MLS 3.0 Issue: Temple recommend name search

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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ffrsqpilot
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MLS 3.0 Issue: Temple recommend name search

Postby ffrsqpilot » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:52 am

Not sure if I am explaining this right but I will give it a try. Did a send receive yesterday and got the upgrade with no problems. Left the stake to go to a ward conference and didn't bother using the stake computer until this morning to enter some temple recommends. Entering the recommends is where I ran into problems. Everything goes well when you enter the first name and click activate - immediate "edit" shows up which is nice. However, if you have to type another name that is alphabetically different the entry block won't let you enter the new name....

Example: I enter the name Jones, Mable and go through the steps to activate her new recommend. The "edit" note comes up immediately (which is a nice feature after having to wait in a previous version of MLS for the edit to come up before going on to another name). Here is the problem I encountered - If I have another recommend to enter I use to be able to just highlight the name in the fill in box and type the next name into the "fill in block" and the name would come up....but that doesn't happen now. What occurs is the previous name "Jones, Mable" stays in the fill in line with the first couple of letters of the new name that I am trying to reach.... looks like this - TayJones.

Only way I found to get to the next name I want to enter is to "Close" the Activate Recommend" process and reclick on the activate button again so I can type in the next name.

Probably I am doing something wrong, but after several tries at entering four recommends this morning, the only way I was successful was to back out of the activate screen and restart it.

Hope this made sense.

Jim

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:43 am

Pilotfly wrote:Entering the recommends is where I ran into problems. Everything goes well when you enter the first name and click activate - immediate "edit" shows up which is nice. However, if you have to type another name that is alphabetically different the entry block won't let you enter the new name....


I was not able to test this until last night (there are no temple recommend activation features in the test database), and I can confirm that it is indeed a problem, and it's a major usability flaw in MLS 3.0. I had to activate a dozen recommends last night, and it was a significant challenge to get positioned on the right record for every single one (except the first recommend entered after going into the Activate Recommends screen).

It's a bit confusing to report what happens, because actions are happening in the background while you continue to type characters. As near as I can tell, the following happens:

  1. For the first recommend, name search works exactly like it does elsewhere in MLS 3.0. You type something like "Brow" and you will see a narrowed list that includes Ann Brown, Hugh Brown, John Browne, Steven Browning Jones, etc. You can easily select the right person, and activate their recommend.
  2. As you finish the first recommend, you are returned to the full list of stake members who could possibly have a recommend activated. As pilotfly noted, this happens very quickly compared to MLS 2.9.x, which is a welcome change.
  3. The name search field contains the name of the current member (the one you just activated) and that name is selected, and focus is on that field, so you can begin typing immediately without any mouse clicks. Again, this is a welcome change from MLS 2.9.x, where you had to click back in that field before you could start another name search.
  4. As you type your first character to begin the name search for the next person to activate, indeed the previous selected field contents are immediately deleted and the character you typed appears in the text field. This is exactly what should happen. (But depending on the speed of your machine and other factors, you may not be able to see that character appear because of what happens next.)
  5. However, immediately after that character appears, the entire field contents is replaced by a full name from the list. I'm a bit fuzzy on exactly what name it is, but I believe it is the first name that matches the character you typed. Depending on the speed of your computer and the speed of your typing, you might be able to type more than one character before that full name appears.
  6. When that name appears, it is not selected, the text cursor (insertion point) is to the left of the character, and focus is still on the text field. Thus subsequent characters you type are inserted before that name.
  7. The above means that if you are searching for Blackwell by typing "blac", the first character "b" might have positioned you on "Baxter, Fred" and then the "lac" would be typed in front of that name, resulting in "lacBaxter, Fred", which of course won't match anything.
  8. Trying to clear out the name field and start over fresh almost always exhibited the same behavior. The only way I could get it to work was to either exit the activation screen after each recommend, or to be very slow and wait for the name search to complete its narrowing after each character. Even then, I got surprised on occasion.
I don't know why temple recommend activation exhibits this behavior. The list is long (over 2000 names in my stake), and the machine is slow (6-year old 2.0 GHz Celeron), but it doesn't happen elsewhere. I can go to places such as Custom Member Fields where the entire stake list (over 3000 names) appears, and the name search is quick and does not malfunction.

My guess is that the slowness of the machine is a factor, but it's pretty common to have fairly slow machines these days. The background processing of the new MLS 3.0 name search feature somehow conflicts with what you are typing in the name search field for temple recommend activation. I'd much rather have the ridiculously long delays of MLS 2.9.x after activating each recommend than this confusing mess. This is a significant problem that should be fixed promptly.

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Postby ffrsqpilot » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:53 am

Thanks Alan for checking on this. I wasn't sure I was explaining the issue well enough. You seem to have covered it in enough detail that the MLS folks should be able to figure out the problem.

As a side note, I believe most of the stakes and districts throughout the world (as well as the temples) are now on the bar coded temple recommend system. If not, and they converted to it now and had to use the current MLS 3.0 version, entering all the new bar codes for the entire stake/district would be a serious headache. Our stake converted well over a year ago and we did the entire stake in mass inorder to get everyone updated. If I would have had to do the massive number of recommends via this version I would have even less hair than I have now! :D

Hopefully the MLS folks will see this and make the corrections.

Jim

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Postby crislapi » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:50 am

Pilotfly wrote:... However, if you have to type another name that is alphabetically different the entry block won't let you enter the new name....


I had the same problem Sunday. I exited out of activate recommends then went back in and it worked like you'd expect. I thought it was just a temporary hiccup. However, where you had the same problem it may be a bigger glitch than I thought.

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Postby stanstrad » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:31 am

Am also having significant problems activating recommends on ver. 3. Had to basically back out and reenter activation section after each one...clerk final gave up and went home and activated the rest from home. Is there a resolution to this yet?

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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:45 am

sls wrote:Am also having significant problems activating recommends on ver. 3. Had to basically back out and reenter activation section after each one...clerk final gave up and went home and activated the rest from home. Is there a resolution to this yet?


There is no resolution at this moment, but the Church is aware of the problem and is working to fix it very soon. See this post for more details.

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Postby techgy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:56 am

sls wrote:Am also having significant problems activating recommends on ver. 3. Had to basically back out and reenter activation section after each one...clerk final gave up and went home and activated the rest from home. Is there a resolution to this yet?



How do you activate a recommend from home? The only way I know of would be to have a copy of the MLS software installed and using a copy of the actual stake database, which is definitely against policy. The clerk would also need the recommend scanner. :rolleyes:

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Postby mkmurray » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:05 am

The TES software. You may have seen this acronym thrown around a few times on the forums. I don't know much about the website except for doing much (or perhaps all) of the same functionality as MLS in regards to temple recommends.

EDIT: Temple Entry System is what the acroynm stands for. You can read a little about it on this wiki page: https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Temple_recommend#Temple_Entry_System_.28TES.29
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

techgy
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Postby techgy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:07 am

mkmurray wrote:The TES software. You may have seen this acronym thrown around a few times on the forums. I don't know much about the website except for doing much (or perhaps all) of the same functionality as MLS in regards to temple recommends.

EDIT: Temple Entry System is what the acroynm stands for. You can read a little about it on this wiki page: https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Temple_recommend#Temple_Entry_System_.28TES.29


I've heard of this but wasn't familiar with it. My stake duties don't involve me in the activation of recommends aside from being familiar with the MLS functions as the STS. Thanks for the tip.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:32 am

Techgy wrote:The clerk would also need the recommend scanner.


Nope. The scanner just makes things easier. You can type the numbers in.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


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