homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums   » News, Reviews, Views!   » Rants, Raves, Rumors!   » Phone Numbers (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!  
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Phone Numbers
business attire
Highlie
Member # 6102

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 08:14      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
at the moment, I am collecting the phone numbers for the career service centers for every university and technical college in North Carolina and putting them into Excel. (part of the wonderful mind numbing job.)

That said, can't anybody just type out phone numbers the way we were taught as small children and the way they are formatted in the phone book?

correct notation:
(123) 123-4567

NOT:
123\123-4567 (especially not this, haven't even seen it before today!)
123-123-4567
(123) 123.4567
123.123.4567
123.1234567

Thank you, that is all.
Also, if you're not in the US, disregard this. our phones are weird.

Posts: 619 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Bibo
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1959

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 08:24      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I work on print ads all day, most people seem to want their phone number in the 123.456.7890 format, not sure if it's the client or sales reps requesting it in that format. I prefer 123-45-7890. I think the 2 formats above look best for print ads as some font styles produce very chunky looking "("
Posts: 1641 | From: Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
business attire
Highlie
Member # 6102

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 08:46      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
fie on you for not agreeing with me [Wink]

Thats just the way its done where I work, and it annoys me to have to fix others' "mistakes".

I think I care less for a particular notation, I just want something standard. C&P would be so much more efficient.

Posts: 619 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
WinterSolstice

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan
Member # 934

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 08:56      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personally, I hate the () convention. The dashes are much better, IMHO.

Easy to normalize with a simple regex though [Wink]

--------------------
An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

Posts: 1192 | From: Los Angeles | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
fs

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 1181

Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 09:04      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know what else sucks? Web store checkout forms that don't tell you what format they accept phone numbers in! With dashes or without? With parentheses or without? It's like form submission bingo.

--------------------
I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

SuperFan!
Member # 4924

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 09:13      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
what about "+55 55 555 55 55"

which would have to be typed into a phone

0055 055 555 55 55

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

SuperFan!
Member # 4924

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 09:15      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
You know what else sucks? Web store checkout forms that don't tell you what format they accept phone numbers in! With dashes or without? With parentheses or without? It's like form submission bingo.

I can't stand internet sites (major ones) that ship inernationally, but will only accept an address typed in the american format.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
business attire
Highlie
Member # 6102

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 09:22      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
what about "+55 55 555 55 55"

which would have to be typed into a phone

0055 055 555 55 55

seeing as how I'm working on an asian VC database at the moment, I don't even want to think about it.

speaking of, would anybody like to buy a database for $700 filled with information that your very own Biz found on google? It'll save you a lot of time, especially if you need 200 million Yen for a quick startup company. [Roll Eyes]

Posts: 619 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 11:22      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.unixwiz.net/ndos-shame.html

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
business attire
Highlie
Member # 6102

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 11:30      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
that doesn't bother me so much, as I have my cc number memorized. I find it easier to type it on the numberpad to the far right of the keyboard rather than pause to use the space bar every now and then.
Posts: 619 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
maximile

SuperFan!
Member # 3446

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 11:38      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
http://www.unixwiz.net/ndos-shame.html

I think that guy's wrong. I think people like being told how to format their data entries, especially something sensitive like a credit card number. Most people don't realise the sort of things that go on behind the scenes, and even the people who do don't trust that the web developer has done it correctly.

I'd say that the best way to do it is to have a bit of JavaScript validation on the page so that as you type it gets formatted a certain way, and some strict rules for those who don't have JavaScript.

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 13:34      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dman's link pretty much sums up what I was going to say; who cares how it's entered, so long as the digits are in the correct order? Couldn't you just as easily stick in something equivalent to
code:
inputstr =~ s/\D//g;

And then be done with it? Now you just have a string of digits, and all you need to do is chunk them into whatever format you want:
code:
area_code = inputstr[:3]
prefix = inputstr[3:6]
postfix = inputstr[6:]

Hmmm. I just realized that I mixed perl and python in my example... silly me.
Posts: 948 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
business attire
Highlie
Member # 6102

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 13:46      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think you're forgetting that I'm not a programmer and that makes less sense to me than sanskrit.

I can set things to be formatted a certain way in excel, but as soon as I c/p them out to some other program I lose the formatting.

Posts: 619 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
WinterSolstice

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan
Member # 934

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 14:12      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try this tip. It's an Excel macro to do conversions of phone numbers.

