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    I know intellectually how this happens (MySQL! Javascript! PHP!), but it is so deeply offensive to my sensibilities that I refuse to accept it.

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      I marvel at the apparent decision to use beginsWith instead of equality. Dedication.

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        And then apparently going even further and using contains. Seriously, how bad does your backend have to be to not handle “null” in any part of the string.

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        I am sometimes surprised that my name (gwozdziewycz) doesn’t cause more trouble on the web; the assumption being that there is some validation on whether or not you are providing a “real” name. But, given that we can’t get “null” vs null right, I think it’s probably tautalogical that no one tries to check that a name isn’t a name and instead a bunch of random letters.

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          My last name (D'souza) wreaks havoc on seemingly a third of systems that encounter it. I’m so sick of seeing “please enter a valid last name” that I didn’t even give my child my last name. Just today, for instance, I received mail addressed to “Antonio D'souza”.

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            I’ve definitely heard of ’s causing hige problems. Spaces, too. Sorry that its so frustrating.

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            I can’t even bring myself to write the thing I was going to about Facebook, here. I’m glad it’s worked for you. :)

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              I have an account, havent tried to modify things, and dont use it, or pay attention. Does facebook attempt to validate names in some way? Maybe Ill experiment later…

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                In addition to validating names, they encourage users to report each other for not having sufficiently-real names. There’s absolutely no way that could go wrong…

                My name is only real enough to work at Facebook, not to use on the site

                Disclosure: The author of that article is a personal friend.

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                  Yeah they do, some American Indian names are rejected as not authentic.

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                Out of sheer curiosity, how is that pronounced approximately?

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                  Doesn’t really make any sense.

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                I wonder if he is Little Bobby Table’s father…

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                  I surprised to learn that the string “Null” poses so much problem to programs. I can’t understand why people would not use an empty string (“”) to indicate a missing value, if their framework does not afford them a true No Value. When being passed to queries I can believe folks not escaping strings properly, but the string “Null” seems innocuous, except for SQL queries where the name is not quoted. For those programs I’m surprised that only Mr. Null had a problem - there are so many other problems with that.

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                    In many a language tostring(null) will return “null”, not “”. (or “nil”, in the case of tostring(nil) in Lua, etc., etc.).

                    People aren’t necessarily choosing to use “null” to indicate a missing value. The problem is rather the opposite that somebody didn’t check for a missing value, fed it into some code that turned it into a string, and now here they are, five years later with “null” stored in their database. (This doesn’t imply they didn’t call sqlquote or bind the variable; no correlation with sql injection.)

                    It looks unprofessional to send a letter addressed to:

                    NULL John NULL Smith NULL
                    c/o NULL
                    123 Main St Apt. NULL
                    Town, XX 12345-NULL

                    So the fix is to turn all the null back into blank.