Sunday, 18 August 2013

Don't Give Me Space(s)

There is one thing , well there are a lot of things , that so called data suppliers and system designers seem unable to grasp. The one I'm on about is the processing of leading and trailing spaces in data strings. While this may be required for data formatting in say a Word document or on a web page , it should never be treated as an integral part of the data. At this point to have to remember that computers are essentially dumb and just do what they are told ...... perfectly  ..... too perfectly at times.

So at work I find that on certain systems , searches and comparisons are unable to take into consideration spurious leading and trailing spaces , when the simple application of the trim function (preferably on data entry , but also in the actual search / comparison)  would save a lot of messing about. To me FIVE = FIVE  . Doesn't it? Oh no the second on has an extra trailing space! The n there's also case sensitivity which should be i the control of the user but often isn't.

Anyway the thing that got me going on this was the changing of my iTunes id. Fairly simple I though, until verification of the new email. Then I kept getting password doesn't match error. Tried the old . the new and my nick name. Nothing worked. Then thought , no , it can't be , there was a space at the front of the email field but because of kerning it was hardly noticeable. Removed it , and it worked. Why couldn't Apple trim the input ? Or are leading and trailing spaces allowable in a name?

Thought this gave me an excuse to post Space Is Deep by Hawkwind , featuring one of my favourite saxophone solos of all time, starting with some brilliant drone guitar about 3:20 , though listening to this it sounds more like a synthesiser , but who cares it is brilliant.

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