Mar 072014
 

Linden Lab yesterday announced that the new Jira, not quite as good as the old old Jira but far better than the previous Jira, was now live. One point that they have highlighted is that the visibility of bug reports made during the dark ages of the Jira will not be reversed, those reports will still only be available to the reporter, Lindens and The Chosen Few, not to be confused with Chosen Few the avatar.

Linden Lab explained their reasons for the decision in the blog post :

One of the questions we’ve seen in the past week is how previously submitted issues would be treated – namely, will those also be viewable by everyone and open for comment prior to being triaged?

While we want to make issues visible for the reasons described in our last post, we’re not going to extend this to old issues, because at the time they were created, users knew that those reports would have limited visibility and they may have included sensitive and/or private information. We don’t want to take information that someone thought would be private and suddenly make that visible to everyone, so the new visibility settings will apply only to new issues.

I can recall arguments like this being made about the availability of old forum content. The old forums required you to be logged in to view them but the archives these days don’t. I know some people weren’t happy about that, for the reasons stated above actually. I’m not 100% convinced by this argument because even with limited visibility people should have been careful with their information, but there’s definitely a case for keeping those issues largely hidden out of respect and it’s really not worth getting in a pickle about this in the grand scheme of things.

One feature of the Jira is the return of the new feature request and as Fenix over at SLUniverse reports, an early feature request in the new form had a rather bizarre suggestion:

Six fingers per hand

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Feb 282014
 

In a galaxy far far away Darth Linden and The Empire had dealt The Jira Knights a crushing defeat. Removing their ability to effectively collaborate and greatly nerfing their powers.

The Jira Knights tried to protest, they tried to reason, but The Empire were having none of it and cackled into their bug fixing. The Jira Knights went into hiding, licking their wounds and wondering if they would ever be able to return to their old haunts.

The Empire held firm, until very recently when The Emperor resigned and a new Emperor arrived. The Jira Knights now had a new hope … wait that was episode IV, the Jira Knights saw this as a new opportunity and secretly sent a droid to greet the new Emperor in his office. The arrival of a droid certainly surprised the new Emperor, however he was even more surprised when upon touching a button on the droid a hologram of Princess Inara appeared with the message “Help us Ebbe Wan Kenaltberg, you’re our only hope“.

I haven’t been called that for … well I’ve never been called that” muttered Ebbe.

Princess Inara’s hologram frowned, which was quite impressive for a recorded message “You’re in Ciaran’s blog, play along.

Oh!” said Ebbe, looking around nervously, “How can I help?

Princess Inara informed Ebbe of the problems the revised Jira had caused not only the Rebel Alliance, but also The Empire and convinced the new emperor that it would be best all round if a compromise was made. The new Emperor agreed and was soon publically responding to questions about the Jira : “Funny, both engineering and product heads here also didn’t like that jira was closed and want to open it up again. Proposal for how is in the works! I hope we can figure out how to do that in a way that works/scales soon.

The plan was now in full motion and today, the rebel alliance scored a major victory when Linden Lab announced : Changes To Our Jira Implementation.

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Feb 202014
 

Ok well I’m having to improvise here because Inara Pey has basically hit me with some sort of psychic rays and stolen my planned blog post! Inara’s post of Ebbe: the promise of better communications and a more open JIRA is basically the post I had planned, obviously far more polished and eloquent in Inara’s format, but that’s the post I had planned, including the Innula Zenovka citation too, I will still use that.

So I’ll just concentrate on the Jira aspect here. In a forum response to Second Life builder Pamela Galli regarding the nerfing of the Jira, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg responds with:

Funny, both engineering and product heads here also didn’t like that jira was closed and want to open it up again. Proposal for how is in the works! I hope we can figure out how to do that in a way that works/scales soon. 

This isn’t funny really, it’s quite alarming. However let’s jump into the history machine, which shouldn’t be confused with the mystery machine, we’re not taking Fred or Daphne with us on this journey and there will be no doggy snacks. I am so easily sidetracked, where was I? Oh yes, back in time to examine when Jira’s go bad.

First of all let’s look back at what the Jira was and in many ways still is. The Jira was the place to report bugs and issues. People could also suggest new features there. The problem was that the Jira had a voting system and wasn’t exclusively used for bug reports and new feature suggestions. People would report their pet policy peeve on the Jira and gather a lot of votes. Now although people thought votes were important, the reality was that votes were not important in action being taken, although issues with high votes would obviously attract the attention of Linden Lab.

