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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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Jopsy, probably one of the best overall retention summations I have seen.

Of course, I can't agree with all of it... that just wouldn't be playing fair. ; )

For the most part, very insightful and well-stated post.  There are a few areas on which I'd like to add additional thoughts.

1. 1 out of 10 retention rate?  Last reading LL was boasting over 20 million "residents" (which we know of course is a severely bloated and useless figure... except to indicate how many have left SL).  How many have left... is all but 750,000 (by Mark Kingdon's own admission).  That is a retention rate far lower than 1 in 10.

2. Jopsy: "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?"

I will agree that a true democracy seldom (if ever) works in a business environment.  However, this concept that LL has to cut features and functions to the core just to eliminate lag... or that current user demands are "impossible" to provide... is a falacy.

In 2005, before they started stacking sims on server boxes (something which LL themselves have now admitted can have seriously detrimental effects on such shared boxes)... private sims ran like greased lightning.  The mainland has always lagged like a fiend, but private sims worked well.  Back then they didn't have the 1000 pixel texture limit, but those sims still worked.  They also didn't have sim-wide lag every time someone teleported, sim-wide lag every time someone changed an outfit... and they didn't have MONO trashing the entire grid.

Bottom line: this lag has nothing to do with "features".  It has to do with Linden Lab simply not coding the system correctly, with them not taking advantage of multithreading and multicore as they should, and with writing buggy code that they allow to remain buggy for years on end while they play with new "toys" that further lag the system.

We should be able to use SL, as it is, with all the current features, and experience lag only when avatars start packing a sim.  We used to be able to pack 25 avatars to a sim before we would experience any lag whatsoever.  Sound files would play immediately and would be in time with the gestures that trigggered them... not 30 seconds later.  Music devices loaded and played without a hitch.  Chat actually worked.  So what happened between then... and now?

I don't think customers are making unreasonable demands at all, nor do I believe the current usage demands are excessive.  This is proved by the fact that sometimes our sims DO perform without undue lag-- which is the strongest indication there is nothing wrong with the sim content itself (although admitted that is becoming increasingly rare as LL further mucks up the system).

As I told Linden Lab way back there in the "Lag Monster Myths" forum... the vast majority of lag is due to sloppy coding and server issues, as well as poor management that allows such... just that simple. (Sorry to be blunt but really, if someone doesn't cry out "The Emperor has no clothes!" the poor fool will just continue walking down the street deluded as to how fine he is... something we've seen going on at Linden Lab for years.)

Want to fix the lag?  Fix the code.

3. "Late abandonment".  Absolutely true.  But I think needing to be added to this is "user experience abandonment".   While evidence indicates there is indeed an "exodus" starting that is composed of exactly the folks you describe-- older users who are just fed up with bugs and tech glitches and company attitude-- there are far, far more who came to the system, experienced lag or griefing or bugs or other issues, and just said "Wow, this is crap!" and left without bothering further with the system.  Those are the lucky ones, the ones who realized the reality early enough to avoid making serious investments that they would likely have come to lose due to those very things. Others stuck with the system and now, in many instances, are plagued by the very things that caused those other users to leave, but are now too heavily vested in friends and effort to take the same route.

But by far, I believe there are more who left early due to all these poor-performance and bad policy issues, than left later.  Even if there was a mass-exodus from SL today, that would still be the case.  Likely millions have left because of poor early user experience... possibly on level with those who didn't understand SL (where's the game?) and those who gave up due to the high learning curve.  Early user "this is just sad" abandonment has been I think, very prevalent.  Which is what we've tried to tell LL for years: when a person comes to SL and even chat doesn't work, they're likely to walk right back out the door.  duh.

4. I would add to the above "user adversaries / enemies".  These are people who were once avid users that Linden Lab, by one means or another, has turned into livid adversaries.  Thousands of such were created during the OpenSpace/Homestead rip-off.  Others have lost significant amounts of land due to Linden Lab customer-abusive policies, or have lost businesses due to LL's inexcusable tolerance of Copybot, others have left in moral outrage out of LL's years-long tolerance of ageplay.  For whatever reason... these people have turned from very pro-SL users to (in varying degrees) very angry at Linden Lab.

