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Q Linden



In the Snowstorm Product Backlog Office Hour Wednesday, I commented that "I think options are bad for users and bad for code quality". If you read that whole transcript, you can probably see that it was interpreted badly. The most extreme variant, reported by someone who was watching in-world chat afterward, held that Linden Lab wanted to remove all options from the Viewer. Let me start by saying that is not the case and never would be, nor is it something that I or anyone at Linden Lab has ever seriously contemplated.

However, I still stand by my original comment -- options are problematic for lots of reasons.

Let's see why:

First, every option has to have a way to control it. In many cases, you have to have multiple ways to control it. From a user interface design point of view, that means creating option interfaces. For the SL Viewer, those are a) the preferences dialog, b) the debug settings, c) checkable menu items, and d) options within dialogs that control other features.

You'd normally like to put options with the things they affect, but screen space is always at a premium and many options are only changed infrequently. So instead, we group options together in a preferences dialog. But there are enough of them that it becomes necessary to create some means of organizing prefs into a hierarchical structure, such as tabs.

But as soon as you do that, you find that you have trouble because not everyone agrees on what the hierarchy should be. What tabs should you have? Where does each option go? When you get too many options for one tab, how should you split them up?

There's no one answer and there's rarely a right answer.

And then, once you have a place to put them, you have to decide what to call each option and what the default is. And if those decisions were easy there wouldn't be a need for an option!

Second, options add complexity to the interface. Every time you add an option, you add a decision for the user to make. In many cases, someone might not even know what the option controls or whether it's important. Too many options might leave someone feeling that the product is too complex to use.

Third, options add complexity to the code. Every option requires code to support all of the branches of the decision tree. If there are multiple options affecting the same feature, all of the combinations must be supported, and tested. Option code is often one of the biggest sources of bugs in a product. The number of options in the Second Life Viewer renderer, which interact not only with each other but with device drivers and different computers, make it literally impossible for us to exhaustively test the renderer. We have to do a probability-based sampling test.

You could say that it's our problem to deal with that complexity, and you'd be right, but every additional bit of complexity slows down development and testing and makes it harder for us to deliver meaningful functionality.

Fourth, options that are 50-50 probably do need to exist. Options that are 90-10 are addressing an advanced (and possibly important) use case. Having them in the preferences interface promotes them to a primacy they probably don't deserve.

Finally, adding options has a snowball effect. Having a small number of options is good, but having too many options is definitely bad for the product and for the customers trying to use it. Sure, advanced uses need advanced features, but we don't have to make everyone confront all of the complexity.

Add all of this up, and I think it becomes clearer why I said I didn't like options and would prefer to find alternatives.

So why have options at all, then? Because different people legitimately have different needs. Advanced users vs novices, or landowners vs shoppers. We get it. But it's also often an indication of a design that needs work.

There are alternatives to putting more checkboxes on the preferences screen:

a) Allow entire user interfaces to be "plugged in". This requires a major architectural change to the software. Although we've talked about it, it's going to be a while yet before we get there.
b) Allow options to be controlled close to the point of use. As I said above, this can clutter the interface but can be effective.
c) Make an interface that covers all use cases. This is the hardest of all, requiring real understanding and design, but is usually the right answer.

In short, I often consider adding a preference to the prefs panel to be the wrong answer to a real question. It's not that we don't consider different use cases, it's that we're trying to cover them in a better way.

So this has been my attempt to explain the thinking behind a statement like "options bad". I hope it's helped -- has it? Tell me in the comments.



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*Now* you can Cybin. But the very first iteration took that out, under the theory that "newbies don't need it".

And that was fallacious reasoning, as lots of people at least do some casual rezzing of blocks and such now and then, and people like to experiment. So the Lindens got this one wrong and put it back.

The options for the bottom bar don't fix the chat clustering nonsense, however.

When you install SL for the first time, the grid view is imposed on you and you have to uncheck it. It's one of those many things that Lindens impose in the viewer, like putting land to default to "no safe" mode encouraging gamerz and shooting and killing instead of defaulting it to the "safe" mode that most people use, and then letting the tiny minority of shooters have to do the unchecking.

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"No, there's no sizeable population that "needs" double-click to move on the ground or "teleport". -- Prokofy

There is no sizable population that "needs" Second Life either, and by extension nothing in it.  We WANT Second Life.  We WANT it to behave in ways that are familiar to us. 

This style of movement is very common among certain MMO's, mostly those created by Korean shops like NCsoft (Aion, Guildwars, etc) ...  (though they've usually learned to make it optional for their American subscribers).  Blue Mars uses it too.  

