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Needed Device-Opportunity for Scriptor


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For several years, I have been looking unsuccessfully for a scripted object, or a set of them that work together, that would enable me to add names to the ban lists of multiple parcels in the same mainland sim without having to make the change manually for each parcel. It would be a bonus if it could remove names from the ban lists and add names to and remove them from the access lists. I think that there are many others who would pay for such a product. I would gladly pay L$2,000 for it. I think that there is a business opportunity for a scriptor to make and sell it.

I communicated my desire for such a product to a scriptor who whose wares indicated to me that they had the skills to make it. I considered myself to be calling their attention to a business opportunity. My motive was to get them to make and sell the item so that it would be available for me to buy. I thought that, if they were generous and they did produce it, they might even give me a copy for suggesting the idea, but I didn't really expect that or ask for it.

They interpreted what I said as a request for custom work. They said that they could produce what I wanted and the price would be L$50,000. I replied that for that price, I would want full, unlimited, exclusive rights to the product. They declined to accept those terms.

Is it usual for a scriptor to charge someone such a large price for producing something and still retain full rights to it? It seems to me that if it is a product for which there is a market, it isn't reasonable to charge the first buyer such a high price and still expect to sell many copies to others, undoubtedly for a lower price. Can people who know what is customary comment?

 

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What you describe isn't particularly hard to write, although it could get a little fiddly once you start adding in all the exceptions and end cases.  I'd be a little surprised if someone hasn't done it already.  It's not likely to be a high demand item, though, so I suspect that a scripter might put it on a MP site and expect to sell maybe a dozen copies a year if the price were right.  Price is the big question. I sell a handful of scripted tools that are not much more complicated than that for prices between L$150 and L$500, because that's about as much as people are willing to pay for that sort of thing.  I'm clearly not expecting to get rich off them.  I have put others into the LSL Library as freebies, because I just can't be bothered to sell them.  In my own mind, then, there's not much market value for low-volume scripted tools.  I create them for my own amusement or as a by-product of something else I have been working on.  If I am scripting something on commission, though, I expect to be paid for my time and talent, and for the fact that I will probably only get that one customer for the work.   If I were writing something like the project you describe -- I am not interested in doing it, but just for the sake of argument -- I would probably charge something like L$6000.  You could probably find someone willing to accept L$2000 and you've obviously already had one person (I would guess, really not interested) who would want L$50,000.  What's right?  Whatever you are willing to pay.  The higher the price, though, the more you ought to insist on guarantees of quality and on attention to those fiddly details I alluded to above, and the more reluctant you should be to pay the full amount until you are satisfied with the result.

I'm sure that other scripters will have widely-varying replies. This is a topic we have each tossed around.  There is no perfect answer.

BTW, I understand that you are not posting here to find a custom scripter.  If you had been, I would probably have just written some version of a boilerplate note: "The Scripting forum is a place where LSL scripters come to share ideas and moan about things that don't work the way they expected. If you are looking for a script that already exists, you'll have better luck in the Marketplace or in script libraries on line, or by posting in the Wanted forum.  If you want to attract someone to write a custom script, the InWorld Employment forum is a better idea."  ;) 

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The problem I often run into, (as a scripter) is that it is Much easier to write a script that does a thing, than it is to write a script that makes it easy for others to do that thing.

Case and point, because I'm feeling generous today:

// land ban server. you need one of these per region. 
// say 
// /1789762 <UUID> 
// in local chat near the server to ban <UUID> from all parcels on this sim with a ban relay.
integer gChatChan = 1789762;
integer gRelayChan = -3697239452;
default
{
  state_entry()
  {
    llListen(gChatChan,"",llGetOwner(),"");
  }
  listen(integer channel,string name,key ID,string text)
  {
    if((key)text)
    {
    	llRegionSay(gRelayChan,text);
    }else
    {
      llOwnerSay("Sorry, the key you are attempting to ban is not a valid key.");
    }
  }
}
// land ban relay. you need one per parcel you want the ban to extend to. single region only.
integer gRelayChan = -3697239452;
default
{
  state_entry()
  {
    llListen(gRelayChan,"","","");
  }
  listen(integer channel,string name,key ID,string text)
  {
    key integrity_check = llGetOwnerKey(ID);
    if(integrity_check==llGetOwner())
    {	 llAddToLandBanList( (key)text, 0 );
    }else // we recieved communication from not the owner, which is bad.
    { llInstantMessage(llGetOwner(),"someone may be trying to mess with your land settings.");
    }
  }
}

That took maybe 10~15 minutes at the most to write (because I'm slow and do try to check the wiki for the exact function names and read over caveats etc.) and should do exactly what you asked for, albeit not in the most user-friendly way. The problems come when one asks "but can it also. . ." and it starts getting ever more complicated, as for a general sale product, you have to guess all the possible things someone might want to use it for, and adding all the user-friendlyness things (names instead of keys, an option to use a notecard, unbanning people, making it work through multiple regions grid-wide, etc.etc.) it can get to be a lot.

