Friday, September 14, 2012

hope without hope, and madness

Some interesting viewer developments this week were discovered;

...whoa, how did this thing publish?? Okay, time to revise!

I mentioned the viewer developments, which are worth looking into; I also should bring up the recent changes to the JIRA reporting system. And I quote:

  • All bugs should now be filed in the new BUG project, using the more streamlined submission form.
  • Second Life users will only see their own reported issues. When a Bug reaches the "Been Triaged" status, they will no longer be able to add comments to their issue.
  • Once a Bug reaches the “Accepted” or “Closed” status, it will not be updated. You can watch the Release Notes to see when and if a fix has been released for your issue.
  • Existing JIRAs will remain publicly visible. We will continue to review and work through these.
There's one problem with that--they're not remaining visible. Now, I've added bolding to the existing statement from the Lab, but seriously, there's more than a few elements of conspiracy theory rising around this one. I'll get to that, but first, I want to reprint some reactions from the SL Universe forums:

From Inhandra:
To be fair, the JIRA was a bit of a hot mess, but it is quite lame that we can no longer check to see if something has already been reported.
I couldn't state it better myself. Why burden the Lindens with thirty-seven bug reports, all for the same issue, when that number can be reduced down to five or six? (Five or six because folks STILL don't bother to read, for the most part, but of those that do, for the most part they append their own report and evidence to the existing JIRA file, over starting a completely new file. How is this progress??

Right below that, she added another insight:
Actually, come to think of it, this looks like an effort to hide any further bugs that go unfinished. Basically, once the current JIRA is worked through, we can no longer link to each other and go, "Look, this one has been open for five years!"
Which I also fully agree with.

From Nika Talaj:
They must be planning to shut down development on SL. I can't imagine rolling out new features with, effectively, no users reporting issues.

Their new wiki entries seem to indicate that the only bugs they are interested in having reported are security exploits.
That's an interesting point, too. In the past six months, there have been more attempts on the software--and more actual security breeches--than we've seen in the past three years, easy. And yet, with all of this behind-the-scenes action, we've only substantively heard about why any of it's happening from the Lindens...once. Yeah, I think just the once.

So why so much focus on SL security of a sudden? (And why the upswing in attempts to hack the game, and the Lab itself?)

From Darien Caldwell:
I don't see the harm in being able to check if something has been reported already, or linking pertinent issues. They should really reconsider that.
That's the most important issue for me, too. Even if there's no commenting allowed, the fact that they're blocking even viewing access for bugs reported seems both suspicious, and--from a purely business standpoint--a detractor for the business under discussion, in this case Linden Lab.

From Qie Niangao:
The Lab has lost a lot of managers, but are there no adults left? This is the work of a petulant pre-schooler, certainly not anybody qualified to make process decisions.
A similar question crossed my mind, as well.

From Hitomi Tiponi:
Helping LL should be a two-way street - now it is one one-way I have to conclude that my input is no longer required.
This seems to be the greatest contingent. We move from feeling abused and never directly communicated with, to being shut out entirely from all communication processes. Somewhere in all of this, there's some Ivory-Tower thinking, and it's not in the Lindens' best interests.

From Lewis Luminos:
This makes me think that they're starting to wind down SL altogether.
From Andromeda Rage:
This, combined with the absolutely asinine way they've handled the bandwidth-flooding server bug (pull your fucking head out of your ass Oskar) makes me believe SL will be gone in a year's time. FFS LL, just pull the plug and get it over with. No need to bleed us to death with paper cuts.
While I don't entirely agree--I see a lot of internal restructuring to shore up places where they're not technologically and financially sturdy, to a more self-sustaining model (or, as RandomCruiser mentioned, making do with less to gain more in the long run), but does part of that restructuring, of necessity, mean they have to cut off all avenues of communication to their user base?

From Brenda Archer:
But if you have a user community, you have to interact with them, and you need a thick skin. Of course if your users annoy you TOO much you can just stop having any...
Is that their end desired result, though?

From Jopsy Pendragon:
No to mention that the SL wiki often points right at the jira as part of the documentation, so that people can know that certain things do NOT work as expected, and keep track of whether or not they're ever going to get fixed.
This brings up another intriguing point--who's going to edit the SL Wiki so that it correctly reflects the new structure? Because from personal experience, I can tell you, there were passages to the present day in the official Wiki that asked folks to go into JIRA and vote (not watch) to generate support interest from the Lab.
From AshaSekayi Ra:
Now, I'm curious. Will they also take away feature request JIRAs?
Considering that the new request JIRA section is part and parcel of the old JIRA section, which is transiting to the BUG reporting system? Yes.

From Cerise:
And, in six months, they will be patting themselves on the back for the reduction in bug reports, misinterpreting it as a reduction in actual problems.
Precisely.

In non-SL news, there's been a lot of extremely disturbing copyright actions over the course of the past few weeks. Not only Neil Gaiman's acceptance speech for the Hugo award, but NASA's own broadcast of the Mars Rover landing, and Michelle Obama's speech at the recent Democratic Convention, were cut short--or never aired in the first place--on mysterious "copyright violation" grounds. In each of these cases, the live streaming broadcasts of these events were being internally generated, and either wholly owned, or operating within full permissions being granted, for the stream. And yet.

We are living in the first years of an ongoing war. It's only going to get worse from here.

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