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Erwin Solo

Why not just re-enable last names for new Avatar Accounts?

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Why not just re-enable last names for new Avatar Accounts? There is no technical work to be done. Everything still works. If you doubt me, note that last names remain available for new accounts if you pay enough money. See: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Custom_Name_Program  

As for the oft-stated concern that confusion about last names leads to fall-out in the signup process, that's just a matter of web page design. Make the current one-name procedure the default, and make last name selection require someone to follow a tiny footnote link. That would have solved the problem back in 2010 if it really was a problem. I think it was just regulars checking out the then-current last-names list. 

Remember that when SL shut down new last-names in major markets, that people were VPN'ing into smaller markets to get last names.  

Current users looking for two-name alts will be in the know soon enough. Word will spread virally. How do you think people find out about Firestorm, for example?  

There would be a rush of new avatar creation. Lots of sales of mesh bodies, mesh heads, mesh clothing.

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Do you really think if it was that simple, LL wouldn't have already just flipped the switch back on?

8 minutes ago, Erwin Solo said:

There is no technical work to be done.

Source?

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Because they decided it would make a good Premium perk.

If you can get non-Premium accounts to switch over to Premium (like I will) because of one perk, all of those people have the potential to keep their subscriptions active after they get a taste of all the perks during the first period. Linden purchases from new accounts is short-sighted and unreliable. A subscription is safe and stable income.

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6 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Linden purchases from new accounts is short-sighted and unreliable. A subscription is safe and stable income.

That's a good argument. 

18 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Do you really think if it was that simple, LL wouldn't have already just flipped the switch back on?

Source?

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Custom_Name_Program

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From comments that Oz has said, it really would be pretty simple to just start offering last names again -- it is the changing of names that caused most of the complicated extra work for them.  Since so many existing people want a last name or want to change their name - without having to start over with a new account - they decided there was more benefit to them to incorporate it all together and offer it at a price to Premiums only.

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4 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Yes, I read that. What part of it indicates that the process is as simple as flipping a switch? 

The link to the following page, and the materiel thereon, makes it clear that SL still has an API for registering new users with last names.  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Registration_API

5 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

From comments that Oz has said, it really would be pretty simple to just start offering last names again -- it is the changing of names that caused most of the complicated extra work for them.  Since so many existing people want a last name or want to change their name - without having to start over with a new account - they decided there was more benefit to them to incorporate it all together and offer it at a price to Premiums only.

Agreed.  Its more work than I wish to do to re-listen to the various hour-long interviews to post time-tags.  Essentially, all their technical work to allow name-changes involves finding all the places in all the various servers and databases that index on legacy name instead of UUID, and changing them to index on UUID.  None of that is an issue when creating a new account. 

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57 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Do you really think if it was that simple, LL wouldn't have already just flipped the switch back on?

YES.

Because :

1. Disallow surnames

2. ???

3. Profit!

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10 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

k.

I'm sure you know better than they do. 

I only know what they tell me.  Here's a video time-tagged to the right spot. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Erwin Solo said:

I only know what they tell me.  Here's a video time-tagged to the right spot. 

I was in the audience as well. I heard Oz explaining what makes it so difficult since they absolutely have to take into account all the resident last name accounts that have been created in the years since last names were dropped. 

Yes, I suppose theoretically, they could just turn them back on but can you imagine the absolute sh*t storm that would ensue from residents that were expected to create new accounts if they wanted a last name? 

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8 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Yes, I suppose theoretically, they could just turn them back on but can you imagine the absolute sh*t storm that would ensue from residents that were expected to create new accounts if they wanted a last name? 

 

1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

Do you really think if it was that simple, LL wouldn't have already just flipped the switch back on?

Thank you.

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Just now, Erwin Solo said:

Thank you.

So you're just going to ignore all the stuff in between about the people with resident last names. 

Gotcha. To hell with them, right?

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15 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

So you're just going to ignore all the stuff in between about the people with resident last names. 

Gotcha. To hell with them, right?

I'm truly sorry that implementing the name-change functionality has taken so long to implement.  Next summer will be the tenth anniversary of arbitrarily disabling last names.  Ten years is long enough.  If they can't get name-changes implemented by the tenth anniversary, I think they ought to just turn last names back on.  

