Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My company uses Lotus Notes and Active directory. Our Lotus Notes groups used to have spaces in them. Recently, our IS department has switched to using underscores instead of spaces in the group name, making them irritating to type. When asked, the IS representative said that they failed an audit due to having spaces in these lotus notes groups.

What's the problem with spaces in group names?

share|improve this question
Google returns some vague reference to spaces causing problems with EXTERNAL groups, but no specifics. Unfortunately I don't have any Lotus experience. – Shinrai May 17 '11 at 18:36
I remember our Lotus guy moving spaces in groups to %. Don't ask me why, I have no clue, but judging from the pile of **** that Lotus is, there must be some reason for that. I also remember that one coworker had a problem with sending mail to those (space-separated) groups. – slhck May 17 '11 at 18:56
"but judging from the pile of **** that Lotus is, there must be some reason for that" That isn't helpful. Most likely the no spaces has more to do with active directory integration than anything specific to Notes. – Zach May 18 '11 at 5:36
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'm not aware of any issues with having spaces in group names. If you are assigning external email addresses to the groups, maybe they want the external address to match the Notes name for the group?

If they are mapping the groups directly into active directory, that may be why they don't want spaces, but as far as I know, there isn't any reason not to use spaces in Notes specifically.

share|improve this answer
There's a good chance that they're mapping those groups to AD groups; why can't you have them in AD groups? – Robert P May 18 '11 at 14:45
not sure, i just know ours don't use them. – Zach Jun 2 '11 at 12:50

One thing I can think of is file names:some operating systems are less/not tolerant of spaces in file names. It could be that your organization is using a backup or management system that saves group data to disk with a file named after the group, thus creating various strange errors for that software.

Another case I've seen is naming Amazon S3 buckets. There, the bucket name ends up being a part of a future URL, and must therefore contain no spaces or other special characters.

share|improve this answer
Regarding file names: Spaces are only a problem in VMS and MS-DOS, and even the latter allows spaces in API and filesystem (though problematic to give as command arguments). – grawity May 18 '11 at 6:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.