The other day I set up an automatic payment of rent through my online bank site. I needed to enter my name and street address in the reference field "Aylett - 12/34 Nowhere St" would have been nice. (Details changed to protect the innocent).
However, due to an uppercase-alpha-numeric whitelist and an 18 character limit, all I could enter was "AYLETT13 25NOWHERE". Insane! I hope they're finding my rent money.
So, if you're writing a whitelist, here are some things to keep in mind:
- O'Conner would like you to allow apostrophes.
- Marie-anne would like you to allow dashes.
- Jack & Jill have a joint account and would like the ampersand.
- Céleste has a French keyboard, would like accents, and gets insulted when her name is spelt wrong. (Whitelists and globalization/localization really don't mix very well in general).
- Phone numbers don't all look like 12345678. Some look like +(61) 2 1243-5678#*9
- People generally can't choose their postal address, and these can contain pretty much anything.
Some people express themselves in strange and geeky ways.
- It's generally bad for business to annoy your customers.