Thursday, June 27, 2013

Watching a Meltdown

Looks like someone's gotten a dose of what was done to me three years ago by a certain bunch, and by that same bunch.  I could have warned him what he was getting himself into, but he wouldn't have listened.

Now he's threatening to shut down the whole Doctor Who community in SL, burn everyone, and it's incurred the wrath of some who have until now stayed out of the fray.

It's sad seeing someone melt down like this.  He's always had mental problems, but still, I can relate to what he's probably going through right now.  All those years busting his ass making his group the biggest he could make it, and his only reward was to be driven out.

At least, that's the story he's telling.  I have no idea how much is true, how much is exaggeration, and how much is fabricated.  But oddly enough, considering who he's bitching about, I actually have reason to believe him this time.

Anyway, I hope he takes this opportunity of more free time to get the help he needs.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jessica Lyin' Whines, Lies

Jessica Lyin' makes another lie-filled rant on her blog attacking readers while whining about nasty comments made on said blog.  The deceptions are numerous, but here are the ones that are, in my humble opinion, the most laughable.
I have never taken the liberty of speaking my own personal opinion on this blog as it is not a place for personal opinions. It is a place for political correctness, fairness and unbiased, unemotional facts. However, today I’ve decided to make an exception because I feel some opinion is called for at this point in time.
This is a flat out lie right in the very first paragraph.

Here's an example of her "speaking" her own personal opinion:
Not only is this a major update with loads of new features, as well as performance and stability improvements, but it is also a necessary upgrade for you if you want to be able to render avatars correctly when Linden Lab throws the switch for Server Side Baking (appearance). Because all Firestorm users will need to upgrade to this release, we have put it through unprecedented development and testing with no fewer than three levels of Quality Assurance: internal testing, Beta testing and our new Preview Group testing. We truly hope and expect this to be the best release we have ever issued. Grab the downloads from our Downloads page and enjoy!
It is highly questionable as to whether the "new features" are actually improvements, just as it is mere opinion that there are stability and performance improvements.  Given the sheer number of complaints about reduced stability and lower performance that has always plagued Firestorm, Lyon's remarks are nothing more than her own dishonest opinion.

It is also a flat out lie that Linden Lab will somehow throw some mythical switch and block access to "old" viewers.  It is true that viewers that are no longer maintained will experience an increasing number of bugs as Linden Lab introduces new code that the discontinued viewers aren't programmed to handle, leading eventually to viewers that will no longer be usable, but it is simply an outright falsehood to claim that Linden Lab will deliberately block people from logging in on "old" viewers.  The only significant instance I can recall when this actually happened was when the Lab shut down Emerald Viewer, and that really only because the head programmer inserted malicious code into it which he then used to launch a denial of service attack.

It is, again, a matter of opinion that Firestorm users "need" to get the latest viewer.  They may want to, but considering all the alternative viewers available, "need" is a pretty strong word to use.  Next:
Anyone reading the comments on our blog posts since the release of 4.4.0 would almost be lead to believe we were actually trying to ruin SL by releasing a viewer with bugs. They might even be lead to believe we intentionally put the bugs there.

Okay, this isn't a lie per se, but it is a serious grammatical error.  The past tense spelling of 'lead', as in to lead a horse to water, is 'led'.  By using the present tense spelling, it confuses the reader as to what the hell she's blathering about.  If nothing else, it exposes her poor communication skills.  One might think that Lyon and Co. are out to ruin SL for their user base, but I've never seen anyone make that accusation.  Ruining SL for the Firestorm user base is almost certainly an unintended consequence, but it is hardly the driving motivation behind Firestorm and as far as I am aware, no one has actually made any such accusations to the contrary.  Jessica Lyin' makes up more bullshit.
To those of you who have non-constructively complained just for the sake of complaining, flamed us, trolled us, attacked us, and criticized us publicly as if we were trying to release a broken viewer to ruin everyone’s SL experience…. Kindly walk away from your keyboard. Thanks. Your negativity does not help anyone and only makes it harder for us to remain motivated in spending countless hours of our spare time trying to improve your user experience.

This is both dishonest and arrogant in the extreme.  It's bad enough to falsely claim that people are making assumptions about Lyon's motivations that they haven't actually made.  It's a whole other level of batshit crazy to arrogantly order people not to use their computers at all just because their complaints about the instability and poor performance of Firestorm hurt her feelings.  Well, Jessica, maybe if you and your elitist clique of chronic bullshitters focused less on attacking any and all user complaints and actually devoted time to fixing the issues, you'd not get nearly as many complaints.  You'd also get a lot less grief if you pull the bug out of your ass and leave it out.  You and your team of amateurs aren't ha;f as clever or talented as you think you are.  THAT is the reason you keep getting so many complaints.  Your dismissive replies and arrogant commands to the very people whose SL experience you claim you want to improve are what attracts all the negativity you despise.  In short, hypocrite, a lot less negativitity from you will yield a lot less negativity from others.

Here's another bit that had me chuckling:
There are proper channels for support requests and blog comments is absolutely not one of them.

I'd like to know why people don't feel that they can use the "proper channels".  is it possible — indeed likely — that using the "proper channels" doesn't work because when people do use them their issues are ignored or dismissed?  The primary responses to any and all issues had by Firestorm users are to "get a better computer", and "we don't have any problems, so it must be your computer that's the problem", and similar condescending dismissals.  With that kind of response to legitimate issues of stability and performance, it's no wonder people feel they can't get any other response from Lyon or her lackeys except to post in the blog.
We’ve been accused of not caring and/or not trying to deliver to you a good product. This team works damn hard to make every new version of Firestorm better than the last.

