Wednesday, January 12, 2011

we'll find you when the sun goes black

The Elf Clan blog ponders whether Linden Labs is deliberately trying to force PG sims to close. What's the odd point for me--whether that's a blatant conspiracy theory or not--is that the Labs have done just about everything they could (from massive port failures, event listings that don't, all the way to breaking Search seemingly irreparably) to ensure that most Adult businesses are also failing.

Which defaults me back to maybe the Labs at heart really don't want anyone on their grid. At all.

Pursuant to that, according to this JIRA entry, the 'new' web-based profile system? Supposedly breaks a ton of existing content, and I'm not just talking the bells and whistles, like profile picks (again). No, this one, by report, manages to break security orbs and some group discount vendors (among a TON of other things).

So, I was thinking that the Lindens have lost their collective minds, AGAIN, but then I started thinking. And talking to friends. Some comments pulled from that conversation:

me: Also:
them: Why the Jiras?
me: So, I had dismissed the new web profile thing as no big deal
turns out there are two big deals
1. That's the future format; in-world profiles will be phased out, increasing lag and decreasing the amount of accessible info;
2. the implementation of web-based profiles, because they rely on an entirely different standard of access, have broken security orbs and most security levels in SL

them: Lies, and lies.
me: How so?
them: I've heard nothing about in-world profiles being removed and have no reason to believe they will be. These are simply the new version of the external version of the profiles we've always had.
So unless you can show some sort of proof that in-world profiles are being removed, I'll have to respectfully call that a lie, or at best an unsubstantiated rumor.

Okay, considering I'm just going by what Cummere Mayo is saying, it may well be an unsubstantiated rumor--so far. I'm planning on seeing if there's validity to at least the security orb claim once I get in world next.

them: Second, they scripted it wrong.
There's no reason why a security orb should be accessing your profile. It's not needed. Unless the Orb is specifically searching Groups and Picks and banning you for having one.
If it is?
It's scripted wrong.
All a Security orb needs is your UUID, which it gets by detecting you, and really that's it.

Which, as far as I know, is true. A security orb--really, any security system--shouldn't be accessing anything other than your avatar ID.

How'ver, some of the other problems--like group discounts going buggy, group-only land not recognizing members of the group, profile picks (yet again): sure, some of those will default to coding issues, but where else is the programming designed to look for group membership but the profile? How else are groups listed?

them: Does it break some content, yes, it happens. It sucks, but it does. You should look on the web sometime at all the old code that never got updated but was broke years ago by some change to C++ or the like.
You either hope to God the person who made it is still updating, or, if they aren't, realize you bought into a dead company and move on.

Save for I don't think any of us want to summarily name Second Life a dead land and Linden Labs a dead company.

me: I know, I know, and this goes back to the whole 'but SL is not the intarwebs!' talk we were having yesterday

The day before we'd been discussing the odd tendency, among SL residents, to disconnect Second Life (as a game/experience/life experiment/social experiment/whatever) from the internet at large. SL is part and parcel of the internet; while you can get into SL without accessing the web, you still need a connection to the net in order to log in in the first place.

them: But this is beyond that.
Just recently, in that Real Life thing, which I believe most people in SL are aware of...
We had this thing where Old TV's that used bunny ears? Wouldn't work anymore.
It was a needed freeing of those waves for an outdated and outmoded protocol.
It happens.
SL does its level best to keep backwards compatibility, sometimes to the detriment of actual progress. See "Resident".

Which is all true. We evolve, we grow, we change; our technologies also evolve, grow and change. I can't slide a ten-inch disc into my computer anymore and expect it to run; the tech has moved beyond that. Hells, my computer doesn't even have a functional 3.5 inch floppy drive!

them: But this time they didn't, likely because it was them changing an external thing.
This would be like complining if Twitter suddenly changed their Authorization method and broke a lot of programs
Oh wait.
They did.

me: this is true
them: Programs updated, or they didn't.
The people you need to be pissed at are the people you bought it from.

me: I don't have a security orb
them: I know
Really, Linden lab deserves a lot, but people just jump on them for everything. I can only imagine this is how Crystalshard Foo feels when people poke her about the house they bought, or Winter [Ventura] gets complaints about that awful megaprim thing.
Linden labs really can't do much but look at them and say, "Talk to the maker. We didn't break any LSL or In-World features."

Well, technically, they did--profile picks are broken (again), group gift delivery seems to be at least partially broken, group discounts seem to be broken, and then there's the previously mentioned security orb issue...which still needs to be verified, but that's on the list.

