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DartAgain

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  1. Disclaimer that I wasn't bashing the marketplace on the whole, it is an improvement from XStreet. But if you really want to start a geek holy war, bring it! (kidding) I only mentioned the rewrite to Ruby to point out that if there was some cruft left over from XStreet, after an LL rewrite, 2 major DB migrations, and 2 major iterations of Direct Delivery, that XStreet magic box cruft should be long gone and not affecting the current marketplace any longer. Any cruft remaining should be of LL's own making. But here's the thing. XStreet wasn't built on a framework, while the current marketplace in Ruby was. It's always harder to maintain code based on a framework (and Rails expertise isn't fun or as common as PHP). If they'd stuck with PHP, it would have been easier to alter, although they'd have had to do more coding themselves. AND PHP is certainly up to the task, it's seen major improvements and speed increases since that time. Heavier sites than the marketplace use PHP at least as a front end tier with ease. Never used WebDNA, can't speak to it. The thing I miss is that XStreet did better historical data on sales for the merchant. And charts, must have sales charts! And if you reported a significant well written bug report to Apotheus he would toss you a couple thousand L$ privately and get it fixed within a reasonable timeframe.
  2. Missing a step in there. XStreet was written in PHP (I know, I've seen the code), which was later rewritten in Ruby by LL, based on the Spree shopping cart.
  3. Being ruthed like some others said. No one seems to take you seriously with full facial hair, hairy chest and breasts. First piece of mainland I bought as a noob sight unseen. Probably the most unbuild-able piece of land in SL on a steep cliff. Poseballs: I learned to hate them. Being stuck floating in the air and not being able to stop the animation. I think they were stray poseballs from a sex bed. Coded a chat relay system and forgot about it. Next thing I know I'm having a private conversation and broadcasting it to everyone on the other side of the sim. Related to poseballs, someone said to try clicking on a rather hideous looking creature. I don't remember who created those things. More on this I will not say.
  4. That's true, it's possible that anyone has legitimately licensed the rights to a particular work, although for bigger brands it's expensive and not likely to be approved without a promised threshold of income in the contract. The less popular the brand the more possible it is that you can license it affordably. Although there is something LL can do about it if they really wanted to. LL could request that any licensed brand be registered with LL, with a copy of the authorization/contract between the brand and the creator. LL could then relatively confidently remove any products that aren't registered with them. Of course that would mean that LL would lose money on the infringed products. But hey, why combat a problem that you profit from?
  5. Sacrificial goats! The smell of burning goat hair is hard for a Linden to miss. I've sacrificed one for you to see if I could summon a Dakota ....
  6. Translation: As we decline and spend on Sansar and other projects we try to make up for it in other ways. It's far better to take it from you than to dip into our own profit margin.
  7. In SL, anyone can be Rachel Dolezal. Best to keep it virtual though, it's not going well for Rachel Dolezal.
  8. Well, it used to be easier to see when they published quarterly reports, especially when they were more accurate (but still vague) in breaking down sinks and sources. Also, the Lindex is only telling you a fraction of what's going on, such as when sinks exceed a certain pool and new L$ are printed, etc. Remember also, that money that is taken out, must also be replaced. User to user transactions don't touch what happens when you need to print new money. Some years ago they used to say things about how they were trying to float a pool of $100 million USD in the exchange and so forth. I've been designing large economy simulation systems (and AI, weather, and so on) since the 90's on MUDs and then on other projects through the years. We're currently working on one game project now and working out some new currency ideas. One thing I can say though, the best way to deep dive into how to monetize currency is to make up your own fictional game on paper and work out how you make money. Start with seeding currency with easy numbers like backing it with $10,000 USD in initial currency sales to your users in your fake companies bank account and a conversion of $X USD equals $Y ChinRey dollars. Apply some sinks for an understanding of how to keep more of your real money in your bank account. If you're really wanting to do some exercises, mimic SL's exchange and then you'll start to see how strictly user to user transactions are impossible to maintain an economy. Always factor in how it's affecting your real bank account and real dollars. Give a play at churn and what might happen when the money goes from Bill to Betty to Bob in various combinations with sinks and cash-outs and new money purchases, etc.. At any rate, you should see that there's more going on in your system than user to user transactions on an "exchange". LL's system is just needlessly complex in this modern day of monetization in everything from content sales to services to cell phone apps to many variations of F2P models. People don't begrudge a more forthright monetization and we don't have to deal with the liabilities and government regulations and theft and laundering issues to the extent that LL has boxed itself into to the detriment of their users by trying to play "virtual" money-is-but-isn't-real money. Government doesn't like Bitcoin because it breeds the opportunity to do bad things in an untraceable way. Same with L$ although on a different level as you can see with IP theft and people not being able to instantly cash out money that they've legitimately earned without jumping through hoops.
  9. There are plenty of places where users sell content, where theft is not rampant within those sales venues. Let me clarify: LL makes as much or more money from virtual currency as they do land. It is designed so that this currency is bought, and then play money churns and churns, while sinks are applied, fees are applied on cash-out, etc. It is in the best interests of a game-monetized system (and LL) to let anyone who applies sell and for anyone that wants to create (or steal) to keep this virtual money churn going on a large scale. When you separate the game-style monetization and currency from the marketplace, you simply have less of these problems. Take Turbosquid or Renderosity for instance. While these markets may have theft, there is little theft and resale within those markets themselves. In some markets you must register with proper real-life information and tax information before you can even start selling. In some markets there's an approval process before content is listed. Thus the problem is eliminated in a market like Turbosquid of users ripping a Turbosquid model and then reselling it on Turbosquid itself. There you have it. The problem will persist as long as merchants are not treated as real-life business folk, anonymity is rampant, there's no approval process on goods and virtual money is used in place of real money. And yes there are ways L$ could be refactored to work with real money, if LL stopped pretending that it's just user-to-user transactions with no printing of virtual currency, no fiddling with seeding it, infusing it and taking an abundance out of it. We've solved it in other games with a dual currency system of real money/game currency. This would require some overhauls on LL's part, but until those large issues are addressed, IP theft will continue to be rampant.
  10. Mobile is a tough, saturated market and I don't think LL is willing to hire the big marketing guns it takes to rise above the rest, or know how to do large scale launches. Then they tend not to be able to manage a fast pace in development once the product is out there. Not to say that they can't, a sandbox-prim kind of thing has potential if you can add something special that Minecraft and similar ventures don't have. And they don't understand how to achieve a polished product. For instance compare LL's Blocksworld with ROBLOX.
  11. LL has tried. Hit or miss. Patterns: Failed Blocksworld: Still ticking, but only for iPad/iOS. I suppose that could be ported for more devices. Might be interesting to do something more SL-ish for mobile though.
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