Then there were the Jira wars where people with admin rights would close a Jira and someone else would re-open it, a lot of commentary would be about opening and closing the Jira, people trading insults, in short there was a lot of off topic commentary. On top of that the Jira was, and remains, a clunky platform for people to use in general, although the more you use it, the easier it becomes to get your head around.

Despite all these issues, the Jira was a bloody useful resource. I used it as an official knowledge base when I ran into technical issues because it was far more informative on technical issues than the knowledge base is. I would also try and search for my issue before reporting it. The Jira worked well in this capacity. However some Lindens appeared to be tired of the off topic commentary, flame wars and lack of efficiency of the Jira. Now here’s where it gets interesting and a tad worrying, in a blog post in February 2011 entitled Improving our Lines of Communication with the Community Linden Lab announced that voting would be removed from The Jira :

Submit Bug Reports in JIRA: For those that aren’t familiar with JIRA, it is our public bug tracking system and it’s the best place to go to let us know about bugs or suggest new features that are proposed in User Group meetings or outside of those sessions.

Our development teams actively review the bugs that you submit in JIRA and do one of several things: place the item onto a development team backlog to address, ask the submitter to contact Support or provide more information if the developer cannot reproduce the bug, or close it and explain why we aren’t going to tackle this particular bug or idea.

It’s also important to note that we are going to remove the “voting” feature in JIRA in one month. Today, we do not use voting to triage or to make product decisions and the last thing that we want to do is set false expectations. So, when you are interested in what action we will take on a particular JIRA, use the JIRA “Watch” feature so that you will be immediately updated in email when there are new comments on that particular JIRA issue. We will continue to use the number of Watchers as an indication of the level of interest.

This was foolhardy for two reasons, the first that people started to watch instead of vote, under the false belief that the number of watchers would mean action would be taken. The second reason it was foolhardy was because it turned out that it wasn’t possible to remove voting from the Jira. The reason I said earlier that this is troubling is that Ebbe is looking at improving Linden Lab’s lines of communication, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

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Mar 022013
 

The CHUI issues are now coming to light thanks to Linden Lab implementing CHUI in the beta viewer, there are a couple of good Jira’s on CHUI:

The first issue deals with an issue whereby when you tear a chat window off from Chui, typing into the torn off window results in the main communications window having a lot of wasted space, this is definitely true. The screen space is indeed wasted in this scenario.

The second issue is a list of a general observations and is a very good Jira. There are a number of issues here, and presented in a good fashion.

On top of that there are a couple of threads in the forum on Chui:

Both threads show pro’s and cons of the CHUI features and there’s some good input there, again we see good collaboration.

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Mar 022013
 

In their recent blog post on improvements to Second Life, Linden Lab point to an interesting new viewer for Mac users, the Cocoa Project Viewer. However, as Mikki Miles points out in a post on the official forums, the current release of this project viewer does not work.

However, if you’ve used the project viewer before, then there is hope, because in yet another example of how collaboration is a good thing, Siona Qinan posts a workaround:

I found a fix on another forum (a post from “Eris” on a forum that covers Second Life and the whole Universe). Apparently the arguments.txt file is bad – replacing it with one from an earlier build did the trick for me.

 Right click, “Show Package Contents”, open Resources folder and replace the argument.txt file.

Unfortunately I don’t have an earlier build, but for those who do have an earlier build, here’s a way of using the new cocoa viewer release.

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Feb 242013
 

Jira WEB-467 : Cannot search sim in maps.secondlife.com, I have this issue, I can confirm I have this issue, I can even add extra comments suggesting it’s a landing point height issue and ask other reporters whether their landing point is above 700 metres ….. well no I can’t add that information, no I can’t comment, no I can’t add a bloody thing.

Enough with this, if this is how Linden Lab want to play it, more power to their elbow, I’m through with it. I’ve had enough with this lack of co-operation with Linden Lab, it’s tiresome, frustrating and not good for my blood pressure and I’ve certainly had enough of trying to get Linden Lab to see sense over this, good luck with their useless, nerfed, ineffective, bug reporting procedure.



