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Thursday, August 05, 2010

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Adeon Writer

I can't emphasize enough how disappointed I am in all of this. Best of luck for Qarl.

Bettina Tizzy

Dear Philip Rosedale and Mitch Kapor:

Of all the things that Linden Lab has done in the past four years, this is UNDOUBTEDLY the most disappointing. Qarl gave Second Life's residents their best and most useful tools. A fair minded, brilliant individual who works harder than most anyone to advance new concepts and new ideas, Qarl also made Second Life the MOST FUN in a tangible way.

You have succeeded in convincing me that Second Life has no chance of growing.

Wizard Gynoid

do you believe in synchronicity? i just re-watched this Matrix last night. ^^

Latif Khalifa

And just when there was some hope that sanity is returning to Linden Lab executive management level... *sigh*

There is a spontaneous "Burn Your Sculpties" protest where people are encouraged to post the pics to http://blogs.secondlife.com/message/334284

Doreen Garrigus

I'm confused about the strategy here.

brinda allen

RE: Qarl Linden

Phillip Rosedale we have never met and most likely never will in this incarnation.
I hope at some level you can possibly ever begin to understand what you have done for me.

I am of a generation that predates broadcast television, I was born in 1942. I purchased my first PC in February 2007 and around the end of April that year I saw and ad for something called Secondlife. I logged in on dialup, couldn't even move...but I saw enough that the next day I ordered broadband and three plus years later I'm still here, paying substancial tier.
I joined Secondlife unable to even copy/paste... my IT mentor has been an avatar from Bangladesh and we met in Secondlife. Because of your dream Secondlife, my life has been totally changed, I am now of this generation and I will be forever grateful.

I say all that as prologue to this....
It totally baffles so many of us, your customers, that people with such incredible talent are not allowed to "slip away"... they are driven away.
Your company asks me to take a survey and I gladly comply... the same comapny asks me for an email address for future surveys, I gladly comply. The next day that same company sends me a survey via email... I open it, and I'm told, "You have already taken this survey".
You allow someone to keep a job like that, a job that I could do for minimum wage, and let talent with a resume like Mr. Stiefvater get away?
I don't mean to imply any malfeasance did or did not happen...but there are only a few immediate things that should/could have precipitated this move.
In no particular order:
Theft...
Incompetance by his superior...
Drug use...
Drug use by his superior...
Or no ones in charge...

You brought me new hope a few weeks ago...
Please keep that hope alive.
The mark of an adult is to be able to say, "I made a mistake".


comoro Infinity

there is no strategy

1angelcares Writer

The cake is a lie.

Deborah Stephens

Perhaps Philip can use the 'cheap labor' pull of his Love Machine instead to staff the Lab?

David Cartier

We don't really have all the details, do we? Hamlet either doesn't have them either or he is wise enough to not share them. I have had to fire brilliant scientists because they COULD NOT stop harrassing other employees, because they brought bizarre personal issues into the workplace and in one case other employees were threatening to quit because of poor personal hygiene. You just never know what new headaches the day will bring when you oversee human resources on a corporate level.

Wizard Gynoid

that picture of qarl's avi looks like two wooden art models engaged in the yab yum position (see kama sutra). i need to clean my glasses.

Daniel Smith

I actually worked as a contractor for LL in 2006, and have met Q. Seemed like a kind, brilliant genius to me. I'm in awe for what he has done for SL. As far as what LL felt like in 2006.. it felt like a cult, and it felt like there was very little adult supervision.

If there is some other side to the story here, it seems like the community would love to be clued in. Even if it is something as vague as "there was a good reason". My hunch would be that's not the case, and that the management really blew it on this one.

I gotta wonder what would happen with the intersection of OpenSim, Jim Pubrick, Karl, and a few other genuine talents (but there is the problem of who would be allowed to work on OpenSim core... some issues there...)

My advice to Linden Management would be: you better clear the air on this one before SLCC.

Latif Khalifa

Qarl did say at his office hour last Friday that they have kept him in limbo since the reorganization was announced hinting that his job with LL was not safe. He seemed quite distressed about it.

Keeping him on edge like that for weeks on end and finally laying him off is a very daft thing to do. As far as I am concerned the Linden management team is beyond hope.

Masami Kuramoto

By the way, Zen Linden has just been laid off, too.

This apparently leaves the Lab with only one developer (Runitai) on the render team.

Nat Merit

@David: Qarl's performance review from two months ago is up at Dwell On It, the his manager seemed delighted with his work: http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2010/08/05/qarl-linden-laid-off/

It seems more likely that anyone who was a contractor not a full time employee was doomed once so many full time employees were fired...

Hitomi Tiponi

Maybe Hamlet could see if Philip would be willing to clarify the current (i.e. revised) plans for meshes.

