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Rai Fargis

Linden Lab: Please do not merge Basic and Advanced mode

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In his latest blog post Rodvik Humble writes: "Soon you will see us merge the Basic and Advanced modes, which will eliminate the need to switch. All functionality will be in one mode with easier-to-use controls."
I am worried about this. It makes me believe that LL wants to dumb down Second Life's excellent control scheme.  Basic mode feels extremely awkward and does not even have Mouselook (first person) mode.  Does LL want to kill Mouselook? They already tried to kill WASD once, and reverted that decision only after a huge user protest. Maybe I am wrong here, but I believe LL is planning to screw up the official Second Life Viewer even more than it already is.

Dear Linden Lab: Do NOT dumb down Second Life's control scheme. It's fine the way it is with Mouselook mode, WASD (strafing) and great camera controls.
Take a good look at the Singularity viewer. IMHO, that's a great Second Life viewer - as opposed to Viewer 2 or 3 which I think is nothing but bloated and annoying. I can not speak for anyone else, but: I strongly dislike Viewer 2/3. I tried to get used to it for days and for several times. Almost every user I meet in SL prefers alternative viewers, except for new users (until they are told about alternatives). If you, Linden Lab, change Second Life's controls to a "Basic" IMVU-style control scheme, you will lose even more users to third party viewers such as Phoenix, Firestorm and Singularity. 

Except for Second Life there is not a single virtual world on the market that ever got the controls right - but Second Life got them 100% right from the beginning. WASD, first person view and great camera controls. Do not mess with it. Develop a new SL viewer from the strenghts of what you have, do not think about dumbing down SL.



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I read Rob Humble's comment about basic/advance modes and didn't come to the same conclusion that you did.  For years there has been complaint after complaint about the SL viewer interface and how odd it was, how difficult it was for newbies to use..........it was "totally unintuitive" and need major reworking.  Well LL finally got around to do just that with Viewer 2......and look at the big turn around in attitudes.  Everyone, apparently, hates the interface.  Everyone thinks it's distroying the SL experience (but that was the same argument presented when the complaining about the viewer 1.xx type of interface was the viewer SL presented us).  It's impossible to satisfy every user and make a viewer that is "intuitive" to every person who looks at it..  It's eye candy.........that's all.

 

One of the biggest problems with the Viewer 2 type interface is the "basic" and "advanced" mode.  It was an effort to make life a little easier for new arrivals with just some of the "basic" stuff available until the user gained a little experience.  Nice idea, I think.  But, in order to switch from one mode to the other you have to log off and back on..........that is, in my opinion, a very stupid thing to do.  What Rod was referring to was changing that need to log off and then log back on unnecessary to make the switch.  And that is an improvement.........actually fixing something that should never have been done in the first place.  It's not dumbing down SL in any way.  It's fixing something that was probably one of the most annoying things about the V-2 type viewers.

 

No matter what they do, someone (actually many someones) will bitch about it.  We're getting a new interface for the SL viewers......nothing new about that at all.  We'll get used to it or move to a third party viewer (who, eventually, will wind up with a very similar interface anyway).  Where you got LL dumbing down SL from a interface change I'm really struggling to understand.  Don't worry, though, there will plenty of drama about it when it happens.

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actually, i think phoenix, emergance (yes Emerrald too) were more intuitive viewers that LL's was at any tiem, and now with viewer 2/3. firestorm and the like, i find them LESS user friendly as i can never find anything. in the old viewers, everything was where you would expect it to be and labelled. Now it just all effed up. STOP FIXING THINGS THAT ARENT BROKEN ( AND EFFING THEM UP IN THE PROCESS) and spend that time and money on servers, fighting lag, fighting spammers and griefers and get back to the good customer service we USED to have before the great staff cull of 2010.

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 The current Basic mode is horribly restricted. Good riddance, I say. It wasn't a bad Idea, but the way it was done seemed to take no account of what people in SL actually do.

How, when a new user asks for help, can you do anything when you can't give them a landmark or a notecard that they can access?

What seems to be in the wind is another UI change. It would be nice if that would include a basic/advanced switch which  didn't need me to logout, effectively giving a decluttered UI, but the way so much seems to be set in XML files read at program start-up, I'm doubtful it can be done.

Rod Humble said he wanted easier switching, a long time back. Now he's talking about a "merge", and I would make a small bet that his original idea ran foul of the program design. Dropping Basic Mode and calling it a "merge" is maybe what's happening and keeping Mouselook fits with that phrasing.

But I don't know what's happening, and my experience suggests that the Viewer team will present us with a fait accompli that has little connection with what anyone has said. They act like a bunch of deaf, dumb, and even blind, kids. And they play lousy pinball.

 

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There's a psychology to this, and it's common to everyone.  Let me put an analogy:

"Joe has been driving the same car for ten years.  After all that time, the panels are rusted, the windshield wipers are long broken, the engine makes horrible black smoke, the mileage is pathetic, the muffler is dragging on the ground, the interior smells like a kennel, the radio is long since inoperable, and the air-conditioning is provided via a hole in the floor.  Irregardless of the heap he is driving, Joe loves his old-faithful car (ol' Betsy) that (barely) gets him from A to B.

Finally, after those ten years, Joe's friends convince him to buy a new car.  He purchases a 2011-whatever.  The body panels are sleek and shiny, the mileage is amazing, it has that new-car smell, the engine is all but silent, the stereo is state-of-the-art, and it comes with all the neat features (GPS, security, MP3 player, DVD player, automatic seatbelts, etc...).