I, personally, don't like click-to-move navigation... but feel that SL would be more welcoming to residents if they had the option to use it.  It certainly was a very popular feature among the numerous emerald users.

When someone speaks, and you don't know where they are... the mini-map is invauable for finding out where they are around you, and whether they're above or below you.   This is particularly necessary inside buildings and for people whose camera mastery isn't strong enough to go scanning through walls around them.

I'm sorry you find it a useless part of the viewer....  but kindly stop painting it as something that can be removed and replaced by bulky in-world scripted large multi-purpose, lag-generating, teleport-delaying, region-crossing-affecting scripted attachments.


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Q, once again you are doing something really quite evil in the long term, and which is ultimately very sinister in the project of Second Life as a prototype for a larger Metaverse in which we will all being having our lives 24/7 online.

And that is to pretend that democratic voting will be "gamed" or "lobbied by special interests" and "can't work" and only "only random samples work," and therefore using those built-in problems of democracy to get rid of democracy entirely and keep your authoritarian system. SHAME ON YOU for doing that!

Frankly, then the authoritarian system gets gamed and lobbied, far, far  more by being a function of the heavily spiked and loaded JIRA and the  skewing of office hour lobbying with the "tyranny of who shows up".

Random sampling isn't the only legitimate sampling; don't be ridiculous. If real life were run like that, we wouldn't have elections or propositions. Oh, wait, I guess you'd be perfectly fine with having a wired elite decide everthing for the "masses" who can't be trusted.

Given *those* terrible developments that keep hobbling SL's development, democratic voting, before or during features, is perfectly fine, perfectly good as a corrective, and its gaming isn't the horror you imagine.

When you allow the community to vote straight up and down "yes or no" on propostions for features, you enable the community to *know itself*. That's what is so often missing in Second Life, which is an atomized amorphous mass of conflicting interest groups and an uninformed majority which don't have enough impartial information from the system to see what other constituencies really believe. Geeks constantly imagine that their preferences are "popular" and point to dubious projects like Emerald to "prove" this. Certain special interest groups imagine that the world should stop until the viewer satisfies their yen. But the mass of the public has no way of really seeing how much of a following these notions really, truly has because you don't create a fair voting system on the JIRA -- first of all the JIRA is too wonky to use, and secondly you constrain it with your weapons of banning arbitrarily and enabling a small clique to keep closing everybody's ideas or findings they don't like.

If JIRA had "no" votes instead of just "double plus good", you'd have a much better idea of how much special pleading and edge-casing is going on there. If it were impossible to close proposals and if you stopped your arbitrary bans, real public opinion could begin both to be seen, and in turn be shaped through debate.

If you stopped the practice of letting your fanboyz close JIRAs and get people banned, you'd have fair votes.

Scientists should never cut off feedback loops in their experiments. By skewing and loading the game of SL constantly with the dumbing down or destruction of real democracy, you are constantly reinforcing the authoritarian -- and ultimately the totalitarian system. THIS WILL FAIL.

This intervention of yours here is terribly discouraging. Because it means that even a thoughtful and considerate and intelligent Linden like you is not willing to understand that your own power, and the power of your little fanboyz in office hours, simply has to be curbed by democratic participation.

Simple polls on subjects like "move by double clicking on the ground" would uncover how much usage there really is of such features that certain minorities began clamouring for and which you cave to.

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"And that is to pretend that democratic voting will be "gamed" or "lobbied by special interests" and "can't work"" -- Prokofy

Welcome to the internet, since you seem new here... allow me to point out the lengths to which people will go to 'game' online voting systems


Anywhere anyone stands to gain by creating a few extra alt accounts... or a group of people band together to 'get the word out' poll results go haywire.   Conservative vs. Liberal polls get "slashdotted" by communities of a particular interest and often missed entirely by people that feel otherwise.

Since there is no true identity accountability in SL, what do you propose?  Only PREMIUM members get to vote on issues?   How is it fair for such a negligible minority of residents dictate how things are run?

Like it or not this is a non-democratic republic, reliant on LL to represent our interests during their internal decision making process.  You should know by now that the 'voting' mechanism in JIRA is not about whether something should be implemented or not... it's whether something is popular enough to merit being REVIEWED by LL.

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Very refreshing to see an actual discussion here, regardless of viewpoints/approaches.

That's the first step forward.  Well done!  I have some hope now

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Prok: "Again: most people ignore the minimap"

Prok, I think I've discovered the main problem you have on these blogs and with interactions with other users:  you seem to believe that your experience and opinion is "the way it is".

