[opensource-dev] Open Development project: extending avatar wearables

Henri Beauchamp sldev at free.fr
Tue Mar 23 03:50:23 PDT 2010


On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 06:57:54 +0000, Morgaine wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 4:35 AM, Bryon Ruxton <bryon at slearth.com> wrote:
>
>    - Could you please stop putting everything into that sidebar as the only
>    way to access stuff. You've kept wanting to make this "communicator window "
>    before into a single un-detachable block. And despite many of use hating it
>    and asking for you to make separate floaters, (or at least give us that
>    option), you keep attaching everything all together again in that sidebar.
>    This is an ill conceived approach for many of us, who are used to identify
>    specific panels at a specific position of our choice on the screen just like
>    . Blending it all together makes it harder in that sense.
>
> In addition to the fact that many people simply "do not like" the sidebar,
> there are several more technical reasons why it is a bad idea ergonomically
> too, such as limiting displays to only one type at a time (eg. not inventory
> AND friends) and only one instance at a time (e.g can't show two profiles).
> In addition, the continual movement and resizing shifts the 3D world in a
> very dizzying way, and chasing the '<<' tab across the screen breaks an
> elementary ergonomics rule for toggles and is very bad for accessibility, as
> well as extremely annoying.

Fully seconded !

The side bar is horribly limitating and should never have been designed this
way in the first place. Like all power users, role-players, builders, I want
to be able to define my own layout for the UI, has well as what amount of
space I want to dedicate to each function, and the floaters are exactly what
permit this.

I also want to be able to do several things at the same time, like having a
friends list open on my screen while examining the profile(s) of an(/some)
avatar(s), some of the groups they pertain to (thus having the group info
floater open too) and be able to still open my invetory (for example to give
them some items). This is impossible to do with the side bar.

> Given that the sidebar has so many problem and no advantages that have ever
> been defended, I suggest that the work should start by the sidebar advocates
> explaining the benefits that they see in the sidebar.  Since this is an open
> development project, the community can weigh the advantages of the sidebar
> against its disadvantages, and if the advantages are lacking then the
> sidebar can be dropped and filed under "bad idea", or at least made
> optional.

Indeed. The user should be the one able to decide in the first place. If
some want their side bar, so be it, but don't *force* it down others'
throat and let us have an option to disable it entirely, which also means
preserving individual floaters for each function in the side bar !

> Although some people will probably suggest that the *real* likelihood of
> getting the sidebar dropped is nil,

You can bet that should I develop a v2.0 Cool SL Viewer branch, the *first*
thing I'll drop in it is precisely this side bar thing !...

Whether or not I'll develop a v2.0 branch depends on how much work will be
needed to revert the whole UI (yes !) to the one currently existing in the
Cool SL Viewer (which is a (much) improved, pre-voice UI).

So, if LL really cares about third parties viewers that can "fill the gap"
and propose an alternative to their oldest users (who are also their regular
and most committed *customers* and made them earn *a lot of money* during
the years they used SL), they should let a chance for us developers to
revert things without having to rewrite the whole code for the UI logic:
LL should bear in mind that our *benevolent* work is limited in amount by
the "free time" we can dedicate aside from our RL work and life.

But in fact, if LL really cares about their *current* user base, they should
*seriously* consider providing the old UI as an alternative, switchable
"skin" (more than just a skin, of course) in the official viewer v2.0...

> I think we should take the moral high ground here and assume that the
> sidebar too is subject to community feedback.  Let's assume that this is
> an open development project in which advice from the community is
> considered seriously and in which engineering judgment and commonsense
> will prevail.

If only the develoment of viewer 2.0 had been made into the open (like a
truly Open Source software), this fiasco with the new UI won't have
happened in the first place, and LL could have invested their money better
than what they did. My guess is that since money is the key and they will
not want to spend more on viewer 2.0, they will refuse to hear about their
faithful users (and paying customers !) complaints... In the end, it will
mean less users on the grid, less revenues for the merchants, and less
money in LL's many and bottomless pockets... It already has been the case
in the past (and lead to a stagnation of the active users base during the
past two years: just check the "Logged in last 60 days" figure: it was
above 1 500 000 in the last quarter of 2007 and always has been below that
figure since), and will repeat once again, I'm afraid... :-(

> What are the ergonomic / HI advantages of the sidebar?

Zero. None. Nada.

Henri.


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