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Phil Deakins

SL and its Learning Curve

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I've decided so sum up what you have been thinking and posting
:)

Part of your RL work is to check major programmes for things, and, from doing that, you know that those programmers use code from external sources in their finished programmes. You've decided, therefore, that all major programmes are done that way. Then someone comes along and describes some major programmes for which he claims to have written every byte of code all by himself, and without any reference to any external code
or method.
That doesn't match what you think you know, and he must therefore be wrong and self-delusional because, as you yourself know from your own experience, it simply isn't done that way. In fact, it can't be done that way.

That just about sums up what you've been saying. A bit silly, init?
:D

You mentioned that you learned programming from various manuals. Did those manuals happen to have examples?

Yes, of course they did. Everyone learns programming from programming language books/manuals, but that has nothing to do with this discussion. Also, it's already been said.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

I think the basic question is not whether or not you wrote your programs "all by [your]self" (in someone else's programming language, which "goes without saying") but why you think we should be impressed by this.

You've not been following the thread, Theresa. If you had been, you would have known that I haven't tried to impress anyone, and I don't think that anyone 
should
be impressed. What on earth makes you think that I'm trying to impress people?

All this stuff about programming was started by wherorangi on page 7, msg 64. The question soon became, and definitely IS, whether or not I wrote the programmes all by myself. I said I did (and I did), but wherorangi raised that question by claiming that I didn't. That IS the basic question in this part of the thread, and it has been since soon after msg 64.

The basic difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional is being paid for their time with someone else's money. Given a choice between someone who can write a program over a period of months while writing every byte of code themselves or someone who can perform the same task at least as well in much less time by the legal use of prefabricated parts, any rational employer would choose the second option unless the first person is billing at such a low rate as to make them hardly a professional at all.

Of course. Both of those are gimmes. Are you trying to make any points? Or are you just looking to get back into the fray?
;)


 

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I've decided so sum up what you have been thinking and posting
:)

Part of your RL work is to check major programmes for things, and, from doing that, you know that those programmers use code from external sources in their finished programmes. You've decided, therefore, that all major programmes are done that way. Then someone comes along and describes some major programmes for which he claims to have written every byte of code all by himself, and without any reference to any external code
or method.
That doesn't match what you think you know, and he must therefore be wrong and self-delusional because, as you yourself know from your own experience, it simply isn't done that way. In fact, it can't be done that way.

That just about sums up what you've been saying. A bit silly, init?
:D

You mentioned that you learned programming from various manuals. Did those manuals happen to have examples?

Yes, of course they did. Everyone learns programming from programming language books/manuals, but that has nothing to do with this discussion. Also, it's already been said.

This is exactly what you said about your programming, in your own words:

In case it's not clear to you by now, I'll tell you again. I wrote those programmes, all by myself, and, apart from the binary tree concept being explained to me, without any coding or flow reference whatsoever to anything that had gone before, either conciously or subconciously. For each one, I sat at my computer, thought about how to do what I wanted, and did it bit by bit. And each of the programmes took at least months of full time programming to write. That's all there is. I have never studied other people's work, so no subconciously stored algorithms and methods could have been be possible with me.

Since you learned programming from a manual, which is someone else's work, and it contained examples, you did study other people's work. So your statement above is false.

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Theresa. Get a grip, for goodness sakes. And especially read the bloomin' thread if you think you can participate.

What you quoted in blue is totally and utterly true. What you are desperately scratching about with is the fact that, in order to write programmes, one has to learn the programming language, but that goes without saying, AND it's been said before - by me - so you're not bringing anything new to the discussion, other that desperately trying to find something wrong with what I said. But that's not possible, because it doesn't exist, so you might as well give up now - like you did before ;)

In order to write your post that I'm replying to, you had to learn the language, but the fact that you had to first learn the language doesn't mean that your post was jointly written by you and the people from the past who created the language over time. Having learned the language, you wrote it all by yourself - every word and sentence - without anyone else's input. Get it? You can't win. Entering into this part of the discussion is a total loss for you. You might not like it, but that's how it is.

Incidentally, the part you bolded was addressed to wherorangi, and was a reply to her post. It refered to her saying that I must have used other people's chunks of code, perhaps even without realising it. Nobody in their right mind could possibly imagine that the time spent learning the language counts. Of course, you have to try because being objectionable is your nature. But don't even contemplate coming back with something along the lines of I should have been more clear. It was perfectly clear to the person it was address to - and to everyone else who has read the thread. Also, don't contemplate that learning the language is what wherorangi meant. If you care to read the thread, you'll discover exactly what she meant, and it wasn't anything like that. She's lost the argument (she had no chance whatsoever of winning it) so she may come back and say that's what she meant, but, if she did that, she'd need to edit chunks out of her posts first. It wouldn't work though because what she wrote has been quoted enough times.

