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Wednesday, August 05, 2015


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Ordinal M

Sounds like an utterly charming fellow. I can't imagine why he has such trouble finding people willing to be reasonable.

Ordinal M

Less sarcastically, though, scripting has always been a significant barrier to creation. LSL itself is not particularly obscure compared to other languages, but I think those of us who are scripters regularly underestimate quite how opaque the whole concept is when approached from first principles.

It is also that the way that one has to use scripts to achieve goals within SL really is quite unique. Scripts doing what you want them is quite easy, but all the tiny little details of how to get different scripts to interact, avoid race conditions, preserve states between rezzes, deal with lag and errors... those need experience within SL, as well as keeping up with the latest fixes and issues, even if one has is fine with the basic concepts.

It's just a shame that "for such a central issue, scripting is really hard to learn and you don't get much help, there should be, say, a deeper series of interfaces from high to low level functions" seems to turn into "scripters are greedy bastards holding honest creators to ransom". But then, you know, drama.

Levio Serenity

If you're getting a full perm script then you would be able to take out any back doors your scripter put in there. But if you're working with people that shady to start with, you might want to just look other places for your scripters because you're getting scam artists, not a real developer.

Real devs aren't going to come cheap either though, why build something for someone else if you can code your own projects and keep the money for yourself? People come to me with "million dollar ideas" and then think once I've scripted it for them, they should get all the money because they had the original idea. Guess what? Such ideas aren't really worth anything as an idea. It's the actual implementation of an idea that has value in the real world/SL. And then it's max worth is pretty much proportional to the amount of effort involved. If it only took you a day to script, rest assured you will have someone in SL who has cloned it the day after.

Thinking that Sansar will be better because it's using C# sounds like wishful to me. Now you'll be dealing with programmers who would be getting paid RL wages for their skills. If all you can do is SL scripting, the only work you can get is in SL, so I'm pretty skeptical that you're going to get custom work done for cheaper in Sansar when that same dev could go work for Microsoft.

So take with a grain of salt, my experiences scripting in SL probably aren't the norm..


If anything is really such easy money and too much power... everyone in SL would be doing it.

We all know that's true.

Shockwave Yareach

I am a scripter. And the only way I would imagine anything costing 500us would be if it required a server on the net somewhere but the customer didn't want to pay an annual fee for bandwidth and server rental. In the real world those bit and boxes aren't free, so you either pay up front for the machine or you pay monthly.


Because C# programmers are two a penny? Mmmm...

Desmond Shang

It's rare that I have time to comment much these days, but this topic... wow!

Yes, technical people have advantages. That's what they get for mastering any technical field that is extremely detailed, difficult, and generally in high demand.

Meanwhile, the back 2/3 of the high school math class decides STEM fields are 'too hard' and does something else. Sure, there are people who can be top shelf in other endeavours; the liberal arts for instance are truly a pillar of civilisation. That said, there are just plain too many people trying to succeed that way. While being a waiter for their day job. Technocrats aren't specifically oppressing artists; in fact, they often have a few bucks to support the arts. Rather, it's *all of society* that doesn't financially value the incredible glut of liberal arts. And even less, the unskilled.

That said, this idea of various skilled groups having too much power, has resonated strongly before. Look up "cultural revolution" and see how that worked out.

LSL isn't exactly proprietary knowledge. Full docs and test environment are available *for free* 24/7 and have been for a very long time. A decent cup of coffee is harder to get.

Could there possibly be *any* easier platform than SL to outsource code development to the third world, exploit wage differences and pay people peanuts for real work? No, didn't think so.

Real pay for coding C#, ranges from about a dollar per two minutes on the low end, to about a dollar per minute. Anyone charging less is basically coding because they feel like it, or in a 3rd world country.

Also, for those of you paying for code, make sure the contract includes the source code, and compile. it. yourself. Or get a trusted friend to do it. Common sense here... otherwise you are pretty much just asking to be back~doored. And if you want a service contract in the event a platform provider breaks something, then pay for one.