I don't mean that as an insult.  I want to get you to pause and think a moment: exactly what database or demographic did you examine to come to your reality that "most people ignore the minimap"... to the point that you repeatedly insist on presenting such as supposed "fact"?

Don't get me wrong. You may be right.  Or... you may be wrong.  And that's the point Prok.  The fact that you don't use the minimap has no bearing at all on the habits of other users.  Tell me, you've done extensive polls on this have you?  You've gone around asking hundreds or thousands of people, "Hey, do you use the minimap?"... so that you can come here and repeatedly insist on this point?

Seriously Prok, wake up.  You're entitled to your opinion.  But unless you have some kind of hard-core evidence and data that the rest of us seem to be lacking... I think your continued insistance that your opinion in this (or any matter) is right... wears a bit thin.  Every time.

I may be very frank and blunt in my comments, but I do try to avoid making sweeping statements that have no basis in provable circumstance, historical evidence or valid data.

I find it somewhat humorous that you appear to be presenting that we should replace a free, easy-to-use on-screen tool with something like Misti-tool... a  heavily scripted product that costs what, L$500, and is banned in many places because of excessive lag.

As far as geography... you mean... north south east west up down?  Following a simple arrow in a box?  That's "geography"?  Are you serious?

Repeatedly insisting on such sweeping claims really does nothing to encourage people to take your posts seriously.  To be frank:  I wouldn't really put much stock in a Prok poll if you did run one... and I'd be surprised if others did.  Sometimes it's best Prok, to just say, "I don't use minimap and don't see its importance."  That's a position others can at least respect.

But for me Prok, I do use minimap... every day... and find it a very useful tool (or at least, it is when the arrows point the right directions. LOL.  I swear, LL coding is so sad.)  Apparently Jopsy does too, and I'd wager a whole lot more people use the minimap than you believe to be the case.  You're entitled to your opinion, so long as you remember that's your opinion, and is not necessarily ours.

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Good reply Q.

In dealing with people shrinks use a concept of 'mirroring' or technically; transference displayed as projection. People see their behavior in another whether it is there or not. Many posts reveal more about the one placing the post than the person targeted in the post.

One can most often see this when people describe another’s behavior and motivations. They move off the topic issue and stop discussing whether the options are good, bad, necessary, or just evil. Instead they discuss things like the Lab being disassociated from customers. There is no evidence ever provided that is true, it is just opinion provided as fact. I suspect such people are unaware of the personal projects various Lindens have in SL. But, when one is projecting facts are irrelevant.

On axes to grind… some do. Some people have agendas and past grievances. Others are just in their stuff and projecting. Their preferences and viewpoints are not met so obviously the Lab has no clue. While the Lab runs usability tests and reads through the forums, emails, OH responses, JIRA’s, backlogs and more the derogatory poster usually posts from a limited viewpoint.

I've been around SL for about 3 years now. I like lots of the current changes in the development side of the Lab since Phillip's return. That you have taken the time to make this post is nice and I think it a good example of the new openness in LL development and communication.

I read the Office Hours Meeting transcript where this came up. I thought it was clear then that options were not the first solution you wanted see and that better planning could remove the need to some option settings. Nor did I take it new options would never be added. Your OP seems to be consistent with what I read in the transcript. Unfortunately no matter what you do some are not going to get it.

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Nalates Urriah: "Instead  they discuss things like the Lab being disassociated from customers.  There is no evidence ever provided that is true, it is just opinion  provided as fact. ... axes to grind ... agendas and past grievances... projecting..."

I respect your opinion in this matter.  I also think you're full of beans. ; )

Have you been reading the blogs, forum posts and external blogs lately?  Are you aware that 500 sims shut down on SL from June 6 to August 31,  or that SL has had stagnant and even negative growth for almost two years now?  How do you ignore that reality... and present on this board that all this is just a few people with a negative attitude?  Is that even a plausible position?

If Linden Lab is in touch with its customers, then how would you explain the Homestead fiasco, Viewer 2, Display.Names, SL Marketplace, or even the format of these blogs and forums? Why are people leaving Second Life... because Linden Lab is in touch with its customers?  Because they're making the right decisions?

You present that these problems all exist because people have agendas or are "projecting"... and that Linden Lab isn't at fault in any of this. Seriously?  You have a right to your opinion to be sure, and I will defend that right, agree or disagree.  But with all due respect, from what I see, that opinion needs a reality check.

"the derogatory poster usually posts from a limited viewpoint..."

