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Re: String parsing (2 questions)

 
 
Rainer Weikusat
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      08-29-2012
Ben Morrow <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

[...]

> Parsing names is extremely difficult, because they are extremely
> variable. If at all possible you want to design your systems so that you
> don't need to, and instead ask your users questions like 'what is your
> full name' and 'how would you like us to address you'.
>
> In this case, how would you distinguish between these two?
>
> Van Horn Tim
> Watson Mary Jane
>
> Can you make a complete list of 'von's which might start a two-part
> surname, or do you have to handle cases like married women who have
> taken both surnames without a hyphen (and, potentially, their
> children)?


The solution to this is to define a grammar for 'supported name
formats' which catches the expected cases and live with the fact that
any heuristic fails in some situations. This means that 'Watson Mary
Jane' may have to decide if he is 'Watson M Jane' or if she is 'Mary J
Watson' or any other permutation of the given set of letter and
spaces.




 
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