We are in the waning days of the largest Virtual Goods sales portal ever created … SL Exchange or XstreetSL as it was renamed post-buyout. As first imagined by its creators, SL Exchange was designed to provide a vibrant and feature rich marketplace for Merchants of all skill levels and specialties to host and promote their virtual wares. It was a hodge-podge of software modules cobbled together with bubble gum and baling wire … and it worked beautifully. So beautifully in fact that Linden Lab decided to snatch that success for itself. So in 2009 they orchestrated and executed a takeover buyout that gobbled up SL Exchange and produced their rebranded Xstreet SL. Continue reading “The Fallacy of Uniformity in Marketing” »»
I’ve been a professional programmer for nearly four decades now. I’ve worked on all manner of projects and systems from mainframe megalithic code piles to ultra-tiny microprocessor controlled doo-dads. But one thing I have always retained across every job has been a sense of honesty, fair play and integrity.
If you’re a programmer, you know this question all too well. “Hey, can you hack into …?” People ask it for various reasons, usually petty personal ones, sometimes not so petty and sometimes not so clearly answered. But my answer has always been the same … no thank you.
Recently I have posted in the Second Life Commerce forums about the disgraceful website the Linden Lab Commerce team has put out there under the banner of the Marketplace. Their total lack of respect for both customers and merchants, the shoddy manner in which they released a barely functional pre-alpha abomination, and then their spotty, on and off communication with the people that most need it has had me fuming a time or twenty.
But today all of those fell to nothing in one simple blog post that sucked the life and pleasure out of me. It was a blog post made by LordGregGreg Back, late of the Emerald Development team.
In his post, he is both apologist and outraged developer. He blows the covers off something that was added into the Emerald Viewer code by others on the team. And not just added in, but purposely and willfully kept secret, encrypted to prevent detection, obfuscated from other team members, and then lied about when confronted head on.
As I mentioned at the top, the one thing that has typified my career (and netted me some choice jobs in high-security projects) has been my personal integrity. Well the idiots that saw fit to besmirch Emerald’s squeaky clean reputation just destroyed not only their reputations for all time to come, but they robbed every single Emerald user of the TRUST that was key to its success.
I don’t know what malfunction made them decide to play stupid hacker games with the Emerald Viewer, and frankly I don’t give a damn. All I know is they did … and now 70% of the people using Second Life that also used, depended on and praised the Emerald Viewer just took a head shot from which there is no graceful recovery.
Shame on you guys. SHAME SHAME and MORE SHAME!! You have shown you are below contempt and certainly below forgiveness. You have taken the most precious quality of any highly personal software system … and trashed it needlessly.
LordGregGreg .. you may not ever read my words, but I want you to know that I understand your personal turmoil in the decision you’ve just made. I can tell you that where I am today is due in large part to having faced and made those same decisions in my career too. You are not alone, but you ARE worthy of a large thank you. And an apology for the criticism that will surely come your way now.
To everyone else, I will say with every ounce of earnest emotion in me, the actions of these few cretins that saw fit to hide, lie and steal from their loyal customers … that is NOT what typifies a true professional. Any doubts you may have should be weighed in the scale of truth that almost all of us that sling code (and your personal details) around through today’s computer systems, do so with the UTMOST respect for your rights of privacy and security. And we are ashamed for what a tiny few have done to shatter than tender bond.
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, New Products, SL In-World Search
I’ve been pretty quiet lately and I suppose it’s time I explained why. The truth is, I’ve been “occupied”. No, not with anything stemming from my posts about Virtual Land and Second Life (although that did stir up some interesting responses). I’ve actually been occupied working on another facet of Second Life that seems in trouble. White Knight that I am, you just knew I had to stick my nose in it.
Search and the Google Search Appliance
Some time back, about four months so I’m told (although April seems to be a favorite time for jokes), a new venture was begun inside the hallowed halls of Linden Lab. That venture was designed to replace the existing Search Engine used to find stuff inside Second Life with Google’s newest wunderbox … the GSA 6. The goals were admirable, pull out the old iron and drop in some new-fangled and very powerful hardware that was designed from the ground up to be the end-all, do-all search appliance for corporate intranets. It should have been a turkey shoot. Needless to say, the turkeys got away without a scratch.