delicious blog posting feature: Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Capitalized Delicious Links Title

I'm quite anal when it comes to punctuation, capitalization, and grammar in general. That's not to say that I don't make mistakes myself — we're all prone to the occasional typo, after all — it just means that I try to make an effort to write well.

Unfortunately, it appears that not everyone makes the same effort. A cursory glance at web copy in the wild is enough to reveal a vast amount of variance in the apparent importance that different people and companies place on the quality of their written language. Given that the written word is usually the only indicator that other people have when trying to judge your character and professionalism in online communications, the importance of attention to detail in your written communication is greatly amplified.

A glaring omission in punctuation, capitalization, or grammar can leave you looking unprofessional. When this omission affects other applications and sites — for example, through copy that is replicated in a widget or via an API — it can also affect the professionalism of those sites and applications.

Case in point: I just enabled the blog posting feature (you need to be signed in to see it) in delicious to get summaries of my delicious links posted automatically to my blog. It's a great feature and yet it has such a glaring flaw that it practically screams "we don't pay attention to detail!"

"What is this glaring flaw," I hear you ask, "a bug in the XMLRPC implementation? A dangerous security breach?" No, nothing so severe: delicious merely doesn't capitalize the titles of the posts it makes on your blog. By default (and I haven't found a way to override this), posts are titled "links for <date>", instead of "Links for <date>".

So what is an anal developer (I dread to see the spam comments and trackbacks I'm going to be getting on this post) to do but write his own little Wordpress plugin to correctly capitalize the titles of posts?

Download the Sentence Case plugin here (4KB).

The plugin is merely a stop-gap feature that capitalizes the first letter of post titles when displaying them on the blog and in the RSS feed. That's it, nothing more to see here!

Ideally, of course, delicious should correctly capitalize the titles of the posts it makes on blogs via its blog posting feature. Even better, let us customize the titles ourselves.

The title of this post is in reference to an excellent book on punctuation by Lynne Truss.