When one purchases Galtier's bodybuilder avatar, does one just get boobs, with the prim nipples? Or the underlying shape as well? Obviously not the skin, as it's clearly pointed out that is not included in the offering.

Of course, all that goes to why one would want that...unless one is a bodybuilder RL, and wants to match the physique? Maybe?

[2011/01/13 04:26] Cloud Lemton: Well...I'm not going to be fighting you anytime soon.
[2011/01/13 04:27] Cloud Lemton: it's hard not to godmod with this character and I can't just switch because the character is me
[2011/01/13 04:27] Cloud Lemton: it's my 'sona

First problem: "persona" is too short a word to really need to be abbreviated.

Second problem: It's hard not to godmod with that character, because that character is him?

Third problem, codicil of the second: He godmods in real life? The hell? How does that work?


Dio said...

"Which defaults me back to maybe the Labs at heart really don't want anyone on their grid. At all."

One time I did contract work for a museum where the staff was fond of saying, "you know...this place would run a whole lot better if we just weren't forced to let the public come in."

I could see how the Labsters would have been working from that perspective all along. We nasty residents really kind of clutter up their lovely experiment.

Emilly Orr said...

And, when you think on it in that light:

* Burning Life would still be going
* Zindra would never have been necessary
* Videos look better if you have absolute control over what's in them
* Press conferences would never be griefed

Really, all things considered, it makes financial sense, too. No complaints, fewer servers, less crashes, zero griefing (can't grief a population that doesn't exist), and the Linden lands? Would be the entire grid. So there wouldn't be that Linden enclave/public sim disconnect.

Rhianon Jameson said...

I Godmod in Real Life *all the time*. "Rhianon's well-articulated argument was persuasive, leading to the correct decision being made." Et cetera. The only trouble is that it doesn't work very well.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Jameson,

I take your point. Okay, yes, it's possible, but even then, as you said--it doesn't work out all the time, so obviously, even godmodding can be overwritten. Or...whatever the RL equivalent is.

It's just more difficult, and there's always the chance of said character--being "him"--getting irked and stomping off in a fit of pique because things didn't go his way...

Emilly Orr said...

Ooh! Ooh! Dio! I thought of another one!

Without residents cluttering up the pure and perfect landscape, there wouldn't have been gambling problems, banking snafus, campers and bots, and child sex rumors!

And zero gods, can you imagine it? Pure glittering seas, astonishing vistas of light and sound, and no scripts and over-prim issues to drag things down.

Empty, sure. Sterile. Lifeless. But free of lag!

Fogwoman Gray said...

And if you want to see that in real time I suggest a foray into Blue Mars. But hurry.

Fogwoman Gray said...

Ah...except the free of lag bit ;)

Emilly Orr said...

So, no one around, plus high lag? Great, the worst of both worlds.

Do I detect a hint that Blue Mars might be closing soon? Doesn't exactly surprise me. Extreme lack of avatar customization; extreme difficulty for most people to even get into the program due to a stepped-up technology/higher-end graphics need.

Winter Ventura said...

Inworld profiles will be REPLACED with targeted pop-up mini webkit windows, that access the web profiles.

I have seen screenshots of how this works in the most recent nightly builds of the SL viewer.

The goal is to remove profiles from the sidebar, and once again allow people to open more than one profile at a time inworld.. while at the same time creating a better "avatar face to the web". The screenshot I saw looked quite promising.

As to what could break in security orbs.. chances are those orbs were "too smart for their own good" and were scanning not just your name and current group tag, but ALL the groups you're in.. to determine if you should be allowed on the land or not. It's a neat hack to scrape the web profile for listed groups.. but like displaying map tiles inworld, it isn't a supported function (if it were, we'd just get "list llGetGroups(key id)").

Any developer that goes "off the reservation" and starts doing neat tricks and hacks with things like LL search or web data, knows that the source information may be changed or reformatted at any time. Expecting LL to never change the formatting of web profiles was just myopic. If the new profiles broke inworld content, I'm sure the people who produced that content can work out the changes, and update their products.. just like every other content creator who has had LL break something they made.

Emilly Orr said...


On the second point you're absolutely right--remember, what I know of coding can likely still be carved painlessly into one thumbnail. If what they were doing was an end run around the current programming, then yeah--it's definitely on them to fix it, not LL.

For the other point, I notice that "Edit Profile" button on the web profile: I'm thinking clicking that would pop you out into a browser window? Which, for those on lower-end systems, would be a processing drain, but again, those on higher-end systems wouldn't even notice.