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More Viewers = Less support for newbies; True or False?


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When I came into SL, there were only V1 viewers, so everybody could help everybody else on the steep learning curve. Now I get asked "How do you do xyz in V2, or v3" and I have no idea (those work much worse for me on my small graphics chip)

I don't think Linden considered that V2 is *not* easier to use than V1, *OR* that community support would be badly affected either. And to be honest, I do not see *any* features of V2 that are compelling.

More Viewers = Less support for newbies; True or False?

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I think this is a problem, but it's been a problem for a long time -- ever since there have been third-party viewers, long before Viewer 2.  The problem got much worse as TPV users evangelized their favorites to folks brand new to SL, and as TPVs diverged further from the Linden viewers.  There are still large areas of overlap, of course -- no TPV has been all that ambitious about defining a whole new UI paradigm, which would be a mammoth undertaking.  But yeah, it's a problem.

On the plus side, some TPV groups are quite good about providing end-user support.  Well, better than LL, at least.

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Well, if everybody would update their viewer, there wouldn't be any V2 V1 questions. Also no newbie will have a viewer which nobody else is using, there will be always someone using the same viewer who can be asked about it. Firestorm or Phoenix are very popular third paty viewers and there are many people using the offical viewer too.

Only if they use one of the not so popular viewers it could be a little more difficult to find someone who can help, but a search for help groups is worth the try.

All in all it hasn't got much harder for a newbie to learn about using the viewer.

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First = true.

But all NEW users should use the viewer promoted on the official homepage and not dig around for any custom viewer from whatever internet page you can trust or not.

The TPV directory is no help because not everyone is digging around the blogs, helppages or forums on their first days.

TPVs are not that big problem because most just add features not remove original functions.

Ingame supports groups are a sensitive thing. A new user who stumbles around trying to learn to walk, dance, chat not even aware you have private chats in IM wont be able to search join then ask (some like me are very shy). Some of the help-groups are busy but not all are very friendly. No telling names but every question i asked left unanswered and they kept on talking rubbish about non viewer things.

Monti

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I do what I can to use every client available at least once.  SL has had multiple UIs for quite a long time (remember OnRez?).  But, I have seen rifts form in the volunteer communities. (._.)

1) Helpers who have self-determined that "Phoenix is best" and won't offer any help until the person they're helping installs it.

2) Helpers who have self-determined that every TPV is a password stealing virus but also don't like V2/V3 so they give out links to LL's last 1.23.5 build.

3) Helpers who run the most fringe client on a computer that still has AGP graphics and goes on to talk about how "bad" SL got since glow/windlight/voice/shared media/web search came out.

4) Helpers who run the absolute most recent release of the LL client yet never diversify enough to see how other UIs behave or what's coming in the near future.

5)6)7)... I can keep going. (=_=)

I don't think it's the UI diversity alone which causes support issues.  It's more this cult of personality which follows each project.  It's brand loyalty run rampant and many are trying to get technology to stall at their own preferred stage of advancement. (._.)

My plea to Mentors, volunteers, support, and helpers is to diversify.  Let people pick their own favorite and support them on the use of that.  No need to 'convert' people from one interface to the next.  If anyone asks me what client I'm running, I half jokingly say "not the one I was using yesterday".  (=_=)

So, no, more viewers do not result in less support.  Shortsighted support associates result in less support. (=_=)y

 

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Monti Messmer wrote:

Some of the help-groups are busy but not all are very friendly. No telling names but every question i asked left unanswered and they kept on talking rubbish about non viewer things.

Monti

 

Signal:noise can be a tricky thing.  Help groups and their hangouts are generally balancing volunteers and 'regulars' and in many ways, finding a volunteer is the proverbial needle in a haystack.  NCI attempts to resolve this by having a seperate community chat group along with the main Q&A group with shaky success.  Though, when landing at our main site in Kuula, the place is very much a community sandbox with a long list of social regulars who aren't really interested in volunteering. =^-^=

**I'll admit some guilt in being a rubbish talker. (^_^)y

 

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To some point i do agree, however the differences between each of the viewers V1's and V2's aren't that very big. Now with the more flexible interface of V3 it's even easier to explain details because the user has decided where a certain button is located on the screen.

However, yes more viewers does of course mean more dividing between residents when it comes to certain details to explain which does not exactly add to reduce the dazzle.

Basics can be easily explained, but details yes they take more time to find out what viewer is in use for the person in question and then see if i can be of any help or if i have to forward it.

