state names

Subject: state names
From: scot <scot -at- HCI -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 1996 09:31:01 +1100

> I have never been fond of providing field length info in most cases.
> I think most people assume certain things, like the state name is
> going to be either 2 characters or 50 (an arbitary number. it
> probably isn't going to be much longer than that.) Usually it is
> pretty obvious by the look of the screen what the field length for a
> field is.

Now here's -another- pet peeve of mine (boy I have so many ... ;-) );

Forms (or software) that only have two character 'State' Fields. New South
Wales is abbreviated to three characters (NSW), not two, and we don't have a
'convention' here for that at all (Qld, NSW, Vic, SA, WA, Tas, NT, ACT), and
the Brits tend to use things like 'Lancs' and so on (although I think that's
generally part of their postal code?). I'd complain about postal codes
(they're not 'zip' codes in the wider world either) too but we only use four
number codes here, so they always fit, but I'd be willing to lay a bet on
there's -somewhere- in the world that uses 6 or 7.

Oh, I guess I could add three-number area codes to that too (if that's the
case I always use 612, which includes the country code, that's their problem
if it confuses their data entry or telephonist staff). This will get worse
with the introduction of universal 8 digit phone numbers here over the next
year (so, my number becomes, 61-2-9247-3437 or 02-9247-3437 if you're domestic).

This is even worse on forms that specifically ask 'Country'; obviously they
were thinking that someone somewhere other than the US might fill the form
in - why don't they accomodate the differences in address and phone number
structure from the outset?

If you design these things, please make some effort to internationise them,
thanks.

ciao, scot.
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HCI Consulting, GPO Box 4846 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia.
http://www.hci.com.au/management/
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