SPONSORS:






User Tag List

Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Federal Way, WA
    Posts
    756
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    <quote>
    NEW YORK - It can stop you from voting, destroy your dental appointments, make it difficult to rent a car or book a flight, even interfere with your college exams. More than 50 years into the Information Age, computers are still getting confused by the apostrophe. It's a problem familiar to O'Connors, D'Angelos, N'Dours and D'Artagnans across America.
    </quote>

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080221/ap_o...lz9k6KwlILZa7gF

    <rant-rave>
    I don't know what it is but I'm getting really fed up. Why the 4311 would a problem like this still exist in such volume? (Couldn't think of a better word) If there is a general solution, like a set of code libraries, why the heck don't I know about it? Why don't most developers know about it? If they do, why don't they use it? Why don't managers REQUIRE that the systems developed for them ALWAYS solve this problem?


    Yesterday I had myself a fit about this college student that found out he has a rare form of cancer. No one was really working on it because it's not worth the money. So this kid changes his major and tries to put together a program for finding a cure. A key problem is that there aren't enough tissue samples to work with. All the cancerous tissue from surgery is getting tossed in the (appropriate) trash. There wasn't an existing mechanism for coordinating the surgeons with the scientists. He had to put that together himself.

    Why aren't there more systems out there like this? http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory/
    (Because you're going to ask: The information is stored locally and not on their servers)


    Early this week I was in a meeting where a developer was showing the solution he had developed. We were pretty sure the app met all the requirements they had given us. It was pretty easy to know we had it right too. We just had to create a webified version of an application a guy had made in MS Access. (A handy guy that did a decent job but he wasn't a programmer. Also, he'd left and wasn't there to make changes anymore.)

    We could have helped them figured out what they needed if their processes had been modeled. They aren't. None of our organizations' processes are. There are textual versions but that doesn't cut it for what we need.

    These people don't know how to model their processes. They probably don't even know that they can or should. I don't have the time to do it for them. I'm not that good at it anyway. I don't know how to convince people that they need too. Nor do I know exactly what to tell them they should be doing. I'm at a loss and looking for help.


    Let me make a point: We will never got to a 'Star Trek NG' like world/universe unless we can solve problems like I've described above. Things today, let alone in the future, are way too complex to reinvent the wheel every time we see something that needs improvement. The amount of waste is phenomenal. Ways of creating generic solutions and ways of educating the populace in the ways of finding and then using them is necessary for us as a species to advance.


    I have not been loosing a lot of sleep over this but I am loosing some.

    </rant-rave>

    BTW: My spellchecker had a problem with every one of the hyphenated names. :-)


    MArk B.
    P.S. World population now increases by 1,000,000 (1 million) people every four minutes. That's NET. If you read slow, or spent any time at the links, then around 1 million more people exist now that didn't when you started.
    (That's science, not a political opinion.)
    If you're a slave to your free associations, does it automatically become something else?

  2. #2
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,170
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    "Dutch-American proofreader Jessica van Campen has seen her name listed as Jessica Vancampen, Jessica Van, Jessicavan Campen, Jessica Campen and Jessican Kampen by uncertain computer systems."

    Am I the only one to think that "Jessican Kampen" had nothing to do with poor software, and everything to do with poor data entry?

    Why do people like to blame human error on "computer glitches"? I suppose because people have been accustomed to accepting that as an excuse.
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  3. #3
    Moderator tristaanogre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    1,792
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    While I agree, Joe, that many of those problems are probably human data entry error, there remains the possibility that the bad data entry is because the software being used to enter the data is forcing the user to do it badly. What if, in the Last Name field, someone put a restriction that no spaces were allowed? "Kampen", yes... that's human error but the rest? I'm not so sure...
    -Robert Martin
    Automated Testing Evangelists
    TestComplete "expert"
    Definition expert - noun - Unknown drip under pressure

  4. #4
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    St. Louis - Year 2025
    Posts
    15,609
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    Hmmmm...

    I have an apostrophe in my street address for a credit card. When I registered online for account management, the apostrophe was accepted as part of the registration. The application gave no hint of any thing amiss. So on the surface, the software happily accepted my inputs.

    Come time for online bill-pay and first-time verification of credentials, the software became crabby and rejected the apostrophe. I was instructed to call customer service. I did. Their records showed there was no apostrophe in the db storage of my street name.

    I do blame the software and quite a few processes and practices above and beyond that. When I see questions here about how to go about testing credit-card software - I roll my eyes.

    I find it odd that this company is large and wealthy and that I would I have this issue. I find it more surprising that a website of a local small firm with significantly less wealth has no issues with my address.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,628
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    I'm going to keep it short because I hate apostrophes, but it's only because where I worked previously, the genious who designed the database thought that having a single name field was sufficient. Therefore, when it came time to write code to parse out the name into first and last at a code level, it was an absolute mess.

    The site was originally started as a small site meant for use by friends only, but grew into this massive site with tends of thousands of users. So, in the end, it meant I was spending more time breaking the name fields than anywhere else. It makes me cry a little, even now.
    Brent
    --------------------
    9 out of 10 people I prove wrong agree that I'm right. The other person is my wife.
    --------------------

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    270
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    Try having a name like Stéphanie and then go to America....
    strange I still use Steve around you lot... I think not :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Posts
    689
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    Worse than an apostrophe: http://xkcd.com/327/

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    7,673
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    [ QUOTE ]
    Try having a name like Stéphanie and then go to America....

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I don't think the implied rebuke is entirely fair, Stéphanie. Except for a few exceptions, English has no accents, so a normal English character set (and the editing rules applied to a text field) is not going to include "é." But what if I have a name containing a character that is not part of the alphabet of another country? Would I be miffed (or even surprised) that they cannot spell my name correctly? What if I go to a country that does not even use a the Latin alphabet? In that case, my name (in Arabic, Greek, Cyrillic or whatever) HAS to be spelled - essentially - phonetically, since there is no complete one-to-one transliteration.

    The whole problem of apostrophe (or hyphen, come to that) in names is a different matter. "O'Brian" should be accepted as correctly spelled as-is.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Greater Boston Area
    Posts
    1,026
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    My name is not hyphenated but my first name consists of two words. So when I enter my name in online forms, I end up not including a space and even though I'll capitalize the "A" so it looks like "JeanAnn" the confirmation comes back as "Jeanann" which is even more incorrect. Now my name truly is Jean Ann and not Jeanann or Jean so I end up having to work with the software and accept that the name will not be correct.

    And yes, people do blame things on computer errors far too often because people do not like to be held accountable. I will never understand the fear of stating "I made a mistake". It's always easier to blame someone or in this case something else.
    Going out of your comfort zone requires failure. True genius is measured by your recovery.

    ...Jean Ann
    www.perfectpitchmarketinginc.com
    http://on.fb.me/PPM100
    www.projectrealms.com/

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Yankee Land
    Posts
    4,055
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Apostrophes in names stir lot o\' trouble

    My wife has the same problem when trying to put in her actual Chinese name in pinyin, since her first name consists of two words like yours, we either skip the second or try for the space. Sometimes she caves and uses her English name. It's annoying though that most systems are not more adaptable to anything outside the standard first - last name format.
    - M

    Nothing learns better than experience.

    "So as I struggle with this issue I am confronted with the reality that noting is perfect."
    - Unknown

    Now wasting blog space at QAForums Blogs - The Lookout

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.36 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 8.33%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.4 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.2.8 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBNominate (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Username Changing provided by Username Change (Free) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
BetaSoft Inc.
Digital Point modules: Sphinx-based search
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:10 AM.

Copyright BetaSoft Inc.