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Squeedoo Shirakawa

So, you are speculating that the new zoning regulations and covenant regulations that Mister Linden is proposing would be bad for people who use old group tools or who run their businesses by themselves, correct? (i'm sorry, I'm just trying to understand this, I couldn't get to the meeting last night.)

Strange, when I saw the announcement for the city/town hall meeting, something in me said, "Zoning? Oh noes!" I had no ida why last night, but now reading your article (and if what you say is true) then my irrational knee jerk reaction might've been more logical than I thought. :)

Ah well, I'm going to lay down, my head hurts. See ya inworld, Prokofy.

Prokofy Neva

In a word, the answer is: we don't know. We have no details. Only speculation. Only concerns based on their past behaviour, and the nature of the tools they did make.

Prokofy Neva

Cocoanut, I can pre-anticipate Gwyn's defense for her:

1. "We had to have our own internal Neualtenberg meeting to discuss zoning." (to which I would say -- uh, why? You're on an island? You're zoned? And you only seize on this issue to be "where it's at" and even move back to the mainland if that's "where the action is".

2. "But we couldn't make it secret or you all would say it was secret, so we put it on the calendar." (To which I say: then you could have invited us.)

3. "So Traxx popped in, what can you do, it was on the calendar." Um, so, you can try arguing against him? you have nothing to say to counter this idiocy about dangerous individuals?

4. "It was better to put the transcript on the forums than not, otherwise you all would say it is secret." Well, except that locks in one very big point of view exemplified by Traxx and Iron, eh? Now, was that accidental?

The letter to the Lindens should still go forward, although it should not propose Democracy Island as the venue or conver -- please leave them out. And this idea of RL experts only muddies the water.

Only people who have groups and have a stake in this should be talking on the panel. The Lindens need feedback from their own customers, not RL customers of RL landlords or government officials.

This experience has soured me enormously on the notion, once held, that you can cooperate with different groups in SL across ideological frontiers for the greater good of the whole society.

You can't.


I seem to remember Robin saying they were going to start taking a closer look at group tools in the new year, so I guess that is happening. I don't know how far they've already come in their internal product management meetings.

My interest is in trying to ensure that they take business functions into consideration, not so much because I need them right now, but because I believe that SL needs teamwork and incentivized, managed organizations to get to the next level in terms of sophistication and popularity to the general populace... i.e. they need to use lessons from the very silicon valley they are a product of.

We do need detailed permissions when it comes to money, land and objects. This can either be in the form of a list of permissions that one can check on and off for each person, or in the form of "roles" i.e. categories that you create and assign to different people.

There are other important group functions that are very necessary of course, but the above is my primary interest given time constraints.

You're 24-toggle proposal probably covers this ... I need to read it when I get a moment... and then we can argue and misinterpret each other to the nth degree like we usually do.

Prokofy Neva


1) I believe my 24-toggle is the way to go, once you iron out "internal contraditions" like "any officer could remove any other officer" in some configs.

2) The Lindens will never be doing this, because it's too free, too hard to code, and takes too much time to sort. They are all about hurrying now for all kinds of marketing, competition, social pressure reasons.

3) Before you can get on to issues like teamwork, the crappy voting system, the crappy message system, the lack of ways to store money etc you need to keep your eye on the ball here: rushing to get into group-gropes like that shouldn't pass over this glaring problem I've raised of one man paying for a sim -- yet being subject to tools that remove him from that sim. Until that's clarified -- no sale.

4) Togglese or functions could aggregate into roles like "treasuer who does X Y Z" or "cler who does A B C" but the fact is, that's also complex, that also takes time, and the Lindens aren't doing all this, during this pass at it.

5. What they've done, unfortunately, is conflate their need to get something on the table about zoning to deal with the social pressure about Lazarus, declining land sales and/or values, lack of a brisker premium tiered accounts rate, the telehub problem, etc. with our need to have better group tools. It's a historical accident and an unfortunate one.

6. Therefore our role is to help them disentangle their frantic need to do social justice from our need to have corporations so that they do not harm the possibilities of companies for ever.

Therefore they need to do a few things to assuage all the panic-mongerers:

a) Have an option when the group is founded for the founder to either 1) have the right to remove the officers he himself invites or 2)opt to put officer recall into a function for officers only, so that votes can be held when one officer comes to distrust another.

b) Make the proposals that people vote on be the covenant that people sign up to abide by, if you wish (that's probably how they'll do it) and have those members of the covenanted-signing group entitled to place prims on group land, but NOT make it possible for any rank and file member who is a non-officer to remove prims.

