Re: [precis] names and usernames

Peter Saint-Andre <> Mon, 27 February 2017 00:42 UTC

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To: John C Klensin <>,
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From: Peter Saint-Andre <>
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Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 17:42:55 -0700
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Subject: Re: [precis] names and usernames
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On 2/12/17 4:43 PM, John C Klensin wrote:
> Peter,
> Just to be clear to you and the WG, I don't have a strong
> opinion about what decision the WG should make in these cases,
> but I do believe the decision must be explicit and the result of
> discussion, not something that happens as an accident without
> knowledge of the relevant cases.

As I've been pondering these issues, I've realized we can't guarantee
that a user identifier can be (or include) someone's name. Although that
might be a desirable property, a username is, after all, an account
identifier. There is long precedent (e.g., in email) for allowing a
smaller subset of characters in account identifiers than in display names.

Thus I suggest that we add a paragraph like the following to 7613bis:

   A "username" or "user identifier" is a string of characters
   designating an account on a computing device or system, often but not
   necessarily for use by a person.  Although some devices and system
   might allow a username to be part or all of a person's name, and a
   person might want their account designator to be part or all of their
   name, because of the complexities involved that outcome is not
   guaranteed for all human names on all computing devices or systems
   that follow the rules defined in this specification.  Protocol
   designers and application developers who wish to allow a wider range
   of characters are encouraged to consider a separation between more
   restrictive account identifiers and more expressive display names.