I'm new to Wikitree and I dived straight in to adding my tree and discovered much to my horror that in adding 100+ profiles in what I intuitively though would be the best way is completely at odds with the recommended "style" for Spanish Last names.
I "assumed" that the Last Name At Birth (LNAB) would be the paternal (principal) surname and the Other Last Name (OLN) would be used for the maternal surname and proceeded accordingly.
I soon noted that the names displayed with a weird aka before the maternal surname and I assumed this was down to some wikitree rule governing the OLN field that I would need to fix later.
Upon research in the G2G to understand better the naming conventions for Spanish surnames should be I did find a guide for Spanish Naming Conventions in Wikitree which is most detached from reality thing I've ever encountered. Evidently the best solution arrived at is to put both surnames in the LNAB field on the grounds that the both names are really one name. This is incorrect and highly misleading. It is not intuitive and no database best practise would be to put two pieces of different data in the same field. The paternal surname and maternal surname are separate pieces of information and are unique to the individual person profile. They are not repeatable in the parents or children of any given person about would only repeat in the siblings of the person. Other comments point out it really screws up the search and match functions as I'll illustrate:
My Great Grandfather, Ramon Granados Marquez
He would in the recommended naming conventions be rendered in the LNAB field as granados_marquez and becomes the unique profile ID. Not as Granados-67 but as Granados_Marquez-1
His children (Granados y Rey) would in the recommended naming conventions be rendered in the LNAB field as granados_rey by virtue of his marriage to Maria Concepcion Rey Capdevila
It is a string that is useless to match as each is rendered as a one string rather than two separate strings. Searches of the parent will not even find the children. Granados_Marquez and Granados_Rey being two different strings.
Typically (99% of the time) children adopt the paternal surname as their principle surname followed by the maternal surname. In my tree there are two instances where this has not been the case and the children have adopted the maternal surname as the principal surname followed by the paternal surname or dropping the paternal surname altogether. The maternal surname in each case being considered the more prestigious.
I do strongly support the concept of accommodating both paternal and maternal surnames in the Spanish way. I'm less sure about the addition of more fields specific to this use case to do this. As I went about this myself intuiting where things should go I found the paternal surname or principal surname was perfectly suited for the LNAB field. In the one case where I've added a profile where the person adopted the maternal surname as the principal surname I used this as the LNAB.
I wonder if the OLN isn't already the intuitive solution to this problem. Simply that the rule set governing the usage of the field isn't robust enough. In the default setting the rule could continue to display an alternate or variation so as not to break the existing usage but could also benefit from some buttons to engage a different rule sets for the display of the name and in search and match functions. For the purposes of this thread to indicate the naming convention is Spanish. I can also see that other rule sets could be added to govern alternate languages and alphabets (such as Cyrillic or Mandarin); additional last names for women that are neither the birth or current last name (a woman who lived as and was known by the last name of the second of three husbands) or certain hyphenated names.
The Wikitree naming convention could then be amended to indicate the LNAB is the principal surname (either Paternal [most often] or Maternal) The profile creator would know this best. OLN field could hold the Other Last Name with a button to engage a Spanish Naming Convention that would drop the "aka" and possibly add a "y" or possibly a variety of use options like a button for Hispanic Standard and a drop down define specifics ( use "y"; name order; Spain, Mexico, Brazil)
Could this be the solution we are looking for?