On the other hand, such posts are spot-on, from years of hard-core, hands-on experience and frustrations due to repeated company abuses, evidenced by users throughout the grid.  If it was one or two people, sure, it may be just attitude.  That is not what we are seeing here Nalates.  We are seeing widespread dissent and perhaps... just perhaps... even the beginnings of revolution.

You're trying to paint a picture Nalates, of customer opinion with no basis in fact.  That's nothing but propaganda, as is evidenced from the details presented in these blogs and widespread customer reactions to Linden Lab policies.  It is very obvious Nalates, that Linden Lab is out of touch with its customer base... or alternately, simply thinks their own opinions are more important than that of their customers.  They wouldn't be the first company to make that mistake.

You stated that "some are not going to get it".  I think that some, Nalates, is Linden Lab... and folks who swallow the company line without question, despite what very visible evidence reveals.

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Welcome to the actual practice on the Internet, where in fact voting dominates all over, including gamed voting, and ways are found to de-weight the gaming, including by the recent revision of Digg, which caused enormous howling from the regulars and the oldbies there.

There are many ways you can prevent gaming of voting -- the Lindens already have a way of monitoring related accounts and blocking accounts from the forums, and it's a trivial matter for them to require that people chose one account per unique IP address (not even unique payment form) and help control this.

It's not gamed anywhere near the extent that people imagine, and while alt-abuse goes on, any perusal of the JIRA's votes see that in fact people's alts are *not* on parade.

It's just a geeky excuse to prevent democracy from prevailing, which would curb the power of coders. And that's why they invoke it, and that's why they imagine it is worse than it is, so they *can* invoke it to undermine democracy. HARDLY an argument!

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Actually, you've discovered *your own* main problem and why the Lindens never listen to you, and why ultimately no one perceives you speaking even for communities you claim to have led. And that's because you do precisely what you accuse *me* of doing: you extrapolate from your own private particularist experience re: the minimap.

(You did this before, BTW, on a laggy sim, imagining that all sims are therefore lagging and lagging due to your analysis of your problem, which is a "shared sim" -- you obsessed about that for years and years and lost credibility because not all sims have that problem; even your sims couldn't always be said to have that problem given how they were constantly shifted around!)

You imagine because *you* use the minimap, or some geeky peer of yours uses it, that "everyone" or "lots" do.

You also make a sweeping generalization about "what's wrong with me" and claim it's becbause *I* make sweeping generalizations "not based in any fact". But...my sweeping generalizations are heavily grounded in real life field facts from constant interaction on the grid with my customers. That's particularly why you don't like it -- it runs against your tribal belief systems and disrupts those beliefs by coming from some completely different set of data that you refuse to recognize as valid (the Lindens also suffer from this same problem).

I have customers. Do you? I help them all day. Do you? I interact with hundreds of people constantly. Do you?

No, unlike me, as far as I can see, you don't help people all day. One of the things I do constantly is help newbies who have lost things, or even just older tenants who have lost things, or who are concerned about sims lagging from too many people. And one of the tips I give them is to look at the mini map, which shows their own objects in the aqua colour so that they stand out -- and sometimes things they rezzed and lost control of like a house or a pose ball or something can be found that way, and they can also count people, if they don't want to rez the whole world map, which can be grey and take forever to load. And when I give them this tip, they are confused and don't eve know about this map and don't use it. And that's how I come to the *valid conclusion* that many people just don't use it, especially non-gamerz and non-geeks.

They tend instead to use third-party devices like the Mistitool to tell them about other people nearby, and don't use the minimap for that purpose, and they tend to use scanners that name all scripted objects quickly in a list with coodinates, that sort of thing, if they use it at all. Over and over again, I get complaints about ghosted avatars or stalking avatars that people get from their Mistitools or other HUDs, NOT from the minimap.

So I have a valid sample of people; you don't.

I don't propose replacing the minimap with Mistitool: I don't care for Mistitool myself, I find I don't "need to know" that some avatar is near me and if I have that burning need during spates of griefing, I put on the simpler avatar scanner HUD.

What I *am* doing is providing *field data* from numerous real people who really use the viewer and don't use the mini map and use Mistitool. That may not fit with your orthodox views of "how things should work," sorry to confuse you with the facts.

You and Jopsy using the minimap is a geeky and even oldbie affectation, and a guy thing, too I might add. Most people don't as I've learned *from experience* -- and you have not.

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For me, double-click TP is a must have. The minimap too is a must have. It has been a permanent feature of the top right of my screen for the past four years.

