The frustration of bugs while building in Hiphi.

Note, this post is out of sequence.  The preceding post should follow but it’s not worth the bother to fix it up.  The download succeeded, the new version does work better, all is well.

I was trying to make a spork in Hipihi.

Building in the Hipihi beta is slow and fraught with problems from this part of the world. The interface has some design shortcomings. There is a lot of packet loss. It takes a while to save the changes you make to prims. I think the way that numbers in text entry fields are being checked for legal values at every keystroke makes the efficient entry of certain values at the limit of legality impossible and this gets magnified in importance by having to enter the numbers backwards, i.e., you are sort of entering numbers from right to left at times, although they read from left to right.

These problems pale in significance compared to bugs that screw up or destroy objects while you are editing them, with no way to get them back or to make a copy.

So I had my half a spoon bowl and three spoony fork tine pieces linked. Linking them was a risky proposition in and of itself. Things that get linked may need to get unlinked, and operations like linking and unlinking are good places for bugs to sneak in and destroy your work. To make it worse, I needed to rotate them. Getting these four pieces with proper parameters in the proper places relative to each other had taken what would seem like an absurdly long time to someone used to building in the Second Life virtual world. Counting the time to figure out how to make a spork, I had perhaps an hour invested in the spork.

I needed to rotate the spork and I did it by using the delta controls on the numeric values in the object editor.

I clicked one axis around and I supposed I picked up some clicking momentum, because
I clicked a click past a perfectly upright value, and Poof! my piece vanished forever.

This was very frustrating. My spork piece is gone never to return.

I’m not getting paid to build sporks. I was doing this for fun. It’s a perverse sort of fun,
building in the beta program, knowing that everything you make will be destroyed when the
real version of the program is created. Having that spork piece vanish after as much work as I had put into it pretty much took the fun out of it. Building in a beta version of a program with an interface I can’t read from a location with a very bad internet connection to the servers may indicate a certain degree of masochism on my part, but there is a limit as to how
much trouble one wants to put up and still call the challenge fun.

So to folks trying to build things from other side of the world in Hipihi, if you want to build
something big and neat like a city, use the old prims, as of 7-28-07.

The SL style prims should be considered strictly experimental at this point. There is no saving
the objects to inventory, so far as I can tell, and no scripting, so you can’t get the objects to emit their properties in chat for easy copying and pasting back in to new prims should something go wrong. So as you make your hard won little masterpieces, be sure to write the parameters on a piece of paper or maybe a little spreadsheet file would be an efficient way to record the values efficiently. If I’d done that I could recreate my spork pieces in short order and proceed now. Since I didn’t, I’d have to redisover the correct values for the cut and dimple fields, because I don’t remember what they were, and it was pure trial and error that produced the desired result, not the understanding of some principal that would let me go, oh, this needs to be this and that needs to be that and set them to the right values quickly.

So my spork building will have to wait till I get over the aggravation, and by the time I get up the oomph to try it again, I will probably come across some sporks made by others, which will mean I won’t get the pleasure of making the first spork I’ve seen in Hipihi, which will mean I won’t bother.

I should try using the old Hipihi style prims to make a city scene, perhaps, instead of trying to use the new prims until an update or two has occurred.


2 Responses to “The frustration of bugs while building in Hiphi.”

  1. Sue Baskerville (SuezanneCB) Says:

    I would like to add that trying to enter the above post using the WordPress editor was nearly as frustrating as using the still in development Hipihi building system. The word wrap doesn’t work right. I had to copy the text of the post into notepad and paste it back in over top of the text in the WordPress editor in order to get it to work as well as shows above. Sheesh!

  2. Sue Baskerville (SuezanneCB) Says:

    Actually the text editor’s failure to wordwrap properly is pathetic. What a fundamental thing to fail at. It fails for me on three different computers using different browsers. It fails on IE6, IE7, Firefox, Seamonkey, and Opera. It just stops wordwrapping in the middle of editing. Then when you display the page it might well display with the ends of non-word-wrapped lines just missing. Arghh……!!!

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