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09/09/2008

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Ann Otoole

Why do you think LL will entertain removing search after they paid all that money for a google appliance and all that investment in people hours setting it up and maintaining it?

As with any work done for free you pat the nerds on the head, thank them for doing all that work for free, and send them on their way without a dime. Then you strip out of their work the code units that are properly written and possibly usable. Yout then throw the rest in the round file where such efforts are destined to arrive eventually.

Search isn't going anywhere and showcase usage and legitimacy is improving as the Lab adds more and more places to it.

There are no plans to have an economy in the open grid world. They have admitted that fact of life. The Lab intends to be the compelling grid to be in and that it is and will remain.

Prokofy Neva

Ann, you're usually more adept at noticing Linden politics. The Lindens don't put somebody on the stand like this unless they love their stuff and want to give it all a huge boost.

Sure, they love free labour, but they like to steer it and reward parts of it they like to maximize what they get out of it. It also fosters all that fake OS stuff to make people think they are working on something that *might* get co-opted, and the supposedly independent and free OS gang are the most craven when it comes to selling their souls to the Lindens.

But my proof of point is the ESC viewer. The Lindens copied the bad search design from ESC back in the day, putting that SEARCH ALL magnifying glass the turns up such a muddle into the right-lookers prime spot upper right, and buried the SEARCH that gives you sensible tabs in categories down at the bottom (it should go top middle, and the SEARCH ALL box should get gone).

Jacek's viewer would be used on *this world*. And any tiny grouplet of sectarians who gets at the Lindens even with a *forked* viewer can skew the entire economy if they win the Lindens' promotion of it. It's very political.

Ann Otoole

I just have a hard time seeing all these weirdos hidden behind bamboo at the Lab conspiring so much. That's all.

As for the viewer there are other more important questions.

None of the "viewer designs" that have been presented are worth investing any time on. They are not engineered by GUI specialists.

Where are the floating dockable assignable customizable toolbars? I only use a few command and I use them repeatedly.

Where are the command macros?

Why doesn't the UI have a button to hide/show the UI?

How long did it take and how much screaming was necessary to get rid of the stupid release keys button?

Where is the 4 levels of viewer complexity for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and god mode?

Why are viewers for a 3D environment still mired in a 2D world while all the big games evolved long ago?

Why isn't a GUI engineer in charge of a GUI Team at the Lab?

If I could afford the time I would rewrite the viewer myself. The code doesn't look that bad. I think a interface rewrite is feasible.

Sadly I am in Paint Or Die mode at the moment. And I damn sure can't afford the latest Visual Studio package.

Desmond Shang

Brings up an interesting point.

Imagine if the $L balance, 'buy $L' and the 'pay' options were gone from the viewer.

Sure, there would still be exposure to commerce in the form of vendors and things, but the world would be fundamentally changed.

It would be interesting to know the wanderings, the spending habits, the interest levels maintained with various client viewers. Perhaps we'll never know.

But among substantial numbers of people, I'm sure there are a few viewer tweaks that could affect a broad range of people's habits greatly. Just 2% of time inworld, or 2% of money spent per day has to be huge in real terms.

Maybe the biggest challenge is simply just not losing too many customers.

* * * * *

I would dare to bring up something that will almost assuredly get 'smacked down' in many a conversation on the grid.

I *personally* feel that controlling lifestyles aren't healthy, and client viewers that allow even more such control scare the hell out of me. Sure, it's voluntary. But so are cults.

Usually at this point someone says people have rights to do as they want. And absolutely they do.

It still remains worrisome to me that liberty, independence, and equality are so far outside the comfort zone of so many.

McCabe Maxsted

To clear a few things up, for those who might be interested:

1. Imprudence is not Jacek's UI mockup design. That was a mockup. It was not a functional viewer, and it did not, if you read the proposal, remove search.

2. We are not mandating anything. Use our viewer. Don't. It's up to you. But, we're hoping you'll find it a better alternative to. As part of our interest in usability, if you use it and find you like it, please, tell us why. If you use it and find something you don't like, please, tell us why too. We're open to community ideas and input.