All in all I do agree that more viewers doesn't support reduction of confusiion while real differences are relatively little within the same viewer version range V1 / V2 / V3.

Actually i've never been fond of open source software. Although there are of course some very positive examples, too many usually open source developments degrade overall quality and professionality. And to get on the TPV list for LL is much too easy because it is a simple self certification process.

At this moment i would advocate: 

LL to make a prize available for the 2 best 3rd party V2/V3 developments and accept only those 2 for V2/3 alternatives. Repeat that every year. Do the same with V1 this year since LL has dropped user support for it but no further plans to switch off server side V1 support this year.

Make a prize available for development of V4 along with the company who actually is working on a 4. 

In the end we'll have one official 4 viewer and two V4 3rd parties.

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Linda Brynner wrote:

To some point i do agree, however the differences between each of the viewers V1's and V2's aren't that very big. Now with the more flexible interface of V3 it's even easier to explain details because the user has decided where a certain button is located on the screen.

Sorry, wrong. The Menus are totally different, and much of the Preferences.   And since there are 1,000 items (it seems) in the menus and preferences, and most questions are about them, you (and they) are lost.

And I  have an almost new computer, but it has a graphics chip that will support almost Ultra at 20-30 fps with Phoenix V1.5.2 and official v1.... but in V2 and V3, I get only 8-15 fps. And I am not going to buy another computer just for SL, thank you.

Keep in mind that many are buying new fast PCs but which have Intel HD 3000 built-in graphics, which are pretty inadequate for SL (although not bad in Phoenix V1 v1.5.2). My own Mac has a Radeon 6630M which is about twice the power of an Intel HD 3000, but really fares poorly with V2 and (possibly) V3 viewers.

In any case, my point is, with the (ahem, VERY different V1, V2 and ?v3?), it is almost impossible to help newbies with those viewers, and thus Linden have done themselves (and newbies) a severe disservice. I used to do a lot of helping of newbies, and now I can't, sadly.

 

Note:  LL boast that actual new registrations are up by 45%, but if you read further, in-world hours are in decline... Newbies with no help, going away forever?

 

 

 

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Far from impossible.  I support a Q&A group, host a formal Q&A each week and teach two classes on building... All in a V3 client.  My Nvidia GTX295 (far from new) will run about 15 to 20 FPS in LL's V3 with shadows on and about 20 to 25 in Phoenix with shadows off.  (^_^)

That said, the UIs are close enough to only have to deal with a couple hiccups.  Me|Preferences is Edit|Preferences in Phoenix.  When building, Select Face is Select Texture.  It's okay for you to not like something.  But, the broad brush you're trying to paint with is based on biased, vague, and false information.  Complain all you want, I'll be inworld helping people. (^_^)

And, Intel graphics chips are not designed for 3D performance.  You're lucky they work at all with SL.  Complaining that SL lags on an Intel GPU is akin to complaining that the freeway is too dangerous to ride a motorized kickboard.  It's like... Yeah! Of course! (o.O)

 

 

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i can actual follow ur reasoning

i cant help new people because they using the official linden viewer that they downloaded from the official website when they made their official account. thats so bad. if i was linden i would put a big sign on the web page saying please do not use the official viewer for your first inworld experience. please download this other viewer made by someone else because you might run into another person inworld who is not using the official viewer and they wont be able to help you

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16 wrote:

i can actual follow ur reasoning

i cant help new people because they using the official linden viewer that they downloaded from the official website when they made their official account. thats so bad. if i was linden i would put a big sign on the web page saying please do not use the official viewer for your first inworld experience. please download this other viewer made by someone else because you might run into another person inworld who is not using the official viewer and they wont be able to help you

You miss the point. I *can* help others using the various versions of official V1, but I cannot help anyone using V2 or V3 in any incarnation from any source, since those are radically different menus and preferences.

 

Does anyone here use all three Viewer versions? V1, V2, and V3?

Since I only use V1, and V2 does not run well, I can not longer help those with V2 or V3.

 

Am I the only one with this problem? Does this issue make it more difficult for newbies?

 

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as most first time users do use the lastest official viewer, i use it as well when i am in the helping way

am sorry that you cant seem to run v3 on your computer. am surprised that you cant actually

i can run sl using v3.2.5 on a ASUS L1400 lappy, celeron cpu, intel iga gfx accelerator, 256m ram, winXP, over adsl2 copper. just by moving all the sliders to the left and unchecking all the shaders and hardware options. it runs slows usual 4-12fps but that quite adequate to help people with where and how to use the viewer menus and stuff like that

if can run V3.xx on this and you cant on ur computer then u probly have some specific problems with ur hardware

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I have experience in all versions of the SL viewer as well as most TPV's.  Yes there are differences, but I have no problem helping newbs. Many times I'll direct them to a TPV if V3 isn't working well for them.  I'm thankful there is a choice of viewers as some systems run some better than others.