I think these two little things are doable and helpful and they can't mess up too much, but let's discuss.

Mind you, I hate the covenant idea. They need to FIRST fix the group tools and have them free and togglable. THEN monkey with more sophisticated things like covenants and budgets and a shared purse and such. They are messing this up, big time -- and for all the wrong reasons (pressure over Lazarus, when they should just dump his signs under existing TOS, etc.)

I'm merely trying to figure how it will do the least damage.

I really do not want to stand around making wish lists that the Lindens have absolutey no intention of ever considering let along coding.

All I want to do at this point is DAMAGE CONTROL for their hybrid bad idea they are springing for us.

I wish I could lift up mine eyes a bit higher here and be more thrilled and optimistic, but generally, I can only cringe these days at every Linden-inspired initiative like this.


Well basically I agree with your post.

I'd like to hear from Robin what they are doing here. Are they putting in a zoning quick fix or are they trying to create a group tools roadmap that covers the next 6-12 months of development time.

Yeah I don't see any business tools going in a quick fix either, but if they are planning on building an overall view of their group tools goals now, even if they can't implement it all now, then hopefully some non-lazarus related stuff will get included.

I hope they increase our group number. I had to drop good ole Tom and Digital Cultures to accept this latest invite.

You wrote: "I've raised of one man paying for a sim -- yet being subject to tools that remove him from that sim. Until that's clarified -- no sale."

Agreed. Is anyone arguing with this (other than perhaps some of the more extreme of the hippie set)?


I think the best thing to do in a situation like this is to press the panic button prematurely. Then write a 4 page blog entry.


fyi: it sounds like LL is thinking about this zoning plan as separate from the group tools re-design effort

Prokofy Neva

Forseti, I'm not sure where you are getting this concept. Do you have some inside dope you can share with us outside dopes?

Could you please go and read his interview in full in The Metaverse Messenger, www.metaversemessenger.com latest issues, his plans for 2006. It's all there. He distinctly conflates zoning and group tools by talking about tools that can convenant, i.e. zone.


i glanced through the interview quickly ... it's late... pretty high level. It's an interesting concept, the notion of a covenant on the land that supersedes ownership. I guess the first buyer would have choice to sign up for it, and every future buyer had better be educated as to what they are buying into? We shall see.

Oh, and per my comment, no inside scoop of material value.

I IMed robin if she was still looking for input on the group tools and zoning effort (i.e. it wasn't worth putting a lot of effort into it if they've already made up their mind on what to do), and she wrote back a short note saying yes, they did want input, and that the two were separate. I don't know any more than that.

Prokofy Neva

Well, this is just the question -- a covenant to affect first buyer and all subsquent? And when first buyer sells he sells WITH covenant? Or a covenant built into the sim so to speak? Some parcels?

See, this is why I'd rather not have all this. I'd rather that they just fix group tools and people will then fix the sims themselves. Or, if they can't really be thorough with this, just simply label sims they sell as "residential" or "commercial" based on things like are they waterfront or roadside or near infohubs (let's say). They keep obsessing that won't "stick" tho. I think it would help enormously to sort out some percentage of disputes.

Well, I'm puzzled that she is saying they are separate, when the only way you could get the covenant thingie is to have group tools, no? You can see how Philip's thing makes it seem like it is together, especially the "empowering groups" stuff.

I don't need them to "empower groups" and I worry about "empowered groups" in the SL matrix. I need them to make safer and more effective tools to do a range of stuff with, rentals business or clubs or whatever.

A group of us just wrote a letter asking them to have a town hall on this and clarify it, and sort of assign a Linden to be informed about it as a point person, so we wouldn't get what we got with Pathfinder at the Blumfield meeting saying "well, I dunno, ask marketing about that" etc.

We also suggested instead of having these chaotic townhalls where everyone just scrolls that they have a panel format where 4 or 6 residents or whatever spoke about their experiences in managing group land, and then had Q & A. It might structure it a bit more.

Oh, I never believe that we should become so resigned that "it's not worth putting a lot of effort into it" just because they're doing some engineering code-is-law fiat. Hell, no. We live here. I'm for really checking it out and at least mitigating it if nothing else.