Although, thinking on this specific problem (grid-wide banlist) KVP might make this more doable than one would think. . .

Edited by Quistess Alpha
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You had more free time than I did, @Quistess Alpha:)  As I said and you've just demonstrated, it's not hard to write a basic script that does something like this.  Without the extra safeguards and "user friendliness things", we just give something like this away as a demo.  It's so simple that almost any scripter could do it; there's no potential profit.  Also, a script without all the safeguards can come back to bite you when people use it blindly, so you have to be a little cautious about making it appear to be a general solution.  Because it's hard to sell a much better script on the open market for what it should be worth, though, there's little motivation to do it other than to satisfy your own curiosity. 

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9 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

extra safeguards

Just for my own edification, what other sorts of safeguards would you add to something like this ?

I did gloss over checking that the key is valid (fairly simple lemme just retroactively fix that...) and that the key actually belongs to an avatar (not hard but too fiddly for me to bother with in a simple example like this)

edit, oh and a changed&CHANGED_OWNER script reset. That should really be a part of the default "hello avatar" script. . .

Edited by Quistess Alpha
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Those are the first ones that spring to my mind too.  You would probably also want to have some way to whitelist some parcels (or members of some groups, or people on a designated whitelist)  so that any bans you apply elsewhere don't affect them.  You would want a way to remove bans after a certain amount of time, so that some bans are temporary.  As you noted, you'd want to have a way to remove people from the ban lists.  You'd want to write the thing so that you could ban a person by name, without having to look up a UUID, as you have.  But then you'd need code to find and verify the UUID.  And of course check to see whether the person is already on the ban list, so you don't waste valuable list space on duplicate entries.   Those are the big ones that pop to the top of my head, but I'd want to sit and mull things over a lot to imagine what else might go wrong.  And then I'd want to have someone else try really hard to break the script or hack a way around it, because other people are always more ingenious than I am at finding my own shortcomings.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 7/21/2021 at 3:46 PM, Quistess Alpha said:

The problem I often run into, (as a scripter) is that it is Much easier to write a script that does a thing, than it is to write a script that makes it easy for others to do that thing.

Case and point, because I'm feeling generous today:

 

WOW!!!

THANKS!!!

It should do exactly what I need. The lack of bells and whistles isn't much of a problem for me. I am more than happy to look up one UUID when it saves me having to add a name to 15 or so separate ban lists. As for limited times, whitelists, etc., I don't need them. I seldom ban anyone, and when I do, it's because they did something bad enough that I never want them around again. Nevertheless, it's tedious to have to add the same name to multiple lists.

I'm sorry I just saw the responses today; I did not receive notices that there were any and only found out by looking at the forum.

Edited by Jennifer Boyle
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8 minutes ago, Jennifer Boyle said:

I'm sorry I just saw the responses today; I did not receive notices that there were any and only found out by looking at the forum.

Pro tip: You may want to "follow" (button near the top right of the forum page, above the highlighted "Reply to this topic" button) any threads you start, or check them every so often. I personally don't Quote or '@' (the two things which cause notifications other than following) when I'm replying directly to the first post in a thread ("Topic").

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9 minutes ago, Jennifer Boyle said:

I, of course, have no relevant knowledge, but I would have thought, considering how large SL is, that the market would be much larger.

The only group of SLers who are likely to have many parcels on the same region that I can think of would be people in the rentals business, and they would definitely be more persnickety about all the extra bells and whistles.

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5 minutes ago, Jennifer Boyle said:

I, of course, have no relevant knowledge, but I would have thought, considering how large SL is, that the market would be much larger.

It may well be larger than my gut says it is.  The problem is that the basic script would need a lot of the security features that Quistessa and I were discussing above and would have to allow for quite a range of custom variations.  Personally, I would be very reluctant to release a script for a sensitive purpose like this into the wild without building those things into it.  I suspect that even though it's tedious to add names to whitelists manually, most landowners would rather do that than pay for a mildly expensive script that does it.  But I could be wrong. ;) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I thought this post was about me (since you spoke to me inworld about it) up until you saying the scripter gave you a cost to produce this ban/security system, but I did not give you any quote on cost. I said to you that my RL commitments are taking priority right now.

I don't know who else you spoke to, but all I'll say is if I did have the time to produce the system: bells, whistles, security features & all; for L$50k I would give you the system full perm and all rights.

Edited by Gayngel
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