Sunday, September 12, 2010

Helping a world of unstoppable diversity. (._.)

... Or, a virtual world, that is. (>_<)

So... Emeraldgate seems to be over. The client has mostly been blacklisted, the "bad" devs banned, and everyone is looking for the next big shiny. Most people don't want to use the V2 client because, to them, it's too great a departure from the interface they've been used to for 2, 3, 4, 7 years. So, what's the former 'Emerald' flock to do? (O.o)

Mind you... That's a pretty big darned flock. (=_=)

At this moment Linden Lab's Third Party Viewer Directory list has 13 clients of varying types. The most visible and shiny being Phoenix, Emergence, Kirsten's, Ascent, and Imprudence. All of which have VERY different user interfaces! DX

From the approach of 'sticking to V1-4life!!' to 'making V2 my way'... From client to client; buttons, menus, and options are all over the place! In addition, most of these clients are still open beta or hobby projects. So they're not totally stable, not all features work 100%, some features are flat-out missing, and worst of all... providing help in Second Life is mired in the new complexity this diversity introduces. (>_<)

As someone who likes to be knowledge and helpful, I'd often have the top 2 or 3 clients installed on my computer and keep up with the updates as they came out... Usually spending a day on each then going back to my personal favorite until someone has a major update. (^_^)

That was easy back in the days of Cool Viewer, Emerald, Imprudence, and LL's offering. The UIs were generally equal, knowing each client meant knowing the LL base functions plus whatever the TPV devs added. Problems would filter down and I'd just have to take note of what I hear from frustrated users to come up with solutions for each client. (^_^)

But now... DX

LL's V2 UI is a giant departure from what people have experienced for the past 7 years. Mind you, it's a departure I appreciate. It's more of a "computer" UI to me, which I can absorb and adopt easily as opposed to the "video game" UI that I struggled in with the V1 clients. Still... It's a departure and not all TPV devs have utilized it. For the ones who have, it often gets heavily modified. (._.)

And, that's where the problem comes in with the TPV clients. They're modding like crazy. So, when it comes time to provide help...

[2010/09/05 14:01] ** **: where is "Disable Camera Constrains" in Imprudence viewer?

[2010/09/11 18:41] ** **: I am using snowglobe. how do I manage these chat screens.. there annoying

[2010/09/11 18:42] ** **: imprudence has a different font

[2010/09/11 18:42] ** **: Yeah, it needs some tweaks, which is why I was on Kirstens, but that kept crashing on me.

[2010/09/11 18:52] ** **: someone told me there is a spell checker in Imprudence the eff do u turn it on

[2010/09/11 20:45] ** **: Blech. By default, Imprudence still tries to save inventory scripts as LSO. Whyyyyyy. ._.

[2010/09/11 20:45] Imnotgoing Sideways: Mono makes teleporting evil. (._.)

[2010/09/11 20:59] ** **: I was just talking to my mom and wondering why phoenix debug menu wont stop my typin

.... And I have NO BLOODY CLUE how to respond to these things. I like to help, people come to me for assistance, but I just can't seem to keep up with the influx of different clients in SL. (._.)

As a result, much of last night's Q&A event was more a round-table of us trying to find who learned what on which client and if it addresses the issues that another person has. No two people were in the same version of the same TPV and all we could do was simply try our darndest to provide as complete a solution as possible. (._.)

Even for my building classes... Stupid silly things like "Select Texture" being renamed "Select Face" is enough to suck precious minutes from the lesson so that the diverse mix&match user base can proceed. (._.)

What's a helper and educator to do? Add disclaimers to events for which clients are supported for each lesson? Hope to bloody'ek that LL works with the TPV devs in collaboration and come up with a reasonable compromise in UI standardization? (O.o)

It's work. SL is supposed to be fun. Meh... I'm going inworld to build myself a micro avatar. I'll be using V2 due to it being my personal favorite UI. Don't mind me. (._.)


Dale Innis said...

From random looking around, I have the impression that (both among my usual peeps, and at random clubs TP'd to from search / events), most of the Emerald crowd has gone to either Phoenix or Imprudence, with maybe a few to V2 or back to V1.2x.

The pain of trying to be helpful in a word with more than one common UI is I think a very big, but very often overlooked, downside of UI diversity. Thanks for testifying from the front lines...

Brinda said...

Yes...trying to help nooblets is nigh impossible....unless you get fortunate enuff to find the occaisional one thats really interested. Those I give a notecard to with the URL to the Linden website, I include a picture, and suggest they download the pictured 1.23.5
The common response if they log off, install 1.23.5?
"Wow! This is a lot easier!"