You don't care, and obviously you're not trying hard enough because each new version carries with it more bugs than a roach motel.  Like I said, you're not half as clever or talented as you think you are.  Here's a suggestion you'll dismiss condescendingly: grow the hell up and go get some help from people who know how to program, like Henri Beauchamp and Siana Gearz.  At this point, having alienated so many truly talented programmers, I doubt they'll do it, but you never know unless you swallow your pride and try.  Then again, you could simply fork their code and insert it into Firestorm, like you did Henri's mesh code for Phoenix Viewer, but you don't have the programming know-how to make it work as well has he can.  Time to bite the bullet and start facing some unpleasant truths, bitch.
We’ve been accused of not testing enough prior to release.

This might be true — the making of the accusation, that is.  And the accusation is probably accurate.  It's pretty obvious that not enough testing went into the new releases because they were rolled out riddled with bugs ranging from black screens to constant crashes on startup to ridiculously low frame rates.  If you spent more time testing and less time patting yourselves on the back, and devoted more time to working out all the bugs before release instead of insulting your user base every time they point out the bugs in Firestorm, you'd have a lot less stress to deal with.
While the development of 4.4.0 was somewhat rushed on account that we had to get the LL Server Side Baking code out into a release, we were also extra diligent in testing everything to the best of our ability. knowing that everyone would need to be on this release when LL flips the switch for SSB, IT HAD TO BE GOOD. So I even created an additional level of testing with our preview group, re-purposing it as a third tier of QA with roughly 1700 users to run the release builds prior to officially releasing it. And they tested it… and it took several different release builds before we felt we had it right… before the consensus among our internal development and support tests, our beta testers and preview group testers said “This is ready for release”. Well perhaps it wasn’t ready, and as the leader of this project that blame should lie squarely on my shoulders not those of our developers, support personnel or quality assurance testers.

Again, it is a lie that Linden Lab is "flipping a switch" on anything.  Linden lab is at this very moment slowly implementing Server Side Baking throughout the grid.  This is done by writing new code into its default viewer and making changes to the code underlying Second Life itself, doing test servers to make sure it's ready before any gridwide release.  The whole reason it took mesh so long to be released was because the Lab needed to be sure it worked on enough servers before they could roll it out to the rest of the grid.  There has been no date set in stone for when Server Side Baking will make its official debut.

Obviously Lyin' Lyon has no idea how SL or computer programming actually works, and just makes shit up to tell people so she can look like she knows what she's saying, or she does know and is deliberately deceiving people for whatever reason.  I'm gonna go with the former hypothesis on this one.  She's not smart enough to engage in a deliberate campaign of deception, and there's no reason to do so anyway.  So chances are she's just dense and is pulling stuff out of her ass so people don't think she's an even bigger idiot than she's exposed herself to be.

It is nice, though, to see her take some responsibility for rushing a release out before it was ready.  Now, here's where she exposes her earlier lie about having done thorough testing:
For those of you disappointed with 4.4.0, so am I. Even though it seems the vast majority had few problems we did release with some significant bugs. None of which I might add, showed up significantly in our testing. Inventory not loading, Textures not rezzing, Black rectangles in snapshots, Prims not showing up, low performance are some of the problems that either did not show up in our testing or was missed but which did end up existing in the release.

First you said you went through all this testing to make sure there were as few bugs as possible.  But right here you're acknowledging a slew of serious bugs that have a big effect on the majority of users (at least the ones who have been brave enough to complain).  If you had actually done as much testing as you claim, then why did so many bugs get past your team?  You admittedly rushed out a viewer you knew wasn't ready, but now you claim you did thorough testing before releasing the viewer you acknowledged wasn't ready for prime time.  Make up your mind, liar.  You can't have it both ways.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Suggestions for Moffat

I was reading a blog entry by someone who had some ideas about how best to keep Doctor Who going for years to come.  It's a really good read, grammatical errors aside, and you can do that by clicking here.

The blog guest writer, George Edgington, posits that the show must be willing to tell good stories consistently.  He points out how some episodes of the post-2005 show are written basically as what-ifs, with the head writer (in this case, Stephen Moffat), tossing out an idea and the episode writer following through.  The problem is that this often results in stories that really probably shouldn't have been told, or rather, should have been told much better, such as in "The Rings of Akhaten".

Okay, that's a fair point.  Another one is that too often in the show's current form, monsters are created for no other reason than the writers thought they needed them in there somewhere, and that not only leads to poor storytelling but wastes time and money inserting a monster that will likely only be used once and then be forgotten.

I'll expand on this point by referring you back to the Whisper Men in "The Name of the Doctor", those minions of the Great Intelligence who were there simply to add an element of fright to an otherwise good story.  Did we really need them there, especially since Moffat went through the trouble to concoct The Silents and have them be on a quest to prevent the Doctor from ever traveling to Trenzalore?  No, we didn't.  Better it would have been to devote an entire episode to them, because the Whisper Men did have potential, but that potential was wasted.

Another episode in which a monster was created simply to have one inserted was "The Crimson Horror", which proved not at all horrific and indeed, came off as downright silly, as the episode was obviously a light-hearted one.

Moffat needs to stop with this, because frankly the quality of Doctor Who has gone steadily downhill since he took over as head writer.  With Matt Smith leaving after the Christmas episode, we'll have another opportunity to start anew, with a different actor stepping into the main role and a new set of opportunities for great storytelling.  But those opportunities can only be fully realized if there's real storytelling going on, and under Moffat that just hasn't been happening.