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cyfishy: (whitehair)
One of the reasons I did my newbie site as a webpage instead of writing it as a book (as some suggested) is because I was fully aware that Second Life is a mutable thing and anything that got committed to paper would eventually become obsolete. I finally got the second part of How to Dress Yourself up and now I may have to redo How to See What You're Doing in light of the new interface that is currently in Beta testing.

I'm rethinking my approach to the Newbie site in light of the increasing number of viewers and options available. A tutorial on How To Use The Internet should not confine itself to the quirks of Internet Explorer.

So far, a lot of the criticism directed at the Beta Viewer seems to be along the lines of "It's all different and weird and scary! Make it exactly like the viewer I'm used to! Only more usable!" Not that there aren't valid complaints out there (I have a few, which I'll get to) but I really wonder about the guy who insists that the old-school pie menus are less confusing than the new context menus in the Beta viewer.

So, complaints first, then compliments--

The top "browser" bar and side tabs take up a little more visual real estate than I would like. The side tabs in particular are like a HUD you can't detach. It would be WONDERFUL if there was a simple clicky way to hide them completely and reveal them as necessary so I can see the world unimpeded.

Color scheme is at least a little classier than the classic brown-and-blue muck, but it would be groovy to have some lighter options.

Good job on making the sound controls so unobtrusive that I couldn't FIND the things until I read a FAQ update that explained where to look. (I'll get over that one, but sheesh. By the way, for those still looking--they're in the upper-right corner. That's also how to make the voice chat dot go away, by bringing up the sound settings and deselecting "Enable" next to the Voice Chat volume slider.)

I get why you decided to make profile pictures square now that you're using them as little sub-icons in things like friends list and chat window. But after all that tweaking to make my profile picture fit neatly in the 3:4 window, it's a damn nuisance to wind up distorted all over again. And I'm going to have to live with looking squishy in the profile windows of those who decline to make the switch. Sigh.

Things I do like:

The new context menus. It's an enormous relief to see all my options at once instead of having to click through to the dreaded "More..." to get to what I need and they're familiar enough to the average computer user to be more 'intuitive' than the pie menus were.

The tattoo layer! What a great idea--I know quite a few people who love their tattoos but have to sacrifice so many lovely undershirt-layer clothes in order to wear them. It would be nice to see how they'll look while still in the Appearance settings, but maybe they can fix that in future iterations.

I'm still getting a feel for the new IM window, but I suspect we might have fewer cases of "Whoops! Wrong window!" because of the changes. I also felt better about it when I realized it could, in fact, be detached and moved from the bottom of the screen to wherever I needed it to be.

How will it work for a complete newbie? I'm really not sure, since I'm so familiar already with How To Make The Thing Go, but it does look like it's a little more friendly to the novice. I'm thinking I may need to reincarnate again to see how the new life begins in the M Linden Age.
cyfishy: (whitehair)
Dear Linden Lab:

I understand that this is a bit of a difficult time for you. Rumors have it that you're trying to shine things up for an IPO, and between stabilizing the grid and appeasing your angry customer base, you've got quite a bit on your plate.

I know you want to clean house before the nice guests in the suits show up, but, let me tell you, flinging out the dirty bathwater and ignoring the screams of the infant you flung out with it is really not the way to go about it.

The lawyers who have been advising you on the trademark issue need to pull their heads out of the case history and pay a little attention to how things like this actually work. Because, at this point, much of what you're doing is solving a problem that you're not really in danger of having.

I can indeed understand that a site like talksecondlife could be inadvertently seen as having some kind of connection with you. I think you might want to unclench a bit on the SL business, but that's just me.

But insisting that people refer to "the Second Life world" and "the Second Life viewer" is incredibly pointless and just makes you look like you don't even know what the hell Second Life is.

I presume the fear is that "Second Life" will somehow become genericized the way "Xerox" and "Kleenex" have. This fear is absurdly unfounded, when you look at other examples of similar situations.

