This article got me wondering in what way, if it’s the computer that is posing this limit, the limit has implemented.
First, I don’t think that this is an actual business rule. Why allow 300 Li Juns and not 301? So this might be a ‘rule’ that has been introduced by the IT team. What might have triggered the designers or implementers to invent this rule?
From a database designer or implementer view there is no immediate reason to limit a column combination of first name and last name. Wondering about this made me think about an every day scenario: you enter the bank to deposit some cash. After waiting in line for a while the account manager asks you for your name en he enters the name or a part of it into the application and presses Find to find your account details. The application responds with a list of people that have, more or less, the same name as you do. The account manager asks for another detail (hometown, date of birth, postal code) and picks the right account from the list.
Most UI designers/implementers limit the number of results to prevent excessive database and network load so the list box containing the search results might have a fixed maximum of 300. A number that is not too small and not too large; 300 entries can easily be scanned by someone. Anyone objecting to this limitation will soon find that the designers/implementer will tell them to provide better or more input to get less results back.
Entering Li Jun can not be more specific. So from over 300 Li Juns only the first 300 are reachable in a system like this. Not that it is a good thing but I understand how this came to be. It is quite easy to fix.
I am just guessing of course but this is a perfect example of how each technical decision has its functional effects.
What do you think, are there any other ways how this rule came into place?
This post in in honor of Emil-Ming, may his life be as special to those around him as his name is unique.