3. We have not released our first viewer yet. Prok is--in the most literal sense of the phrase--basing this opinion on nothing. Now, we ARE working on that first release at the moment, but being a first release it definitely won't be as wild and crazy as Prok says (nor will it contain, well, anything this post says it will). We're only just stepping out on this road. Those iterations will come with time, and we'll see what works and what doesn't as we go.

4. We are not removing search. Jacek is not removing search. I am not removing search. No one is removing search.

5. We don't think we have all the answers. That's why we've been asking for contributors across the board, not just from programmers but every day users. If you have an opinion on the viewer UI or its usability, read: http://imprudenceviewer.org/contribute/ for ways you can contribute.

Prokofy Neva

McCabe, for the *fifth* time now, as I've explained this repeatedly for the hard-of-hearing on the SL-DEV list:

1. I did not claim that Jacek was putting his viewer out as the Impudense model. But his viewer on Dusan's contest stands as a model, and THAT viewer deletes SEARCH and THAT lets us know that we are dealing with a kook and an extremist who cannot be allowed at the controls because he will crash things. I'm serious about this. His work that placed third in the contest and his nastiness in the "Imprudent" manifesto (what a dumbass name BTw) lets us know of his contempt for people, and it has to be stopped. Otherwise it takes over.

2. Um, fuck you. I got that you are not "mandating" the viewer. We're "free to use it or not". Except...once you get a stranglehold on Linden office hours, which you already have with AWG, you will keep pushing and throw them over. I've watched this happen. They are sometimes lightweights. Or -- this is how it more oftentimes works -- they pick and chose to amplify especially those voices they wish to hear because they think the same way, then they can say "oh, thecommunity wants this" when it is just their RCA Victrola dog echoing them.

3. Um, no, I'm not basing my opinion on "nothing" whatsoever. I'm basing my opinion on the fact of a lousy viewer that Dusan already trumpeted to third place in an expensive and widely viewed contest; I'm basing my opinion on the asshole behaviour in general of Jacek every single time I've ever had to deal with him; and I'm basing my opinion on the fact that the Lindens are amplifying this "nothingness".

So seriously, *fuck that shit*. You know perfectly well you don't have "nothing"; you have something, which is your extremist point of view of what you want to do with the viewer, which is to shove it down the throats of people you view as Luddites and obstacles to your "genius" by going around the Lindens -- except like typical weeny little fanboyz, you run to their office hour to get a petting.

4. You are not to be trusted whatsoever, because of the behaviour of both you in the past, and on the JIRA. You do not represent the public; your scorning of the "large number of paying customers" is manifestly visible, and you're getting *exactly* what you deserve *back* for such scorn -- undying hatred. Every single feature that you try to put out for "consumption" is going to get the biggest possible slap it can get.

5. Jacek removed SEARCH in his model because he doesn't *care* about search. Putting back, it will be put back in ass-backwards. That's clear in spades. Anyone who would even make a model leaving out search merely has contempt for the public and the average user -- but then...we knew that already from the "manifesto".

6. When you put up a nasty-ass manifesto like that, characterizing the "large number of paying customers" of SL as basically backward assholes putting the breaks on progress, you are not going to get contributors -- you are going to get fellow cult-members in your tiny geek cult. I would urge everyone to give this enterprise the greatest possible boycott possible.

The people who have hijacked the JIRA and the office hours are not representative, have no care or concern for the public at lareg, misrepresent themselves as "thecommunity" and are illegitimate through and through. People interested in making an actual usable viewer that serves *the large number of paying customers* rather than these freaks should walk around them completely.

Prokofy Neva

Well duh, Desmond, that's the OTHER thing that Jacek did with his "third prize winning viewer" and it's what OpenSim does -- "Imagine if the $L balance, 'buy $L' and the 'pay' options were gone from the viewer." Yes, they're gone because these cultists *do* want to remove the economy. Seriously, you're just not getting the threat emanating from these people or you'd be less bland about it.