Some people really do show a huge degree of denseness. Do you ever win an argument in this forum?

Try looking at it this way. When someone writes a book, or a magazine article, everyone correctly assumes that it was written solely by that person. Nobody understands it to have been written by that person together with lots of people who developed the language, because it wasn't written those people. It was written, using that language, solely by the person who sat down and wrote it.

Or how about this. When someone writes a script for use in SL, nobody thinks that it was written by that person and LL, even though LL created the language it was written in, and provided examples of each element's useage.

How about this. When Pamela creates a new building, nobody thinks that it was created by Pamela and LL, even though LL created everything needed to do it.

Or what about someone creating a mesh dress in Blender. Are the creators of Blender joint creators of the dress? Of course not, and nobody would even suggest it - not unless they are spoiling for an argument, that is ;) The one who used Blender to create it is the sole creator.

The same can be said of webpage creators, etc. etc. etc.

With programming languages, it is necessary to learn to use them. Once that's done, then you can sit down and write programmes all by yourself, and without the need to import, or refer to, anyone else's code. You learn how to do it, and then you do it. It's just like a spoken language.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

Since you learned programming from a manual, which is someone else's work, and it contained examples, you
did
study other people's work. So your statement above is false.

Yes, of course I studied the work of those who wrote the manuals. That's learning the language, and nobody has said anything different to that. But that's not what wherorangi accused me of. She accused me of using other people's code, much like LL uses other people's code, such as windlight, and that's quite different. So the "statement above" that you refered to is absolutely true.

Let me give you and example. From the language manual you can learn what a FOR...NEXT loop is, and you can see, and study, an example of code making use of it. When you've done that, you've learned that bit of the language. Later, you want your programme to do something, and it occurs to you that a FOR...NEXT loop will do it. So, having learned how to use the FOR...NEXT loop, you type the code into your programme. Not the code in the manual, or that would be someone else's code, and it wouldn't do what you want anyway. You type different code in, fresh from your creative mind - code that does what you want your programme to do.

See the difference? Learning the language is not the same as using other people's code.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

Since you learned programming from a manual, which is someone else's work, and it contained examples, you
did
study other people's work. So your statement above is false.

Yes, of course I studied the work of those who wrote the manuals. That's learning the language, and nobody has said anything different to that. But that's not what wherorangi accused me of. She accused me of using other people's code, much like LL use other people's code, such as windlight, and that's quite different.


Show me where wherorangi said you copied other people's code. (For our American readers, yes, I DO live in Missouri.) What she said, as far as I can tell, is that your code probably wasn't completely original - by original meaning you were the first person to ever do it that way.

 

If you or I were to sit down and write a story about pirates, all on our own without consciously referring to anything else, it would probably have many elements similar to other stories about pirates because pirates, at least in stories, do certain things and don't do certain other things. The stories wouldn't be identical to previous sources but it's entirely possible that complete short sentences would repeat.

Computer languages are far more constrained than human ones. If your program was a BASIC program and you used a GOSUB you ended that routine with a RETURN. If you didn't the program would be broken. What's more, you used the GOSUB ending in RETURN because the BASIC code written by someone else, that you were using, required those terms to do what you wanted it to do.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

Show me where wherorangi said you copied other people's code. (For our American readers, yes, I DO live in Missouri.) What she said, as far as I can tell, is that your code probably wasn't completely
original
- by
original
meaning you were the first person to ever do it that way.

Page 17 post 166, Page 19 post 185. She did say something about 
original
but it was nonsense. She talked about me using other people's code. She says she has some experience, and explained that the major programmes she's seen always contain chunks of other people's code (similar to windlight and other stuff that SL uses), so she must realise that using things like a language's loops does not constitute using 'other people's code'. She also talked about refring to the way that other people have done particular things before. I don't care about that. When I wrote the programmes, I had no idea how anyone had done anything before. I simply decided to see if I could write them, and I sat down and did it. With the single exception of the binary tree, every way of doing things that I used came straight out of my own brain. I had never seen how anyone else had done anything. And I still haven't. So, whether or not the methods I conceived had been done before is totally irrelevant. The only relevant thing is whether or not they were conceived for those programmes in my brain. wherorangi doesn't like to think that they were, and so she posted all the crap. But they were - every method (except the binary tree) and every byte. Incidentally, I'd never seen the code for a binary tree, so I wrote my own, but the binary tree concept wasn't my own. I did have to add something though, because, with my programmes there were always 3 possibilites - greater, lesser, and equal to.