These people will take several forms:  those who love SL but hate Linden Lab policies, those who love SL but hate Linden Lab itself, those who dislike or hate SL due to what they've experienced, and those who are actually anti-Linden Lab and would like nothing better than to see the company totally self destruct.

I probably fit in there somewhere in the middle, someone who sees what SL could have been and am very disappointed at the failure of both the product and Linden Lab to live up to potential and expectations.  I do intensely dislike Linden Lab policies on a professional level, finding them repeatedly unprofessional, dictatorial, customer-abusive and frankly often just plain goofy.  I am a forgiving person by nature, but Linden Lab has gone way beyond any limits of rational company activity and has caused its users harm to the point that tolerance has reached near-zero level.  I think, based on the tone of these blogs over the last two years... I am not alone in that position by a long shot.

I particularly enjoyed your accurate portrayal of "newbie abandonment" (where is the game in this game?... from folks who don't realize it's a fully-functioning virtual society... we've seen a lot of that)... and "post newbie abandonment"... those who get it and want to take part, but find themselves overwhelmed by an existing structure that is all too much like real-life competition, and at which they have little hope of succeeding unless they are already experts in Maya and C++.

We older merchants sometimes look back on our early builds that used to sell like hotcakes... and recognize they were very "newbie" attempts at creation.  But back then, everything was newbie and some of the things that today are considered unspectacular, were considered quite spectacular in their day.

In short, we got away with it because at that time, we were leading edge for SL.  Today, we have to step up our game tremendously.  Fortunately, we have the experience to do so.  For newbs coming in and trying to start from scratch, the required learning curve is just overwhelming.  So they resort to selling freebies or cluttering the marketplace with the same affiliate vendors over and over.  The smart ones either give up... or they give up on actively participating and buy L$ to take the role of consumers (Nothing wrong with that.  Gotta appreciate consumers.  Most of us have taken that role from time to time in just exploring and shopping.)

Anyhow, a great post that I felt compelled to feather a bit. Most insightful overall.  : )

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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.

Yes, true enough. Hopefully that's a good sign, as i think it may be. A lot of what i'm seeing in the Snowstorm backlog is encouraging. Either way, good to see LL show that they can listen.

You know, i think you're right. It's just been a long time since i had a fresh install i forgot. I have both 1.23 and 2.1 and i do think i remember having to change it when i first installed 2.1, whenever that was. So, good point on both that and the "safe" mode. I whole-heartedly agree, those should be the defaults.

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To be fair, the only meaningful thing that can be concluded from this sample set of 29 votes is that Prokofy isn't rigging her own poll. =)

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Prok: "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."


Jopsy, I can't resist this one.  I was determined to ignore further Prok-rants, but I feel compelled to follow-up... about something that was quite predictable, both in results and in Prok's responses.

Prok makes repetitious claims... no... insistant claims that the  vast majority of people on SL don't use the mini-map.  She is so  insistant that anyone who disagrees with her is just clueless and has no  idea what's going on with SL, while she on the other hand is so very  much in-touch with SL and so very enlightened and a boon to the board.  She is so convinced of her position she decided to post a public "poll"... which I stated at the time I would put no stock in.  Why?

It was foreseeable one of two things would happen:  the poll would appear to support Prok's questionable claims and she'd crow about it forever (which I'd pretty much ignore, as I already stated about "Prok polls"), or it would verify my claims-- with the result that Prok would claim intentional skewing and foul play and still stick to her obviously-correct opinions.

Right on the button. Poll results:

No, it's confusing and in the way. 4.2%
Yes, I find it useful. 91.7%
I don't mind it. 4.2%
What is the minimap? 0%

So please excuse my "I told you so" attitude here, and frank presentation of the results thus far.

