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DQ Darwin

Lets discuss - SL last names post from Rodvik Linden in the feeds.

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If you think about how last names disappeared, it was because we asked to be able to change our names.

So I don't think it's odd that people are suspicious of the "title" business. I suspect it's connected with one of last year's buzzwords "gamification" and similar in concept to the ranks we have here in the forums.

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I just want to say that although the posts were removed, I apologize to Kylie for snappping at her. I slipped and need to say sorry Kylie:(

 

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i hope that one of the options with last names is an option to not have one if you dont want

+

instead of a title i would like to see an option to have a salutation, like Mr Ms Mrs Miss Doctor KIng Master Mistress Queen Princess Elf Godmother, HRH etc. would be good for roleplayers that

+

would rather have thankyou bouquets. so can give them to people on their profile, like when they help you or do nice things for you inworld. better than ranks anyways for this kinda things

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In general, not directed at you, 16, if Rodvik wants to wow us, the residents of Second Life, why not take a vote?

Before being able to log in to the viewer, put up a poll.

The options could be

FirstName LastName (from a list)

FirstName LastName(open field) or

SingleName.resident

Make a choice, log in, forget about it. 

Take the results of 30 days, don't allow any avatar created after the beginning of the implementation of the poll to vote, to prevent fraud, and there, the residents have spoken.

What about people that already have tons of alts? Well, if Linden Lab treats them all as separate entities anyways, then let each of them have a vote. Or better yet, don't let them vote, the same way alts were not able to vote during the New Year New You contest.

 

 

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Thanks for the link.

My RLBF used to design databases. Since I am not an engineer (and feel kinda bad about it), I asked him to sit down and patiently explain to me why it is so hard to have first and last names.

He said, "It's a piece of cake." So, let me try to explain what he said (and forgive me if I screw up).

All avatars have a 'key' (I guess our UID), a unique number that is our 'identifier'. No properly designed database in the world uses names for keys. A unique key is assigned when a 'record' is created in a database. The important thing to remember is that ALL records in ALL databases have a unique key. A record is a collection of 'fields' that contain information relating to a key. So, for example, there is a 'record' about me in the LL databases that says something like this:

Avatar ID Key (123456abcdef552234128aaba), Firstname (Deltango), Lastname (Vale), Creation Date (2006.10.11), Payment Information (PIU), etc.

Now (and I find this really cool), there are very special rules for linking things together. For example, my SLGF has her own 'record' in the SL database. When we partnered, a new record was created in another database where our two keys were entered as fields. The 'record' in the Partner database would look something like this:

Partner Event ID key (a1b2c3d4e59999123456), Avatar ID Key A (123456abcdef552234128aaba), Avatar ID Key B (234567bcdefg762512992dede), Date (YYYY.MM.DD), Active (Y/N)

So, all databases are constructed this way (at least conceptually). New 'fields' can be added easily. There is never a problem with linking data across an entire organization. The rules of construction guarantee that things (objects?) in one database are only ever connected to things in another database via 'Event' databases. An 'Event' database is a 'bridge' between the items in one database and another. Any number of such bridges can be constructed for any number of reasons. The original databases remain untouched.

So, if I have understood all this correctly, there is no problem for Linden Lab to fix the last name problem.

Use two name 'fields' (forename, surname) and a title 'field' (title) and whatever other components one might want (favorite color, whatever) linked to the avatar 'key'. For residents with two names, the problem is already solved. For residents with one name, allow them the option of choosing any last name, which would go into the surname 'field'. For new residents, let them choose any first name and any last name and any title. If a new resident does not want a last name then the default is Resident (the current default). To prevent duplicate names, simply check new names against a list of existing names.

Whew. My first engineering answer in the fora :)

Am I anywhere close to understanding the problem correctly?

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DQ Darwin wrote:

I just want to say that although the posts were removed, I apologize to Kylie for snappping at her. I slipped and need to say sorry Kylie:(

 

Apology accepted :)

 

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First & last names yes, no more needs to be said. Why is this still an issue? How many years will this waste time while other real problems still exist? That's rhetorical of course.

Years ago some asked for custom names. Solution: allow new accounts to choose first AND last names, done. Old accounts would have to start over for inventory etc but that's the price to pay if your initial name is not good enough for those few, ( most really don't care since they have made a name for themselves based on what they have done ).

We have groups, group active titles and tabbers to add more details of identity so "other" names and titles are not needed, especially system based alternative names that have to constantly fetch information for profiles, local chat, group chat = lag.

SL knows the importance of selecting a custom last name, after all they choose Linden for theirs, if it had no value they wouldn't have bothered.

