Naming semantics?


I’m trying to figure out the semantics of various sorts of location names. Questions and comments so far:

  • It is a little confusing that ‘@’ is the key used to invoke the location box: e.g. just typing ‘@foo’ will send you to the named location ‘foo’ but ‘@@foo’ will send you to the avatar named ‘foo’.
  • #foo’ and ‘foo’ seem to be equivalent in Interface. Is that a convenience or design?
  • @foo’ means something like ‘in front of and facing the current location of the avatar with the account name foo’. It would be nice if you could use display names here, especially since you might be looking at someone’s avatar and not know their account name.
  • the hifi URI is generally clear, but the orientation parameter is not what I had expected: hifi://,y,z/rw,rx,ry,rz. The rotation/quaternion need not be normalized but it it is easy to cause minor breakage… I mean fun side effects if you break Interface’s assumptions. e.g. try going to hifi://,100,100/0,0,0,1 and then rotate around.
  • great idea to put location into the EXIF data of snapshots, but perhaps it would be better to embed a hifi URI instead of a bunch of comments.
  • you can name locations, but I haven’t found a way to remove a name (or change one).
  • I would think there would be a strong use-case for domain-local named locations: vex@sandbox or sandbox#vex would be my strip plot but would have no impact on global names. A URI like hifi:// or somesuch would also be useful.


Going to reply to a couple of the things that jump out at me.

  • The ‘@’ key opening the location box is definitely confusing. That used to only be a ‘go to user’ box before it was expanded. We should look at changing that shortcut.

  • That’s by design. If you append your search with nothing in the location box you are searching for either a user OR a place by that name. If both exist Interface will present you with a dialog to choose which one you actually want. If you prepend with a ‘@’ or a ‘#’ you are explicitly searching for a user or a place.

  • It would be difficult to handle both display names / usernames with ‘@’. Display names can be whatever the user wants, which means there can be many collisions. This also isn’t information the data server knows, so it wouldn’t know where to send you. This could probably be alleviated by a system that allows you to get usernames from people and store them as a contact.

  • There’s an API to remove locations but it hasn’t been exposed to interface. I’ll talk to @G about designing that and then getting somebody to implement. You can only delete your own locations so I suppose we could provide a list in Interface of locations you own with an ability to delete whichever you want.

  • We’ve talked a little bit about how to implement that sub-domain style naming but haven’t implemented it yet. Those are great suggestions.


Good thoughts, gents. I’ve created a job here for getting an editable list of locations:


more thoughts and observations:

  • The inability to use “display names” as references seems to be a disconnect with the stated goal of your account name being private (several threads here on the forums about wanting to change account name for various reasons).
  • Are account names supposed to be globally unique or just unique within a domain?
  • Personally, I’m dissatisfied with the notion of a “display name” as being purely visual sugar and yet “account name” being both your public reference and part of your authentication credentials. With this arrangement, everyone who can see you online already has half of your authentication information. Contrast with FB (for instance), where your login is your email address, which doesn’t intrinsically have anything to do with your name.
  • probably just a bug, but “#whatever” seems to have stopped working in interface recently.