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Friday, February 5, 2010

MUD and Aliases

A common issue encountered when using MUD is the appearance of columns in the presentation layer with a "#1" appended to the end of the column name. The most likely of reasons this is occurring stems from the existence of aliases in the presentation layer. For example, say there was a column named AccountName at a previous time in the repository. When it was renamed to something new, AccountDescription, an alias of AccountName was retained in AccountDescription, unless it was manually removed. So when a new column is added to the presentation layer in the checked out repository named AccountName and merged into the master repository, the merge process sees that AccountName already exists and appends the #1 to it in order to differentiate.

Remedying this issue is fairly straightforward and simple. After merging the checked out repository to the master repository but before publishing, check the presentation layer in the master repository for any #1 columns and either remove them, remove the alias from the other column, and/or rename them if the alias is needed. Remember to do this right after the merge but before publishing to the network so that you avoid getting #1 columns in the master repository. Best practice is to not keep aliases around but sometimes one may have good reason to retain them or they may slip through unnoticed until a situation like #1 occurs.