 

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what about SingleName and thats all. like can return empty for lastname to viewer and scripts. or a space if has to be something and not null. i would personal like that

me and madonna and prince (: like be better than say 16.formerlyknownasResident. jejejje (:

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for all the existing accounts, not just for Resident lastname but for everyone, has been asked that linden have a way we can change our lastname on a one-time basis when is changed back to firstname lastname. be good this as well i think if linden allow this

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Thanks for the link.

To prevent duplicate names, simply check new names against a list of existing names.

Whew. My first engineering answer in the fora
:)

Am I anywhere close to understanding the problem correctly?

 

You're welcome.  : )

Correct, in that this is just coding.  Checking new names against a list of existing names, is what was in place when most of us joined, for the first name selection. 

I don't think the issue here is the engineering aspects, per se.  It is the decision aspect, as in, "what exactly are we going to do"?   (the "we" being Linden Lab)  It is the "how and what" to implement...that is under consideration.  

Also, LL is not only looking at the "how and what", but also the "why". 

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16 wrote:

what about SingleName and thats all. like can return empty for lastname to viewer and scripts. or a space if has to be something and not null. i would personal like that

me and madonna and prince (: like be better than say 16.formerlyknownasResident. jejejje (:

+

for all the existing accounts, not just for Resident lastname but for everyone, has been asked that linden have a way we can change our lastname on a one-time basis when is changed back to firstname lastname. be good this as well i think if linden allow this

If a single name is possible, then yes, that could be an option in the poll as well, in fact, if it is possible, it should replace the FirstName.resident option.

Thank you for the explanation, Deltango. That sounds good to me, hopefully it is that easy.

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Celestiall Nightfire wrote:


Deltango Vale wrote:

Thanks for the link.

To prevent duplicate names, simply check new names against a list of existing names.

Whew. My first engineering answer in the fora
:)

Am I anywhere close to understanding the problem correctly?

 

You're welcome.  : )

Correct, in that this is just coding.  Checking new names against a list of existing names, is what was in place when most of us joined, for the first name selection. 

I don't think the issue here is the engineering aspects, per se.  It is the decision aspect, as in, "what exactly are we going to do"?   (the "we" being Linden Lab)  It is the "how and what" to implement...that is under consideration.  

Also, LL is not only looking at the "how and what", but also the "why". 

A good why would be that long time residents of Second Life have asked for it. They have also provided many whys, not least among them being the ridiculousness of AOL number names and the sense of not belonging that many .residents are subjected to, among others.

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i do like the idea of some way we could vote for things we would like. is the jira but that not quite the same thing, it being more techy based

the lastname thing be perfect for this, like you say. is all kinds of other things as well that non-techyl in nature we could ask for and vote on. linden always saying they want more feedback on all kinds of things from ordinary users. a voting board quite good really if linden made for us. linden not have to listen everytime and make exactly. but would be good to be able to do anyways

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I was kinda thinking the same thing. There are about 2 million threads with perhaps 43 trillion posts on the problem of mononames. One presumes LL actually read some of them. The main problem, of course, is betty12345GGreea777 Resident. The real problem, though, is that Linden Lab thinks it is IBM designing a rocket engine instead of a company providing a social space for humans.

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16 wrote:

i do like the idea of some way we could vote for things we would like. is the jira but that not quite the same thing, it being more techy based

the lastname thing be perfect for this, like you say. is all kinds of other things as well that non-techyl in nature we could ask for and vote on. linden always saying they want more feedback on all kinds of things from ordinary users. a voting board quite good really if linden made for us. linden not have to listen everytime and make exactly. but would be good to be able to do anyways

Agreed.

If Linden Lab wants to know what we as Second Life residents think, then they could ask us. They don't even have to ask, the last name issue is splattered all over the web.

A simple poll on the log in page would seem to me to be a good way of capturing the user's thoughts on the matter regarding Second Life user names.

 

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I knew this will get messy when LL said “Last names under active discussion. We are trying to figure out how to do it in a way which would be excellent rather than just okay.”  but didnt realise it would be disaster like titles. The previous discussion: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Breaking-News-Last-Names-Are-Coming-Back/td-p/1281229

 

LL should realise that they need to bring back last names as fast as possible. New people with crappy Resident last name get born every day. Bringing back last names would also be very easy and fast. The system is already in place. Everything is built on for 2 name system, it was never removed. Only need to change the login page. Maybe one hour of work.

After LL has re-enabled the option to select sane last names, they can sit back and spend months to think of titles or what ever excellent things they want to force on us.

When display names were in the discussion before release. It was meant to be just the name above over our heads. And when released, it somehow was forced on chat and all over. And our real name was changed to ugly liisa.runo format. I can imagine the excellent thing we are about to get, maybe soon the titles get forced on all over too, maybe soon the in world chat looks like this:

€rick The Gang$ta (omfgwhyallnamesaretaken2135842546.resident) Beginner Builder: Hi can i have 300L?

