ K eyboard Layout]
      "Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,1d,00 ,3a,00,00,00,00,00


      If you want to replace it with Escape instead, use this:


      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\K eyboard Layout]
  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:24AM (#15918481)
    Excuse me, but the world has more serious problems than this. I really can not explain how this made it on /., while more serious topics like a petition for adding garbage collection to C++ were rejected.

  • by SFBwian ( 744032 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:28AM (#15918522)
    While I hardly use it outside of my employment, those of us in the construction industry use it all the time. If you've ever seen a Architectural, Structural, Civil, etc. drawing, it would be hard for you to find lowercase letters.

    What will we have to do if caps lock goes away, press shift 5 times?
  • by phlegmofdiscontent ( 459470 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:36AM (#15918607)
    I mean, seriously, I know some people really hate the caps lock key (despite its usefulness to other people), but this is one guy who started a group on Google and acts like it's some massive grassroots campaign. I think Slashdot got punk'd on this one.

    And really, if you don't like a key, remap it or remove it. I myself have removed the "Windows" key (it always interfered with my Doom playing) and the letter Q (because who the hell needs to use that one?).
  • by LittleGuy ( 267282 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:43AM (#15918671)
    If we get rid of the Caps Lock key, how will the Hard-Of-Hearing be able to read messages?
  • CapsUnlock (Score:5, Informative)

    by dargaud ( 518470 ) <(slashdot2) (at) (> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:47AM (#15918695) Homepage
    Download and install CapsUnlock []. Problem solved. And you can still use it if you really want.
  • by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:51AM (#15918731) Homepage Journal
    I knew a guy once who for a period of many months did not realize that the shift key in conjunction with alphabetic key on the keyboard made capital letters. He knew how to use the shift key - but he only used it for symbols and the like when a key was labelled for it. To type capital letters, he pressed CapsLock, typed the letter, then pressed CapsLock again. He never complained, and he had become very proficient with the technique by the time I showed him the alternative. I'm not sure I ever looked to see if he had changed his ways.
  • reply.c (Score:3, Funny)

    by Keith Russell ( 4440 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @09:58AM (#15918784) Journal

    Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
    Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

    It's a post about the Caps Lock key!!! Of course, I'm yelling!!! God, this lameness filter is so bloody stupid!!!

  • by synesis ( 786756 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @10:01AM (#15918825)
    1. Remove Caps key.
    2. Add drop of super glue.
    4. OH CRAP!
  • by CritterNYC ( 190163 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @10:03AM (#15918834) Homepage
    I have some simple registry files up that allow you to easily disable caps lock, turn it into a control key or swap it with the left control key (for some old school keyboarding goodness). Just head to Disable Caps Lock [].
  • cat ~/.xmodmap (Score:3, Informative)

    by Laxitive ( 10360 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @10:06AM (#15918877) Journal
    remove Lock = Caps_Lock
    keysym Caps_Lock = Escape

    Happy vimming :)
  • by ALecs ( 118703 ) on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @10:24AM (#15919081) Homepage
    No! Don't get rid of that key. It's a nice, large, pinky-accessible key that should be used....for CONTROL! Bring back control to its rightful place on the keyboard. Don't get rid of the key just make it do something more useful. .Xmodmaprc:

    remove Lock = Caps_Lock
    keysym Caps_Lock = Control_L
    add Control = Control_L

    Or, /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

    Section "InputDevice"
                Option "XkbOptions" "ctrl:nocaps"

  • by nessus42 ( 230320 ) <> on Wednesday August 16, 2006 @12:14PM (#15920276) Homepage Journal
    Dude, are you trying to further make miserable the lives of those with RSI? We need those caps locks keys for typing in variables and the like that are in all caps.

    Of course, without some sort of immediate feedback that one has entered caps lock mode, such a key indeed causes despair, but it is that lack of immediate feedback that is the problem, not the key itself. On old fashioned typewriters, you could easily feel when you were pressing caps lock. Computer manufacturers went about trying to drive everybody insane by removing this sensory feedback. (New technology always seems to be two steps forward, one step back -- if that.) Sun Microsystems made issues even worse by swapping the location of Control and CapsLock, so that when moving from one keyboard to another, you never know what you are going to get.

    My Kinesis Contour Keyboard solves the problem elegantly by making a distinctive double buzz sound when you enter caps lock mode and a single buzz when you exit caps lock mode. Also, the keyboard is completely remappable, so you can put whatever key wherever you want it, or remove a key from the mapping altogether.

    I suggest that this feedback and flexibility is what your movement should aim for, rather than trying to further cripple the rest of us.
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) on Thursday August 17, 2006 @06:23AM (#15925589) Homepage

    Keyboard manufacturers: DON'T MESS WITH MY KEYBOARD. If you want to differentiate your keyboard, you can start by adding extra keys, which can be mapped to various functions. DON'T screw with existing keys.

    Typing on a non-standard keyboard is extremely irritating. The worst keyboard I've used is one where the function keys were, BY DEFAULT, assigned to be those "Internet keys" (Help, Open, Save, Email, Web, etc.). You had to press some "Fn Lock" key in order to make them behave like proper function keys should, and every time you rebooted, the "Fn Lock" status got cleared. The same keyboard also had a double-height Delete key, and rearranged the Insert, Home, End, PageUp and PageDown keys, so I'd always end up pressing the wrong one. Oh, and I think it might have even screwed with the positions of the cursor keys, too, but I don't remember that one for sure.

    The position of the CapsLock key is annoying, and I can see the justification for swapping it with the left Control key, but the manufacturers will inevitably screw it up, so it would be best if they just leave the keyboard alone, and let the software guys handle remapping and such.

    Providing alternate keycaps would be nice, though, so that the labels printed on the keys could be changed to match the software keymap.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!