Hello 'support',

On CeBIT a guy from netherlands came to our booth and wanted to get assured 
with a preprinted formular ...

On this form his name is listed as 'Steven Brinke te' ... but on his documents 
it's listed as 'Steven te Brinke' ...

I asked him to clear this up, and he sent me a longer mail explaining this 
part of his name as an order-criteria (and the problems he has with his name 
when using (more-or-less) public databases) ... (

To keep it short:

Is it correct to assure him despite the fact that the order is not correct?

The PolicyOnNames has no example for this problem ... ;-(

have a nice day ...

Before: Arbitrator Ulrich Schroeter (A). Respondent: Steven te Brinke (R) Claimant: Dirk Astrath (C) Case: a20090618.9


In the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, these tussenvoegsels are not a part of someone's last name. For example, in the Dutch telephone directory the surname "De Vries" is listed under "V", not "D". Therefore in Dutch databases tussenvoegsels are recorded separately. This often simplifies finding a Dutch surname in a Dutch database, because including the tussenvoegsel would result in many surnames being listed under "D" and "V". In Belgium (as Francophone surnames rarely have tussenvoegsels) surnames are collated with the full surname including tussenvoegsels. "De Smet" comes before "Dossche".

According to Dutch language rules in the Netherlands, the tussenvoegsel in a surname is written with a capital letter only when it is not preceded by a first name. So a Peter whose surname is "De Vries" will be referred to as either "meneer De Vries" (Mr. De Vries) or "Peter de Vries".
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tussenvoegsel
Date: 16.10.2009

(R)'s statement 1

The problem with my name is quite common, nearly no system is able to 
handle my name as it's supposed to be. I've inputted the word "te" in 
the suffix field on the CAcert website, because I assumed that's what 
it's meant for, but probably it's not and that's where it goes wrong.
In the Netherlands a surname prefix like "te" is quite common. 
Unfortunately the way a surname prefix is handled in the Netherlands 
probably is quite unique, so international systems are unable to handle 
them. My name could be written as:
-    Steven te Brinke
-    mister Te Brinke
-    Brinke, Steven te
-    Brinke, te

(R)'s statement 2

Because my name is listed as "Steven Brinke te", most people did not want to give me points. Therefore, I do not have enough points to create a certificate using my name and I am not an assurer.

DEV-teammember statement

No, the BirdShack concept is to follow the Assurance Policy philosophy, 
which is to get rid of all the above and go for multiple names, with no 
distinction.  So if you have the possibility of suffixes, middles, 
prefixes and so forth, you can do so.

... So all your Tussenvoegsels can be handled 
easily.  It is no longer (to be) up to the system to try and 
ontologicalise the unontologicalisable .. it simple gives you a string, 
and the rest is between you and your Assurers.


I hereby rule, that the name of the (R) account should be corrected that the display name becomes correctly listed by moving the tussenvoegsel 'te' from the suffix field to the front of the Lastname field to 'te Brinke'.

Preventing further problems in similar cases, it becomes helpful to our new community members by displaying a sample how Dutch tussenvoegsels have to be entered into the system in the lastname field in the create an account form. This is not an order, this is only a recommendation.

This case should be added as an example to the PracticeOnNames, so that new community members and assurers have a reference at hand to deal with the special cases of tussenvoegsels.


The concerns the (R) had in writing down his name into the name fields by creating his account was the lexical name ordering in the system. This is special about the Netherlands tussenvoegsels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tussenvoegsel) and there exists official rules about that. Writing down the (R)'s name in a string results in 'Steven te Brinke'. This form is used in the running CAcert system. Regarding the new development called BirdShack, this case will be handled the same way.

A name ordering in lists doesn't happen in the CAcert system except the 'Find an Assurer' listing. This list displays only the Givenname and the first letter of the Lastname. So writing 'te Brinke' in the lastname field has no effect on any name ordering. Switching the tussenvoegsels to the end of the lastname field or into the suffix is more complicated in the assurance process as stated by the (R) and (C).

In the testing to place the tussenvoegsels to different field positions (see table 1) there are only 2 possible variations that can be used practicaly. Variant 1, to place the tussenvoegsel at the end of the Givenname field is no option, because the tussenvoegsel is part of the lastname. Variant 2 allows creation of certs w/o the tussenvoeglsels part. Variant 3, the preffered variant, places the tussenvoegsels to the lastname field and displayed correctly in certs. Variant 4 triggered this arbitration case.

(R) accepts a correction of his lastname to 'te Brinke' in his account.


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