Yes, I find the whole Restrained Life thing appalling. But so far, it is not imposed on other people and the Lindens don't seem to be seduced by any of it -- yet, anyway, thank God.

But this is different. They love Jacek from the JIRA and everything else -- he's one of them, and they will fete whatever he and McCabe and others of this ilk come up with, and it needs constant loud and furious feedback because the direction they began is was to:

1. Leave out search
2. Leave out buy/sell

Look,I truly don't care if I have to "look stupid" and have these assholes deliberately and literally explain as if they are patient geniuses to the unsuspecting public of the SL Dev list or this blog that I have "gotten it wrong". It really doesn't matter to me if I "look the fool" -- I care not.

Because what's very, very important is to put up a huge ruckus about any attempt to use "usability" as a way of undermining or removing the economy -- which is of course what they'd like to do. McCabe's viewer also leaves out L$; so does Rheta Shan's -- in her hippie commune there's only one button that says OFFER MONEY. Ridiculous!

Look Desmond, this homeland is really going to take fighting for. You have no idea.

IYan Writer

Wow, I'm a bit surprised at this.

Surely a new viewer would bring more choice, which is in our interests?

Use it or don't. But to limit choice in the name of suspicion seems kinda.. Soviet? ;-)

Prokofy Neva

Um, nice try there IYan, but what's Soviet is Jacek's Bolshevik manifesto sticking it to the majority of people and characterizing them as "backward" and putting for himself and his comrades as "the advance guard".

They aren't creating choices when they do things like take out SEARCH or $L -- they are restricting and choking the world.

Let me now state for the SIXTH time that *I GET IT* that Jacek's viewer experiment is not the imposed Linden drop-down viewer...

...yet. But whatever elements he and his comrades chose to push and get Linden amplification WILL become the imposed drop-down.

We already see this in the latest viewers, where Popular Places was removed, although only a sectarian minority of people within SL knew about this and hated it and wanted it gone, and there was no real massive public demand to remove it, and especially no demand to put in SHOWCASE.

Each and every element of the viewer is highly political. Each and every element represents a constituent in the world. Put in a BUILD button because supposedly builders have to be placated. Put in a SEARCH ALL box because geeks like getting big messy info dumps in a SEARCH ALL.

Each and everything in fact LIMITS CHOICE because we don't have a say on it. A select group that nominates itself is NOT giving choice, IYan, I would think you'd understand the parallels better in your part of the world, although I know Marxism dies hard in Slovenia because you didn't see enough of the butt end of it to get immunized.

IYan Writer

I agree with you in specifics, but I think your underlying assumptions are wrong.

Yes, some past official viewer development was weird and could be said to limit choice. Yes, taking out search or L$ would undoubtedly be bad for the SL residents and SL businesses.

But No, neither of those are parts of the Imprudence viewer nor is there any indication that the Lindens will embrace it - they have done a pitiful job of embracing very useful source code additions from people like Nicholaz, even when they were extremely minor yet useful, like patching memory leaks.

So caution is advised - but it is still to early to sound the alarm bell.

And re Marxism - nice dig :) - but Marxism is only a theory, we had communism and later socialism. And the paramount characteristic of them was state-imposed fear of difference and pre-emptive culling of anyone standing out in the name of solidarity and unity for the greater good.

IYan Writer

BTW - the Imprudence viewer initiative is exactly the kind of thing I think could save SL in the face of LL's indifference - http://iyanwriter.blogspot.com/2008/07/second-life-kindergarten.html

"We can only count on Linden Lab to make a mess of things occasionally. For all the rest, there is only us."

Ace

Who is this Grant Linden bloke? He sounds marginally more relevant to me than this Jacek bloke, but I'm not sure. Maybe he just wanted to be lazy for his office hour and let someone yak on while he plays some Spore.

