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« Railroad in Slosser | Main | What is the US Military Doing In Our Virtual World? Building "Airtight Security to Prim Level" »

September 08, 2012



I don't understand. Since when was Second life a democracy?

Micha Sass

The JIRA was a legacy of the open-source nature of the original SL project. Many people could submit patches (or detailed bug-reports) for review and possible inclusion in the product. Back in the day, the more skillful JIRA contributors would get their name in the long list of helpers that was honoured in the 'About' tab.

Those days are over, and now SL is a fully commercial, closed product.

I thought you would be happy about this.

JIRA was not ever democracy, it was a tool for LL to get quality feedback/assistance to assist the development of the platform..that is open-source development.

Maybe it was the people who thought the JIRA was a complaint system (and used it as such) that eventually got it closed.

As said by Ash.."Since when was SL a democracy?"


> Many people could submit patches

And they still can, through codereview ( ), which has been the standard for code contributions for a few years now.

> Back in the day, the more skillful JIRA contributors would get their name in the long list of helpers that was honoured in the 'About' tab.

People in the contributor groups are still added there actually, see

> Those days are over, and now SL is a fully commercial, closed product.

I don't know how you can say that with a straight face when stuff like this is going on:

Or even how it's proprietary when you get access to the sources under a OSI approve opensource license:

> JIRA was not ever democracy, it was a tool for LL to get quality feedback/assistance to assist the development of the platform

Indeed. And it seems the new system is still intended to serve that purpose.

> that is open-source development.

No, opensource development is the development of code that is under an opensource license.


The problem was never the fat.. it was the wife. There never was a marriage.

At best we endured for the green card.

Too bad it ended up we lived in Arizona.

Prokofy Neva

Second Life always had a democratic component in the "your world, your imagination". The Lindens really did encourage user democracy in a number of ways in their earlier years:

o Town Halls -- what could be a greater symbol of democracy? Users could ask any question of the CEO and the staff

o Round tables of various types -- discussions on issues like the group tools or the adult continent

o Office Hours -- open discussions where anyone could ask a question

o Forums that were not as heavily moderated as games -- you couldn't be banned for talking about other worlds or games, and you could comment on both the company's evils and players' evils.

o The Feature Voting System which tended more toward features than bugs and was a good corrective to extremism of certain interest groups who would think they ruled because they ruled the forums or had the devs' ears, but who couldn't get 10 votes on their ideas.

o The JIRA, which was open not only to coders and nerds, but people like me who could file coherent bug reports using this system and some simple rules of documentation and reproduction. That's really important.

All these things together do make up democratic systems that in fact aren't coterminous with the open source movement, which, for all its "openness," tends to discourage contributions by amateurs and non coders by force, heckling to death, or muting.

The JIRA is not merely for "quality feedback" from insider coder cultists like themselves. The fact that anyone could and did contribute was in fact its beauty. It wasn't just an open source cult (at least until they started banning normal people like me and shouting and threatening everyone else with banning if they persisted with topics of mass appeal -- like privacy controls -- that Oz Linden didn't like for ideological reasons).

Open source development cultism is what led the Lindens to put in these democratic levers, such as they are. But they closed them one by one because in fact their cultism is merely a tool to find others in their cult with likemindedness, not really open and not protective of minority opinion and open about dissent.

Micha doesn't seem to realize that ANYONE who filed a JIRA that the Lindens accepted would get in the list of credits. I'm in the list of credits for version 1.23, and I was in previous versions for finding various bugs and persisting on them, like the one related to classified ads. There are lots of people like me who are simply creators or mall owners or whatever who just took the time to get educated and file the bugs. It's not merely a coders' paradise.

I imagine some very narrow and closed group will remain that will have access to code repositories and discussions on a list, and that SL Dev will be closed or remade.

The real problem the Lindens had with all this as anyone from the outside can see is the oddballs that attached themselves to this as they do in any open source project or system that isn't truly open by having rules that keep it open and functional very all.

So anyone on the autism spectrum with a bee in their bonnet and time to show up at triage hours could rage and run roughshod over this system -- and the Lindens in fact couldn't easily get rid of them because such persons would also do the job of scouring for dupes or engaging in other obsessive behaviours they didn't have time for.

Prokofy Neva

A reply to "Angela" on Dwellonit:

Perhaps you didn't notice that I've been banned from the JIRA since 2009 or so, Angela. But not for any good reason. I filed a real bug report that should have been accepted, but due to ideological prejudices, it wasn't. I also stood up to the copyleftists trying to invade with a proposal to have the creator default all perms to open -- the first step in making all objects default to open.

