hey to all software devs out there
names should be handled as:
a free text unicode field with a generous max length and no validation.
do not require (last) names without good reason
if possible, make the purpose of the field clear when filling it in, i.e. put an example email or whatever you are actually using it for next to it.
and also, make it clear if legal names are required. make life a little easier for trans people in the process.
feel free to add to this thread.
@julialuna also /please/ just a single line of text next to the field saying "*this name can/cannot be changed"
but honestly it should always be changeable anyway
@julialuna also if you do need legal names please make it a separate field and ONLY use it wherever it is actually required and use the preferred name everywhere else.
@julialuna (yes twitch this means that you're not supposed to get legal names from payment providers, store them and use them in email copy.)
@deletescape @julialuna Which is extra messed-up because
1: who says the bank account even is under your legal name,
2: who says the bank account even is under *your* legal name,
3: who stops the bank from just randomly deciding to misspell your name?
(yes, that's based on experience, though not with Twitch)
@julialuna make it easy to change the name. Support for several different names for different purposes (shown in emails, used for legal contracts, shown to other users of the system, used to log in etc.)
@julialuna Have you ever read this? Might be interesting: https://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-believe-about-names/
@julialuna If a name contains no visible characters, it can be hard for users to tell whether there's any name at all in a UI.
@julialuna As someone who had to work with names quite a bit: god I'd hope it was that simple. Legal names aren't well defined so you mostly just have to guess around and hope it's right. At this point I have most of the name-related parts of Document 9303 memorized, and it's not great.
@ignaloidas yeah. in that case legal names should be handled separately imo, with free choice of display name
@julialuna I mainly worked with legal names, but in a very automated system, where the user doesn't enter their name, we read it from their document. It's a pain. Doubly so if you are comparing it to what the user has entered.
@julialuna They kinda are tho... Kinda. At least in the documents with machine readable zones. But not everybody expects it to be a free text field, and that's where problems come from.
@julialuna That's why I said in the documents. And if you do change your name to whatever, expect to cause chaos everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Because almost no systems I saw are prepared for free field legal names.
@julialuna Kinda disagree about "make it clear if legal names are required", because they so rarely really are, yet quite often people think they are. They should rather state what the name is required for, to leave that decision to the individual person.
@julialuna also, changeable.
names are changeable.
people change names
not lacking a form to change name
not having to talk with the admins to hand-code a query to change your name
update name button no questions asked
It also went into modelling relationships between people, with some interesting conclusions.
Man, that was a good post. But I found it some 15 years or so ago, it's no surprise I can't find it now.
@julialuna @easrng That would require extra logic but it would be the right thing to do. For what it's worth if I don't provide a name I would be totally fine being called "user" but outside of english that will get difficult because e.g. in German a male user is "Benutzer" and a female user is "Benutzerin", let alone other genders.
@julialuna Not everyone's names are actually representable in Unicode. I don't know what to do about that.
@julialuna and also do not ask about gender or sex unless you _really_ need it for some reason and you make it clear _why_ are they required.
@julialuna just change it to "name", and not care at all wether people put legal name, first name, nickname or else
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