Qarl Alignment Tool Rejected

Tateru Nino has an article about a reject response from Linden Lab in the JIRA STORM-468 comments. Charlar wrote the comment.

Thanks for making this effort. Alignment and snapping are an area where there are useful enhancements to be made.
However, we are not able to accept this contribution as it is.

These are the primary issues we found which resulted in that decision:

  • The feature should support the same modes as the other manipulation modes.
    • It does not work for non-mod permission objects. This functionality should work for all objects that the user can manipulate in-world.
    • It only supports World snap mode, not Reference and Local modes, unlike all our other manipulation modes.
  • It packs and aligns to the face of the object bounding box. If objects are not cubes and do not share the same alignment, or aren’t aligned with the world coordinates (see above), the result of the operation is unexpected. Ideally the operations would use the actual shape of the object for aligning and packing.
  • There are also some coding implementation style issues that would need to be addressed. These can be covered in more depth after the functionality is dealt with.

In it’s current form, this is usable for purely prim-based builders under specific circumstances. It’s less useful for building with non-cube prims, mesh, sculpties. It’s minimally useful for building when the structure is not facing a global direction (ex: North, South, East, West). It’s not usable by non-building residents who need to place and organize purchased items.

I found many of the comments to Tateru’s articles interesting examples of transference. I always find it odd that people when told why something is rejected speculate on why it’s being rejected. Whatever…

I use the the Alignment tool in Third Party Viewers (TPV). It has its limitations. But, I think having it is better than not having it.

In SL I use the Prim Docker, a retail third party product with a nice manual. It handles prim and texture alignment. It has some of the limitations that Qarl’s tool has and overcomes some others. But, over on OSGrid I use Qarl’s tool and a standalone texture aligner. It works well enough. But, I understand the Lab’s points. If they want something better, they want something better.

One of the significant problems is the feature not working with Local values. Experienced builders know builds should be made oriented to the grid: North-South and East-West aligned. When doing so the grid alignment in World is the same as local. So, some of us consider it a non-issue.

I can see the Linden point about Local and how it will impact the new user. Their hope is someone will modify the code so it works with Local reference.

Something More

There may well be additional agenda at work. The speculation that the Lab doesn’t like Qarl and is being mean sounds silly. Rumors are Qarl was unhappy with the Lab when he left or was let go, I don’t remember which. But, silly things have happened before. I’m sure we’ll hear lots of speculation and drama around this one.

But, it is hard to understand the rejection based on Charlar’s statement. As Tateru points out the Lab has implemented weak and/or incomplete features before (think mesh).

I would not be surprised if something more were in play. Charlar sounds to be concerned about a better working alignment system. To include mesh and sculpties makes building an alignment tool really challenging. The existing build by the numbers process is mind numbing to any but math savants. I like numbers and math and I still paid money for the Prim Docker to avoid the build math.

Lance Corrimal, the Dolphin Viewer developer, posted in the JIRA. He makes the excellent point that it is used in most TPV’s. I think it is part of the reason that TPV’s are so popular with builders and creators in SL and OpenSim. But, one must remember that Lindens are generally not builders. Their viewpoint is different than most users. In this case, I think that difference is the reason we see things differently.

We also know some new tools and features are coming from Linden realms. We have no idea what that may involve or how it may affect build tools. Nor do we know what they have in their development plans for SL.

Will one of their new Linden products be some creative tool that allows one to work with mesh, sculpties, and prims? Some type of Minecraft building playing thing… Are they going to try and make it a stepping stone for entry into SL? We things are in the works. They could be some of a hidden agenda that cannot be mentioned in the rejection statement.

Significance

Whether adding the alignment tool is significant or not depends on who one talks to. If it is a builder, it is a big deal. Ask a valley girl and she’ll be disappointed it is not about determining which guy aligns with her. The JIRA has 46 Watches. Not exactly making it a priority for the Lab. I’m not surprised the Lindens decided to wait until there is a more capable version.

Most advanced builders that would really use the tool, do so by using a TPV. So, in many ways it is a non-issue. I put up the JIRA and while I think it would be nice as is, the Lindens disagree. I’ll have to cope.

3 thoughts on “Qarl Alignment Tool Rejected

  1. It’s not only that they rejected it, it’s also the fact that they just chose not to implement it – instead of, let’s say, working on the code themselves. I understand it was an opensource contribution, which means they could have worked on it. It being a priority or not… the number of people following the JIRA is not the only way of measuring one’s priorities. One can argue that an alignment tool is a basic feature that any virtual world in which one can build should have these days – actually, a world in which at least some *have* to build, or there is no world, since the Lindens aren’t mass content providers. If LL itself is working on a tool like that, maybe they should have at least given us a hint, instead of “hoping that the submitters will make the needed improvements and resubmit”. Imagine “the submitters” (Qarl) “make the needed improvements” and it is rejected again because actually LL was working on an alternative tool – it sounds bad. So, yes, they left a door open for the tool being resubmitted, but they also seem to be saying that they are not going to work on it.

    • Lots of speculation there…

      We know the Lindens have far more things they want to add to SL than they have time. We also know when they can they take the low hanging fruit first. The skewed Local grid and sculpty/mesh issues make such a tool complex, moving it higher up the tree. So, the tool is not a likely candidate for Linden attention.

      Many of us would not mind the tool being ‘incomplete’ and use it as is. That the Lindens see it as too incomplete to add to their viewer is just the difference in people.

      At Charlar’s level the Lindens do not talk about things they aren’t ready to put into production. The Lab keeps future developments secret. Its just typical business secrecy for the sake of a general competitive nature and PR habits. It doesn’t matter as much as one may think because those actually working with the Lab get information the rest of us never hear. It may be as small as someone saying, “I’d rather see you work on…” or “You may want to hold off on that.”

      • Well, there’s a lot of speculation both on the original post and on the reply to my comment, as well… Maybe I wasn’t clear: I meant that the statements by Charlar seemed to indicate that: 1. the tool was rejected as it is now; 2. the Lab won’t work on it (the “speculation” was just to argue that if they were working on it or on some alternative to Qarl’s alignment tool, Charlar’s statement would have been senseless). Those 2 points, together, made their decision sound odd to some people. No one knows if there is a hidden agenda there, so I won’t get into this, but I think there’s a problem related to the way they handled things – and the confusion with the status of the JIRA also added to it. As I pointed elsewhere, there was this JIRA “A” in which Charlar announced that LL decided to reject the code as it is now and also decided not work on it, and then JIRA “A” was closed… but there was this JIRA “B” which duplicated JIRA “A”, and JIRA “B” remained open – but the decision wasn’t announced there, it was announced as a comment to JIRA “A”… Eventually, JIRA “A” was reopened and JIRA “B” was closed… It is a bit confusing, isn’t it? Nonetheless, at least it is clear now that the subject remained “open”, waiting for someone to work on the code if they want – Qarl has stated that he won’t do it.

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