Feb 152013
 

Gadget Portal started a thread in the official forums: New Jira System – Not Fixing Problems. In the post Gadget highlights the problem of not being able to comment on an existing Jira, an old one relating to group chat. As Gadget couldn’t comment, he raised a new Jira on the same issue, which was then closed as it’s a duplicate of the older issue, on which he can’t comment!

I’m sorry, I’m going to have to be blunt here, but this is yet another example of why the new Jira is a steaming pile of cack. Within the comments in that forum thread, besides me pointing out the new Jira is a pile of cack, we see posts from others who are so unimpressed with the new Jira that they are reluctant to report bugs. Let’s look at that again, people are so unhappy with how the new Jira works, they are reluctant to report the damn bugs. This is not a surprise because I had an issue today that sent my blood pressure rising merely at the thought I’d have to engage with this awful Jira system, fortunately I was able to sort the issue without having to go through the pain and agony of the Jira.

Is this really want Linden Lab want? A bug reporting system that people are reluctant to use despite being fully aware of how to use said system? I’m not going to pretend that the old Jira system was great, because it wasn’t. The new Jira system has one big advantage over the old one, it’s far easier to report a bug now because they’ve taken away lots of options on which category to file a bug under. However, the disadvantages are massive. Reporters are no longer informed when an issue is resolved being a massive disadvantage.

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Feb 072013
 

I’ve never used Niran’s viewer, I can remember looking at it before and realising my PC didn’t really meet the recommended specs. I’ve read good things about it and I hear it’s good for photography and Machinima, hence why it’s a viewer that performs on a higher spec kit, some of the screenshots I’ve seen are beautiful, although it should be noted that beautiful screenshots can be achieved on other viewers too.

There’s nothing wrong with a viewer aimed at higher specs, the same as there’s nothing wrong with a viewer aimed at lower specs, indeed this is part ofthe beauty of third party viewer development. The current recommended specs for Niran’s viewer are:

CPU: Quad Core (3.000 mhz upwards)

GPU: NVidia Geforce GTX 460 and higher

RAM: 6GB

OS: Windows 7 64bit Edition

However it seems that Niran is thinking of jacking it all in because of an issue related to a Jira post by the looks of it. Niran’s post: How to effectively destroy Niran and the linked Jira Open-162 tell a tale of woe of someone who went to a lot of time and effort to analyse, report and propose fixes for an issue, only to be shrugged off in a very blunt manner.

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Feb 072013
 

CommerceTeam Linden has revealed in a forum post that new email preferences are available on The Second Life Marketplace, some long overdue ones relating to reviews being posted included, but other positive changes have been unveiled too. There’s also evidence that you shouldn’t stop believing in the Jira because issues dating back to 2010, indeed one almost to the day in 2010 have been addressed. The Jira sucks quite a lot more these days, but if your blood pressure can take it, keep filing those Jiras. Quite frankly after a day like I’ve had at work, my blood pressure really isn’t taking well to the new Jira, so it’s best that I take deep breaths and stay away from it.

CommerceTeam Linden is a Linden of few words, but does provide a link to the right place to get the skinny on the lowdown, namely, the release notes. The new changes include:

  • An email to the recipient when a redelivery of an item they should have received occurs.
  • An email to the merchant when a redelivery of an item in their store occurs.
  • An email of any change to revenue distributions on a listing are made: addition and removal.
  • An email to the recipient of a revenue distribution when a sale occurs.
  • An email when an item is unlisted or blocked as a result of a flag.
  • An email when a review is added, removed, commented on or flagged and removed (all to the merchant).

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Jan 272013
 

I’ve just reluctantly filed a Jira issue on something fairly trivial, but something that’s not working correctly for me. I say reluctantly because I still find the changes to the Jira in September, extremely disappointing. I actually pondered whether to both filing a report because the whole process is now so disappointing. The only real improvement I see is that it’s now easier to report an issue because they’re mostly filed under the Bug report project but beyond that, it’s an unsatisfactory experience.

One area where it is partcularly disappointing is that you no longer even get feedback on your report that the issue has been fixed, to quote the September blog post:

Once a Bug reaches the “Accepted” or “Closed” status, it will not be updated. You can watch the Release Notes to see when and if a fix has been released for your issue.

I’m sorry, but that’s a really poor approach to something which is a two way street, people take time out to report an issue, they should certainly be alerted that a fix has been released from their initial report, to not do so is really poor form and is one of the issues that caused me to ponder whether or not I should bother reporting the current issue I’ve observed.

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