At 6:09 AM -0700 4/9/96, Mike Jones wrote:
>It's a lot easier to mistype, for instance, "mike.james" for
>"mike.jones", but it's also pretty obvious that the former isn't likely
All of the concerns about cryptic, non-obvious, non-mnemonic
addresses are, of course, valid. It would probably be helpful, however, to
distinguish among the 3 characteristics. Fixing non-obvious is very, very
hard in the general case. Fixing cryptic is not. In particular, making
addresses be unique and mnemonic isn't all that tough.
The larger problem is thinking that "mike.jones" is a good solution
to the problem. Within a very, very small population, it can be ok (but no
better than ok.) The problem occurs, of course, when the second Mike Jones
joins the organization. This leads to a) having to give the second one a
"non obvious" address or a "less" obvious one, and b) having the first Mike
Jones frequently get mail intended for the second.
Over the years, I've come to believe that the right solution is to
use mnemonic strings which are not necessarily (or at least not required to
be) obvious or algorithmic from the person's name, or at least to have a
range of algorithms. So far, I've been lucky. Every system I've used in
the last 25 years has had "dcrocker" available, except MCI Mail which
assigned user IDs directly (looking somewhat like telephone numbers), but
last week apparently came very close to not getting one - luckily the
crocker that preceded me had a different first name.
Most organizations can let people choose their own. Let them.
You'll get mnemonics and uniqueness without too much concern for collisions
Dave Crocker +1 408 246 8253
Brandenburg Consulting fax: +1 408 249 6205
675 Spruce Dr. dcrocker @
Sunnyvale CA 94086 USA http://www.brandenburg.com
Internet Mail Consortium http://www.imc.org, info @