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


Hi Penelope, nice post! I think dealing with names is something that is highly underestimated, check this link for a long list of assumptions programmers often make about names and which are all false.

In the beginning of your post you mention:

Google sets up a permanent, undeletable, alias for the old email address. This means if you send an email to the old address, the person will receive it. However, I suspect if you ask most folks, they'd tell you they don't want to see it.

I think I don't fully understand it, if you change your name, then I guess you DO want to receive mail that is sent to your old name, right? People that didn't get the news of your new name might want to reach out for you. Having the old email address still around will surely help. If you really want to close the gate behind you with a new name, for whatever reason, then you could set up an automated response that notifies the sender of your new email address.


Escaping from domestic violence is one use case mentioned above. There are surely other examples.

The point is to try not to make assumptions about what people want or need. Sure you can set a sensible default, but give users the flexibility change it.

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