Michael Leone on 5 Apr 2008 16:00:37 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] userID format (was Suggested reading)

JP Vossen wrote:

> matters a lot.  The length limit is another aspect.  Most modern systems 
> can handle more than 8 characters; until you hit an old one that can't. 
>   If you want to pretty much guarantee that your users can have the same 
> ID anyplace, 8 characters is it.
> When I read over this, my arguments on this issue seem trivial.  I don't 
> know how else to explain that it's not when you get into large 
> environments...

Oh, tell me about it ... (here's a bit OT for a Linux list, but ...) 
when we create users in Active Directory, there's a field called "Full 
Name"; it gets automatically filled in with "Firstname Lastname". When 
you look at a list of users in AD, this is the field that shows.

At my old place (65 users), I always changed that to "Lastname, 
Firstname" so it was all in alphabetical order. At my current place 
(>1,000 users), they *don't*, so the display is in firstname order! Talk 
about IDIOTIC. :-) But there's too many entries to change, and not 
enough people, etc, to spend the time on it. And rather than have the 
new users entered correctly, we follow the same form to be compatible 
with the old users, so it all just perpetuates ...

> I have a similar pet-peeve for dates.  Dates should be in ISO-8601 
> format: CCYY-MM-DD_THH:MM:SS_TZ or similar.  This avoids the US MM/DD 
> vs. EU DD/MM confusion, and more importantly, CCYY-MM-DD *sorts* 
> correctly.  Try sorting dates like 040507, 04-05-07 or even worse 
> 4-5-07.  GAAAAAA!!!  `date '+%Y%m%d'` is your friend!

I don't usually use the HH:MM, but always write dates this way. Even in 
spreadsheets. Specifically *because* it sorts well ...

>  > (for the record,we use 1st 6 letters of last name, first initial.
>  > Middle initial if known, but it's not a requirement)
> Right, you don't always have or know a middle initial.  No big deal.
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