Wrath Constantine

This has got to be at the top of the "Foolish things LL has done" list. Here I was just getting my hopes up that SL had a future when Phillip came back, but now this shoe drops. Is the Lab out of their minds? They raise rates, cut services, kick out the talent... How do they expect to survive? DO they expect to survive? I can't imagine what could have caused this decision. Looks to me like another nail in the coffin of SL.

Indigo Mertel

I have never been a LL basher, I always believed that criticism should be constructive and motivated. And in that spirit, I believe this is one of those cases where harsh criticism is fully motivated.

I can't say how distressed I am for this incredibly dumb move. I can't believe that a company like Linden Lab can do something so incredibly stupid like getting rid of a key developer like Qarl. And mostly not realizing how dropping a bomb like this has a huge fallback. In one week and one single move they managed to sweep away all the hopes and mild optimism SL residents had after Philip's speech.

And let's not even discuss the ethics of a company that forces an employee to be a contractor, where managers promise he will be judged by performance and not status, praise him a week before and lay him off a week later. What happened to the Tao of Linden???

Linden Lab, shame on you!

I think that SL resident should do all they can to oppose this move. Raise your voice.

Cube Republic

This is shocking news, aside from LL firing one of the best devs they have, what will become of mesh?

Indigo Mertel

I have started a petition on Qarl Linden's layoff.

If you think his layoff damages Second Life please sign and spread the word:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bringqarllindenback

Ciaran Laval

I hope they're paying him proper severance pay, he didn't want to go from employee to contractor in the first place.

Qarl genuinely loves Second Life, he has good work reviews, he has produced great features like sculpties and was working on mesh.

Why on earth would LL want rid of someone who is not only passionate about the world, but also damn good at his job?

Nalates Urriah

Now I'm wondering about when and whether we'll see Collada meshes this year.

Okay

Linden Labs, where people count.

--- Body count that is.

Ziki Questi

I love SL and tend to always give LL the benefit of a doubt. (And I'm optimistic to a fault.) But as a communications professional, what I see is:

1) major layoffs, casting doubt on SL's future sustainability
2) CEO and Chief Product Officer depart
3) founder returns, stirring something of a patriotic reaction
4) another (and unexpected) layoff, high publicity and one of the key members of the Lab
5) silence from LL

Helllooooo? Are you guys out in f-ing space? If you're going to continue laying staff off, at this point you have to *say so*, otherwise it's going to convey to your external constituencies the impression that you're just going to go chop, chop, chop staff off one by one. (Which obviously take you right back to step #1 above in public perception, and you already now have a huge perception issue—something like this not only raises issues of negative perception but also of credibility.) What and where is the communications plan?

Fleep Tuque

This is terribly sad news indeed. :( Until developers can reasonably import models from professional design software, SL is doomed to be a marginal, niche platform. Obviously mesh is not the ONLY thing holding it back, far from it, but it's one of the keys.

Best wishes to you Qarl and much thanks for all you've done for the metaverse.

Discord

Philip has always been out in f-ing space. That's why I dreaded his return. He's a space cadet that loves to blather out loud all kinds of dreamy ideas with absolutely no intention or will for follow through. The fact that he can take that even another step further, and lay off people who actually make his nonsense come true is shocking. I guess the desire to "get back to basics" means he wants to get back to the years he spent not addressing the 1000s (yes thousands, go take a look at the Jira, and take a look at how old some pretty basic complaints have been around, many for years before he left) of things people struggled with in SL.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Hey, we educators got the shaft (losing Pathfinder, Claudia, George Linden) some time ago. Now you folks waiting for mesh imports can share our pain.

If this were a stray firing, as happens at any large institution, we'd be concerned but figure there was reason for it.

Yet with all the heads rolling since the Day of the Long Knives, who knows?

Firing key people with unique talent has one sure effect: making the user base even less inclined to believe management.

Rusalka Writer

Has anybody actually seen or heard from Runitai in, oh, the last month?

This is nuts.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

What a mind-numbingly stupid and short-sighted move. Let's hope ModRex makes progress over in OpenSim.

Little Lost Linden

Holy unexpected moly!

Now what will become of Dynamic Shadows?

Perhaps Qarl can now tell us the true number of bots in Second Life.

This is most tragic. I really wonder what is going down at the lab.

That's the signpost up ahead, and it reads...

Uncertainty

Rev. Samantha Poindexter

Speaking on behalf of the First Church of Rosedale, we are bereft at the loss of the Patron Saint of Sculpties, and we're going to try really hard to find a way of blaming M Linden for this.

[sigh]

Anya Ristow

Qarl was probably let go because he cost too much. With Philip's ability to get people to work for him for free, anyone left at The Lab who earns a living wage is looking mighty expensive about now.

