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Re: a guy with 5 first names, from I18N comments on P3P, for?vCard/RDF

From: Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 12:09:44 +0100
Message-ID: <455D9878.7070503@w3.org>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org, Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>
[I copy this to Steven Pemberton. He might know more about this than I do]

Dan Connolly wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-11-17 at 11:08 +0100, Ivan Herman wrote:
>>Indeed, and van Mierlo's name was by no means unusual by Dutch
>>standards. Although I might consider A.F.M.O. as middle names; I am not
>>really sure what 'middle name' means...
> The term in the vCard spec isn't 'middle name' but 'additional name';
> who knows if that's any clearer...

Alan Kotok would say: clear, like mud:-)

> Is there software that Dutch people commonly use to
> manage their contacts? Does it read/write vCard format?
> Does it exploit anything beyond
> the fullname field? After all, this isn't a philosophical
> excercise; it's software engineering.

Not being Dutch, I am not necessarily the best person to ask, but people
use the same tools as everybody else. I have not seen any specifically
'Dutch' software.

I would assume people add those other names as additional names and that
does make sense. Yes, lots of Dutch people have 5-6 of those names, but
all of them use, in fact, only one of those, so additional name sounds
all right.

There are much more problems with the 'van', 'ter', 'ten', etc, again
very widespread in Dutch (or Belgian) names. It also happens in other
languages, think of Christian de Sainte Marie...

The Dutch phonebook alphabetized under the last name, ie, 'M' for
'Mierlo' in this case and not 'v' for 'van'. And I know that this
creates all kinds of problems in software. For example, I have a
colleague whose name is Robert van Liere; in my address list on my
PDA/Phone I could use 'Robert van' as first name, and 'Liere' as last
name, or (this is what I do) 'van' as an additional name. If I put it as
part of the family name, then the order will go wrong.

B.t.w., just to add to the mess. The term 'first name' and 'last name'
is always very disturbing for me. In Hungarian, the order is the
opposite as in, say, English. Ie, in Hungarian, my name is Herman Iván.
So what is my last name? Iván? :-(


> I didn't put the "van" prefix in any of the n sub-fields.
> Is there one that it belongs in? Does this name get
> alphabetized under 'v' or under 'M' in the phonebook?
>>> -- http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/grddl-wg/td/card5n.html
>>> -- http://www.w3.org/2002/12/cal/rfc2426#sec3.1.2


Ivan Herman, W3C Semantic Web Activity Lead
URL: http://www.w3.org/People/Ivan/
PGP Key: http://www.cwi.nl/%7Eivan/AboutMe/pgpkey.html
FOAF: http://www.ivan-herman.net/foaf.rdf

Received on Friday, 17 November 2006 13:18:09 UTC

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