I would be against limiting the number of TPV our there.  Actually I'd love to see more specialization like a viewer specifically for builders or one for scripters etc. to give us more and better tools to work with. Some viewers have the beginnings of this now.   Viewers with better inventory management tools would be welcomed too by a lot of people.  If we had viewers like this you could have several and use the one optimized for the task at hand and make SL easier for even for us old timers.

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Domitan Redenblack wrote:

When I came into SL, there were only V1 viewers, so everybody could help everybody else on the steep learning curve. Now I get asked "How do you do xyz in V2, or v3" and I have no idea (those work much worse for me on my small graphics chip)

I don't think Linden considered that V2 is *not* easier to use than V1, *OR* that community support would be badly affected either. And to be honest, I do not see *any* features of V2 that are compelling.

More Viewers = Less support for newbies; True or False?

So what are you suggesting?  That SL stagnates and never improve to keep up with current trends and technology?  Are you still using Windows 3.1?  

Newbies dont know how to use a feature in V2 or V3 not because the viewers are less easy to navigate than V1.  If they were newbies on V1 they still would not know how to use a feature, because they are newbs, not because one viewer is more difficult than another.

 

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Luschious Nightfire wrote:


Domitan Redenblack wrote:

When I came into SL, there were only V1 viewers, so everybody could help everybody else on the steep learning curve. Now I get asked "How do you do xyz in V2, or v3" and I have no idea (those work much worse for me on my small graphics chip)

I don't think Linden considered that V2 is *not* easier to use than V1, *OR* that community support would be badly affected either. And to be honest, I do not see *any* features of V2 that are compelling.

More Viewers = Less support for newbies; True or False?

So what are you suggesting?  That SL stagnates and never improve to keep up with current trends and technology?  Are you still using Windows 3.1?  

Newbies dont know how to use a feature in V2 or V3 not because the viewers are less easy to navigate than V1.  If they were newbies on V1 they still would not know how to use a feature, because they are newbs, not because one viewer is more difficult than another.

 

I certainly do not expect things to stagnate, and the actual utility of WIndows 3 vs Windows XP or 7 is enormous, unlike the increased utility from V1 to V2 to ?V3? - so that is not a good comparison. A reorganisation of 90% of menus has certainly NOT improved the utility of V2, as I can tell you first hand. It has only created yet-another learning curve to be conquered for existing V1 users, disconnecting them from V2 users, and without much true added utility. This shows that LL are badly unaware of the real day to day struggle of actual users.

 

Two things to note: first, LL tutorials and support are very incomplete, and the in-world "live" support for "how do I do this now?" questions is almost completely missing. To continue to bring newbies into SL with the least pain therefore requires our support.

The consistencey of interface is therefore extremely important, and new viewers should tread lightly, e.g. adding new features rather than removing old ones.  For example: an option to "Use Old Menu Structure" would be very helpful. When using this feature, selecting an item might pop up a note saying where this item is in the new menu structure.

Secondly, the steep learning curve for SL, especially to keep experienced users and newbies connected, demands a forward looking approach with Community-Ease-of-Support as central to design, in order to keep 90% of newbies from leaving SL in first week (yes, I see this all the time, more now in fact, and LL's own statistics indicate this). To this end, far more in-Viewer support needs to be provided, with in-world access to demos, videos and/or website pages.

I believe, sincerely, that the future of SL (and therefore LL) depend on this. SL is complex and rich and with a truly amazing community, unlike any other I have ever seen online. The pain of the learning curve affects everyone, newbies and old-hands alike, and to increase this confusion while adding dubious additional utility, is a very bad strategy to stay alive (first rule of business; Stay in business).

 

Also, I want to note that I love the SL community, spend a significant fraction of my life here now, and seriously wish to make SL better for all. I do want to see new members coming into SL and not feeling the frustration I had as a newbie, and to definitely feel the amazing support I did have from others in the community as a newbie myself.