First, just as background and without any intended pomp at all (just for factual presentation): I spent a considerable portion of my RL career creating professional evaluative surveys, so I know a propaganda skew-poll when I see one.  To itemize "stunts" that were fully expected the moment Prok announced intent to post this poll:

1. "No, it's confusing and in the way". Prok posted her own preference as the first item.  That creates instant bias toward her pre-supposed opinion... something that no valid researcher would do.  You overcome all charge of bias by presenting the counter-thought first, so no one can accuse skewing of the poll.  In this the poll fails right out of the chute.

2. "Yes I find it useful" is a proper presentation, without any apparent attempt to skew people against this presentation.  Simple, to the point, accurate.  That is a valid poll point.

3. "I don't mind it"  isn't necessarily wrong... it simply draws attention away from the two major points "Yes" / "No"... and fails to establish whether the person acutally uses the mini-map or not-- which is the core objective of the poll.  It doesn't severely harm the poll, but simply carries no benefit and does to an extent, skew it. By failing to impact the overall objective, this option becomes moot and irrelevant to the issue.  In short, it was simply unnecessary.  However, it could have been logically and reasonbly included as a harmless neutral response if not for...

4. "What is the minimap?" is valid to an extent, but again avoids the main question of "Do people use the minimap or not?"... and actually skews the entire poll toward the "no" concept (essentially, "what is the minimpap? equates to "no").   The fact that it has zero percent response indicates early on it is an invalid option-- apparently just about everyone knows what the minimap is.

So what we have is a poll that contains one irrelevant option, one positive option and two negative options... ie, a skewed poll.  Which is why I said early on that I wouldn't take stock in a Prok Poll at all... and I still don't, even though the poll is heavily insistant on the point I and others here made... that people do use the minimap.

Even though I don't take stock in that poll (simply due to the skewed nature of the presentation, thus it is invalid to an extent)... it still does validate... to an extreme degree... that people do use the minimap.  This is validated in two ways, by two possible responses:

1. Either the poll can't be "played" (which is essential to a valid polling) and a unique sample of users voted honestly and earnestly and the poll reflects that indeed, the vast majority do use the minimap or...

2. The poll can be played... and there were sifficient numbers of users who were adamantly against Prok's presentation and intentionally skewed the poll to make that point.  (Is a poll that can be intentionally skewed even worth wasting the time posting?)

I was not one of them. I voted once, with no alts.  I resisted calling in my friends or groups to vote, for the specific reason that I refused in any way to skew the poll.  Frankly, the only reason I voted at all was because such was necessary to see the results.  Otherwise I'd have refused to participate in an obviously skewed, unprofessionally-presented poll.

The result is the same either way: users have indicated they strongly disagree with Prok's assertation.

Bottom line, Prok, you were flat out wrong.  You had opportunity to openly and humbly admit that. You refused / failed, so here it is.  According to current status of your own poll your assumption was wrong. Nothing that happens to that poll further will alter that situation... since by your own admission, that poll can be "firebombed".

And that Prok, is how poll analysis is performed.


That however, doesn't stop Prok.  Her predictable response to the poll results?  Does she say "Oops, my bad, you were right?"  Of course not!  This is Prok!

It's "flashmobbing" (of course!  Prok can't possibly be actually wrong,  can she?).

The "no" vote, rather than proved incorrect, now becomes in Prok's presentation  "the all-important no vote" that is 'cracking the hegeonomy'... the "dissident, minority opinion" that will eventually come out on top and shine at the glorious end-day of the wondrous anti-fascist revolution!!!

Okay, I may be exaggerating just a tad at the last there.  Grant me that bit of satirical poking. ; )

LOL.  Man, some people just can't admit it when they're just plain wrong.

Prok, next time you decide to get on these boards and tell me (or anyone else) how much we don't know about Second Life, how wrong we are, how much we are out of touch with the users, I want you to remember this: (Others can stop reading now.  Ranting to commence.)

