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re: Changing your name is a hard unsolved problem in Computer Science VIEW POST


"Changing" name? It would be good to start at zero and get interfaces to accept people's real names from the beginning. There are lots of sites which still only take [A-Za-z] and even block spaces and hyphens.

In 2020.

I recently posted this example ( - warning NSFW). The devs will get the blame, rightly or wrongly, for what is likely an organisational failure to update antique DBMSs, OSs, and server environments to handle modern character encodings.

Wouldn't it be nice if the 20s was the decade we got Naming right? Do we need to shout and scream in more public places?


You think that's bad, what about password policies that only allow you to enter 8-12 characters, a-z, 0-9, and maybe an underscore if you're lucky. And that's for a BANK!


That's exactly the problem. They're using 50–year-old software and the cascade of changes that would be needed if they fixed the source database field spec would probably require more COBOL programmers than exist. Don't forget that these are orgs who have a licence from IBM to recompile the mainframe OS as well as the language compilers, because the lawyers say they need traceability from boot code up (read: plausible deniability)


get interfaces to accept people's real names from the beginning.

My wife and I just had our third child and turns out you can't even use an accent on a letter for a birth certificate in the US. Like literally the legal associated with her SSN is spelled differently than it will ever be spelled in 'real life'.

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