d17e. What's in a name?
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If you're wondering where 'd17e' comes from, you might want to read this. You will also find out what this has in common with internationalization, accessibility and kubernetes,
If you're running short on time, you can skip straight to the answer.
What's in a name? Or to lend the words that Shakespeare had Juliet utter quite eloquently:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
For me, my name is David. Full out that's David Vandenbogaerde. A birthday gift from my parents. Ever since I've dragged that long ass name around with me. 7 syllables all together, quite a mouth full if you ask me.
Over the years I have seen many non-Dutch native speakers in a struggle trying to pronounce it. Sometimes people would really struggle so I'd say "David's just fine" and see the relief settle back onto their faces. Never before they struggled at least a bit though. For my enjoyment, but also out of respect. Cause God loves a trier.
When the time came for me to choose an email address I naturally went for my full first and last name, without giving it much thought. It seemed like the right thing to do. Fast forward to phone calls to customer service departments where I'd have to spell out my email address... Great practice in patience, but that's about it. It still took me at least half a decade before I would get a shorter alias for my email. An idea that stared me right in the face when my younger brother gave me his email address. It didn't even have his full first name. And the last name he'd reduced to 3 letters. Something had to be done. And I did. That day my main email address got shorter by over 60%, or 12 letters to be precise. Thank you, brother!
Then, it must have been somewhere during the second half of the second decade of the 21st century that I was tasked in work to setup the internationalization for a software project we were building. For those unfamiliar with the term, internationalization in short means that you offer your website or app in different languages. Internationalization, quite the word huh? 8 syllables even! Well, during my research I found out that this term or idea also gets shortened, because in IT we like to be efficient... Shortened how, you ask? Well, to i18n. Or, an 'i', then 18 letters and then an 'n' to complete the word. Hmm... I think we're on to something. When I also learned that accessibility was getting shortened to a11y, I was convinced. If they can do that for 11 letters, I can sure do it for 17.
And that's how my name David Vandenbogaerde got smushed together to d17e. The ~laziest~ most efficient way to write my name. To date.
With regards to Kubernetes, also known as k8s, it makes me wonder. What's the minimum number of letters needed to justify the use of this lossy compression algorithm?
My name is David Vandenbogaerde. It starts with a d, ends with an e and has 17 letters in between, so d17e for short. Similar to how internationalization, accessibility and kubernetes get shortened to i18n, a11y and k8s, respectively.
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