Fogwoman Gray

I just saw the LoveMachine website for the first time today and it explains so very much.
Philip has smoked way, way too much weed for far, far too long.

Sandor Balczo

I think that the decision to keep Viewer 2.0 in the product cycle and fire all those who spent the last three years developing interesting tools to empower users' creativity are closely interconnected and can only mean one thing: Linden Lab is going to be sold to the company that made Viewer 2.0. Who wants to bet a pizza in Rome, Italy, offered by yours truly (airfare not included)?

I am seriously concerned by what is going on in SL. Residents continue to receive contrasting messages and those who used to care are leaving. While the management at the lab continues to ignore its customer base.

Arcadia Codesmith

Who's got some startup capital? There's a lot of ex-Linden talent free at the moment...

Vaneeesa Blaylock

I don't mean this to be a backhanded compliment in a time of sadness... but...

I have often whined that Hamlet is a professional cheerleader... a shill for LL... that he can invent a silver lining in even the darkest cloud... when all were bemoaning the nightmare of Viewer2 Hamlet was going on about it's bounty of features and benefits.

I am not aware of anyone who loves, champions, and supports the policies of LL more and better than Hamlet.

The fact that HE can't write a positive or justifying story here, but can only reflect confusion and sadness, that's as bad for Philip, LL, and our world as Walter Cronkite coming home from Vietnam and telling the American people that the war was an unwinnable, hopeless quagmire.

Daniel Smith

@arcadia Who's got some startup capital? There's a lot of ex-Linden talent free at the moment...

The obvious thing is for some of them to get into the ecosystem of OpenSim. But.... there's a bit of legal issue there (example: anyone that's been working on 3rd party viewer code cant dive into OpenSim Core.. they've seen too much...)

But there are other avenues.. Region Modules, Web Gateways, and much more.

What's becoming increasingly evident is that it is OpenSim that leads the way in innovation (HyperGrid, MegaRegions, and Media on a Prim is being worked on). I would bet some ex-Lindens will find ways to get paid/contribute where they are not violating any agreements.

Little Lost Linden

" Linden Lab is going to be sold to the company that made Viewer 2.0. Who wants to bet a pizza in Rome, Italy, offered by yours truly (airfare not included)?"

I love pizza. Mmm. Pizza in Rome, that I have never tried yet. Some day it will be mine...some day.

How much would it cost to have that pizza delivered to Cananda? Can we have photos of the pizza, in case we decide to place a long distance order?

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Oh, so *that's* why Philip was saying that they would be "thinking more" about meshes. Pastrami, who was also working on meshes, had already been laid off as well. Now Qarl, and probably Runitai next.

This *clearly* doesn't make any sense.

DilSpi

Hey LL, You may be dressing for a special marked move.
But its a wide spread misbelief to do with laying off the developing employes is a smart way.
LL, don’t be so silly.
Take a short break and think about Your moves.
Look back the long way of ten Year You already have gone.
LL, think about it.
THINK!
and please rethink Your actions.
Be smart! not silly!

comoro Infinity

It is not difficult to understand that MESHES WILL NOT BE part of Second Life and that SL will not compete and that SL will stay on life support for some time. It is not difficult to understand.

c3

wow...looks like i dont have to have my comments deleted by hamlet anymore....lol

enough have finally figure out "the game"..

matrix eh..lol.. hand out those blue pills..

one programmer makes little difference...the LL machine has never worked as advertised....

betting on how long it would take you all to figure that out was the game.. and as hammy aid...phillip wanted to make the matix... he did. and it ends the same way.... will you all and the machines still looking for messiahs and only the machine cashing in on the wait...

battery c3

Franics7 bacon

This is sad news indeed! I hope he will be able to find work soon. I am very excited about COLLADA-compatible meshes and still think it needs to be Second Life's #1 development project. I wonder if anyone form Linden labs will comment about this feature and how long it will be now before we can see it in world.

Saxon

Where is the Board of Directors? I ask Mitch, Jed, Bill, James and Dana - isn't this the part where you start imparting wisdom to an organization which appears bereft of it at the moment? Aren't you the "big guns" who are there set things straight?

What am I to tell new people when they get to SL now? What I am I supposed to say to non-profits considering spending hard-gained donations to set up in SL? Any advice from the high-priced help?

The Lab asked us to join them and build a world. We did so with passion and creativity. The Lab has disconnected and now, as Sir Elton would say, love lies bleeding in our hands.

Qarl's departure is breathtaking. Thank you, Qarl. You have served
nobly and we are in your great debt. You have suggested that you would continue to work in the service of our community and in deference to you, I will do the same for now.

Philip, the speech you make in Boston next week had better be the best you have ever given in your life.


@brinda - wonderfully said!

