Re: Personal names and forms of address

> Some specifications of other WGs came up with field names "first name" and
> "last name". We advised them to use "given name" and "family name". That was
> a long time ago, and is actually not good enough.

Indeed; there are a lot of common assumptions about names based on
what's typical in one's culture, and they don't necessarily apply to
other cultures.  What is the "last name" of Joan Miró i Ferrà ?  If
you change "last name" to "family name", that doesn't work for Björk
Guðmundsdóttir : "Guðmundsdóttir" is a patronymic, not a family name.
How do you fit the Burmese names "Nu" and "Thant" into any multi-name
system?  And what on Earth do you do with Edward Albert Christian
George Andrew Patrick David Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ?

> I think later, the advice was to have free-form fields for names, maybe
> different fields for different usages (e.g. name on billing address, name on
> bagde/lanyard,...). But I'm not sure to what extent such advice was ever
> written up or codified.

Best practice seems to be to have a free-form field with an optional
field for "sort name" (which gives you hope of correctly sorting Joan
Miró i Ferrà under "M" (not "F") and Otto von Bismarck under "B" (not
"V")), and perhaps one for pronunciation hints.  But, of course,
that's all too heavyweight for most usages.  It's too temptingly easy
to fall back to the assumptions, which work for perhaps 99% of the
people who use your system.


Received on Thursday, 15 February 2018 14:03:03 UTC