I founded the first themed group on SL to top 500 members.  That group won three Metaverse awards. We made the papers when we left SL in 2006 as a visible objection to Linden Lab offensive policies... and made them again when we returned in 2007.  I've been a merchant, scripter, builder, sim owner and group manager for almost six years (short one month).  Elf Clan and the Poetry Guild (which I also founded as one of SL's oldest and most respected literary groups)... both have received wide recognition.  Elf Clan is quite often on the leading-edge of Second Life trends (whether you are aware of that / recognize that or not).  Historically, Elf Clan has tended to be the first sign of overall Second Life performance and customer atmosphere. And yes Prok, I do have my own blog as well, as thousands of readers are aware, and those blogs have pegged Linden Lab right on the head at pretty near 100% accuracy for years. I worked as a professional corporate consultant for over 25 years before retiring at age 48 (woohooo!)... and now I pretty much work at whatever I want to... which is Second Life, external grids (oh yeah, Elf Clan is booming elsewhere)... not to mention a considerable enjoyment of Netflix and really excellent home-cooked food.

So no Prok, I'm not the clueless moron you like to regularly present.  In truth, after that "poll" you took, I might throw those charges right back at you.

So Prok, blow your own horn all you want, and tell us how you help so  many, many people and how you are so very much in touch with Second Life  and how Linden Lab listens to you and doesn't listen to us... but I  think your "poll" snafu just bit you right in the butt.

Ouch!  That sux, huh?  Amazing how fast that ego critter can turn right back on you.

BTW Prok, notice the new "flag this comment" button on the SL  Marketplace that's designed to help Linden Lab combat troll reviews and  flamer comments?  Check this JIRA to see who recommended that function:  http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-2535 .   Check the time frame on  implimentation. Filed Aug 7, implemented Aug 20.   So who does Linden  Lab ignore again?

I may be blunt in my examination of SL and LL Prok, but it doesn't mean I don't try to help, and it doesn't mean they aren't aware of that fact.   They know I'm outspoken.  They also know I've been wanting SL to succeed for the last 6 years and that my posts- pro or con- are always with the intent of helping the company get on the right track.  They know that like many others I am angry... and just maybe that's just one reason why they are making the changes they're making (not the reason, just one).  If people like me are angry, as active as we've been on SL... they can ascertain that there are thousands of unspoken others who are just as ticked off.  I think Prok, that is of overall value to the company. (Which is why I even spend time on these blogs at all.)

(Okay folks, done now.) Please forgive me this direct response to Prok's typically degrading and offensive comments.  She should check her facts before choosing targets to slander.

So please excuse me folks, and also forgive me for crowing more than just a little.  We've put up with this Prok nonsense and her demeaning and user-insulting attitude for years. Prok is at times brilliant.  Usually her posts are primarily name-calling tripe.  While I fully realize and expect this post will have no effect on her attitude at all and will be twisted around about as far as it can be twisted (as opposed to "You were right. My bad"), and that she will still continue in her inflamnatory and degrading posting method... still it seemed correct to post this, if nothing more than for the sake of archival record.   Gah, what a stubborn woman.

(Feel free to ignore me... according to Prok it's just a "guy thing". LOL)

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Right. And it's all good. It will be flashmobbed by those trying to "prove a point". That's ok. In time, more people vote. Eventually, it rights itself. And even if it never does, it still is able to show some very important correctives to the hegemonic minority -- a) some people won't even know what a minimap is; b) some people can now dissent and say they don't mind it, i.e. it's not so terribly important to them; c) and best of all, people can express the opposition view and say that they find it confusing and not useful. That's important.

It's all good; it represents "nothing" in the sense that it is not "all people in SL" and "only those who read my blog," but given the persistent haters and flashmobbers, the best part of it is that it can still serve to express dissent : )

I won't even bother to answer Wishbringer's rant as it is all too typical of the kind of response you can expect on the forums to trying to speak out against minority rule.