And if you read the long discussion (80,000 words!) for WEB-382, you see the real problem -- a concerted cabal of open source cultists who kept shutting down other people's entries, and imposing their will on entries and triages inworld because they had the time and obsession. I was right about WEB-382, and even Alexa Linden, under pressure from higher-ups, had to accept it ultimately and it was implemented. In fact, as I found out later, the *default* of JIRA software as originally created is not to enable the closure of another person's entry. It's only in that hyper collectivized cult of open source that SL had that it was modified to enable that -- and my proposal was to retire that and enable people's contributions to stand and collect votes. I'm listed in the credits on a number of versions of SL precisely because my bug reports were accepted, and often over the shrieks of cultists who couldn't stand me or the business concerns I represented (like the problem with the classified ads changes not saving).

The problem with someone like you is that you can't stand any dissent, and you try to characterize it as "spam" or political incorrectness if your worldview is challenged.

I didn't have any "lack of decorum". Read the entry that led to my banning.

VWR-5491. Even Andrew Linden himself said: " It looks like there is a real bug or design flaw there. Yes it would require a server-side fix." Meanwhile, Soft Linden kept saying it was a feature request to have the ability to remove group-set prims in share changed to be unable to do that without permissions. All he could think of was "group builds" and how lovely it was that he could return somebody's prim he didn't like in a group build. I pointed out that this was havoc on group rentals and malls and such, which was a far larger use case, but his ideological hobbles prevented him from addressing that.

So Soft Linden didn't like my reopening of a clear bug report that he kept trying to pretend was a feature because of his collectivist views on building. Other people who reopened it weren't banned.

The JIRA has been hobbled in this way as the natural outcome of the real closed society that is "open source". The Lindens have now shaken loose the oddballs that made their lives miserable as much as ours, and probably only the most cultivated and sanitized open source obsessives will now be able to put up actual code on some repository somewhere and the discussions will be minimal.

If all of you people screaming about the Lindens and threatening to leave Second Life would actually would put your money where your mouth is and make a shadow JIRA around the Lindens, or actually leave and set up your society somewhere else where it can rise or fall, I might take you seriously.


"The Lindens really did encourage user democracy in a number of ways in their earlier years:"

it was like the Scientologist encouraging tom cruise to marry a women...

i think this is where we part ideologies.... its not that everything is just a simulation.. its thats its now a lie. and thats why i cant vote for Romney... at least the simulation called "America" under obamas memes isnt a lie, only an illusion.

i can live within a "fiction" but i refuse to within the lie.

Prokofy Neva

Take one "lie" and run it all the way through, and you will find it falls apart. It's just a religious belief with you.

Balance in the force is needed.

Yes, I've been to Silicon Valley. No, they do have museums, like the Tech Museum in San Diego! California is broke, having overspent on the Better World dreams of companies that in fact don't pay taxes in California. That's not about Republicans, it's about libertarians and progs who voted for Obama.

I'm less cynical than you are about Hillary and even Alec Ross. Hillary chose him with genuine belief in the future. He's enthusiastic even if shrewd and manipulative. He and the rest of the gov 2.0 nerds have gotten the USG 13 million friends on 288 Facebook pages. That's not nothing!

I just can't get afraid of Norquist because I don't take this seriously. I don't see balancing as getting stuck with Darth Vader.

And yes I do believe that Ford and IBM kept my family from goose-stepping. I do indeed. Big business and the freedom of capitalism did indeed keep our country from turning into Russia or Europe in the 1930s, and that's all a good thing, because look at how they turned out.


"all my sons"

please... dont tell me IBM and FORD freed the Camps.

san jose was a city that predated the tech boom... and yes. it has a tiny public art museum too...

but the valley is NOT San Jose... find me public/ non private/ community centers/places/ etc in those burbs...

i have no religious beliefs at all... im a skeptic of all claims.

As stated, im not cursing the "republicans" or "democrats" only those who build/empower unbalanced systems that enrich themselves at the expense of the other.

Prokofy Neva

Check out this blog which tells you some of the consequences of shutting down the interactive JIRA:

Rex Cronon

i don't think ll realizes that once an external jira is created, then ll will no longer have any control of what is being posted on that site.
btw. the reason "jira helper" is broken , is that in order to view existing jiras you have to be logged in, your browser must allow java scripts, and cookies must be enabled.

Debbie Trilling

In the midst of an otherwise serious discussion, these lines had me chuckling aloud and brightened up my day!

"Do you think our image is salvageable, Tiberious?"

"No, the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."

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