David Cartier

The things that have been going on with Second Life on a managerial level are starting to remind me of THERE, where management was finally able to improve it to the point that my employers were able to buy it up for less than ten cents on the dollar. I am also inclined to think about Ben & Jerry's, which, considering the unworldly natures of the founders, somehow stumbled into success almost solely because of their superior product and vision. They were ultimately bought out by a huge miltinational, but the vision and quality have mostly been sustained.
This is probably what needs to happen with Second Life, ultimately. You have an amazing and visionary product, which, though it has gone from bleeding edge to rather antiquated technology, and that mainly because of the misplaced desire to maintain a lot of unneeded and mostly unwanted backwards compatability, still cammands its particular niche. Linden Lab still deserves our loyalty and a good deal of admiation, but to regain the confidence of the current customers, past customers and future customers, as well as any - if any - potential investors, Linden Lab management really has to bring in outside management expertise. Rather than hiring more experienced CEOs they should maybe think outside the box for a change, and hire the customer service and public relations managers from Nordstrom's or GEICO, or any company that makes customer service number one, and then they need to get the Human Resources manager from SAS or 2K or Muzzy Lane Software; somebody who is able to attract the best industry talent and keep them happy, no matter how weird and eccentric they may be.

Arcadia Codesmith

"it is OpenSim that leads the way in innovation"

Daniel, I'm forced to agree... and I say forced, because there's an awful lot I don't like about OpenSim.

A key element of the user expeience in any 3D world is performance, specificly latency and lag, and that's tied inextricably to the render engine.

I think Qarl groks that. I'm sure he'll be brilliant wherever he lands, but I'd sure rather see him helping build an engine from the ground up rather than dealing with a mess already made.

We need a render that leverages all the capabilities of DirectX 11 on the latest cards, but degrades gracefully on legacy machines (assuming we're not going with "the cloud", pre-rendered streaming).

Maybe I'm wrong, but Linden Lab doesn't have that capability in-house anymore. If we're going to see any substantial gains in performance, they're going to have to farm it out either to another studio or to Philip's crowd-sourcing slave labor pool.

(I like Philip, truly I do, but anything that undermines the ability of scripters and programmers to earn a living wage is a work of evil).

Sandor Balczo

@Little Lost Linden:

"How much would it cost to have that pizza delivered to Cananda? Can we have photos of the pizza, in case we decide to place a long distance order?"

The place where I eat my pizza is: http://www.rebrasserie.it/

and is very close to my residence. They bake a wonderful pizza, neapolitan style, and have a selection of entrees and main courses as well.

Unfortunately, they do deliver abroad, for an obvious reason: ingredients are all preservative-free, as required by law. The pizza is therefore perishable even when frozen.

But I recommend Mama Joan's in Kissling for a great pizza experience in SL. I am totally fond of that place.

Sandor Balczo

Correction: they DON'T deliver abroad. Sometimes the delete key acts up on me.

Little Lost Linden

Thanks Sandor.

That pizza looks pretty good from the menu.

As for companies that are trying to purchase SL, I think the best candidate would be Croteam, mostly because, they are the only people who can say "Sam I am!"

Now that was a great game for it's time.

http://www.croteam.com/

My second choice would be PlanetMoon. They made Giants and Armed and Dangerious. Fun games.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zDiwUb4fZg


DOC Sideways

Well atleast his talent is not gone completely from SL. He has now joined the Emerald Development Staff.

http://blog.modularsystems.sl/2010/08/15/former-linden-joins-emerald/

Aussiedude

The good news is though, he's not completely out of SL, and his skills won't go to a complete waste, he's decided to join the Emerald Dev group, and will be trying to improve that viewer now instead. Hopefully any cool ideas he had in the past but was never permitted to implement will now happen?

... Who knows, maybe this was actually a blessing in disguise? The only talent at LL finally unshackled and let free, to do all the brilliant ideas he had in the past?

Sue Watson

Never have I seen an organisation work so hard to alienate its customer base as well as its employees.

Congratulations LL!! They could well yet be in the running for the most spectacular failure yet.

Emilio

Qarl has joined Emerald team.

Del

That's life I'm afraid. How many of us have been made redundant or fired at the end of projects or simply because of differences of opinion when a company is taken over or appoints new managers?

Onwards and upwards...

Centre for kazibora

I am of a generation that predates broadcast television, I was born in 1942. I purchased my first PC in February 2007 and around the end of April that year I saw and ad for something called Secondlife. I logged in on dialup, couldn't even move...but I saw enough that the next day I ordered broadband and three plus years later I'm still here, paying substancial tier.

I joined Secondlife unable to even copy/paste... my IT mentor has been an avatar from Bangladesh and we met in Secondlife. Because of your dream Secondlife, my life has been totally changed, I am now of this generation and I will be forever grateful.

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