I continue to be apprehensive about the way they are doing this.


to respond to one point in your comment: i think philip's use of the word "covenant" is key. In RL real estate, my understanding is that restrictive covenants usually "run with the land" so they are not tied to a particular owner but rather the land itself.

At some point in time, an owner has to agree to place this covenant on the land.

I think Philip has realized this has to be the way it works, otherwise someone will sell a plot in the middle of a zoned area, and the next owner could cancel the zoning contract and... put up a lazarus sign lol.

I'm glad LL is doing something about this. When I questioned the effectiveness of a toothless blumfield residents association, a number of folks said I was too much of a pessimist. I simply point to the League of Nations. All talk gets you is more talk. You need the power to enforce.

apologies if this all is excessive statement-of-the-obvious


and speakers is a good idea, as long as they have a strict time limit. text chat is SUCH a poor method of communication. takes forever to discuss anything

Cocoanut Koala

A strict time limit, yes - I would say five minutes would pretty much compel the speakers to get to the heart of what they want to say. (With the Linden, at the end, speaking as long as desires.)

Then, after the speakers, open it up to discussion.


Prokofy Neva

Forseti, forgive me, but how can *the land itself* be any kind of concept in SL?

It *could* be that if the Lindens themselves would stir their stumps and overcome all their nervous Nellieness to *label sims as they come on the auction* with a simple "residential" if it is pretty waterfront, "experimental" if it is mountain top, "commercial" if it is roadside and "club/entertainment" if it is flat mature mid-continent. Just to take but one simple way to do it.

They won't do that, however, because they are afraid it opens them up to endless resident complaints to them that people who move in on those sims and act like jerktards and put up ugly big boxes on pretty stony interesting waterfront (like my neighbour in Tethys just did) will be able to endlessly, beligerently, tell the Lindens that they are either something that falls into the category they claimed, or that there really is no way to enforce it.

When there is no city hall, no courts, no ordnances, how can something like a covenant stick? Or are you like all other laptop experts in virtual worlds forgetting all that context and substrate?

No, the land can't be made anything just because the first owner of it said something about it. The covenant simply cannot be attached forever and anon in a virtual world changing constantly with huge capacity for change -- and wreckage -- unimagined in RL. It can't stick to the land when that baby baron abandons it to Anshe and she chops it up. Why should Anshe or Rathe stick to some baby baron's wacky notion of a covenant that could consist of a regulation to make all houses orange with spinning purple boxes on top? Please.

If Philip hasn't thought through these things (why am I not surprised), they will bite him in the ass -- hard. I should be able to set up a plot in a middle of a sim that isn't all owned by someone else. And what if I, as that baby baron, sell of bits and pieces to make my tier bill? What if I make a covenant and sell the 64 m2 at the roadside to Laz for a fortune to make tier, what the alleged anti-tyrant tyrants like Traxx would like to see is for me to be turfed off my own land by a dozen people who do nothing but perhaps at best pay part of my purchase fee or throw in a 512. Why do they get to do that just because I'm an asswad?

Instead, they should just dump me and go to another rentals or sales agent who is steadier at the helm and doesn't sell to Laz. The answer is not to weld in all kinds of hobbling code to land or groups. The answer is to create flexible tools that enable people to walk -- and quickly -- if their covenant guy doesn't work out -- and for the covenant guy also to dump his asstard tenants/buyers if they flake out -- without either party being able to steal tiered and paid-for land.

The only way to do that is to have a founder who can pick officers, or if he is enlightened, enable officer recall. If people hate what he does after they've paid $15,999 for a 4096, they can vote him out -- and I, for one, would never collect officers in a group with that power unless they put in sizeable tier and US dollars into the arrangement at the get-go.

Prokofy Neva

Many meetings in RL have time-limits, and they don't have fake insistence that you have to ask a question. You can make a statement, too, but you have a minute or five tops. Five is actually too long for an hour long meeting with more than hundred avs at it.

Forseti, like many of the younger generation these days, you may suffer from ADD and information sickness. It shouldn't tax your mind too much to read a coherent set of 4 sentences instead of having your attention divided on those 4 sentences with 16 other people's 4 sentences. If anything, my method of having paragraphs like in TSO will help your ADD problem that is in the drinking water now, I realize.

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