Once the genie of professional content creation is let out of the bottle, it's not going back in.

Estelle Pienaar

I think that a lot of basic functions could have been implemented via a graphical user-interface similar to prims. That would have been much more intuitive. There is even one example now: In the edit window people can decide if a left click on the object results in "touch, sit, pay...". In the early days, such a choice could only be made by writing code.

Of course, more complex code isn't possible like that.

Coding is quite time consuming and if I need to work 10 hours on a complex script, then I want to be paid for 10 hours. That's why I don't script for other people in SL. The other person would feel that my work is too expensive in SL terms and I would feel underpaid. I have much better RL income streams.

sirhc deSantis

The 'backdoor' disable thing is the clue here - its something to do with the casino stuff or else one of the breedable fads (several of both have been either alluded to or outright ranted about elsewhere). The external server thing, you know..

Add in the fact that, unlike other 'resources', there are thousands of free ones out there that cost nothing to use (upload costs) - instant perceived zero value for any custom work. Couple of times been asked to write something only to be told 'oh I found this that sort of works free kkthxbye'. Which is fine, I guess.

So also rarely bother writing anything beyond trivial for other than friends or co builders these days. Not worth the hassle for frankly little reward. Still do it because its fun though.
And yep been playing with c# just in case :)

sirhc deSantis

Ah just waded through the full post on rediit (yuck reminds self why I don't usually haha) and got the whole rant. Yep some valid points on ripping model stuff (and other things although the stab at getting animations via coffeepotting was a bit - generic) buried in the wall of text and even a name and shame link to one of the ranters examples, although knew of that one before.

So basically, the op says that either all scriptors are theives (I guess in their line of work thats their take) or all scripts should be just as easily ripped - to level the playing field :)

Will stick to doing my own


i think that what the objector misses is that it dont take a hour or about to do a script mod to have it work on a different model

it takes a lifetime. A lifetime of learning

you not paying for a hours work. You paying for a lifetime of work

is the same when ask a modeller to make you something custom. They can do it in a hour or about as well bc lifetime


seems to me that the objector person has only a short lifetime as a modeller bc it takes them weeks/months to model one thing. They will get better and faster at this as their life progress. as/when/if they learn the workflows (same as scripter/programmers and every other creatives do) and then brmmm! can crank stuff out pretty quick. And then charge $US150 a hour. $US300 even (:

Shuichi Shinji

Being a scripter myself, I can only disagree with jaggedpuma. Well, there might be individuals who behave like that. But, while trying to be reasonable and not charging what I'd earn in RL for similar work, I have experienced demanding, unfriendly customers or individuals who were not paying for custom work, probably hoping they could get it for less once I published it (I charge less when I can also sell it myself, but it's still more than buying the published version then... as they're paying for the development).

To be fair, I have to say that this is only a small percentage. Most customers have been happy about my work and friendly and understanding - and it's much more satisfying to do something for them and see your scripts in products they sell. It takes a lot of time to write reliable scripts and do proper testing etc. - which can't always be seen...

Melissa Yeuxdoux

LSL is the Javascript of VR in the sense that it, like Javascript, was a quickly thrown-together hack. However, Javascript has the advantage of being the only programming language one can count on having around for web development. Every browser supports it--so there are people willing to devote a LOT of resources to making it run fast, creating debugging tools for it, etc.

Whatever one may think of Microsoft, it has devoted a lot of work to C#--far more than LL will ever be able to devote to LSL. It's not just improving the code generated, but it's providing educational materials. Googling "LSL tutorial" turns up 1,300 results. Googling "C# tutorial" turns up 298,000 results.


"Yes, technical people have advantages. That's what they get for mastering any technical field that is extremely detailed, difficult, and generally in high demand.