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" it's a trivial matter for them to require that people chose one account per unique IP address (not even unique payment form) and help control this" -- Prokofy

Which treats most residents from IBM and students from various universities as a fraction of their total numbers because they're behind firewalls that make them look like they're all coming from the same IP.

It does not stop people from offering incentives to their communities to go and comment or vote on issues they would otherwise not care about.   And it certainly does not help reason prevail over irrationality.

"Populism", frankly, gives us things the likes of which would be inappropriate for me to dredge up in this venue... but you don't have to look far to see people being misled into political action to further an agenda that helps corporations advance their exploitation.


" so they *can* invoke it to undermine democracy." -- Prokofy

What democracy?   The governance of SL is a non-democratic republic.

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"One of the things I do constantly is help newbies who have lost things And when I give them this tip, they are confused and don't eve know about this map and don't use it." -- Prokofy

Viewer2 seems to have the mini-map off by default... and without a bottom-bar menu button to toggle it on and off... so I'm not surprised that your newbies are ignorant of it.

Why is it disabled by default?  Because not enough people use it?  Or because LL thought they might be able to improve FPS a little bit by rendering fewer things on the screen?  My money is on the latter.

I spend a great deal of my time helping newbies as well, on a great variety of things, usually slightly more advanced than basic UI controls though.

The UI element is there.  It's not consuming developer time, it doesn't add significantly to the size of the download.  It's not even enabled by default anymore.  What's your beef with it?  Who cares if only 10% or 49% of us actually find value in it... removing it helps no one and adversely affects those that rely on it.

"You and Jopsy using the minimap is a geeky and even oldbie affectation, and a guy thing, too I might add." -- Prokofy

Thanks again for marginalizing us with utterly pointless labels.

How would you feel if I started shouting down the things you like about SL on the grounds that you're a "(cutesy derogatory adjective) with (delusions based on your age) and, after all just a (dismissive gender reference)...  therefore anything you want is stupid selfish and pointless"  ?

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Um, Jopsy? Newbies of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 years ago that I've helped wouldn't have this issue of "Viewer 2" obviously, and the mini map in fact would rez in their way, take up space, confuse them, and *not be used*.

And...the Lindens, in their wisdom, took it *out* of the viewer view, and thank the Lord for it. Perhaps the Lindens were swayed to doing this by FPS issues, but if their cardinal mission was to *make the viewer easier for new people* the mini-map would be very low-hanging fruit because NEWBIES DON'T NEED IT AND DON'T USE IT, AS MOST PEOPLE DON'T.

If it is an option and not an easily toggled option, great! But if there is a lobby now trying to put it into the backlog, not great. And I'm using it as an *example*.

*Marginalizing* geeks? Jopsy, you have GOT to be kidding. The geeks are in charge here and have total authoritarian control of the development process.

It's the normal people who are marginalized, even though there are lots, lots more of them. Labels? No. Reports.

Rant away about my demographics -- it's a demographic that geeky game boys need to be paying far, far more attention to because there are lots of us, sometimes majorities in some games, and we have more discretionary income and time than the script kiddies.

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That's right, Jopsy, keep finding more excuses and edgecases not to have democracy.

Students don't make up a huge percentage of people in SL; they've run off to open sim with the educators, remember? And IBM has left Second Life for opensim. So why are you worried? They don't even have any JIRA on open sim -- say, maybe NO democracy at all is how you'd like it?

Again, excuses about how something is gamed or how some special constituency isn't served are not enough to justify authoritarianism.

There is actually some modicum of democracy on the JIRA, and it is actually less griefed by alts than one would imagine.

Populism? That's ridicuous. Democracy isn't populism just because...um...some IBMers can't all vote because they are firewalled or because kids are voting from one university router. Please.

The agenda that is suiting corporations now is the one you are ardently supporting -- no normal and fair voting so that only the corporation and their chosen friends win.

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Wow, I'm sorry but what started as a blog about "If you want more options" has now denigrated into a slanging match Profoky and I, for one, am getting tired of it.

It is not for you, or anyone else, to dictate how someone should run their seconds life or what option they should or shouldnt have because you don't like it.

This attack on people in this blog is pathetic and below the belt.  If YOU have an axe to grind with other people in here then take it somewhere private.  I have come to this blog to learn of people's suggestions and what LL are going to do, not to read the patronising rubbish that is being thrown at people that you don't agree with.

We can see your opinion on the minimap and fair enough but to rubbish people who do and label them accordingly is low class and shows low intellect imho.

Now let's get back to the topic in hand and stop throwing stones at other people's ideas.  That is Q's job *grins*.