--------------------
An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

Posts: 1192 | From: Los Angeles | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 15:11      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
max: I quite like being able to enter my CC# with spaces...makes it so much easier to be sure I got the # right. I should be able to enter a phone # however I damn well please...which these days usually mean xxx-yyy-zzzz. Anywho[.com] (for reverse lookup) nags you to put the area code (xxx) into one box, and the phone number into another, without hyphens, and it's just so unfriendly...

As far as stupid stuff goes, the prize goes to someone I knew who entered dates delimited with backslashes (with the difference b/t slash and backslash being a big peeve of mine) - I had never before seen 12\25\2003 before that day. That's just /special/. :-/

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
maximile

SuperFan!
Member # 3446

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 15:59      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
max: I quite like being able to enter my CC# with spaces...makes it so much easier to be sure I got the # right.

Yeah. I'd probably prefer to use hyphens. I don't have a problem with that. I just think that the guy who wrote that article is wrong in assuming that all those sites give specific instructions because of "lazy, sloppy programming".

We're all probably quite comfortable with ordering online, but lots of people still aren't, and I'm sure lots of us have had bad experiences with e-commerce. Which means that a lot of people are being very careful to get everything exactly right, and if they're not told how to do it they feel nervous. Specific instructions like "no spaces or dashes" is, to me, clearer than "spaces and dashes are ignored", and it gives the customer a feeling of accomplishment to have followed the rules.

I've ordered online a lot, but I still liked to be told a format to enter a card number in. Partly because I'm always slightly nervous that the web developer is inept and doesn't know what a regular expression is. And there are sites I buy from with lots of evidence to suggest that this is true.

So I think that the article you linked to was wrong. I'd say that accepting anything and not giving instructions is a worse solution that stating "no spaces or dashes". But my personal favourite would be a text box, an example next to it with hyphens in it and some JavaScript that'll enter the hyphens for you (overwriting them if you add them yourself) and do that Luhn validation and stuff.


Edit: plus I hope this person doesn't think they've obscured their account number...

 -

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 1769

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 16:26      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
a lot of people are being very careful to get everything exactly right, and if they're not told how to do it they feel nervous. Specific instructions like "no spaces or dashes" is, to me, clearer than "spaces and dashes are ignored", and it gives the customer a feeling of accomplishment to have followed the rules.

Ok, fair enough, make the n00bs feel secure by giving them simple instructions, but if they enter 1234-5678-9012-3456 where's the benefit in screaming at them (in big red letters) "YOU GOT IT WRONG !" ?

Surely it would be nicer to simply strip all spaces and hyphens and other punctuation symbols from the input, validate that, and if it's ok, proceed.

Insisting that users enter a 16 digit number with no spacing makes it much harder to visually check the number, and is just plain lazy, sloppy programming.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
maximile

SuperFan!
Member # 3446

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 16:45      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Ok, fair enough, make the n00bs feel secure by giving them simple instructions, but if they enter 1234-5678-9012-3456 where's the benefit in screaming at them (in big red letters) "YOU GOT IT WRONG !" ?

Surely it would be nicer to simply strip all spaces and hyphens and other punctuation symbols from the input, validate that, and if it's ok, proceed.

Well, I think there's some merit in the argument that maybe someone on dial-up would have thirty seconds after submitting the form to wait, and might spot their mistake, correct it and click the button again, placing two orders. Allowing that to happen definitely *is* sloppy programming, but maybe some e-commerce companies allow this and the web developer wouldn't have any control over it. I dunno. Maybe I'm clutching at straws here.

But I bet most of the forms on that page actually do accept numbers formatted with spaces or dashes. Except where he says "16 character limit" or "fails unless the spaces are removed". So I still think he's wrong to call them lazy and idle.

And again, neither of these is the solution I'd use.

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 20:20      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And I must disagree with you...and point out that the author is a pretty sharp guy. He's also the author of this:
http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/sql-injection.html

It truly is a matter of sloppy programming most of the time, and while a degree of instruction may help a worried consumer, making their life hell over a measly task is so pointless. As a customer, I like having the process go smoothly, and something like this might begin to sour me on a company. (Heck, I know I usually get pissed off when a site does it to me. Case in point: BA's London Eye.)

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
maximile

SuperFan!
Member # 3446

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 21:07      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So the guy's an awesome programmer. That doesn't make him an authority on web usability or interface design (and I don't think he claims to be one).

But yeah, seems like we disagree. Still, I think he's mad to assume that they did it like that simply because they were too lazy/sloppy to think of a way to strip spaces and dashes. If you know enough to process data and repackage it to send to the credit card gateway, you must know what a regular expression is.

