2007/11/25, Eckhard Genßmann <eckhard.genssmann@onlinehome.de>:
Dear all,
The issue I have: people are often listed by their birth-names - but this
name represents those individuals only their first 20+ years in their life,
all the other events and references are using other names. It's often
difficult to find these people in the database if you only have the other
name in the document.

If all names are present in the alternative names tab of the person, you just type the name in the filter sidebar and click search.

A more flexible approach how to handle these optional names would be very

Here's the idea how I could imagine the use of optional names:

People may have names in different categories:
1. "birth-name" (only one)
2. "name after marriage" (could be a number of different names as people may
have several marriages over time)
3. "given name" (may be many) ...
4. Unknown

This is the names tab on the person editor.

As one additional setting within properties, the User may define a selection
order, which of the names (by category) should be chosen for reports or
other list in case there are optional names defined.
For each person may one of the names be defined as standard name at the
individual data record (this function already exists in GRAMP 2.9). This
standard definition should replace the selection-order for this individual
and enable that this name will always be used.

This looks like a lot of manual work to me to keep correct. Easier would be to tag names, and select a tag on a report or so. Like that you need not keep some order correct

If a user would like to create lists/reports using the birth-names, he/she
just needs to make sure that the selection-order is set correctly. If there
is another need next day to create list or reports by their family-name,
user simply needs to change selection-order.

User should also have the option to select "display all optional names".
This would provide name list according to selection-order plus showing all
the optional names in the lists. These entries should be marked, maybe
dimmed or using any colour code to identify these entries as duplicates in
the list, that link directly to correct individuals...

Having the flexible selection-order would give the user a very flexible
option which names to be chosen for whatever purpose.
I'm sure that may users will like it.

You already have an order today, the standard name and then the list of other names.
I do not see the use of adding another order.

If it is for reports you want to use other name than the standard name, the order should not really matter, it is a question of going over the names and selecting the right one.

Perhaps do a feature request to have the name displayer in the preferences also take the birth type.
Eg, you set birth type to Married Name, then the name displayer takes from the list of names the first one given as type Married Name and if not there the standard name.
That I think already enables everything you want to achieve with your suggestion