There's nothing magical or somehow "more valid" about the first 24 hours of the poll. If anything, it is flashmobbed from those in this thread who are already self-selected to respond aggressively. But if you really want to test SL opinion, my blog has lots of readers, and they will answer honestly, whether or not they saw this thread, and that's important.

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Jopsy: "To be  fair, the only meaningful thing that can be concluded from this sample  set of 29 votes is that Prokofy isn't rigging her own poll. =)"

LOL yes, I'd actually considered that possibitity.  But as much as I disrespect Proks demeanor, I actually never really suspected her of playing her own poll.  I think she would consider that "beneath her".

I also questioned posting results with only 1 day on the poll, but on reflection felt that first-day response would likely be the most valid population sample that "poll" will ever have... directly from readers of this blog before anyone has a significant chance to game it.

My guess is that those 29 votes are for the most part probably legitimate, one-person votes.  Thus, the early response.  No matter what course that questionable poll takes from this point on, the initial response, from her own poll (skewed as the poll itself was)... is now recorded and evaluated. : )

It reminded me of Linden Lab's own poll regarding Viewer 2... which was also skewed, and majorly backfired on them.   88% against, despite the obvious propaganda skew.  Ouch.

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Prok: "I won't  even bother to answer Wishbringer's rant as it is all too typical of the  kind of response you can expect on the forums to trying to speak out  against minority rule."

That's strange Prok.  From what I have seen as result of your poll and the comments of other users above... that minority that's trying to rule appears to be you.

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Do you  folks now begin to understand the consequences of ignoring your  experienced customers?  Don't get me wrong; it's your company.  You  folks don't have to listen to anyone.  Linden Lab can make its decisions  however it wants.  But... we customers do hold the purse strings.  And  in the end Q, it will be us, not Linden Lab, that makes the ultimate decisions... one way or the other.  That's the point I and others have been trying to get across for years.

Q, what is driving people crazy is Linden Lab's refusal to recognize the vast knowledge and experience of many residents - some of whom are high-level professionals with RL billing rates of US1,000 per day. On issue after issue, Linden Lab has ignored carefully written reports that would normally cost US$5,000-$10,000 from a private research firm such as Forrester. Linden Lab is getting this material for FREE yet it tosses it in the trash and merrily proceeds to make mistake after mistake like Homer Simpson on a mission.

Since the company has no serious competition, it is difficult to measure counterfactuals, but a reasonable proxy is the success of the Emerald (now Phoenix) viewer. Here, in a small area where there is competition, a handful of private developers working for free have taken the lead from Linden Lab. The best that LL can come up with is a dog's breakfast designed by ex-employees of the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture.

In general, then, Linden Lab in its ivory tower does not see the damage to its reputation that has been accruing over the past three years. The viewer is but one instance of a whole litany of problems that Linden Lab has created instead of solved. It is this history that is coloring much of the discussion on almost every topic in the blogs and fora.

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Sorry Prok... I don't think there will be much flashmobbing just to counter an ego.   I've been following this on email, and scratching my head about "no one uses mini-map"  comment.  I always look at the mini-map first, just to see where everyone is at from a landing point. Then I may use radar to get to where I need to go, or IM someone. I think mini-map should be enabled on startup. Esp for noobs, because it draws attention to map functions in general.  I think Jopsy's abandonment assessment is very accurate. So not having the mini-map open during startup would increase early abandonment.  Esp the poor, "This is all there is?" newbies that don't get as far as parcel before giving up. 

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Stay tuned and you'll see how this evens out : )

I don't fear democracy and its "gaming" like the Lindens and their amen corner : )

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Bring on the direct democracy!  I've got my ballot initiatives all lined up and ready to go!

  1. Every resident gets L$5000 a week.
  2. Eliminate membership fees and tier fees.

The people have spoken.  Our will is known.  Let no tyrant stand against us! 

"I don't fear democracy " -- Prokofy

Of course not.  You believe you're in the majority.

Seriously though... I live in a state where "the will of the people" has clearly shown no interest in respecting the freedom and equality of its minorities.

