Monday, December 28, 2015

Is all of Silicon Valley on a first name basis?

One very annoying software trend I've noticed in the last several years is the use of just first names in software. For instance, iOS shows first names only in messages. Google Inbox has tons of e-mail conversations involving me and someone named "John". Also, my new artificially intelligent scheduling assistant (which is generally awesome) will put appointments with "Jenn" on my calendar. Hmm. For me, those variables need a namespace.

I'm assuming this is all in some effort to make software more friendly and conversational, and it demos great for some Apple exec to say "Ask Tim if he wants to have lunch on Wednesday" into his phone and have it automatically know they meant Tim Cook. Great, but in my professional life (and, uh, I'm guessing maybe Tim Cook's also), I interact with a pretty large number of people, some only occasionally, making this first name only convention pretty annoying.

Which makes me wonder if the logical next step is just to refer to people by their e-mail or Twitter. I'm sure that would generate a lot of debate as to which is the identifier of choice, but I'm guessing that ORCID is probably not going to be it. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment