Linden Lab lays off 30 staff

Daniel Voyager

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2007-2009 was biiig. There's a good reason for it, too - 2007 was a year they allowed users to finally join without a credit card, just a few months before - which was a BIG boost to users. I joined in January 2007 due to exactly that, and those three years following were super active all over - folks exploring, sandboxes filled. It's probably the years when I met the most new people on average, so I'm not sure. Daniel's stats up there seem pretty accurate all around.
That's the stats I have from the login screen at those specific times. If someone has more historical stats then please post it.

There are Second Life stats online from 2003-2005 on various sites. Most have gone offline now.

The Second Life Grid Survey is the best source for updated stats.
 
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Sid

Doctors found traces of blood in my coffee stream.
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I never got anyone to understand this at the time, and I don't expect to get anyone to understand it now, without the plots :) But the bottom line is that I believe the concurrency numbers are made up.
It is just you and your friends. 😀
All the others are bots.
Especially the ones who start a conversation with "Hallo". That is a huge programming mistake.
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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The original SL UI was not bad. SL2 is the one that went over the edge, but even in SL2 the object editor is way way better than anything in Blender.
Leaving aside the other stuff Blender has, the UI just for the object editing tools that are equivalent to SL's really doesn't look all that different at all:







 
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Kamilah Hauptmann

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I remember some silly little Wings3D program for sculpting. It had a goofy easy interface I wonder if a thing like that could be used to say, drop a prim, change type to Mesh, then start goofing with verts.
 

Argent Stonecutter

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Leaving aside the other stuff Blender has, the UI just for the object editing tools that are equivalent to SL's really doesn't look all that different at all:
Parameter editors are pretty constrained by "it's a form". These pictures tell me nothing. The selection of objects, alignment, rotation, basicallt grabbing and moving things... SL does a really good job there.

I remember some silly little Wings3D program for sculpting. It had a goofy easy interface I wonder if a thing like that could be used to say, drop a prim, change type to Mesh, then start goofing with verts.
That's another really easy interface.
 

Jack Abraham

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They've completely overhauled the interface in 2.80, Argent, to the point that I (who had gotten fairly good at Blender) get constantly confused about doing things the sane way vs. the old Blender way. But it is reasonably sane now.

On the other hand, history suggests that it is not sane to expect the Lab to produce a decent user interface. Especially if they outsource it to Russians. It's probably be a web form embedded in a prim you have to rez. And register with an Experience.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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On the other hand, history suggests that it is not sane to expect the Lab to produce a decent user interface. Especially if they outsource it to Russians. It's probably be a web form embedded in a prim you have to rez. And register with an Experience.
Per my understanding it was outsourced to a company in Ukraine.
 
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Ashiri

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I remember some silly little Wings3D program for sculpting. It had a goofy easy interface I wonder if a thing like that could be used to say, drop a prim, change type to Mesh, then start goofing with verts.
Yes, it is really easy to use and something like it as an in-game tool would be interesting, although I think having some way of adding textures to the UV map would be needed.
 

Sid

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These tools would not be for the "pro's". They can stick to Blender or whatever they like.
These inworld tools would be for people like me, who like to build but still want a result that is somewhat up to par, and not as if it is build by a toddler using his building bucket. And that without the need to study weeks/months to get somewhere (like with using a mesh body in SL or Blender).
 

Argent Stonecutter

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When? Where? I must have missed that one.
We're talking about the object editor, which was and is an excellent user interface for editing objects, and which would of necessity be the basis for any hypothetical mesh editor in the client.
 
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Chin Rey

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We're talking about the object editor, which was and is an excellent user interface for editing objects
Oh no, it has several serious flaws, down to and including noob mistakes like overflowing texture fields and arbitary tab orders and it also suffers heavily from both the overcomplicating-by-oversimplifying syndrome and from new features being bolted on wherever there happened to be some available space over the years.

It works because it doesn't have that many functions but it's still a horrendously poorly designed UI and you defiitely don't want to use it as a starting point for something more elaborate handling more functions.
 

Chin Rey

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These tools would not be for the "pro's". They can stick to Blender or whatever they like.
These inworld tools would be for people like me, who like to build but still want a result that is somewhat up to par, and not as if it is build by a toddler using his building bucket. And that without the need to study weeks/months to get somewhere (like with using a mesh body in SL or Blender).
I do not think any in-world buiding tool should be polylist mesh based because polylist meshes are by nature counterintuitive both for humans and for computers.

Here's a simple example of what I mean, a circular plane with a curve resolution of 24 and a diameter of 2 m (I hope Gyazo images are permanent here, if not, I'll have to find another way to host them):

If we define this as a polylist mesh, the vertice coordinates are:
0.2588185 -0.965924 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0.4999999 -0.8660234 0 0.7071081 -0.7071083 0 0.8660234 -0.5000001 0 0.965924 -0.2588185 0 1 0 0 0.965924 0.2588185 0 0.8660234 0.5 0 0.7071083 0.7071083 0 0.5000001 0.8660234 0 0.2588185 0.965924 0 0 1 0 -0.2588185 0.965924 0 -0.5 0.8660234 0 -0.7071083 0.7071084 0 -0.8660234 0.5000001 0 -0.965924 0.2588186 0 -1 0 0 -0.965924 -0.2588185 0 -0.8660234 -0.4999999 0 -0.7071084 -0.7071081 0 -0.5000001 -0.8660234 0 -0.2588186 -0.965924 0
(You can calculate them yourself if you don't believe me). That's just the data for positioning the vertices in 3D space. Add the UV coordinates, the normals and the triangles between the vertices and you end up with a lot of bytes to describe such a simple shape.

More to the point here: this is not how we think. A shape like this is not a bunch of dots we need to connect, it's a circle.

Even more to the point, that's how a computer like to think too. A computer computes, that's how it got its name. Calculating a circle is child's play for any 21st Century cpu. And then it has to add those dots along the circumference because the poor idiot savant gpu can't only handle straight lines but that's easy for it too.

Digression - but an important one - there's been a lot of talk among some SL creators about automatically generated LoD models. How is the computer supposed to do that if this is presented as a polylist mesh? Realistically, all it can do is remove vertices. A 75% reduction down to 16 vertices gives us this:


Not too bad but hardly ideal either. It's the best the computer can do though. Unless you tell it it's a circle that is. Once it knows that, it can space those 16 vertices evenly around the circumference, no sweat.

---

This is a very simple example of course and it's only 2D even, but I think it still illustrates the difference between datalist based and procedural geometry.

There are several method for genrating procedural geometry. Some of them (such as fractals and metaballs) may be easy on the cpu but not very intuitive for humans - at least not if we want total control over the result, others (such as CSG) can be very human fridenly but too hard on the computer but there are still several both would be very happy to handle.

The prim system as Bar-Zeev created it, only uses three methods - sweeps, lofts and extrusions - and very simplified implementations of them to generate all the basic prim types. According to him that is. To me it seems to be all about sweeps and extrusions with no lofting in sight. Add 14 (if I counted right - there may actually be fewer) very basic modifers and you have all the shapes the prim system can produce.

Upgrade the system with a bit more elaborate takes on the basic principles and a handful of carefully chosen modifiers and we're we have an in-world building tool that is almost as easy to use as the current prim system but far more flexible. And that's just the start.
 
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Argent Stonecutter

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It works because it doesn't have that many functions but it's still a horrendously poorly designed UI and you defiitely don't want to use it as a starting point for something more elaborate handling more functions.
Show me a better UI for an object editor of comparable complexity.