Meanwhile, the back 2/3 of the high school math class decides STEM fields are 'too hard' and does something else. Sure, there are people who can be top shelf in other endeavours; the liberal arts for instance are truly a pillar of civilisation. That said, there are just plain too many people trying to succeed that way. While being a waiter for their day job. Technocrats aren't specifically oppressing artists; in fact, they often have a few bucks to support the arts. Rather, it's *all of society* that doesn't financially value the incredible glut of liberal arts. And even less, the unskilled."

In other words, the people who choose to be artists and animators did so because they were too stupid to understand math to be a scripter? Your elitist attitude is proving the article right.

Have you ever modeled anything complex in Blender before? If you have, then you should know that making models and editing mocap or creating textures in photoshop can be highly technical. Why then should the work of scripters matter more than anyone else?

Or are you all just happy for the fact that you can download models off turbosquid without having to work with someone else because you don't need them?

Also, no one here addressed the issue of people needing to give their stuff to a scripter full perm for them to script because they don't want to make their code accessible. I know one former partnership of an artist and a scripter who made airships together long ago before mesh. Art guy gives his partner the airship to script and togther they sell the product. Things go well until there is a falling out years later. In retaliation, the scripter gives away the product for free, killing the art guy's sales. There's got to be a better way for no mod scripts to get attached to objects without fully exposing the creator of the object.

Something needs to change here and fast.

Aliasi Stonebender

I wouldn't say 'too stupid', although I can't speak for Desmond. But it is correct that the proper algorithmic thinking, the breaking down of a complex tasks into steps a very fast idiot (which is to say, a computer) can do, is a skill that can be learned, but can be learned more easily by some.

As for why the work of scripters should or shouldn't matter more... well, it's more a hand-in-hand issue, isn't it? Without a script, your nifty airplane is just a model. Without a nifty airplane, the script is just something that makes a wooden cube move around.


Wouldn't LL do something about remote script killing? It could very easily be seen, there is a ll function for deleting scripts and they can very easily read it and they do have access.

Unfortunately, they may say it is up to you to get a contract drawn up and to use that contract in a court of law. I remember something about disputes and such in the TOS and people saying that is what they do. It is word of mouth, so you may be able to complain and AR him over griefing you and some other TOS violation he has done by doing this to you though?

Adeon Writer

On the whole, I find that scripting work in SL is insanely overcharged. But, it's because we've cornered a niche. So long as we all charge a premium, you either pay it or spend the time to learn LSL on your own.

Of course, I'm not going to say it's not justified. Programming work, on the whole, is expensive. That doesn't get a price cut just becuase we're talking about some niche language like LSL. In fact, it makes the work harder! LSL is... at minimum, a very annoying language to script in.

Kimm Paulino

When scripting in SL (I don't do much anymore), I encountered this view quite a lot. Eventually I wrote up some opinions into some thoughts on hiring scripters, with the main point being:

"Remember that any good scripter is highly likely to be a programmer in RL – not always, but if they are a good programmer, that’s usually because it is what they do. Consequently, when looking to hire a scripter, if it ends up just being “like the day job” then they will almost certainly earn far more just doing their day job than getting paid for scripting in SL. SL rates are just not a competitive tradeoff for RL time."

Creating any product requires lots of dull work - error cheching, manuals, tutorials, testing, edge cases, maintenance, etc. No one will want to do that without incentives - but they don't always need to be monetary. But if you don't appeal in other ways, then monetary compensation for the significant time required for anything but the simplest of scripts is really the only option left.

As per the article, ideally there would be more widely accessible methods for programming in-world, that don't require specialist expertise, but until that day, programming a product will remain a significant amount of not very glamorous work compared to scripting for your own fun and entertainment. So there won't be many people happy to do that just for the fun of it.

In my view it's not a case of which is the more desirable skill, it is down to why individuals might spend their time on someone else's project - the incentives for creation.

(Late to the conversation, I know)

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