Prokofy Neva

IYan,

You've being literalist. For the *seventh* time, duh, I realize Jacek's actual contest entry isn't being offered, but some super-duper collectivist opensourcenik thing is being offered, and offered not as mandatory, as it is merely a resident's API, like the ESC browser or Nicholasz's browser. DUH, for the 8th time, *I get that*.

What you are failing to get is that by their viewers ye shall know them. Someone who has produced a viewer like Jacek did already, who will be the one or two actual leaders in this supposed "community" opensource crap will have a big say in how it turns out. And that's why you have to worry -- because his philosophy is one of a) screw the public, and deliberately and provocatively go around them (read the goddamn manifesto!) and b) use the Linden office hour to amplify it and c) while it's "optional," in and of itself, of course USE that process to influence what DOES become mandatory.

Read this discussion on Dusan's blog:
http://dusanwriter.com/?p=865#comment-16652

I really think you must not be reading this "Imprudence" Manifesto and getting how obnoxious it is.

I don't count on Linden Lab to make a mess of things, actually. They made a hash of Dazzle, but then they climbed down under protest. And I think they will work on it, be very slow and clunky, but eventually do better. They have before on other things like group tools. I'm much, much MUCH rather deal with a proprietary company with proprietary code that is forced to listen to its customers to get its bills paid AND also be grown-ups and really go with what works, rather than with extremist opensourceniks who don't care about the public and will just do any old damn thing.

Like I said, you apparently haven't realized yet where you live that Marxism wasn't a theory, it was practiced, and with horrible results. Maybe you still believe in its possibilities.

I know you're trying desperately to play "Hyprokisy" or turn the tables on me with a crack like this, "And the paramount characteristic of them was state-imposed fear of difference and pre-emptive culling of anyone standing out in the name of solidarity and unity for the greater good.."

But that's not MY problem, but the Imprudence problem. Go read the manifesto. Anyone who objects to viewers that bring "change for change's sake" is to be brutally stepped on and gone around. The public is to be stepped on in their *legitimate* cries asking for no change because they got their adaptation the hard way -- through suffering -- and the "change" offered is only satisfying a tiny minority of geek assholes, not the public good.

The hallmark of communism is exactly that sort of Bolshevism -- tiny sects of people claiming to be motivated by an idealism of the common good, stepping on the actual public interest and going around it with extremism.

It is THEY who have this crazed excessive ideology of "solidarity for the greater good" as they imagine that they are making "a usable viewer for everybody" that "thecommunity participates in". It's a total sham.

There's a big difference between the actual public interest that does need to be heeded and served -- "the large number of paying customers" and the fake imaginary solidarity of communal good" -- and apparently you don't make that distinction.

As proof to you that I don't squelch innovative individual start-ups, I can point out that I could only applaud and support Nicholasz viewer. Why? Because in all his efforts, he wasn't trying to go around the popular will, he wasn't displaying the sort of sneering contempt that Jacek does for the public (read the goddamn manifesto) he was just steadily trying to fix bugs and close leaks and make it work.

Nicholasz actually coded and posted patches that actually fixed things, over and over. Jacek, as his big friend McCabe has pointed out, hasn't actually coded anything yet (and with his attitudes, it's just as well).

Nicholasz didn't portray himself as serving some putative public usability ideal -- he just went about trying to make it better, using various ideas of his own.

The problem isn't innovative ideas or someone making a customized browser. The problem is people doing that, in the name of the public good, when it is not really.

It's not about "difference," because I don't give a shit if someone is such an ass that they need to remove SEARCH because they are smug little idiots living on their own little sandbox and never have to find and buy anything, but can just "explore" SLURLs loaded in from their other elitist little pals. It's of no concern if they stew in their own "innovative" juice for the millenium.

They cannot impose that on the rest of us however, and as I came to find out by reading into Dusan's later blogs after his contest, he has been pouting that the Lindens didn't greet his expensive contest with open arms, and basically is pissed that nobody is congratulating him for his initiative and GOMing him.