Remember the idea of options is that people should have choice.  You should be able to choose if you want minimap or not.  Taking it out because you think it should so is limiting the experience to others.

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Prok, leave these nice people alone and come back to the commerce forums where you belong. You haven't attacked me there in weeks and ... well honestly .. it's getting lonely. So run along, do what you do best .. and come on home now.

PS: I recently polled a random population on the use of the automobile and found that 91% of respondents found them useless and noisy, with the remaining 9% simply unappreciative. Therefore it has been decided the automobile will be eliminated from society. Next week, microwave ovens.

PPS: Did you know the Amish make GREAT hand-made wood furniture too?

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"It is not  for you, or anyone else, to dictate how someone should run their  seconds life or what option they should or shouldnt have because you  don't like it."

Exactly, and that's why I push back, and tell the Lindens -- and their geek friends -- that the stuff they keep putting in the viewer to serve themselves and their interests are dictating to the majority what is not useable or viable, and that's why SL doesn't grow.

You're using the same fallacious argument I've seen a million times before with this *legitimate* criticism: pushing back against a minority instantly becomes characterized as a) taking away their right to speak (!) and b) imposing my will. But...why do they get to impose *their* will?

I warned of the problems of Emerald a year ago; why was I a bullied and harassed minority? Hello!

If you want to go on seeing SL be unusable and not growing, Menolly, you can pick up the usual forums cudgle and blame me for pointing out the obvious. That's not an attack on people; it's a report on how governance is done over and over again -- and with the same disastrous results we all see again and again.

It's not about "people I don't agree with". It's about people who are in a tiny, insular cult who "don't agree" with the majority of people, and who cannot concede that Second Life is made up of a wide variety of constituencies, and those with obsessive geek and dev concerns are in a decided minority.

This IS the topic at hand: why the opensource clique keeps making the viewer unusable, making it impossible to retain NINE OUT OF TEN PEOPLE.

If you want to keep pretending that problem is about me reporting it, and about me pushing back against this insular gang, you only illustrate my point.

I'm not asking for the minimap to be taken out or put back or anything. I'm using that as an example (are you capable of reasoning by analogy?) of something that is a feature that the devs swear by, that some claim now they are hobbled by not having, but which is *NOT USED* by most people.

Can you grasp that most people are not you?

Come on my blog and fill out the poll on minimaps.

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"*Marginalizing* geeks? Jopsy, you have GOT to be kidding. The geeks are in charge here and have total authoritarian control of the development process." -- Prokofy

Ah, right, sorry, my bad.   It's the rights of the minority to resort to name calling and cutesy belittling nicknames or any tactic available to undermine the collective will of their oppressor.

I do actually agree with that sentiment and sincerely apologize.(and I say this without sarcasm, just to be clear).

That said..  I think you grossly exaggerate the geek communities' influence on LL.   We may speak the same 'geek language' as LL staffers... but their decisions have more to do with money than technology and geeks have no influence over that at all.

Rant away about my demographics -- it's a demographic that geeky game boys need to be paying far, far more attention to because there are lots of us, sometimes majorities in some games, and we have more discretionary income and time than the script kiddies. -- Prokofy

Wait.. hold on... so ... you grossly out-number us, outspend us... and yet you, THE MAJORITY, are marginalized by us?   Hmm.    Well, all I can say is thank goodness we've been granted 'protected minority status' by Linden Lab then.   I'm sure you'd haul the lot of us out back and line us up against the wall for our crimes against humanity if you had the chance.

"There is actually some modicum of democracy on the JIRA, and it is actually less griefed by alts than one would imagine."-  Prokofy

No.  There is not. 

Issues with thousands of votes sit ignored.  Issues with less than ten votes get resolved.  LL looks at them all, sooner or later... considers the merits and costs... makes sure the request fits their vision for SL and *maybe* implements it.   They're better at reviewing all issues submitted to Jira than they have been in the past, which makes the the voting mechanism somewhat vestigial and irrelevant.

"The agenda that is suiting corporations now is the one you are ardently supporting -- no normal and fair voting so that only the corporation and their chosen friends win." -- Prokofy

Ardently supporting?  No, just not deluding myself into pretending this isn't how things work.

If you want a democracy, we need legal recourse for when LL fails to uphold "The Will of the People".   If LL was "resident owned" ... that might actually come to pass. 

Just out of curiosity... did you ever visit a world known as LamdaMOO ?   They were self goverened.  Granted, it had a higher ratio of geek to non-geeks there, but did draw quite a few poli-sci types into their madness.   The world was an insane asylum.