At least a "Tyranny by a Minority" must always respect the threat of all those they represent, at the peril of losing either their lives, their power or the very thing over which they have power.

Tyranny of the Majority has no such counter-balance.   Minority interests (and minorities themselves) compete against "the will of the people."   The majority's interests are nearly always better served by extorting concessions, alienating, marginalizing, objectifying, scapegoating, exploiting, even exiling their opponents.   "Screw equality!  If they're not part of our solution, they're part of our problem."

So when you snidely imply that the "amen corner" fears democracy?

In my case.... lately, yes I do.

But I doubt LL views a resident democracy as anything more daunting than merely "impractical".

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I realize that 1.X was very outdated, and in fact, seriously needed to have it's menues condensed down and redundant ones removed, but I think 2.0 was far too the other extreme.  When I first heard that a 2.0 was in the works, I was excited.  Unfortunately, that excitement died the moment I tried 2.0.  It was.. very counter intuitive for me.  I was used to windows that I could shove around out of the way, but still accessable.  I was used to tabbed chatting.  I was fighting the UI, trying to take back virtual realty from the sidebar and losing.

I turned to the sidebar-free Emerald.  It ran faster, and while it didn't have media on a prim, it had other features that made content creation so much easier.  But since LL banned it from the grid, I'm wondering if it's even worth it to go looking for another sidebar-free viewer.

The only option I really want is the ability to completely turn off the sidebar.  Unfortunately, given how tied up all the features are with the sidebar, it will require a completely new viewer.  Well, my drawing proffessor always said, "If it's not working, stop trying to hammer into shape.  Scrap the drawing and start over."  Stop hammering on 2.0 and move on to 3.0 with an option for using the sidebar or not.  It will be a lot less work than to try to bring 2.0 up to shape.

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Chat focus -- good one! My own preference, though I've never heard anyone else speak up for this, would be for the focus to ONLY go to the chat box or the IM box (or other places like search where you type text), never anywhere else. In other words I WANT the WASD movement controls etc. to be broken, I want those characters to always be for chat - I get so tired of moving around or jumping when I'm trying to talk!! But I know that some people would consider my choice to be dysfunctional so this is the sort of thing that has to be a preference.

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have a problem with the marketplace every time i login on marketplace to view my account i get this message ( been like this for several months) "So Sorry to keep you waiting. We'll be right back ! We've been notified about this issue and we'll take a look at it shortly" mind you i called Linden Lab's billing center because Linden Labs is not open guy says i can only get technical support with a premium membership which i dont have because i need a credit card. Please if someone can really help me out i would greatly appreciate it alot. 

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Here's an option i require : a button that makes this damn cloud form i've assumed after logging in turn into a solid avatar some time before i log out.

I hope that option is not considered too complex to present.

I recall the good old days when I used to wait days for my pants to rez. Do clouds wear pants?

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ok I have been on sl for a long time and I have been watching all the changes in all the options for the viewers, I am a creator/builder/scripter/sculpter/texturer in sl and I need alot of options especially when it comes to graphics and speed, sound and enviroment options. I have noticed there is alot of unnecassary options comming out on the viewers and not as many necessary options to do with the things you actually need, Like prim size.... I would actually like to see the prims a bit larger in sl because more prims you have to use for builds the more lagg they create especially when you have to use scripts for your build. another thing I would like to see in sl is an easier script function helper, I teach people how to script by using the coder in sl options and show them how they can choose their functions  and ect. but  I know alot of other people may need other functions for differnt things you do in sl so my suggestion is why not when you give the options to download a differnt viewer in sl give just one main function menu to bring up a click menu to choose what functions you want uploaded into your viewer so that way instead of everyone having the same functions they can all choose their functions and you dont have to have so many complex options slowing down your viewer! now I know this sounds complicated and far fetched but just think of all the headache you will be saving by having an option for everyone to be able to  choose only the functions they want on sl and not have the ones they will never use. oh and make an inviewer option where you can add functions and take off functions later if you choose to.

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