If you or I were to sit down and write a story about pirates, all on our own without
consciously
referring to anything else, it would probably have many elements similar to other stories about pirates because pirates, at least in stories, do certain things and don't do certain other things. The stories wouldn't be identical to previous sources but it's entirely possible that complete short sentences would repeat.

I agree with that. I couldn't write a totally new story about pirates, because I've been conditioned to think about pirates, and their environments, in a certain way, so I'd have to be influenced enormously by that conditioning. But I hadn't been conditioned in the way that programmes are written. I never studied it, and I never looked at anyone else's programmes.

When I did the first one, I'd come from an online multi-user scrolling text adventure game (I was still using it) and I wanted to see if I could create one like it. So the game concept wasn't new or original, and I never claimed that it was. Only the programming of it was conceived in my head. Every byte of it. I didn't know of anything that I could have refered to back in the early 90s. There probably wasn't anything out there at that time. Certainly the Web wasn't anything like what it is today. If I'd known of anything, I would almost certainly have made use of it. I wouldn't have mattered to me that I didn't conceive everything myself. That wasn't my objective.

The concept of the second one wasn't new either, although maybe putting a multi-user graphic game online may have been new. I wasn't aware of any at the time.

Computer languages are far more constrained than human ones. If your program was a BASIC program and you used a GOSUB you ended that routine with a RETURN. If you didn't the program would be broken. What's more, you used the GOSUB ending in RETURN because the BASIC code
written by someone els
e
, that you were using,
required those terms to do what you wanted it to do.

That's the language. It's what you put in the sub-routine that's your creation. Not the fact that you use language elements. All language elements have programming behind them - even machine code does. None of that has anything to do with what wherorangi said. If you want to get right down to it, the lowest programme is the micro-programme that's inside the microprocessor. We don't have access to that, of course. The lowest we can go is machine code, which I used extensively in the first 3 major programmes. [Correction: the lowest programming is the hard-wiring and gates inside the microprocessor. It's not thought of as programming but that's what it is].

I'm trying to decide if you are talking about language elements as a serious input to the discussion, or if you are intentionally just throwing it in just for the sake of it, knowing that it's nonsense in this discussion. At the moment, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt.


 

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

I think the basic question is not whether or not you wrote your programs "all by [your]self" (in someone else's programming language, which "goes without saying") but why you think we should be impressed by this.

You've not been following the thread, Theresa. If you had been, you would have known that I haven't tried to impress anyone, and I don't think that anyone 
should
be impressed.
What on earth makes you think that I'm trying
to impress people?

All this stuff about programming was started by wherorangi on page 7, msg 64. The question soon became, and definitely IS, whether or not I wrote the programmes all by myself. I said I did (and I did), but wherorangi raised that question by claiming that I didn't. That IS the basic question in this part of the thread, and it has been since soon after msg 64.

The basic difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional is being paid for their time with someone else's money. Given a choice between someone who can write a program over a period of months while writing every byte of code themselves or someone who can perform the same task at least as well in much less time by the legal use of prefabricated parts, any rational employer would choose the second option unless the first person is billing at such a low rate as to make them hardly a professional at all.

Of course. Both of those are gimmes. Are you trying to make any points? Or are you just looking to get back into the fray?
;)


 

I thought you were trying to impress people when you said:

I'm a programmer who, among other major programmes, and a myriad of smaller ones, has written 2 complex multi-user online games from scratch, without refering to any known games algorithms or anyone else's work. For the graphic one, I even wrote my own graphics system - from scratch. When you are able to scratch the surface of what I've done, and am able to do, let me know and I'll show you a little bit of respect.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

I think the basic question is not whether or not you wrote your programs "all by [your]self" (in someone else's programming language, which "goes without saying") but why you think we should be impressed by this.

You've not been following the thread, Theresa. If you had been, you would have known that I haven't tried to impress anyone, and I don't think that anyone 
should
be impressed.
What on earth makes you think that I'm trying
to impress people?

All this stuff about programming was started by wherorangi on page 7, msg 64. The question soon became, and definitely IS, whether or not I wrote the programmes all by myself. I said I did (and I did), but wherorangi raised that question by claiming that I didn't. That IS the basic question in this part of the thread, and it has been since soon after msg 64.

The basic difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional is being paid for their time with someone else's money. Given a choice between someone who can write a program over a period of months while writing every byte of code themselves or someone who can perform the same task at least as well in much less time by the legal use of prefabricated parts, any rational employer would choose the second option unless the first person is billing at such a low rate as to make them hardly a professional at all.

