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Qarl's prim alignment tool for the Official Viewer?

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As people may have heard, Qarl has recently contributed his prim alignment tool -- which will be familiar to users of most TPVs -- to Linden Lab, for use in the Official Viewer.

Nalates Urriah suggests people who wish to see this adopted should visit the jira and watch both VWR-360 and STORM-468 (closed as a duplicate of VWR-360, but watching it can't hurt).

Although, as I understand it, the alignment tool and/or the viewer code need a bit of tweaking to get it to look right in V-3, I really hope it's adopted soon, so everyone can take advantage of it.   It's such a time-saver.

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

[...] but considering LLs historic refusal to add anything a TPV has developed... I'm not holding my breath for its appearance in the official viewer. Sad, really.

How about avatar physics and the ability to attach multiple objects to one attachment points? They certainly adopted that, both in a better way than the original I think.

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Oh, dear.

As reported by Tateru Nino, Charlar Linden has -- at least for the time being -- rejected the offer.  Charlar says, in the jira, 

Thanks for making this effort. Alignment and snapping are an area where there are useful enhancements to be made. However, we are not able to accept this contribution as it is.

These are the primary issues we found which resulted in that decision:

  • The feature should support the same modes as the other manipulation modes.
  • It does not work for non-mod permission objects.This functionality should work for all objects that the user can manipulate in-world.
  • It only supports World snap mode, not Reference and Local modes, unlike all our other manipulation modes.
  • It packs and aligns to the face of the object bounding box. If objects are not cubes and do not share the same alignment, or aren't aligned with the world coordinates (see above), the result of the operation is unexpected. Ideally the operations would use the actual shape of the object for aligning and packing.
  • There are also some coding implementation style issues that would need to be addressed. These can be covered in more depth after the functionality is dealt with.

In it's current form, this is usable for purely prim-based builders under specific circumstances. It's less useful for building with non-cube prims, mesh, sculpties. It's minimally useful for building when the structure is not facing a global direction (ex: North, South, East, West). It's not usable by non-building residents who need to place and organize purchased items.

Charlar later in the thread explains that 

To be clear, we're hoping that the submitters will make the needed improvements and resubmit.

but it's rather discouraging news, and it's hardly as if LL are adverse to releasing functionality that has room for improvement (Windlight or Mesh, for example) and then improving it as and when.    

I've yet to meet anyone who finds the tool's undoubted limitations a reason not to use it, and some of the complaints -- "not usable by non-building residents who need to place and organise purchased items," for example ... well, neither is the texture picker much good for that, either, and for the same reason.. it's not meant for that -- seem bizzare.


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Generally speaking, third party viewers pressure LL into adopting/improving features simply by how popular the features become among the users, (IMHO). Some examples of features that would not exist today if it weren't for TPV's, but which are now in the LL viewer.

- Avatar physics (formerly breast physics)
- Shared WindLight (Though LL did region WL instead of parcel)
- Multi attachments (originally Secondary attachments)
- Double click TP
- In viewer radar (known as nearby on LL's viewer)
- Verticle IM tabs
- I can go on.. but it doesn't really need to be said.

I suspect with time, this too will eventually be adopted by LL, and I suspect there are some other reasons (unspoken) why LL isn't interested in Qarls patch specifically.

I posted my 2 cents on STORM-468, but in case it gets deleted I'll copy/paste it here.

"Not specifically trying to stir the bee's nest but I wanted to get a word in on this, and this applies to many other features users have asked for but been denied.

In regards to the alignment tool: Most third party viewers have this tool already and while it may not meet "LL standards", people use it... extensively... and they love it... a lot... as it is. It DOES meet your customers standards, isn't that what really matters?

Perhaps surprising to some, Users 'are' actually capable of understanding a tools limitations, draw backs and shortcomings. Most are not children, (and those who are..well, most kids are far more advanced than adults when it comes to hardware/software anyways).

If people don't want to use the tool they wont, but make it available to those who do. If they want to use the tool given it's limitations they will. The bottom line is.. if your users (customers) want it, and it will improve their experience without taking away from others experiences then it should be made available. This feature in particular takes away nothing from the people who have no use for it, but adds a huge building advantage to those who do.

Give your users (customers) the freedom to choose if they use a tool or not. Give your customers the freedom of choice and options within the viewer. This is the fundamental basis that has resulted in the success of third party viewers and is perhaps a lesson that should be learned... yet still hasn't.

Thank you Qarl for the alignment tool, Third party viewers and their users love it and appreciate your efforts tremendously.

/me gets off her soapbox."

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There's one problem with a lot of the things LL added: They're often inferiorand sometimes quite buggier  to what TPVs have. Not to pick on you specifically, just taking the list you provided as an example:

Avatar Physics: LLs implementation is dependent on viewer performance. Settings rarely look the same on different viewers.
Shared Windlight: Useless, as it doesn't support custom settings. Worse, .wl settings can't even be provided in-game.
Multi-attachments and double-click TPs they did right. Jay.
In-viewer radar: Again, LLs radar is significantly inferior. It's the bare minimum. No (chat/avi distance) range indicators, nothing.

That's exactly the problem. LL has to do it "their way". If a TPV would create the ultimate feature that _every_ customer would want, LL would not add it. Not even if every single customer would petition for it. They'd add some inferior bit of sortof-similar code and just smooth it over. It's how LL operates. Customers are at best dirt under their fingernails. At worst, a bannable nuisance.

Here's an old example for what a lot of customers wanted. A good many customers felt that it's no ones business what viewer people use and what IP address people come from (yes, the RedZone fiasco). TPVs quickly implemented media filters and other protective measures. What did LL do? Nothing worth mentioning, and a lot of sweeping things under the rug until we, the idiot customers, shut up and moved on.

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