Passing attribute with whitespace value

Morgan, Andrew J morgan at
Mon Aug 1 15:22:36 UTC 2022

Hi Warren,

Here at Oregon State University, we set the person's firstname to "." (period) when the person has no firstname.  I'm guessing firstname was a required field back in the 1990s when OSU implemented Banner.


From: users <users-bounces at> on behalf of Warren Leung <warrenwl at>
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2022 1:00 PM
To: Shib Users <users at>
Subject: Re: Passing attribute with whitespace value

[This email originated from outside of OSU. Use caution with links and attachments.]

Hi Peter,

We are currently working with HR on evaluating ways of displaying users who have no first name. We currently are receiving FNU from HR, but many downstream systems has expressed issues with it. Leaving it blank would create issues for other systems. I guess the overall problem is probably something I can ask in an InCommon mailing list.



From: users <users-bounces at> on behalf of Peter Schober via users <users at>
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 12:51 PM
To: users at <users at>
Cc: Peter Schober <peter.schober at>
Subject: Re: Passing attribute with whitespace value

* Mark Scarbrough <scarbrom at> [2022-07-28 16:30]:
> We have a use case where we are trying to pass a value of a single
> space in an attribute.

Maybe I'll regret even askig but would you care to share what that use
case is or rather how a single space can convey the required semantics
(not not any other non-whitespace character)?

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