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The TTPB resource-allocation problem, a summary of what I saw.


arabellajones
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It's fair enough that TPV development teams have to pick and choose what they work on, just as Linden Lab has to. Most of us will know of the Dark Mode setting for smartphone and tablets, which is useful in particular circumstances, and in other times isn't. What can be a little confusing are the overlapping Preferences of the Skin and the Color Scheme. It's the combination which can get the look of the viewer into that Dark Mode territory.

First, a little history. There has been a BlueLight Skin for a long time, originally meant for for the Linden Lab viewer. It was picked up and used by Firestorm. As far as I can tell, the Skin sets up the labels used by the Color Scheme but includes a lot of other details. As things worked out, breaking away from Dark Mode came to depend on BlueLight, with one exception. You have to go back to the general Viewer 1 look and use Henri Beaumont's Cool VL Viewer which does have a Silver colour option. It's a viewer worth having as a sanity check. If you can see the scenery you have made with that, it's a good check.

Going briefly off to one side, there's a lot of detail on this page about setting an LCD monitor. http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/ If your monitor isn't set right, you're not going to be able to see all the colors. As a practical matter, your textures can't use the full 8-bit brightness age, you need room for the ALM-generated highlights and shadows.

It's now become apparent that the creator of the BlueLight Skin has vanished. It may be in its last days of use. Which means the Silver Color Schemes will vanish

I know I shall struggle.There are reasons why a generally dark screen is not good for seeing things, such as the inevitable dilated pupils. It's already been suggested I "make your own!", so the team elects to support ten de facto Dark Mode Color Schemes and deny a useful choice to their users.

I shall stop here, Or I shall say something very rude about some people.

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Skins are a tremendous amount of work to maintain and basically need love every time there is a viewer change.

Without a dedicated maintainer it's a huge burden, which is why Catznip dropped skin support years ago, even though it was Kitty who wrote the code to make it possible at all.

There just aren't enough TPV developers and support staff and many of us that are still active are all ready putting in more than a full time jobs worth (on top of full time jobs).

 

No one is getting paid. No one makes any money doing this. There is no reward for someone using our work. This is something we elect to do, for fun .. even though it's often not.

 

Seriously. There's a tiny handful of people making all this possible, we've been doing it over a decade at this point, and burnout is a real problem.

I hate to be the one to say it, but if it's really that important to you, you're going to have to step up and make it happen. I'm genuinely sorry, but those of us left working on these projects can't help. We need help. Please help.

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Everything Coffee said. All the things... Especially the "Please help."
 

25 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Skins are a tremendous amount of work to maintain and basically need love every time there is a viewer change.

Without a dedicated maintainer it's a huge burden, which is why Catznip dropped skin support years ago, even though it was Kitty who wrote the code to make it possible at all.

There just aren't enough TPV developers and support staff and many of us that are still active are all ready putting in more than a full time jobs worth (on top of full time jobs).

 

No one is getting paid. No one makes any money doing this. There is no reward for someone using our work. This is something we elect to do, for fun .. even though it's often not.

 

Seriously. There's a tiny handful of people making all this possible, we've been doing it over a decade at this point, and burnout is a real problem.

I hate to be the one to say it, but if it's really that important to you, you're going to have to step up and make it happen. I'm genuinely sorry, but those of us left working on these projects can't help. We need help. Please help.

 

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16 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

I hate to be the one to say it, but if it's really that important to you, you're going to have to step up and make it happen. I'm genuinely sorry, but those of us left working on these projects can't help. We need help. Please help.

This is essentially the "You Do it" answer which makes huge assumptions about skills.

Incidentally, I was careful to distinguish between Skins and Color Schemes and in the context the difference matters a lot.

I do have some computer language skills, but trust me when I say they would be useless to any TPV project.

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34 minutes ago, arabellajones said:

This is essentially the "You Do it" answer which makes huge assumptions about skills.

You missed the point. None of us, viewer devs, were born with programming skills. The point of the posts above is not the "you do it yourself" but literally "please help us do it, yes you will still need to spend hours on fiddling with tags and files regardless, we can tutor you a bit if needed, as we have almost no resources left and if you won't try, you will see your favourite skin/s turn into void". There's a subtle difference, I think. You're good at research, so check how many people actually code third party viewers - all of them. Spoiler: Numbers may surprise you.

Firestorm team does not "elect to support" any particular colour scheme, nor "deny the choice". Believe me, if it would be possible, we would love to keep Starlight skins in the viewer. As discussed in the previous topic of yours right now it may not be possible.

34 minutes ago, arabellajones said:

I do have some computer language skills, but trust me when I say they would be useless to any TPV project.

Useless? Nonsense. It's all about sacrificing your own private time and doing, essentially, learning + work. For free, for others. Can you do it?

Edited by panterapolnocy
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I've thought about contributing towards TPV's but the issue is mostly one of time. A full time job, managing all 3 of my SL stores, the community in my sim and of course personal life my hands are always pretty full.

Not to mention my background is in higher level languages like C#, Java, PHP, Python etc rather than anything closer to the metal, I imagine learning to deal with all the things that are usually handled for you at my language level is not trivial, not to mention getting to grips with the code base itself...

 

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8 hours ago, arabellajones said:

This is essentially the "You Do it" answer which makes huge assumptions about skills.

Incidentally, I was careful to distinguish between Skins and Color Schemes and in the context the difference matters a lot.

I do have some computer language skills, but trust me when I say they would be useless to any TPV project.

You would absolutely be an asset to any TPV project you wish to support by contributing your time, and you don't need to be a wizard level C++ programmer with a deep understanding of the dark magic that makes this place run to do so.

The viewer code is indeed complicated and requires some study to really get a handle on what's going on, every single TPV programmer showed up blind and leant the hard way, however that is only one of the many skills and roles projects need. Technical writing, managing a JIRA, documentation, guides, tutorials, plain ole web design and end user support are all hugely important skills.

Support is especially important and ranges from general SL questions, helping users navigate the UI, diagnosing problems and rarely, identifying issues that are actually bugs a developer needs to address. Simply being able to spend time with a user having a problem on the off chance you can distill it down into a set of repeatable steps to reproduce a bug is literal gold. Even if it's not a bug just being able to help that one person with one problem can be very rewarding and fun.

"I have some skills that may or may not be relevant, I've been in SL XX years, and I want to get involved and help but I have no idea how I can be useful." is how almost everyone got started.

 

Specifically for UI stuff. The viewer UI is split into 2 parts. an XUI file that tells the viewer how to construct the viewer UI as seen by the user, and a load of C++ that determines what happens when that UI is clicked on or poked. Skinning doesn't need any C++ as that's already in place, the XUI itself is simply wrong and needs to be changed. 

(picture of some XUI)

nbn42zs.png

There is no tool to move buttons around and edit their properties like the good old days of visual basic .. we just just fiddle with the values, look at what the viewer does with it, curse, fiddle some more. It's not really hard (just time consuming) and most UI elements are fairly understandable when you have the rendered UI and the XUI file side by side .. although you should be scared silly about needing to mess with the edit floater, that one's a monster. The hardest part can honestly be knowing which XUI files need work because there are a LOT.

If you do have programming skills, making a tool to open XUI and visually create & edit UI (like good ole VB6) and spit out XUI would make you a literal rock star.

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