Altruism is almost always fake and almost always motivated by a desire to enhance reputation or impose will in SL.

Jane2 McMahon

"So much damage has already been done to us with Windlight, which really destroyed the use of SL for so many of us; that blisteringly blinding Dazzle was such a disaster, that the Lindens really need to stop inciting destructiveness to their world and the vehicles for viewing it and enhance stability and usability."

Amen. I don't know who this guy is, saw the results of his "contest" and thought oh who gives a crap about the viewer, it's as good as any I've used.

Reminds me of the phony political lipstick "controversy" raging today...focusing on something that doesn't matter (viewer semantics) while ignoring something that does (grid stability).

Horus Vale

Yes, it is better that the Lindens should not fete particular developers but should instead encourage competition between them. Even though LL should put out only one official default Secondlife viewer, they can allow other designs on the grid to test what works and what is popular. Then LL can make their own official SL viewer fully customizable with the most publicly requested and functional features included as options, and with the most used features up front and in your face as the defaults. I find little wrong with the current official SL viewer because it is a product of evolutionary design, rather than one of revolutionary design. As for money and search, those are highly popular and useful functions, so even if LL removed them from the official viewer, the demand for them would be so great that others would develop and use them in alternative viewers. Opensource or proprietary viewer, it does not matter, people want those functions. So unless they are deliberately restricted at the servers, like megaprim creation on SL's servers, they will continue to be included in popular viewers. Fighting with the public by trying to force unwanted solutions upon them is pointless and unproductive.

Prokofy Neva

Well thank God you finally said something sensible here, Horus, after carrying water for extremist opensourceniks all this time.

ichabod Antfarm

I find it very odd that anyone could deny that "Each and every element of the viewer is highly political." when a self-appointed avant garde issues a MANIFESTO announcing their plans to redesign that very viewer. We need fewer manifestos and more hypotheses.

"This design will be better than the existing design if the following is true (etc, etc) and this is how we intend to measure our success OR FAILURE."

It's funny how so many adherents to the "Geek Religion" will invoke falsifiability when criticizing the religious beliefs of others but don't seem to make a thorough-going effort to apply it to their own set of "facts."

Mind you, I haven't read the manifesto so maybe it is phrased in the language of science; nevertheless, I certainly don't have to point out to you that choice of words matter.

I will go do that piece of homework now.

Just read it and I think my issue is still valid. This is not science; it's ideology.

ichabod Antfarm

The dirty secret that every programmer knows and which might not be obvious to those on the outside (i.e. the users) is that every programmer suffers from the belief that anything they didn't design and write is hopeless garbage. Hey, half the time they might be right but that has more to do with the exigencies of software development rather than the sheer brilliance of the coder who came after.

Regardless, it leads to these monumental endeavours to rebuild everything from the ground up and any experienced project lead will almost never endorse them as they are very rarely called for. But that is life inside a professional enterprise.

If you abandon the management of your codebase as LL seems to have done by open-sourcing the viewer, then every kid with a smidge of C++ is going to declare it hopeless and set to work, um, writing up manifestos about how shitty it is.

If Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds wrote a new viewer (and Theo de Raadt did the code audits), trust me, the AWG groupie types would still think it was utter garbage and needed a complete overhaul. Ah, the impetuousity of youth ;-)

Been there, done that, learned my lesson.

Rudi Dutschke

"Like I said, you apparently haven't realized yet where you live that Marxism wasn't a theory, it was practiced, and with horrible results."

