Nov 14, 2013

Emerald City Blues

Where’s a bucket of water in #SecondLife when ya need one?


Recently a partial transcript hit my inventory in SL and it looked quite innocent until I got to about 15:57 to 16:01 in the transcript. Apparently in a recent meeting with Oz (The Great and Powerful) Linden, a familiar name came up in passing like it was no big deal, when it should have been a very big deal.






[15:57] Oz Linden: maybe another commit hook test...
[15:57] Jonathan: Oz, do you still want me to file a storm for those gsavedsettings that should be cached or
[15:57] Phoenix-Firestorm Viewer Rocks: a lot of the headers need to be updated anyway to have the correct file name in thtem, or to add the file name to them thats missing currently
[15:57] Jonathan: do you want to look at the whole lot of them as a bigger study?
[15:58] Jonathan: (the settings in the music playing code)
[15:59] Oz Linden: Jonathan... sure, a collection of settings caching improvements would be most welcome
[16:00] Jonathan: I'll need that code from Skills Hax then
[16:00] Oz Linden: Tank... I ran a script to check that recently, and was intimidated by the number of files it would touch
[16:00] Mona: The one of Emerald "fame"?
[16:01] Jonathan: Oz, you had another prject in the works, and that was eliminating references to "dead" settings
[16:01] Ima Mechanique: Oz any news for onRegionChange best practise?
[16:01] Jonathan: from settings.xml
[16:01] Oz Linden: Skills has been making an apparently sincere effort to be helpful for quite some time now



Ok wait... you mean Skills Hax, notorious for the Emerald Viewer debacle (along with a handful of others), and who was essentially forced out and the imminent collapse of the most popular TPV of the time mandated by Linden Lab as a result, is and has been working on and contributing code all buddy buddy with Linden Lab all this time?


I’m trying very hard to parse this information... because really Skills didn’t change and suddenly see the error of (his) ways. But it seems like one of more notorious of the group (maybe except Phox/LonelyBluebird) wasn’t really exiled but given a chance to contribute to the official viewer instead as a consolation prize for having the biggest competition to the official viewer be dismantled.


Forgive me for this, but doesn’t that seem like a Borg assimilation scenario?


I’d write more on this, but I’m more interested in letting the community chime in and have their discussion on it. Far as I’m concerned... it’s a pretty big deal... but what do I know? It just struck me as a what dufuq moment...


It’s just another day in Pixel Paradise lately. I just wish somebody would throw some water on the Wicked Witch and call it a day, ‘cause all of these flying monkeys are getting on my nerves and I just wanna go home.




Meanwhile, back at the Lollipop Guild...


Lollipop GuildHaven’t been in Second Life much lately due to real life obligations and projects. When last I publically said anything on the ToS topic it was about the deliberate attempt to smear Bryn Oh on Metaverse Week in Review by LaPiscean who (a part of the LEA) was looking to justify victimization and “poor me” on the air while painting Bryn Oh as doing the wrong thing and hurting the poor artists and LEA in the process.


Bottom line is, if the LEA exists in Second Life, then it is bound by the same ToS and rules as everything else in Second Life, and that ToS is detrimental and hostile to content creators and artists. Ergo it’s not a leap of logic in any capacity whatsoever to say that if your stated mission at the LEA is to encourage the arts in Second Life, and convince artists to come into Second Life from the real world, then you are part of the problem in knowingly shilling a situation that is hostile to those artists and content creators as a good situation. You’re acting like an official Linden Lab lap dog too afraid to bite the hand that feeds you no matter how much that hand beats the ever loving piss outta you.


To say I was offended by the attempted hit and run of Bryn Oh on the air was an understatement. Bryn did the right thing in leaving the LEA because it was a conflict of interest and crisis of conscience to be the poster child for a hostile ToS under the guise of doing right by them as a public figure. Bryn did the responsible thing, while LaPiscean took the low road and gave us a tour of the gutter. To say I was offended that nobody else thought what was going on was unacceptable on their own stage, and instead repeatedly offered the platform for him to continue speaking like he hadn’t just tried to smear Bryn on the air is also an understatement.


On that same episode I made it a point to say that as a public figure (which a lot of us are) we are in the position to represent what is morally correct as if we were role models to be looked up to as the example. I take that seriously as a public figure, and so I lead by example (just like Bryn Oh did). I haven’t uploaded anything to Second Life since, and I have no plans on doing so until the ToS is no longer overtly hostile to content creators and artists.




