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Thursday, May 03, 2007

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Veeyawn

I've posted this comment on other SL related blogs, just fyi:

I have to say I was rather disappointed with many of the residents attending the townhall. While thoughtful questions were asked there was much shouting of obnoxious jabs at LL.

I understand that many residents are frustrated but the fact of the matter is the lab is clearly concerned about fixing the issues. The world we enjoy and, in some cases, profit from is tremendously complex and I'm quite sure the lab doesn't want to see it fail or even slip backwards.

The resident behavior at the town hall coupled with the incessant vitriolic comments left on the official blog is the most counterproductive method of communication I've witnessed since middle school.

There are real problems, there are real people working on those problems, there is only so much time in the day and so many man hours available. If everyone who fires off a useless sarcastic remark on the job that LL is doing spent 10 minutes on the beta grid we could make great strides in improving the world. It takes everyone involved to make this thing work. Let's not waste our time.

V

Torley

I speak for no one else, but I agree with, and can relate firsthand to what Veeyawn said.

My early rage and frustration with bugs (circa 2004) led to me filing bug reports and making help notecards, which led to where I am in the present day. Again, I speak for no one else — but it's worked positively and productively for me, and hasn't made anyone's life more difficult as a result.

There's enough sadness in the world, and I'd feel very guilty contributing to the collective pain of the Grid.

We really are all in this together. :)

Nightbird Glineux

I thought starting the Town Hall with a question that begins with "Cory, if you were a super hero..." makes LL look like they aren't taking this situation seriously.

What I got from that transcript is that they are working hard to restructure SL, but they will not help users with problems caused by the existing code and db structure. There is no user support at all.

Hamlet Au

I'm looking at Cory's transcript, and I don't see any specific target dates for any of these proposed fixes. Am I missing them?

Komuso Tokugawa

I've pretty much said my opinion of LL's QA and testing processes at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/MISC-37 , but I found the following comments from cory very illuminating:

ref: http://ordinalmalaprop.com/documents/townhall-2007-05-03.html

[12:21] Cory Linden shouts: written with unit tests, whcih help. But the best way for you all to help make SL better is to use the beta grid and report repro cases when you find them.
[12:23] Cory Linden shouts: Patches are tested on the beta grid, but often times bugs do not appear until full load testing.
[12:29] Cory Linden shouts: as I mentioned int he blog post, we are attacking these problems in two ways, to first identity weak spots in the current system and to build a better transaction system as well.
[12:31] Cory Linden shouts: We've hit this one a few times. It is the majority of our design work, we post all potential code to Beta grid, and we hope that more of you hit the beta grid to test it.

In Essence:
. Load testing/simulation is one of the key issues for stress testing, which is a no brainer for any scaling transactional system. Solution: Invest in automated test systems developemt, because you cannot rely on free user recruitment.
. Only now are they starting to look at automated load testing systems it appears.
. They have also only just started a test driven development methodology to improve the quality of the development process itself..a concept that has been central to the agile development methodologies for years
. They have been "hoping" [sic] enough users will use the beta test grid to be able to stress test and simulate aforesaid "bugs that only appear under load".[sic]

It's a common problem that has killed many companies and products. QA/Testing is often seen as the unglamorous end of a development pipeline, while in reality QA/Testing starts at concept phase and needs to be integral to the WHOLE development process for it to be effective.

Call it Test Driven development or whatever, but the concept of QUALITY is king/queen.

The worst thing that ever happened to the IT/Games industry was the concept [no doubt developed by an accountant under the guise of "we need to release faster to compete"] that you could just keep releasing product updates to your paying customers and get them to debug it for you...for free, and have to put up with the pain of waiting for fixes.

For certain classes of products of a certain small scale and low cost that concept can actually work...but when the product moves into a zone of cost/utility beyond that...look out when the competition arrives. Your so called loyal customer base will drop you like a stone for better Quality of Service, if the product offering and cost/benefits are in any way similar.


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