Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

"Open" letter to/regarding Firestorm.

@Firestorm Team

Here's a list of things that really made my time as hard as possible and ensured 2 hours of raging constantly. Take these as suggestion on what you could do better for your next release in 2 years.

  • "Broken" looking navbar because of no background.
  • Bloated, unorganized preferences panel which doesn't even include all graphical options.
  • Clunky, unprecise camera controls literally "jumping" half a meter for every millimeter i move my mouse.
  • Auto-ALT-Zoom as soon as the camera controls floater is opened, ruined my scene 5 times in a row.
  • Essential basic camera controls like CTRL+Alt+AWSD not working/moved to other shortcuts. Please kill yourself for those, whoever changed them.
  • Linden's default Depth of Field settings, really guys, you have to change them, THEY ARE HORRIBLE.
  • Camera lag slider missing in preferences, camera smoothness's max is way too low (9).
  • Only slightly changed default Linden Environment Editor (preset selector). Horrible.
  • No text entry in windlight editors but highly precise values possible making setting certain values really annoying and hard.
  • Windlight editors throw away all your settings when closing the floater without saving.
  • Really important settings i could have needed for my camera setup (Camera Tools) were totally unfindable and or scattered all over the place, when i hovered over "World" i said: "Nope, definitely not in there." and skipped it. Oh boy was i wrong. Who found it's a good idea to totally break a good menu design like this, where is your goddamn VIEW menu, why didn't you put it into the "Shortcuts" menu, that's one of the FIRST things i would look into as a normal intelligent, thinking human entity. Fucks sake.
  • Why is there a navbar if you already got the information bar on top of it? Why are both even visible at the same time? If you want both, make the information bar a small text field that only shows up if you click on the text. (I was actually thinking of doing that myself at some point)
  • No top toolbar, still. I am officially dissapointed of you.
  • Didn't find Exodus's Post Processing even tho i'm pretty sure i read you added it.

Honestly, i just wanted to make a few quick snapshots but your UI design, cluttering of widgets and or hiding of important features that should be all together is really a horrible mess, every other viewer is better fit for photography than yours. Sorry but that's a fact, i could have rather just searched all debugs (thanks to the debug search function) than trying to find all things i needed (which weren't even that much, i just wanted save/load camera pos and finer camera controls).

It was a horrible trip through a really overly complex and bloated viewer. I'm actually not surprised anymore that you need to write a whole wiki full of tutorials for your Viewer. Look at Exodus, Catznip, HELL EVEN SINGULARITY. They did their job much better.

Now to some suggestions, suggestions i recommend you because i either tried them already or made some experience with these because i actually dare to try new things, which you always seem to strictly decline before even considering them. You can't know without trying them first.

Start with some logical grouping, add the "View" menu back, put all view/camera related stuff in there, create bridges by forming sentences like View - Camera Tools. View Camera Tools, that's the most basic, properly formed sentence you could possibly create. Do what, to what = View/Show, floater X. This may need some getting used to, but it makes sense and makes learning it really fast when you get the hang of this system.  
Add icons to everything if you have to, it is scientifically proven that our brain can work better with images than with plain text, your brain can save entire hours, days, weeks, months, years worth of imagery either moving or still, that is like creating a looping macro for snapshot and letting it run forever. Which is the reason why i absolutely loved the old chiclet styled chat system, even that small icon was like an instantly available chat log out of my head without even opening that IM session. I instantly knew that this is person X or if it's a totally new person. That allowed easy, non space wasting pre-sorting of IM's/Group's/Convo's without wasting clicks and time to look into it.  
Don't remove the background of important main UI features such as the navbar, it's nothing showstopping but i would consider that as a bug (i don't want to know how many people reported it as bug to you). 
Start categorizing your preferences panel, a Viewer with so many options is in desperate need for something like that. 
Make all the text fields of sliders usable, especially when you allow micro adjustments, moving 3cm sliders with a float value ranging from min 0.0000 to max 1000.0000 without text input for precise input is a pain. 
Stop putting everything, everywhere, multiple times, having windlight controls in WINDLIGHT CONTROLS and camera options/tools/controls in a machinima floater together with other machinima related options like graphics, filters and effects is absolutely fine, there is no need having a windlight preset selector in every floater all over the place. 
Stop adding convenience features for things that are easily doable in LL's Viewer with a few clicks just because users request them, instead offer your time and support to help them or write a new tutorial into your wiki. That way you stop bloating your Viewer and help people directly with getting better at what they want to do.
Stop reasoning everything you do with "but we listen to users". Everyone does that to some extend. Listening to users and being manipulated or used as their puppet are entirely different things, as far as i can see you are just being used by your own user base and the worst is, there are still so many people raging and flaming at you, requesting things and making viewer property claims as if they were developing the Viewer. You have to differentiate between a reasonable feature request and something that is entirely trash. It would overall reduce the workload, free up time of your developers, space in your Viewer and would allow you to keep up faster with Linden's updates because of less overall complex code you have to check tons of times.  
Your Viewer is literally outdated and months behind right on update day, which would be totally fine if your Viewer wasn't THE VIEWER with 2/3 of the entire user base of Second Life, LITERALLY and i shit you not dragging down Linden to some degree and at the end dragging down US. I remember a few times when Oz asked about your current status of project X and how he was like "Mh... eh.. ugh.. well...that's not good... i don't like saying it but guess we'll leave it for another week then, hopefully giving you enough time to catch on"
Last but not least, stop thinking i am butt mad at you and jealous because the biggest part of the community uses your Viewer, i can't and won't hide the fact that most people use your Viewer, instead i think that is one of the biggest drawbacks of your Viewer, it is the overall reason your Viewer becomes bigger, more complex and bloated every day. It is not even that i really hate about your Viewer, it is the fact you slowly destroy large parts of the SL community with it, you allow your users and yourself to become a bunch of lazy... yea you know and there's something even worse, you snag on other Viewer's communities with or without intention. Look around, look to my user base, look at Exodus's user base, you can even look at Singu's community which is one of the biggest aside from yours and Linden's, they are a very tiny fraction in comparison to yours, not because those are shitty Viewers, no because they have a focus on something, they try to create something different, something that has it's focus on a certain topic and you just proceed to implement either directly their features and skins among other things such as fixes to push your own Viewer and give people even less of a reason to use other Viewers, that's sad. I'm happy i'm mostly not your target anymore since i steered up so much hate that you just avoid everything i do. Every time i read a Jira ticket in your Jira about how someone wants a certain feature from another Viewer and you even seem to support that is beyond my understanding. 

Sincerely your enraged Niran.

No comments:

Post a Comment