Max Graf posted on Plurk. I’ve quoted most of his comments and I’ve corrected some spelling, completed some sentences, made paragraphs, and omitted comments by others. It is not a perfect quote. Read the actual Plurk thread before reacting to this version of the post. I am also going to assume you know the players. If not, click on the Tagged: Deformer link in the right-hand column.
[It is] 415 days since we formally requested LL fix mesh clothing. Qarl submitted the first working deformer 245 days ago. WTF, LL? Will it ever be?
This is the kind of disgusting response to the community that is going to drive SL into the ground. Change needs to happen. Looking at you, Oz and Rod. Really.
As I stated from the beginning, why should they implement this, honestly, when we are so willing to change our shapes to fit the mesh or do countless hours of extra work in order to make the system usable? If we want to do all that extra work, they are more than happy to let us.
I mean, we even came together and PAID FOR IT, Rod. If that doesn’t tell you how badly we want this, nothing will. In the meantime, the months roll by, the tier adds up; perfectly understandable why solutions are slow to arrive. We keep paying.
The “someday/maybe” status they applied to the original jira is exactly what we ended up with, and with the TPV changes, there is no other way to implement this feature. It has to go through them, and if and when they want to do it. It’s…pathetic.
I’m no spokesperson, I’m just angry enough to keep bitching about it. Maybe they will do something about it. Someday, maybe.
There is NO legitimate reason why, after stating our need, paying for/designing/giving it to them, why this is not in place 415 days later.
Look at it this way: 957 people watched/voted on the original jira. If they are sim owners, they have each paid $4,130 in tier for 14 months. That totals $3,952,410 in tier they have collected from those people they chose to ignore. Is that customer base worth listening to?
I’d think with some of that money they could get it together and make this thing work.
There is no doubt many of us are frustrated by the amount of time that the Mesh Deformer is taking. Max is frustrated with the Lab. I’m frustrated with Karl and the Lab and to a degree Max. The frustration with Max may be more a frustration with crowd funding than with Max.
This Mesh Deformer Project is more like a government run project than a free market project a business would undertake. In a business project a decision would be made whether to build something or not. So, an iPhone might thought up, planned, built, and sold. All the control would reside in the owner or owners of the business and those doing the work would be held to account and be working on a timeline.
Businesses also engage in public projects and often join forces with communities. In rural America co-ops form to build water systems and to fill other needs of the community. The co-ops usually have a single purpose and those forming the co-op supervise. Co-ops have their problems and are less efficient than a for-profit-business, but they are more democratic and avoid leaving a single entity in control. They are, however, supervised by those with a interest in the project.
Government usually has a leader that proposes and sells the public on a project. Funds are voted to pay for it. A contract is awarded and some company or team of companies starts building the project. The politicians that lead the project seem to move on to their next great accomplishment to help the people. Bureaucrats are left to manage the project, which it seems inevitably gets mismanaged, skimmed, and overruns budget resulting scandals.
In the case of the Mesh Deformer there is no management. A leader got the project funded, the contract was awarded and work began. Work is ongoing months later and we have not heard a peep from those involved in it for weeks.
Who Is Doing What and Why?
Over a year ago the mesh project was ‘completed’ by the Lab and released into Second Life™. Clothes makers and their customers soon realized there was a problem. Getting clothes to fit was a problem. In real life getting clothes to fit is a problem… ever hear of a diet? Yeah, well in SL diets were replaced by an appearance panel. I’m still in search of a RL equivalent so I can up my ice cream consumption.
In RL clothe stretches and contours to our shape. That can be good or bad depending on whether we like our shape. But, in SL mesh clothes neither stretch, shrink, nor do they contour to our avatar’s shape. The Mesh Deformer will add the stretch to mesh clothes.
When the Lab was asked to provide the feature, they said not now. They have other priorities. No matter how much we think the Mesh Deformer is a higher priority the Lab is free to think what they want and set their own priorities. We are free to do the same.
Max organized an effort to get someone other than the Lab to work on the project of a Mesh Deformer, thank you Max. Since the Lab was not going to do the work, the community came together and funded a private project. The ‘contract’ was awarded and work began. Like any government project, supervision was ineffective and basically non-existent. Max did not want to supervise and nothing requires he do so. That is not his duty or obligation. He did the part he wanted to do and I’m grateful.