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€rick The Gang$ta (omfgwhyallnamesaretaken2135842546.resident) Beginner Builder: Hi can i have 300L?

LOL

<sarcasm> It doesn't fit in the toasts. We will have an icon to see the title and a "more..." link to see the real contents. </sarcasm>

Any way, LL should have just restored the drop down menu with the last names on the registration page. It doesn't require much thinking nor explanations. Quite a lot of people managed to go through the registration process when last names were available... I think. No?

I guess it is just too easy for LL. They prefer to give us some inflated contraption on which they will put patch after patch for the years to come and to call us names if we don't marvel at everything that comes out of the Lab. ("Vocal minority", "allergic to change", etc, etc)

Just like Liisa, (Hello, Honey!) ;) I had a bad feeling when I read that LL was "(...) trying to figure out how to do it in a way which would be excellent rather than just okay.” Too much thinking for a simple problem which already has an easy solution: Just give back the last names on the registration page the way they were. That would make some Residents happy to be able to just drop their "second-class" account.

After that, LL can focus on the problem of giving a last name to those who miss one and adding any bling they want --even if noboby asked anything.

I guess I'm too smart... or else I just can't see the "big picture" hidden behind closed doors at the Lab.

From the Tao of Linden:

We are blessed by some of the most informed, passionate, committed customers imaginable. They are our reason for being, they are our world, and we call them Residents. They are an insuperable source of advantage and an awesome responsibility. In every choice you make, consider how your choice will impact their experience. (Emphasis is mine.)

The paragraph on communication is another masterpiece of humor. Go and read the Tao of Linden before LL burns it...

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Oh yes. That name format is horroble. Me as a bussines women, offten needs to save people names in scripts notecards and so on and very time i must open profiles and copy the names. It wouldnt mch of an issue if profiles wouldnt be laggy, i miss the time when i ould just copy the name from cat. Same wirh search the old search was mch faster, now it lags and it takes time lad up, plusthey even oke away the fadt search bar next to the money and time. Why cant they fix issues like that rather putting in some uselles titles? Your true, its no like they must reinvent the second nam, its already there.

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Del, when I wrote "why" in my previous comment, it was not pertaining to: "Why bring back last names?". 

That's already been answered, LL is aware, and Rodvik commented in his feed a month ago: 

" Last names under active discussion. We are trying to figure out how to do it in a way which would be excellent rather than just ok. We want it intuitive with extra features. Hopefully we will roll out what we are thinking early January latest. Identity is very important so as we touch it we need to make sure we are adding something great."

So, LL is asking "how, what" and why" for the whole process that will be implemented.  Not "why" bring back last names.  That's past and been addressed. 

Yesterday, he posted an update, as the Lab is considering some additional features, when they roll-out the last-names change.   Rodvik's feed was closed to the general public, but yesterday, he specifically opened it to all SL residents, to garner feedback.   

Hope this makes my last comment more clear. 

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Titles will suck.....more drama about, requiring to have title XY to this and to get that....oh and some roleplayers will think they can rule now more than their own little self, when there is some leader-title :matte-motes-bored:

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Yes you are pretty much on the money Del. Everything in SL is associated to a UID or UUID in the database and it is that KeyField that leaps around the respective servers as you navigate through the grid. To me that is pretty much the rez problem we all incounter in telporting, the time required for servers to pass UID/UUID information to one another allowing textures, you and visable attachments to be veiwed on the server supporting the sim where you are. That's simplified mind you but basically what I understand of how it works.

I also recall that prior to the single name introduction the login field had two areas to enter your name First Name  and Last Name. When single names where introduced with the default name as resident the login screen changed to have the whole av name in one field. To me this means within the underlying database the first name /last name fields where merged. The result was in your login you had a name field for full name and then password vise First Last and then Password.

It would not suprise me that we all have the Lastname of Resident in the database and it is filtered out so we don't see it based on account date.

Now to revert back to First name Last name fields is no longer that simple and if your going to have to restructure the database maybe it's a good time to add fields like the suggested "Titles". NOT.

Anyway we are UID/UUID numbers associated to that number by Names much like www addresses are associated to IP  addresses on the web. If you change the web address you don't get the related IP address so you don't get the right page.

Well that's my take on the issue and I hope I haven't confused the issue more. lol

 

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Y'know, this is pretty cool stuff when one begins to understand the basics. I actually understand what you are saying about teleports in terms of what is happening in the guts of the servers (connecting the avatar key to new databases). I also understand what you mean by merging the first and last name 'fields'. (I double checked with my RLBF and he flipped out at the idea of merging the two fields). So it was not only a dumb idea conceptually, but it was a dumb idea in engineering terms. You are saying that LL now has to work like crazy to undo the damage it did to its own databases.

Considering how much trouble LL got itself into, perhaps the best thing would be to simply fix the name fields and leave the rest for another time. LL should not try to do anything fancy because, quite frankly, the company always seems to screw up when it tries something new.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Thanks for the link.

