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Re: names

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Sun Apr 3 00:55:47 1994 )

From: stewarta@netcom.com (Alex Stewart)
To: coldstuff@MIT.EDU
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 1994 21:54:30 -0800 (PST)

Sigh.. just now realized I sent this message only to William, and not to the
maillist like I'd intended.. oh well.

> I was under the impression names were different than dbrefs.
> name:  $funky_chicken
> dbref: #1234
> so changing get_name(); to get_dbref(); is not necessarily a good idea.

Well, the way I figure it, #xxx isn't really a dbref because it's never
supposed to actually be used to reference anything (outside of server-internal
stuff) (that's what $foo is for).  Moreover, $foo used to be called a dbref,
and it's function hasn't changed at all since that point, but it's not a dbref
anymore, which doesn't seem right (picky, I know, but still valid).

I can live with not calling $foo-type things dbrefs (though I still think they
should be) but what I really do want to see is changing the *_name stuff to
_something_ else, because it's just plain ambiguous and confusing, even for
people who know what they're doing (if I'm talking about an object's name with
someone, how do they know if I mean the VR name or the *_name name, etc?  The
term "name" comes with a fair amount of linguistic baggage, and is best left to
applications that are farily close to the VR aspects of the system)

Personally, I'd like to see something like:
dbref: $foo
dbnum: #1234
This keeps things pretty unambiguous, and highlights much better the
relationship and function of the two types of values.