Catalogue of errors

/me shakes head in disbelief.

Things have been happening lately that you really need to know about… things that may well have crept under your own personal radar because, as seems to be always be the case – especially in recent times, the only way you’ll ever find out about half of these is if you have an army of investigators digging into the inner machinations of Linden Lab.

So, just in case you missed them, here’s the lowlights that have surfaced this week…

Beta rollout of the ‘received items’ folder
Sounds inoccous doesn’t it? This feature was promised a while back and was eagerly awaited by traders – the original premise: direct delivery of Marketplace items straight into a ‘received items’ folder in the inventory; simple, useful and a feature that was wanted by us. Now, the Lab have unveiled their monster… a folder into which everything you take, buy, take a copy of, receive or have returned to what is currently ‘lost & found’ is going to be unceremoniously and indiscriminately dumped into one morass. It also appears to break scripts that allow vendors to deliver folders into your inv.

Imagine the sheer annoyance of taking items that you’ve rezzed back into inventory and, instead of it going back into its original folder, it goes to ‘received items’ instead. Consider doing a spot of Marketplace shopping over your lunch break, when you can’t go inworld, then later when you log in you find that everything you’ve bought is in your received folder… six pairs of boots, all messed in together, each with those anonymous footshapers – how on earth are you going to unscramble that chaos?

Read all about it here. Coming to a region near you soon… unless we can stop them! Watch it (voting does nothing, watching does), on the Jira here. More information here.

Changes to 3rd Party Viewer Policy
Some teeny weeny changes – published yesterday – which seem fairly inoffensive until you consider what they really mean.

Here’s the gist of it:

Over-zealous ‘privacy’ protection – When i say over-zealous, consider this: LL will not permit anything built into TPVs that will identify what viewer or system any resident is using – so, goodbye to viewer tags for a start. Also, LL are going to break some LSL calls that disclose the true online status of a resident – this is really going to screw up lot’s of objects that rely on these scripts. You have no choice in this – using a particular viewer won’t help – the Lab are going to break the code anyway. Expect it to happen early next week.

The shared experience – There are a few strands to this; firstly TPVs will not be allowed to introduce anything into a viewer that changes the way the virtual environment is experienced that hasn’t also been implemented in the official Viewer. Under this ruling, things like Emerald’s multiple attachment points would never have been allowed, neither would parcel Windlight. If the third party developers come up with a cool new feature of this sort in future, Linden Lab will insist that they get to vet it, break it, and implement it in the official Viewer, before any 3rd party viewer is allowed to use it. Oh joy!

Secondly, Existing stuff that falls into the above category will have to be changed in 3rd party viewers to match the official Linden version if, and when, the lab implements their own one.

Thirdly, if a feature’s not in the official viewer, you can’t have it. So, if the Lab don’t like a new shared experience feature proposed by a TPD, then it won’t be allowed in any viewer.

These changes, i think, are shameful. At best they’re going to slow down viewer development and stifle innovation, at worst third party dev’s might just stop bothering – because there’s little incentive for them to do anything new here.

Read more here and hear Oz Linden haranguing the developers here, (call me cynical, but take a listen at 50 minutes… is this what a lot of this nonsense is really all about – getting people to do all the hard work for the Lab for nothing? If it is, it’s a worrying trend that seems to have surfaced recently).

If you ask me, it’s only a matter of time before the Lab pull their open source code entirely because it’s becoming more closed and secretive by the day.

s. x

This entry was posted in Linden Love, Rants, SL, Techietalk. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Catalogue of errors

  1. As much as I’d like to be optimistic about the new TPV policy changes, there was a legitimate reason why Joe Linden originally revoked the now infamous 2.k provision a few years back, and if I remember correctly, it was specifically because the provision was seen as decidedly anti-TPV, against Open Source and can be (and likely would be) used as a blank check excuse to be malicious against TPV innovation, while stacking the deck of development in an unfair advantage in favor of Linden Lab at the explicit expense of TPVs. Now that Joe Linden is no longer with Linden Lab (I assume) there is nobody to have stopped the reintroduction of that 2.k provision – and since Linden Lab really wanted it, and the current remaining batch of Lindens aren’t speaking against it on behalf of the community, it has been added.

    The list of features that Linden Lab was originally going to insist be stripped from TPVs (as I’ve heard) was a veritable laundry list of things we’ve become accustomed to having. If not for the negotiations and likely outright pleading of TPVs, LL would have enjoyed a commanding premise to force TPVs to sabotage themselves.

    In fact, they still do enjoy that privilege today with the 2.k provision. Anything that got a “free pass” initially to stay in does not give any indication that Linden Lab will not use that same provision to change their minds later on. So, at best, I see the inclusion of those features still as nothing more than a stay of execution until such time as Linden Lab thinks the heat has died down.

    If that 2.k provision had been introduced when Linden Lab originally wanted it, things like Mesh Deformer would not exist today, among a large number of things that make the Second Life experience much better.

    • Effectively, the lab are dangling the Sword of Damocles over the heads of the TPVs and it could fall at any time. That’s a frightening and sobering thought.

      i struggle with reconciling the position the Lab continually takes with the underlying ethos of sl. They maintain a platform that is wholly about community and collaboration, they’re more than happy to jump into bed with other providers who have no vested interest in sl, like Facebook and Twitter, and yet appear to be actively undermining and rallying against the TPV devs who have supported and improved the sl experience for thousands of users over the years and collaborated throughout, with the lab, sharing the wealth and pushing the Lab constantly to implement improvements. i’ve never seen Linden Lab demand, for example, that Facebook should change its own policy to allow sl avatar accounts.

      i find Linden Labs position untenable and, quite frankly, rather stupid.

      Many thanks for your illuminating comment 🙂

      s. x

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