Human Names Defy Any Assumptions

By Deane Barker on January 4, 2012

Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names: So, you need a split a full name into first and last names?  No problem – split them on the space.  That will work perfectly, right Mary Jo Van Dyke?

This guy is an American making a living as a programmer in Japan.  He has a lot to say about assumptions programmers make about names.  (Note, there are all myths…)

1. People have exactly one canonical full name.
2. People have exactly one full name which they go by.
3. People have, at this point in time, exactly one canonical full name.
4. People have, at this point in time, one full name which they go by.
5. People have exactly N names, for any value of N.
6. People’s names fit within a certain defined amount of space.
[…]

And it goes on and on and on.  He has forgotten more about working with names than I am likely to ever know.

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