My RLBF used to design databases. Since I am not an engineer (and feel kinda bad about it), I asked him to sit down and patiently explain to me why it is so hard to have first and last names.

He said, "It's a piece of cake." So, let me try to explain what he said (and forgive me if I screw up).

All avatars have a 'key' (I guess our UID), a unique number that is our 'identifier'. No properly designed database in the world uses names for keys. ...

Am I anywhere close to understanding the problem correctly?

 

The problem is that the core LL databases are not 'properly designed'. The databases weren't designed by database coders trained to 'do it right', but were designed by game designers who happened to know enough about coding a database to 'make it work'. So they DID use a concatenation of the first and last name text fields as the primary "Key" for indexing many of the most essential databases. It worked, and they saw no problems with that method, at the time. UUID's for assets and people were an afterthought. The primary index key in a lot of the existing code is still that stupid concatenation of the two name text fields!

As far as I can tell, first name and last name are still individual fields in the actual databases. The current 'single name' is a pseudo-field, calculated from a concatenation of the first and last name, with both values forced lower case and a period put between them. The legacy "full name" pseudo field is the first name, a space, and the last name, with capitilization untouched. Many databases do use 'pseudo-fields' of that type, but using them as a reference key is bad practice. What they are supposed to be used for is as a single value that can be called for display purposes. Like being able to call a 'mailing address' in one call, from a value that concatenates many values in the actual database, such as city, state and zip code.

Could they fix it? Yes, but it isn't as easy as it seems on the surface.

Any current code that they write would, if the coder is competent, use the UUID as the referenced index key. So when a new form or process links person A with asset B, it would certainly use the UUID's to do that.

But there is a ton of legacy code from before UUID's were added to the system, that has never been touched since it went live. There are lines of code burried deep in the server code and viewer code and the various database structures that don't know what a UUID is, and that only reference that concatenation of first and last name as the index value. For example, maybe the cross-check to see if a certain avatar has permission to update the ban lists for a parcel is still using the legacy method. Or maybe the code for handling change of asset ownership still uses the legacy code.To fix the problem, they would have to examine every last line of code, to make sure they didn't miss some function that used the old indexing method. Otherwise, if they started allowing name changes en-masse, (thus changing a referenced indexing key), they could have chaotic results, where one system knows the change took place, but another can't recognize that the new name is associated with the former UUID.

If they did take the time to ensure that no code, anywhere, still references the name fields as an indexing value, then and only then could they allow changes to existing names, on more than a one-off basis.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Y'know, this is pretty cool stuff when one begins to understand the basics. I actually understand what you are saying about teleports in terms of what is happening in the guts of the servers (connecting the avatar key to new databases). I also understand what you mean by merging the first and last name 'fields'. (I double checked with my RLBF and he flipped out at the idea of merging the two fields). So it was not only a dumb idea conceptually, but it was a dumb idea in engineering terms. You are saying that LL now has to work like crazy to undo the damage it did to its own databases.

Considering how much trouble LL got itself into, perhaps the best thing would be to simply fix the name fields and leave the rest for another time. LL should not try to do anything fancy because, quite frankly, the company always seems to screw up when it tries something new.

i wish someone in the office would have spoke up back then and said..hey lets just add display names..it will be so much easier than taking away regular first and last names..now here we are a little over a year later doing it the hard way again lol

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Thanks for the clarification, which ties into what I said to Dee. Whenever LL says "new features", I cringe. It's not that I dislike new features - SL desperately needs new features - it's just that LL is the wrong company to attempt to add new features. At this point, simply fixing the name problem is all anyone should ask of LL. Seriously, if LL can fix the name problem without adding new problems, I will be extremely impressed.

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Thanks, Ceera, for the explanation. Basically, you are saying that the LL databases are a mess, poorly designed, currently a kludge. If so, then there is only one good solution. (Bear with me as I jump to what I was discussing with Rene inworld. Bear with me too as I shift from engineering to economic history.)

In 1963, IBM was facing stiff competition. The company sat down and decided to rethink it's product from top to bottom. The decision was to make a US$5 billion investment (the same cost as the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb) in a complete redesign of its computers. The result in 1965 was the IBM360 mainframe, which took IBM to the top of the industry (80% market share in 1980). A year later (1981), IBM failed utterly to repeat its performance. Bill Gates took Microsoft to the top of the industry. Similarly, Kodak once built a patent wall around itself so tight that only Edwin Land managed to get through it (Polaroid). Kodak invented the digital camera in 1975. Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a month ago.

It strikes me that Linden Lab (or another company buying Linden Lab) must redesign and rebuild its databases/systems. The company faces a choice: be IBM 1965 and create a dazzling virtual world or be Kodak 2012 and make paperclips.

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