Was für ein kompletter Unsinn in der Diktion des antihumanistischen Denkens eines McCarthy längst vergangener Zeiten. Sie müssen wirklich sehr verbittert sein. Weder Marx noch Engels haben einen Konstruktionsplan für ein Staatswesen geliefert welches zuletzt in den Staaten des Warschauer Pakts umgesetzt wurde. Frau Fitzpatrick, Sie sind weitaus intelligenter und wissen, dass das epochale Theoriewerk von Marx/Engels eine Analyse des Werdens und Wirkens des Kapitalismus, der ökonomischen Zusammenhänge darstellt. Keine Handlungsanweisung in Fragen der Staatsbildung im Sinne Lenins! Das ist international in den seriösen Gesellschafts- und Politikwissenschaften common sense. Darüberhinaus ignorieren Sie in Ihrer groben Verzerrung den sozialwissenschaftlichen Charakter der Analysen die in der angewandten Methodolgie exakt heute, in der Ist-Zeit, angewandt werden können und werden. Schauen Sie sich doch mal mit Blick auf die Zeitlinie die Arbeiten von Rosa Luxemburg, den Reformern um Dubcek, der Frankfurter Schule, Pierre Bourdieu usw. an. Mit der Simplifizierung und Boulevardisierung der Gesamtkomplexe Marxismus, Sozialismus sowie der emanzipativen Arbeiterbewegung im Ausdruck der klassischen Sozialdemokratie in den jeweiligen historischen und evolutionären Prozessen durch den Begriff "Bolschewismus" verwenden Sie ein Totschlagargument mit nur einer einzigen Intention: Es ist der Versuch einer Immunisierung Ihrer Person gegen jede Form der Kritik zu Ihren politisch sehr eindimensionalen Sichtweisen auf die Dinge, auf die Welt. Explizit wenn sie von Personen geäußert wird die sich (im US-amerikanischen Kontext) als progressiv verstehen. Eine Praxeologie derer Sie sich nicht zu bemühen bräuchten.

Es ist Ihr Blog, Ihre Spielwiese - keine Frage. Aber Bitte verkaufen Sie Ihre Leserinnen und Leser nicht für Dumm.

Clubside Granville

There's a lot to be said about the many points raised, but I want to make a comment relative to Ann's in another post: standard GUI widgets. The Linden's desire for a single codebase doesn't serve them well as it hasn't anyone else. Ever run a Java-based GUI app? They're slow, amateurish and like the evil of Java itself, reduce everything to the lowest common denominator.

Instead the Lab should take the primary fork rode of Firefox 3 and other multi-platform apps that don't reduce themselves to corrupt Java middleware. Design the middle (in this case the rendered view) using a common codebase if necessary, and allow separate GUI teams finish it off. Let the Windows version look like a Windows app with customizable toolbars and other standard Windows widgets. Let a Mac team develop a Cocoa interface that best suits that platform. And let the oddball Linux people live with the mess that exists.

There is a need for a GUI developer flush with experience on the target platform. Realistically now that the Lab is more flush with employees a DirectX version of the viewer would serve Windows versions much better, allowing feature downscaling as mentioned in the Windlight post as the DirectX APIs are better designed for this reality than messy OpenGL. And it would be faster.

Like Ann originally mentioned I want my power toolbars and easy access to advanced features based on my customizations, while others could blissfully hide those features as to not waste prescious screen real eastate.

Prokofy Neva

Sorry, I don't read German, Rudi, but from what I can pick out, let me make these points:

1) It's not McCarthyism to call something Bolshevik when it is. It's more than fine to label something "Marxist". After all, those on the left have no trouble labelling things perjoratively as "neo-liberal" or "imperialist" or even fascist.

2) Bolshevism isn't just some facile term; it's very specific. It means people who view themselves above the rule of law. It means those for whom the end justifies the means. It means those who call for expropriating the expropriators. It's a set of historical actions very well placed in space and time that are very well know, and which abstracted, can indeed apply in other eras. The chief feature is the foil used to pretend that the cause is "for the people," and yet this special group of revolutionaries get to be a privileged avant-garde above the people, the only ones allowed to determine their interests.

I can also see a lot of other blather from translating your post (badly) that you're obsessed with correct use of terminology and don't think it applies to social democracy -- blah blah. Well, did you learn from the other half of Germany kept behind the wall for a generation -- or not? I mean, it's not about McCarthy, you don't have to go across the ocean to get these things.

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