 

 

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As I see it, the problem is not just having several different viewers.  That in itself is not such a huge problem since newbies actually now first come in on a Linden run island with actual inworld helpers.  As a newbie, you come in with the newest viewer.  Its only after they come farther into the grid they pick up a different viewer.  If a survey was done, I would bet its because of performance issues of the Linden viewer.  It is a resource hog.  ANY viewer completely based on V2 platform is a resource hog.  I know.  I have a computer that was ordered to handle all kinds of graphics, video, etc.  I run AutoCad and SketchUp at the same time often PLUS have a video going and it handles all 3 very easily.  Let me start the newest LL viewer or Firestorm and my computer struggles.  So I use Phoenix.  So here you have a problem that the newbies like SL, but struggle to run V3 on their computer and start looking for a solution.  That in a nutshell is probably the biggest reason newbies are running anything other than the official viewer.  Solution?  Linden Labs needs to make a viewer that is not such a resource hog.  It can be done.  They just need the right people on the job.

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namssab1nad Piers wrote: 
Solution?  Linden Labs needs to make a viewer that is not such a resource hog.  It can be done.  They just need the right people on the job.

Excellent!

I think LL failed to acknowledge the trend in the industry, led by Intel, to "built-in" graphics in the main CPUs, e.g. the HD 3000 that so very many people have now, including 3/4 of my friends here. These are going to become more and more common, and will eventually get better, but never as good as separate video cards. In a booming economy where everyone has jobs <rant>never again btw thanks to 50 yrs of tax breaks for the rich invested in our overseas competitors</rant> then perhaps people would not buy "the cheapest at N MHz" (or whatever the salesman is pushing today). But they do, and we are going to see a lot more residents with lower-end graphics.

As often happens in tech companies ( and I have been in many ) where the engineers have top of the line PCs, and therefore expect customers to have them as well. This is a bad management mistake.

A viewer with the same menu structure and preferences optimised for Intel HD 3000, etc, might make a the best investment LL can make in the near future.

And as I said earlier, thought about how to allow V1 residents to coach V2 or V3 residents, would be a big win (pop up notes saying where a menu item is in other viewers' menu structures).

 

What is the breakdown of Viewer version usage in SL these days, btw? I would say that 3/4 of people I know still use Pheonix V1.5.2 due to it's speed, or Firestorm <current>, plus a smattering of other TPVs. Very very few use official Viewers from LL that I know, perhaps 10% only.

 

 

 

 

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linden made a deliberate choice to go with high end graphics and powerful computers when secondlife was first envisage. linden decide to make a cutting edge, never before done fully interactive programmable user gen content, always online streaming environment. philip linden was always clear about that

linden as a company still have that view seems like. while they also do put lots of work into making their viewer run on a medium range computer, the top end has always been their focus. medium and lower end being less of a priority for them in terms of company resource allocation

basically features, additives, cool and moar is what drives the linden creatives. always has done. see the discussion about changing back to lastsnames for moooaaarrr !!!  jejejejje (:

stability and stuff like that are important to the linden company and bottom line obv. and us as well bc we have to eat it. but thats not what drives the linden creatives

can be frustrating for ppl with programming experience to see this. linden is just not a software development company tho. never has been and is not likely to change. not like say microsoft, or even a volunteer software dev community like blender or ubuntu. linden as a company are creatives who know a bit about programming, quite a bit some of them, but they creatives first even then. is quite different to traditional dev companies as we normally see them

+

bc i am mostly in places where new ppl do congregate, my inworld experience is about 70% official viewer. the 30% are moslty 3+ years veterans raised on V1. they also the grumpiest ppl ever in any inworld chat about viewers (:  the rest on a variety of tpvs and homebakes. quite a few of them just bc they can and they trying out whatever the latest viewer dazzle is to see what is. i am the same like that. am always trying out tpvs just bc i can

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I haven't had a problem helping newbies, no matter which viewer they're using. Generally newbies are using the official viewer, anyway.

I've been using Phoenix and now Firestorm ever since V2 came out. But the things that new users usually need or have problems with are pretty much in the same place, no matter what the viewer.

One advantage of Phoenix/Firestorm is that you can see which viewer a person is using, which makes it easier to help.

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i used LL's v3 plus i use firestorm which has an option for the phoenix interface or the v3 mesh version..you can switch it around before you log in to either which is nice..

some things LL's viewer is better for and other things i like the firestorm viewer for..

i really don't think there is that huge of a difference to where i couldn't help someone new to sl with a viewer problem..

a lot of the stuff they are asking unless it is a major problem is pretty much not that technical or difficult and usually related to most of the viewers if it's not a grid thang..

why am i a cloud??how come i look all stumpy??orwhy am i all blurry? how do i get my hair off my azz and this box off my head LOL

 

 

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