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Just exactly what did you think would happen when the Lab ignored user feedback while creating a UI in total secrecy,  and then stated that the "millions of future users will love the new viewer".


You have a long uphill climb ahead of you...

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Jopsy: "Ah,  right, sorry, my bad.   It's the rights of the minority to resort to  name calling and cutesy belittling nicknames or any tactic available to  undermine the collective will of their oppressor. I do actually agree with that sentiment and sincerely apologize.(and I say this without sarcasm, just to be clear)."

LOL.  Okay, you need to explain that one, because it comes across as "People have a right to be jackasses and resort to childish name-calling and unethical methods to attack those with whom they disagree."  If you hadn't said you weren't being sarcastic, I'd have taken it for granted you were, because well, that's just nonsense otherwise.

I know that's not how your mind works. So a little more explanation there please. Gotta be more to it than how it read. ; )

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Prok... have you ever noticed that you seem to fight with everyone... from Linden Lab to the mildest and most innocent of posters?  I mean, you argue and fight and rant all the flippin' time.  I don't know as I have ever seen a thread in which you comment that you haven't devolved to accusing someone of being a geek or a nazi or some far out political lable you decide to paste on your numerous victims / adversaries.

Once in a while you post something valid and sensible (all too rarely imo), but then turn right around and come across like someone who needs her meds adjusted.  If someone dares to disagree with you, why, they're a sicko-gamer-fascist-dweeb that you just have to condemn in the strongest of terms.  Geez, you act like a raving nutcase... all the time.  And the very things you accuse others of doing, are in truth your own constant offenses.

Add to that Prok an ego that seems to know no bounds.  How many times in these threads have you self-proclaimed how great you are and how much you help others and how oh so much people pay attention to you and you know what's really going on... and of course, we don't and we don't help anyone and no one listens to us and everything we say is just "claims"... only Prok knows how it is, because Prok is so wonderfully great and wise and informed.   Geez, what incredibly self-aggrandizing BS!

We've seen you do this time and time again, on thread after thread.

Reality check Prok: there's a chance you're not as amazing as you imagine yourself, are very likely a whole lot less "helpful" than you think you are, and frankly from what I've seen on your repetitious blogs, bat about 50 when it comes to making even rational statements, much less valid and sensible ones.

After a while people get tired of wading through the garbage you constantly throw out.  You seem to believe your very word is "the way things are" and everyone else has no basis for what they say, at all, ever.  LOL Prok, you take narcissism to all new levels.  Hero in your own mind.

I'm not even going to respond to the actual statements in your preceding rants.  Typical Prok verbal crappage.

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1) That the majority of normal people attracted to this game are marginalized by the very development process and its fierce claque of geek cheerleaders -- even though they are in the majority! -- is proven by the very fact that NINE OUT OF TEN PEOPLE DON'T RETAIN.

2) The JIRA shows some important democratic achievements as anyone can tell who looks at them -- somebody's pet cause that sits "ignored" isn't the center of gravity. The JIRA is deeply flawed, but it holds the promise of these worlds if it were freed up from the sectarian restraints now placed on it.

3) LamdaMOO had anarchistic unaccountability welded into it just like SL did. So what? You're merely fishing some more to find reasons to install authoritarian power with yourself proximate to it.

4) Er, no, I don't "fight with everyone". I oppose a small sect of people who have a hammerlock on the dev process. They imagine themselves to be larger and even more influential than they are. The number of people who "hate" me could easily fit into a Volkswagen van.

5) I guess anybody who opposes the reigning egos is himself going to be called an ego -- so be it.

6) The famous forums fallacy is at work again, whereby anyone who opposes the prevailing geek hegemony is suddenly someone "not allowing others to express their opinion" or "imposing their opinion".

7) I'm not the one who needs a reality check here. The brave Q Linden put out a thesis that he swears by and was willing to wade into the very roiling waters of the forums on it. Good for him. His office hour transcript shows the *real* problem -- the extreme Stallmanites to the left of even the Lindens. Q's post here was a heartfelt bid to appease these extremists, but it only fed them more. Opposing them is a good thing, because otherwise SL will fail. You're objectively helping them with your own flogging of minority causes.

8) The poll on my blog will go on showing the artifact of the flashmobbing of online democracy. That's ok. Because if it were just a yes vote on a JIRA, they'd win, but what happens with the all-important "no" vote is that the hegemony can begin to be cracked. It's like the other poll that has had longer to go and has had less flash-bombing as a result. It shows very, very important dissent to the prevailing "wisdom" about Creative Commons. That's the purpose of democracy, to show dissent, to show minority opinion, and to evolve compromises.