The result is the Lab tells us whatever they tell us, Karl tells us what he wants, and they do that whenever they do it. Ask either about where we are on the project and the Linden your talking to likely says they are waiting on Karl or haven’t heard from him. Ask Karl, and you get a couple of more details but basically he is usually waiting on the Lab and has not heard from them. We actually have no idea who to believe and we base our decision of who to believe on whatever empirical model we have of the process and the people involved. There is no real evidence. So, we do drama and create conflict and none of it results in much forward movement.
Karl did warn us that involving the Lab would slow things down. But, it isn’t like we have a choice. The Lab owns SL.
Max refuses to be placed in a position of managing the project, that is his right. Max bitches about the Lab like that might help. The Lab has already said they were not going to develop the project, but that they would help as they could and time was available. Whatever time they give it is beyond their daily work assignment (I don’t mean outside working hours). The Lindens simply do not see the Deformer Project as a priority. Fixing problems, plugging exploit holes, rebuilding the infrastructure to improve region crossings… I could go on and on… are all more important things to the Lindens. We stand little chance of being able to change that thinking.
What a mess. To make effective change we have to understand what and who we are attempting to change. We also have to understand the SL community and what can catch their attention and what they are willing to do.
If we try to raise awareness and get the community to pressure the Lab, the Lindens will point to Karl and duck. You can characterize that as good, bad, or indifferent. Whatever the behavior is, I think it is an effective dodge because most SL users are not going to leave just because some Lindens duck an issue. Max thinks the behavior will drive SL into the ground. The behavior seems to have kept them in business for years and it appears it will continue to do so.
If we get people to write Karl… what is he going to do if he is legitimately waiting on someone in the Lab to do something? Whether he is or isn’t we can’t know. It’s the political season in America and I have trouble believing anything I hear. There is no way to know, so initially I treat most things as if I’m being lied to until I have proof one way or another.
So… we could fight over whom to believe and stack up a bunch of stinky opinions that prove nothing and make no movement forward. Such behavior only divides us. Politicians count on that. The Lab seems unable to deal with it.
I think we have no choice but to give both sides the benefit of the doubt, refuse to be satisfied with lame answers that may or may not be accurate an only serve to divert us. We need to be asking both sides what we do to get this project moving.
Once we have a new round of answers, I would take that information and address any problems we have with the answers and possibly any lack of movement in letters to Rod, literal paper letters. Even a hundred paper letters looks like a lot stacked on a physical desk. It might… MIGHT… break something lose.
We need test clothes. The Lab has warned us that at some point the lack of test clothes could hold up the project. I’ve been working on a male sports coat. It is a horrible mess in my opinion. I’m learning but I’m still too embarrassed to put it out. So, my slacking may be contributing to the delay or will at some point. Where are you in this process?
The lack of test clothes is also seen by the Lindens involved in the Deformer project as a measure of the community’s REAL interest level. Talk is cheap. Putting effort into a project carries weight. The Lindens have learned how fickle the community is. Minorities are very vocal. They know that too. Businesses serve the majority. It may be hard for them to know what the majority wants, but it is obvious the vocal minorities and the majority of people differ in their desires and priorities. To change a Linden’s mind we have to demonstrate a serious commitment by a good sized segment of the community.
Max sees the funding of the project as a measure of the community’s interest in the project. But, only a few hundred people funded the project. I see the funding as indicating that a few hundred people are serious about the project. But, they paid their cash and most walked away from any involvement. Even Max doesn’t oversee the project or manage it. So, I’m not sure how committed people are.
I want the project but I’m playing with Pathfinding characters right now rather than working on my jacket, which would be an excellent item for testing the Deformer. So, am I really all that interested? Based on that should the Lab realign its priorities? I doubt that is going to happen based on what I and those behaving similarly are doing.
My position is that we should be looking at ourselves rather than complaining about the Lab… or even Karl. If one wants to complain… complain to someone that can and will do something about it… and before complaining have a solution ready… one that actually fits the scenario. If we are not going to demonstrate interest and a willingness to take action, how can we expect anyone to believe we are all that interested?