MAME Showcase Cabinet: Series III


Dynamo Showcase CabinetHowever, like I also said, I have a few projects in SL that are unfinished and said that (given time) I would try to tie up the loose ends for them but start no new projects until the ToS is rectified. I’m quite serious about not uploading anything more to SL until Linden Lab get their chronic case of stupid out of their system. While time has been a commodity in short supply lately, I have been putting some time here and there to finish up or work on pre-existing projects that I didn’t finish prior to the whole ToS fiasco.


One of which is the last in the Arcade Legends Series III cabinets, which I’ve had sitting in inventory for months now and hadn’t really touched. The final arcade cabinet in the series is different than the others in that it’s a Showcase Cabinet for MAME, mimicking the Dynamo Showcase Arcade Cabinet in real life. The MAME cabinet also is scripted differently in that it allows for many games on shared media to be loaded by clicking the coin slot and choosing a game, which sends the information to the shared media screen to load the game. In this way, the MAME cabinet in-world acts like a true Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.


This led me to the idea of making a home console that would load games to a television in world playable, but as I’ve already said before – I’m not starting any new projects in Second Life until the chronic idiocy of Linden Lab is less obnoxious. I might have a very long wait judging from the transcript at the top of this post.


As far as the trade-in equivalent for the MAME Showcase cabinet, considering the amount of games I’m putting into it and the nature of it being a showcase cabinet and not a smaller cabinet, and that it’s running on an entirely new script, I’m considering trading two Polybius cabinets for it instead of one. I think that’s fair.









I’m pretty sure some are wondering what became of eureka! content discovery since it was announced in production a few months ago. Progress is coming along fine, though some things had to be redesigned and overhauled to compensate for some SL related glitches in how shared media was displayed (or not) consistently across viewers. So the UI and stuff had to be reimagined to handle it, as well as some other considerations in order to make the system a bit more powerful and robust.


Since eureka! counts as one of those “pre-existing” projects, the work continues on it. More-so the bulk of eureka! work is done on a server outside of Linden Lab and the system is not dependant on in-world for the bulk of its abilities. This was a conscious decision from the beginning of development so it could (theoretically) be ported over to OpenSim and Hypergrid at a later time. However, that would only happen when the 4096 issue is reliably wiped out across the Hypergrid – so it’s probably a good idea that people update as soon as that issue is resolved so you can teleport across the entire Hypergrid in one shot and not multiple hops.


Back-end and front-end overhauls aside, progress is coming along and we’re back on track again for beta testing. I’ll keep everyone posted just as soon as I find out if I can break it before private beta.




So what’s shakin, bacon?


What’s been happening in your world that’s keeping you busy or interested? What do you think of the transcript with Oz Linden? Are there any particular games you’d like to see on the MAME cabinet? Do you have any questions about eureka! that you’re dying to ask?


Feel free to drop your thoughts into the comments below, and remember to Share, Plus and Discuss in the social sphere.




  1. That TOS change sure is deterring to content creators, I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who takes creating half way seriously that doesn't get rubbed the wrong way by the way its worded.. Surely the explanation hinting at a compliance for the steam market is a good thing other then the fact it was a hint and the tos still hasn't been revised to suite both party's (surely it could right?)

    Dont let that eureka thing fall through the cracks! It would be nice to see that pandora of a teleporter thingy magiger experiment while secondlife has a somewhat healthy user base! Then you and your buddy hax could join the scheme team! (I kid I kid)

  2. Jonathan Yap has contacted me and provided the following clarification, which I quote verbatim:

    "I have never worked with Skills Hax, only some time ago seen the results of a study done on how settings are accessed."

  3. I think it's important to stick to the facts here and very few facts are known.

    I think it's fine for some company somewhere to give Skills another chance. That should happen. The problem here of course is that the company to do so must NOT be Linden Lab.

    But back to the facts. There is no indication that they have. The only comment is that there is some code written by Skills that is of some interest to Oz. On that note, I think it's a bit ridiculous to think there wouldn't be.

    The SL viewer is open source software (somewhat) that has many contributors. And others that have taken the code and done things with it, some good, some bad. There are probably some useful bits, accomplished by developers LL would never actually HIRE, that they might want to pick up and use in their product(s).

    I think that's the main difference: if Skills has been hired as LL staff, then let the outrage begin. If he has not, then there's basically no news here. I doubt very much that he has been hired by LL, and I am assuming that every bit of code they like of his would be reviewed in great detail before being brought into the viewer. Every. Damn. Line. And if so, I have no problem with Oz's comment.

    If Skills is in fact now Youvegottobeshittingme Linden (as SecondLie suggests) :D then Houston, we have a big-ass problem here. But I doubt that is even a bit close the truth.

    However... this blog has raised some good questions that now need an official answer so that we can put the issue to rest.