Of course. Both of those are gimmes. Are you trying to make any points? Or are you just looking to get back into the fray?
;)


 

I thought you were trying to impress people when you said:

I'm a programmer who, among other major programmes, and a myriad of smaller ones, has written 2 complex multi-user online games from scratch, without refering to any known games algorithms or anyone else's work. For the graphic one, I even wrote my own graphics system - from scratch. When you are able to scratch the surface of what I've done, and am able to do, let me know and I'll show you a little bit of respect.

Then you were mistaken. That was addressed to wherorangi after she'd set me a programming challenge. She said that it would take her only the time it takes to type the solution (5 minutes), but she gave me until the next day. She was trying to make out how clever she is at programming compared to me, That statement was me telling her that I am capable of writing major programmes, and that I am not interested in playing silly little games with her.

Then, as we saw, she didn't like that and decided to call me delusional at best, and, at worst, a liar.

But, you know, it boils down to this. Either I actually did what I said I did, or I didn't. And there's no way in the world that I can prove to you or wherorangi that I did what I said I did, and there's no way in the world that anyone can prove that I didn't. There really isn't anything more to be said about it. I'm happy to know what I did, and I don't need anyone else to accept it :)

ETA: I couldn't even show the 2 games, because they were written for DOS and probably no longer exist. I do have some of the older computers so they may still be in one of them though. The music one still exists on an old computer but, again, it was written for DOS, and I haven't had it running for many years. Those 3 had a lot of machine code programming, so they wouldn't run on anything from this century. I'm not sure about the search engine one. It was written for Windows 98 and I think I probably still have it on an old machine. It should still run, I think.

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This thread was an enjoyable read. It opened my mind to just how different the first few days of Second Life can be for users. 

For me personally, compared to most games, this does have a noticeable learning curve. I think Second Life's new user retention is a good example supporting this. However, I also think because of Second Life's age, the solution for almost every problem is just a Google search away. Worst case scenario, you can ask on the Forums. 

This is how my first few days went:


I stuck around in the newbie area for a short time. Enough to learn the basics it showed. I don't remember which iteration of a tutorial this was. By the end, yes, I agree that I could do the basics -- walk, talk, and travel. 

However, I quickly realized there was much, much more to Second Life than that. And those simple things almost immediately shot down to the bottom of my list of priorities. Almost immediately, I felt the need to dress myself properly. This included learning how to dress myself, the different body options, appliers, mesh versus non, alphas, body attachments, etc. To some, like Phil, these are not necessary for a new user. This is completely relative, but in no way is there a right or wrong way to experience Second Life. 

Once I learned that I could have a home, I didn't even want to socialize anymore until I nailed this feature. So I had to figure out the land options. Rentals, skyboxes, houses, islands, covenants, tier, etc. I'd qualify this as a steep learning curve simply because to fully experience this I was forced to understand all of these concepts. I could have blindly gone into this, but that again wasn't an option for me. This isn't an insurmountable curve. All of the answers are online. But it IS confusing and overwhelming to the new person and thus qualifies as steep in my opinion. 

So I figured out all of the above. Then I had to buy a house. I had to understand that houses are built differently and the quality is based on the builder. Customizing a home was incredibly important to me, and so I had to understand the different permissions and how to use the edit features. I remember finding out about linked items. It was confusing at first but once I got it, a whole new world opened in terms of customizing. But I also learned that I was never 100% satisfied with the homes, and so I decided to perhaps build my own. 

Wow. I don't even need to elaborate on learning the building process. Scripting? Okay.. that one is so overwhelming to me that I admit I don't even want to try. I think I will rely on the help of others for that one. But even scripting aside, there is so much else to learn. 

You may say none of this is necessary to a new user. I argue it's completely relative. Phil and I had very different initial goals. I didn't care about socializing. I simply couldn't enjoy Second Life completely until I could reach my specific goals -- customizing my avatar, owning/renting land, and customizing or building a house. 

Of course it doesn't HAVE to be mastered in 24 hours. But to those with a real desire to accomplish something here, we don't want to drag it out for months. We want to accomplish that as soon as possible. At least for me, the sooner I could reach these goals, the sooner I could move on to finally socializing. 

And the only reason I would consider the term "steep" is because of my experience with other games. As pointed out, putting on a pair of shoes in about 99% of other games takes maybe two steps -- open inventory, put on shoes. That's it. Walking is as simple as moving your character. No need for AO and all the hassle that comes with learning that. Owning a home is often straight forward. Find a home. Buy it. Decorating a home is often as simple as pulling something out of your inventory and placing it where you want. If you want to talk about building, games like Minecraft or Sims are good example of being able to jump right in with relative ease. 

If I was playing just about any other game, in the first couple of hours I could probably dress myself, socialize, travel, own a home and learn how to edit/build. In Second Life, to a new user, it can take days or weeks to fully understand one feature. 

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