Yet, with all this, as Joe gets in and turns the key...the first thing he does is start to whine and complain that "it's just not the same as ol' Betsy" and promptly begins to point out everything thats "wrong" with the new car."

 Folks, this is exactly what we saw when V2 appeared, it's what we're seeing now with V3, and we'll continue to see it with V4, V5, V6...

 

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Thrayce, viewer 1.23 is neither broken, nor does it make black smoke or have a hole in the floor. But to stick with your analogy for a while:  Many people I know did not just turn the key in that "new car" called Viewer 2.x and start "whining". They drove around in it for several days, then decided it's not for them.  I know I did.  These are all the people you see with a "Phoenix" or "Singularity" tag in SL (in case you see those tags, which you can not if you are using Viewer 2.x).
Frankly, you are missing the point a bit.
With viewer 2.x Linden Lab "fixed" things that were not broken at all.
The reason for my original post here was Rodvik's announcement to "merge" Basic mode and Advanced mode. The key word being "merge" here.  If Linden Lab wants to get rid of the need to log off between switching modes: that's fine with me. But the word "merge" has a different meaning. We can not be sure what Rodvik means exactly. But it could mean that the horrible awkward IMVU-style controls of Basic mode will be imposed on all users.

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You're right, 1.23 isn't broken it's just a horrible mashup of old code, antiquated, no longer supported, no longer updated, does not render mesh, cannot upload mesh to the grid, does not have multiple layers, does not have proper multiple attachment points, does not have avatar physics, etc etc etc. It's not broken, it lacks functionality.

In my experience chatting with people using 1.23 and V1 TPVs it seems most are simply resistant to change of any kind and will stick with their beloved V1 until they have no choice but to upgrade "if" their computers are powerfull enough to allow them to run the new viewer.

You also make many asusmptions about upcoming changes to the viewer "2.X" and FYI the updated SL viewer is now in the 3.X phase. There is a 3.X Development Viewer available here for download that shows how the new viewer will look and work.

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I think what Thrayce Lanley said is true. Her analogy is not wrong, it's the right analogy. The most of the older users used the older viewer interface so long, that they used to it. (accustoms/customized)

One year ago, I came back from a longer SL-Break and found the new Viewer 2. Before my break, I used the old Viewer and the Emerald Viewer for a long long time. But I really like clean, understandable and workflow optimized user interfaces. The old ones was overfilled with functions and buttons, what for us old users don't really a problem, but for the new users Viewer 1 Interfaces was a big barrier.

I've tested Viewer 2 seven days long, and switched then back to Emerald. But I've found out of the benefits from the Viewer 2 and can't work without them anymore. Only the web-profiles bring me back to the ThirdPartyViewers, because this feature was so bad implemented and slowly that I can't like and work with it for a longer time. Thanks the Phoenix Project his Firestorm Viewer (which I really like since Beta 3, because V3-Interface-Mode), I avoid the official SL-Viewer.

Peggy Paperdoll, you can't say the TPVs like Phoenix/Emerald with the classic interface was more intuitive as the new one. It was the TPV-Community who pushed new users to use the TPV Viewers, so they don't have to work or know more about the Viewer 2. The most users I know cried like a baby and switched back in few hours, when they tested the Viewer 2. Then the tried to make the official Viewer bad for new users... No wonder that newbie's forced by the TPV-Community to use TPVs instead the official Viewer.

That don't mean I don't like TPVs, I use Firestorm and don't accept the new/slow web-profiles. I only don't understand the small-minded behave of the most V1 Interface Lovers.

I hope the Firestorm Project will going on and allow users to decide which interface type and behavior they used to. (between V1 and V2/3)

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>> You're right, 1.23 isn't broken it's just a horrible mashup of old code, antiquated, no longer supported, no longer updated

 

It seems to me you never used the Singularity viewer, which is based on 1.23 yet supports Mesh, and renders faster than any other viewer. Phoenix viewer will support Mesh, too. So it's possible.

Anyhow... this thread was not intended be about viewers. Maybe I was not clear enough about this in my original post. The thread is supposed to be  about the possible consequences of merging Basic and Advanced controls. Rodvik Humble announced that in his latest blog post - and I think it's a bad idea, because it could dumb down the control scheme for everyone. I know I dont want to click the floor for walking to a certain spot! I want WASD controls, first person view and strafing.

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I never used the Basic Mode and don't have problems with the advanced mode. So long they don't give specific informations about the plans how they want to mearging them, the topic not so importend.

It seems to me you never used the Singularity viewer, which is based on 1.23 yet supports Mesh, and renders faster than any other viewer. Phoenix viewer will support Mesh, too. So it's possible.

Hihi... try the new Beta Viewer or Exodus Viewer... the new Engine was really faster and a really improvment for Secondlife.

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You can see what the plans are if you use the current beta. They're adding the option to have the basic "Avatar" , "Destinations" and "How do I..." to the basic interface, and have made it (theoretically) customizeable. You can pick what menus and buttons you want to see and where you want to put them. I've been using it for a few days and in the latest developer version it seems to crash a lot less with modern video cards.

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well they did it, and it sucks, they ruined it, people had 2 options if you were a child you would play basic and adults would play advance, id like to slap the moron on the side of the head who ever thought it would be a good idea to merge them both, Iv never been so confused on this game untill today with their bright idea of merging them.

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Okay, I tried the Beta viewer now and I must say: They did not screw up Controls.  Yes, you can click spots IMVU-style to walk somewhere, but:  Mouselook Mode, WASD, strafing and camera controls are still there, so it feels alright.  I don't see where they "merged" modes here - it seems more like they just ditched Basic mode, which is okay to me.

 

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