Posts: 1085 | From: London, UK (Powys, UK in hols) | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

SuperFan!
Member # 780

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 22:52      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
So the guy's an awesome programmer. That doesn't make him an authority on web usability or interface design (and I don't think he claims to be one).

But yeah, seems like we disagree. Still, I think he's mad to assume that they did it like that simply because they were too lazy/sloppy to think of a way to strip spaces and dashes. If you know enough to process data and repackage it to send to the credit card gateway, you must know what a regular expression is.

Hardly true. I had to babysit a consultant who barely knew how to program, who was assigned to do something along these lines. I fear you give people /way/ too much credit for things that are on the Intarweb. A *lot* of dynamic code online is full of copy-and-paste jobs done by people who can barely work a keyboard, let alone a mouse.

If major online banking & e-commerce sites suck, I hold very little hope for small company sites. People who contract their work to competent firms, with smart programmers, or companies that actually have intelligent people and good management in house...have a fighting chance.

Don't believe me? Check out this piece of "string fixing" code I found once...in lots of places:

# $foo previously populated from a GET parameter
$foo_len=length($foo);
if($foo_len==1){
$foobar="0" . $foo;
}else{
$foobar=$foo;
}

This was catastrophically stupid, and in many cases, I fixed it such that $foo was set correctly [it wasn't always via user input]..and in other cases, simply did:
$foobar=sprintf("%02d",$foo);

I won't call Steve an authority on web usability much more than I would myself...but I think his comments are quite worthwhile...and that I'm quite critical of bad design. I may not always know what the best design layout is, but I usually know good or bad design when I see it. Forcing lame input is just that...lame. In this day and age of regular expressions, it's all but unnecessary...but you'd be surprised how few people know about regular expressions. The reason a number of sites exist as they do is probably because a coder like the author of the top example would complain to management "Do you know how many string comparisons I'd have to do?" (Or something like that - it's late, and I can't adequately break my brain.)

Oh...and go take a look at worsethanfailure.com (ne TheDailyWTF). [Smile]

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fs

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 1181

Icon 1 posted June 14, 2007 23:57      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
You know what else sucks? Web store checkout forms that don't tell you what format they accept phone numbers in! With dashes or without? With parentheses or without? It's like form submission bingo.

I can't stand internet sites (major ones) that ship inernationally, but will only accept an address typed in the american format.
Yep. I have my card from a US bank set up with my Dad's address. All my statements, deposit receipts, etc. get sent there, but the convenience of being able to order from all those places makes up for it.

--------------------
I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
business attire
Highlie
Member # 6102

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2007 06:02      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WinterSolstice:
Try this tip. It's an Excel macro to do conversions of phone numbers.

I'm not sure if that would work. Well, honestly, by looking at it, I have NO idea what it does. But it LOOKS like it just gives all the phone numbers the same area code? I'm wary to incorporate anything into my work without being 100% sure what it does.
Posts: 619 | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
WinterSolstice

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan
Member # 934

Member Rated:
3
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2007 07:57      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by business attire:
quote:
Originally posted by WinterSolstice:
Try this tip. It's an Excel macro to do conversions of phone numbers.

I'm not sure if that would work. Well, honestly, by looking at it, I have NO idea what it does. But it LOOKS like it just gives all the phone numbers the same area code? I'm wary to incorporate anything into my work without being 100% sure what it does.
Generally the way to deal with this sort of thing is the vb equiv of a simple perl one-liner. This one is a bit more complicated, but I'll make sure to go over it for you if you like.

--------------------
An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

Posts: 1192 | From: Los Angeles | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
quantumfluff
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 450

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted June 15, 2007 20:17      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As one of the most seasoned (umm, oldest) programmers here, I'll weigh in on the Dman, Maximile debate. Dman's right. Forcing you to enter a CC # or telephone # in the format the programmer wants is unforgivably lazy. You must allow people to enter things in the way they appear to them. Thus someone typing off their card should be able to type in spaces. Someone entering an account # might see it with spaces or dashes depending on where they find it on their invoice. You must allow them to enter it either way. You might verify it locally and reformat it, but if you can't do that (because javascript is disabled) it should not make any difference, because the server is going to validate and reformat to canonical form anyway. Anyone who writes UI code (client or server side) that can't cope with resonable variations in user input shouldn't be allowed to write it.

And sorry BA... I like telephone number without () in them - I like either spaces or dots or dashes. And if the system is going to reformat them with () (think OSX address book), then I should be allowed to type them in any way I please (again, like address book)

Posts: 2902 | From: 5 to 15 meters above sea level | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam