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Ask Slashdot: Name Conflicts In Automatically Generated Email Addresses? 383

New submitter matteocorti writes "I work at medium-sized university and we are considering reducing the number of domains used for email addresses (now around 350): the goal is to have all the 30K personal addresses in a single domain. This will increase the clashes for the local part of the address for people with the same first and last name (1.6%). We are considering several options: one of them is to use 'username@domain.tld' and the other is to use 'first.last@domain.tld.' The first case will avoid any conflict in the addresses (usernames are unique) but the second is fancier. Which approach does your organization use? How are name conflicts (homonyms) solved? Manually or automatically (e.g., by adding a number)?"
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Ask Slashdot: Name Conflicts In Automatically Generated Email Addresses?

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  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @12:22PM (#42751519)

    I was going to post the same but I see you were first. ;-)

    People need to stop assuming everyone has a legal First and Last name.

    Using an auto incremented name is a bad idea.
    I now know that there are at least 4 other John Does out there!

    This is one of the reasons Blizzard's tag assigns a random 4-digit number instead.
    Good luck guessing how many other John Doe's there are and what there numbers are!

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Thursday January 31, 2013 @12:38PM (#42751759)

    On the first point: Someone may be named using archaic Chinese characters in their native language, but if they're studying in, say, Germany, or in the United States, they're required to choose a Latin form of their name, which is what will be used for legal purposes. If they're studying in Russia, they must render it in the Cyrillic alphabet, and in Greece, in the Greek alphabet. If you're in one of those legal contexts, you can assume all employees and students have a name conforming to the local legal requirements. I have students from many countries in my classes, but they all use names written in Latin characters when signing up for courses or turning in homework.

    On the second: The artist legally named Prince Rogers Nelson never changed his name. He's just used a variety of stage names.

  • by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:13PM (#42754415)

    Everyone has a name, which people pronounce out loud. English uses characters and combinations of characters to represent sounds. Thus, everyone has a Name which can be translated into English.

    If this last statement has an accuracy requirement, then it is demonstrably false. Many (most? all?) languages do not have characters representing every sound that a human can make. For example, there is no letter or combination of letters in English that represent the sound of the guttural (I don't know the accurate linguistic term) letters Het and Haf. Conversely, Hebrew has no letter for the sound of the English combinations ch and th, though there is a letter for sh. You can get close enough for most purposes, such as using h or ch for those Hebrew letters, but if you pronounce them as if they were English, you'll be pronouncing the name incorrectly.

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!