9) All the work of the devs in creating a minimap that even has mouseover with names of avatars on the sims (!!!) is for naught, as the average user ignores the minimap, which is confusing and annoying, and uses a HUD -- a HUD!!! -- the Mistitool instead for $500. Go figure that one!

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"That the majority of normal people attracted to this game are marginalized by the very development process and its fierce claque of geek cheerleaders -- even though they are in the majority! -- is proven by the very fact that NINE OUT OF TEN PEOPLE DON'T RETAIN."

I will only partially agree..  and see it differently, and if I were to break it down:

First, you say that like it's a bad thing.   Flip it around.   SL's marketing machine attracts more people than are interested in the service.  If the abandonment rate was 10% instead of 90%, it could easily be concluded that SL's marketing efforts were too constrained and likely missing many potential residents.

So people take SL for a test drive and decide it's not for them.  Blame geeks IF YOU MUST, but I think you're exaggerating.

Abandonment is a spectrum from day one through venerability.  Every stage of advancement has some degree of attrition, preventing people from moving on to the next.   Improving the ratio of retention at one level does nothing to guarantee they'll survive the next.

"arrival abandonment" because SL simply looks old, clunky and after little more than a glance, dismissed as 'not what I expected'.   Every system has a learning curve, and rather than deal with it, they just give up.  Nothing ventured, nothing lost.   (highest volume, high attrition rate.)

"acclimation abandonment" due to 'technical design issues'.   They have trouble learning how to navigate, control the camera and/or how to use things in their inventory.  That can be rather a lot to expect a newbie to grapple with all at once (not that the cheerleader geeks had any direct input on viewer1 or viewer2 design, unfortunately).  (High volume, moderately high attrition rate)

"newbie abandonment" - "where's the 'game' in this game?"  Even you can't deny that most people think of SL as "a game" when they come here.  That brings expectations like "I should be able to earn the game money I need by playing 'the game'... buying money is for losers and cheaters".   What they find is:  no jobs, no pre-defined series of achievable objectives, ultimately no idea what they're "supposed" to be do in SL.  It's like telling someone "Hey, come play monopoly with me" and then giving them a blank tablet of paper and crayons.   (moderate volume, moderate abandonment)

"post-newbie abandonment" -  They're done being a 'tourist' and are trying to settle in and find their 'place' in our world.  Do they start a business?  Do they take on a meaningful role in some community of interest?   There's fierce 'professional' level competition in these areas.  An amateur quickly recognizes they can't compete.  Unless they can find an engaging hobby or enduring clique that values them as a person rather than a consumer, they get bored and eventually drift away.  (moderate volume, high eventual attrition)

But that's okay.  SL is a touristy place... people come, spend money, play and then leave.   It works as long as people believe that SL holds the potential to deliver "new experiences".   Once they discover it's mostly just malls, clubs, and vanity residences, with variations that "potential for new experiences" withers, and they move on.

"late abandonment" due to technology or policy changes they object to, lack of LL support for their requirements, burnout, failure to attain or maintain profitability, financial reasons, etc.  And yes, probably the "fierce claque of geek cheerleaders" may actually have the highest degree of influence in this area.    Naturally oldbies tend to be more heavily invested in SL and their loss is felt proportionately. But due to the expansion and growth, the population eligible for late abandonment is a very small. (very low volume, moderate attrition, but spread over a very long period of time)

Were the founding principles upon which SL has evolved developed by geeks and those premises to blame for the 9 out of 10 rate of abandonment?  Sure, fine.  Whatever.   Blame us for everything.  Of course... that also means that geeks are responsible for having a world that retains an astoundingly high 10% of the huge number of random visitors that try it not knowing what to expect.  


LamdaMOO had anarchistic unaccountability welded into it just like SL did. -- Prokofy

No, it did not.   If we had that, the #1 demand would be "fix lag".   And LL would have no choice but to take whatever action was necessary.   And they'd likely respond with "Okay... all textures are limited to 128x128, limited to 2 per prim, parcel prim quotas are being reduced to 25%, number of prims in an object is being reduced to 16, you're limited to 2 attachments, and you can no longer see across a region edge into another.  There.  Your lag problem is fixed."    "

What??  NOOOO!!!!  We meant Fix is without taking anything away!"

When a true democracy DEMANDS the impossible... and is unwilling to pay more or make necessary sacrifices for what they want... who shoulders the burden?   LL?    They can can print L$, but that won't keep SL online if they're otherwise bankrupt.

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