Example #1 -- Software programs in general. My fleshy self works in an office that uses both Word and WordPerfect for word processing. The preferred program is WordPerfect, but they reluctantly use Word when dealing with documents to be emailed to clients. While documents can be converted from one to the other (with occasional wonkiness) I can quite assure you that one program is not mistaken for the other at any time.

Example #2 -- Websites. MySpace and Facebook are both social networking sites. They are not, however, interchangeable. One does not say one has a MySpace account when one, in fact, has a Facebook account, or vice versa. In the same way, while Hotmail may have been one of the first web-based email services, at no point did "hotmail" become the generic noun for a web-based email account. If you're on Yahoo, you say "I have a Yahoo account." If you have Gmail, you have a Gmail account. Et cetera.

Example #3 -- Open Source variations. This is sort of an expansion of point 2, specifically regarding the fact that other virtual spaces using the Second Life code are in the works at this point. You might be concerned that these other places will be generically referred to as "Second Life." You would be wrong. For example, this letter is being posted on LiveJournal. The source code for LiveJournal is also open source, and a number of other journaling services have sprung up to make use of it--JournalFen, InsaneJournal, DeadJournal, GreatestJournal and others. Here's the thing--if it's not on LiveJournal.com, nobody I know of calls it a LiveJournal. It's called a DeadJournal, or an InsaneJournal or, um, a JournalFen account, as the case may be. At most, there might be a reference to the fact that the LiveJournal source code is used, but that's about it. And, to my knowledge, this isn't because LiveJournal did a great deal of saber-rattling about enforcing their trademarks, but because it doesn't make sense to say you have a LiveJournal if you're actually on InsaneJournal.

Second Life is Second Life. Nothing else is going to be mistaken for it. If you want to lay the banhammer down on somebody who deliberately attempts to be mistaken for it, fine. But, really, do not worry that people blogging about it are going to get people confused about whether they're associated with you or not.

I have taken the legal disclaimer that I used on my Newbie Site and transferred it to the sidebar of this blog. I will also, with much grumbling, work on a redesign the heading of said Newbie Site so it no longer uses the artwork that you previously provided me with and urged me to use as long as I disclaimered it. I will operate under the assumption that this should be sufficient to appease your legal department unless otherwise informed directly.

Thank you and goodnight,

CyFishy Traveler
cyfishy: (boyself)
I know some people get a bit cranky when people drag RL into SL, but I have to go into a bit of backstory to explain things.

I was previously in a group in RL that met regularly to set goals and discuss them. It was incredibly simple and yet quite powerful--each meeting (the meetings varied from weekly to monthly, depending on our schedules) we would get goals to be completed by the next meeting. And then at the next meeting we would talk about how we did, cheer our victories, soothe our defeats and discuss our long-term plans.

The group eventually disbanded amicably and I made an attempt to start a new one along the same lines, to no avail.

So I decided to start one in Second Life.

I set up an Event for an initial meeting on Sunday afternoon and detailed what I was planning to do. I had no clue if anybody else would be interested or not, but I figured there was no harm done in trying. At worst, I'd lose L$100 setting up a Group and not getting at least one other person to join.

Well, I ended up with four other people, which is actually the optimum size for me. (I'd made a note that I'd be limiting the Group to ten people at most.) Everybody seems quite enthusiastic and I feel we're all on a similar wavelength. I'm really looking forward to how this progresses.

So, while I was in exile from Second Life last week, I heard on the radio (yes, it was a news item) that gambling had been banned from Second Life.

CyFishy's Thoughts on Ya- er, I mean, Gambling . . .  )

We shall see. For me, I'll only worry if they start banning art galleries, gardens and dance clubs, so maybe it just depends on what you get out of it . . .

I uploaded a new icon, this time with my boyface. I changed the picture on my SL profile so My Life As A Girl wouldn't be as instantly obvious to the casual observer. We'll see if that changes the way people take me.


cyfishy: (Default)

November 2016

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