I have a couple of alts with two years of prepaid premium, and hoping the name-change functionality arrives before my two years expires. 

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@Erwin Solo   By no means am I saying I am a definitive source on why they haven't yet- but I've read (and I'm paraphrasing) that the backend coding didn't take into consideration ever changing last names, and that would be a big undertaking- and must not be seen as profitable enough to do it yet.  

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2 hours ago, Erwin Solo said:

The link to the following page, and the materiel thereon, makes it clear that SL still has an API for registering new users with last names.  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Registration_API

That info might be a bit out of date, I still have the last known third party registration portal to have last names bookmarked the sign up page still exists however in the last name section there are none 

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1 minute ago, Claireschen Hesten said:

That info might be a bit out of date, I still have the last known third party registration portal to have last names bookmarked the sign up page still exists however in the last name section there are none 

Its used for the custom names program.  http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Custom_Name_Program

The point is that all the technology is in place for last names in second life.  Always has been.  Its just turned off for new accounts.  

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The first explanation I heard for dropping last names was it was done due to a database design problem. LL stores a number for your last name and retrieves it when necessary from a look-up table. They chose too small of a data type for the number/index, and estimated they'd run out of numbers if they kept generating new last names. Remember that it's not just existing residents who take up names, but all of the people who sign up for SL. The simplest solution was to use Resident as a last name, keep the remaining index values for custom names/RegAPI use, and discontinue offering last names to new sign-ups. If that's the case, then part of restoring last names is to fix the data type for the name index. It could've been done before, but the Resident fix was definitely easier. The explanation is plausible and is definitely more believable than all the conspiracy theories that have popped up over the years.

Edited by Parhelion Palou
Slight wording change
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4 hours ago, Erwin Solo said:

I only know what they tell me.  Here's a video time-tagged to the right spot. 

 

Wait. All of your answers are here?

"We don't want to just enable last names."

"Having to choose a last name negatively affected the sign up process."

"We don't want name changes to be frequent."

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What a fantastic idea! Give new users last names like old ones and burn all the people in the middle that have signed up over half of SL's existence! That's won't cause any issues at all. Unless "Residents" decide that they've been deceived with promises of bringing last names back (578 days ago and counting), had enough and take their $ elsewhere.

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It's a politics issue then.

Tomorrow at 9am - first new account made has a last name.

What do you tell the sucker who made the name 'somebodygotallthegoodones3903214' at 8:59 am?

- Linden Lab has always been shy about these kinds of things.

Other 'MMOs' just tell the 8:59 sucker to pay $19.95 for a name change.

- Then... if they do make a name change...

 

Look up the technical spec of a 'UUID'. A UUID is both some crazy number and a unique human-readable name value. That's true not just for your SL name, but any service using a UUID. The problem, I suspect but cannot confirm - is probably that that unique unchangeable name for SL users is your actual username... whereas other services would tie it to an account name that... was never used 'inside the game'.

Thus if I played... World of Nekocraft... and had the account 'someRandomCalifornian' - I would then make an endless stream of characters, one of which might be 'pussycat catnap' - and they could toggle the names of these characters around at will like our display names.

SL's mistake is making the account name something everyone who meets you in SL knows... ie: tying things other users can see to a field that other services hide from all but the person with the credit card or password...

 

Simple solution: get rid of usernames.

Tomorrow at 9am, everyone has a display name only - and you cannot have a display name someone else is already using.

Priority for display name conflicts:

1. For some early access period, any display name that matches a username can only be taken by someone with that username.

2. In any case where two people had the same display name before the service went live, and for neither of them was it also their username - the name is locked out for both for that access period. Both have to rechoose on login.

- Basically you do something similar to what happens when two servers in an MMO merge.

 

All scripts which work on usernames will switch to working on the 'agent key', and any query to write the key or name into the '0' chat channel writes the display name. Anything which writes a key to the 0 channel that matches to a user writes the display name. Any attempt to convert a key to a string - is a one way conversion as it feed back a display name.

- And that just kills some scripts.

Just like MMOs that do major updates often break addons and mods...

 

The big problem is LLs doesn't have the culture of being willing to tell users 'tough, your crap was old, update it' like MMOs and games like Skyrim do.

 

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