Somebody’s Mama Made The Never Happen

Long-named US woman celebrates government climb-down:

A US woman has won a battle to have her full name put on her driving licence.

Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele’s name is so long – containing 36 letters and 19 syllables – that it would not fit on the documentation.

What is the lesson here?

The obvious lesson, of course, is that you need to consider names other than Mike Smith when building your applications. Of course, we’re pretty much past that now given our more worldly software development culture (people who build and alter government computer systems not included, of course).

But you’ve got to test those long strings going into the system, and you’ve got to test those long strings coming out of the system.

If you’re displaying someone’s name, does the name lie over other design elements on the page or, urk, the mobile app? If it’s printing out somewhere, is there room on the page or in the PDF for it?

You’ll never know until you try. Your developers will never know until you try, either, because they won’t try it themselves.

(Link via Tweet.)

2 Responses to “Somebody’s Mama Made The Never Happen”

  1. seansync Says:

    My wife’s name is Mary Beth. That is what she goes by – not Mary, not Marybeth. Pretty common. So why do so many systems not allow a first name to have a space or two uppercase characters. Names are personal, and people get annoyed when another person, or a piece of software, mess with their name.

  2. The Director Says:

    That’s definitely a good test case right there. Ensure spaces are allowed in name fields, along with hyphens, foreign characters, and apostrophes.

    At least.

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