When is HiFi expected to be user friendly to the masses?


#1

I tried to not be snarky in my title. I hoped I succeeded. Everyone has been great and very patient with my posts. But I have to be honest. I don’t see where the future is leading for HiFi to be adopted by the masses. Until I started experimenting with HiFi, I actually considered myself somewhat computer savvy, at least with Mac OS X. That perception of my abilities changed dramatically the moment I picked up HiFi. So the question I ask, if someone like me, with no coding or networking abilities but otherwise competent on a computer, is seriously and continuously lost with the HiFi experience, then what will be the reaction of the “average” user? And when I say I’m lost with regards to the HiFi experience, I don’t mean putting on my Vive and exploring new worlds. I’m talking about managing a domain.

Perhaps another way of asking about future ease of use is by referencing SecondLife. I have no problems adding content and otherwise managing a sim on SL. Is there any point on the roadmap ahead where the ease of having a domain on HiFi will parallel the ease of having a sim on SL? I just don’t see how HiFi can catch fire with the “masses” unless it is at least as easy to manage a domain here as it is to manage a sim in SL. Otherwise, HiFi will be a really cool place to be in VR, provided that you have some serious “geek-fu” skills.

Again, I hope this post does not come across as adversarial or disparaging. I just wonder where HiFi is at in development of the “average user” experience. If this is as good as it will get, or if one will always need coding and networking skills in order to own a domain, then I will say “Thank You” to everyone for their patient input and interactions with me and hope and pray Sansar is more of what I need.

Thanks!

JR


#2

Ah yes: http://wiki.c2.com/?GeekFu

Longish preamble: Having been here in HF, and in Sinewave’s Space, and talked to people participating at Sansar (what little they can divulge since they are under NDA), it comes down to this: unless you are a proficient 3D modeler, a proficient avatar rigger or a proficient virtual clothing maker do not expect to have the ability to create things easily or on the fly in-world in any next generation virtual world platform. Long ago, Second Life democratized 3D modeling and creation by introducing a parts based system called prims. These were simple constructs along with predefined mathematical transforms (path cut, hollow, skew, taper, shear, slice, and twist). That along with adding textures to each face, and permitting repeats and offsets, made for a myriad of possible easy to access forms. Non 3D modelers, aka average people, were able to quickly make some fairly impressive objects. That was long ago and that concept has grown long in the tooth.

Full mesh modelling is how things are done now and the complex transforms are implemented in external modelling apps. All these new virtual world platforms are designed to cater to professionals or highly proficient amateur modelers. You do need proficient programming skills because simplified scripting is not available in any of these worlds. Sinewave Space has simplified behaviors available in kits that you buy, but direct and custom scripting is now full blown programming (and it is reviewed before accepted).

The goal of all these virtual world platforms, including High Fidelity, is to provide the means for high end designers or virtual world builders to create scenes and environments that the everyday people can visit. The extra twist in HF is that you also have to make or buy inventory and asset management systems. It is then up to the world builders to create whatever in-world model editing/transform tools if they choose.

So, no, none of the next generation systems are anything like SL. And…

That question applies more to the world builders. HF is a virtual world platform, not a retail virtual world.


Question how to use Market assets
#3

For people with not much skills the ‘kit’ way is how i expect people go build. You see that in secondlife to. I know i have seen one a build tool in unity that where very nice. something like that you can expect at some point in new platforms.

Am happy if i can ditch lsl. But right now programming in high fidelity have so it’s bugs i think. or unexplained problems. So C# or Javascript is much better, but for many difficult.

Still a thing that one platform seems to have lot’s of creators (i read 1000) and there already currency. that will off course create more content less skilled people can buy. Compared to high fidelity that is doing everything on smaller scale, and as far i know no currency right now.

The only difference is that you can make mesh objects in secondlife from prims and a tool. But it’s really not optimized mesh. because many draw calls for all the textures and dae format.

And there mabye mesh programs that work fine for beginners to. but i dont know any.

Secondlife is compared to high fidelity on the losing side. Because it’s out of budget for many. So no reason or need to build there. it’s hard to say what the other platform is going to cost. With high fidelity i know the costs.

That the give the idea with the new platforms that only pro’s can use it with expensve software is a less goid. because it can be used for amateurs to.

Anyway, after long story. people need to think different and also need to learn to work with some new tools. Or buy or use free pre made parts to create things.


#4

But that’s not my issue. I’ve been a Lightwave user since it was ported over from the Amiga platform to Windows NT back in the 1990’s. My issue is the coding and networking expertise that are necessary to build out a domain.


#5

Yes, that is why I mentioned not only a proficient 3D modeler but a proficient coder. As for networking, I did not mention it because HF has worked hard to make it easy. They have a full networking option that takes care of the heavy lifting. It deals with traversing through multiple routers, UDP tunneling, etc.

There is a somewhat funky process where you have to set up an OAuth token that then permits your domain to connect to their identity servers. Once you have that set up the rest is automatic. Is that your problem?


#6

Sorry! I missed your coding comment. :frowning: As to networking, “easy” is matter of perspective. I have no Idea what OAuth token or any of the other terminology you used means. None. And that goes to my original point. HF’s vision for those who want to run their own domain is the domain (pun intended) of those with substantial tech skills. Average, or even above average, computer users will be left out. And when you leave out those populations, I can’t see HF succeeding beyond a small group of very nice, fun, and tech talented people.


#7

Huh? … I run multiple domains on different computers here. I’ve not had many problems. Just run the sandbox app and bingo, another domain. What exactly are you talking about?


#8

I believe this all started here:

@Twa_Hinkle, you and I said mostly the same thing about hosting domains, " * * *that for anyone other than crazed geeks with deep Geek-Fu knowledge, the easiest thing to do nowadays is just to install the entire package onto your local computer. If you have a spare computer, it makes for a fine ‘server’. "

The reason I wrote that, @Jonathan_Russell, is that by hosting it on your local computer, you could run interface and directly end u in that domain. You could avoid the networking issues until such time as your wanted to move the domain into another computer, whether in your house or hosted elsewhere.

Now I agree that the process can be convoluted for people who are not geek-minded. The average SL person is not going to figure this out easily if they stray from download and go path:

They would start here, downloading High Fidelity the app:
https://highfidelity.io/

Fortunately, once the download completes, if you start the install, the rest is automatic. A domain is created in your local computer, it is populated with a starter scene, and you are sent there. The only glitch is that a well known reported bug pops up where the localhost domain is not detected. Then a dialog box pops up telling you to try another domain. This problem will happen to every new user because, the firewall software blocks new apps from accessing net services. It will ask to permit the app to connect to the net. Because that can take several seconds to complete the task, the unconnected domain retry times out.

Now suppose a new person wants to create a domain elsewhere.
…they would have then looked for help. There is no help, but there is a docs item. I clicked on the “docs” menu item and ended up here:

https://wiki.highfidelity.com/wiki/Main_Page

In that page I saw the “Host” column and clicked on the “Deploy a server” link, which led me here:

https://wiki.highfidelity.com/wiki/Category:Host_getting_started

Now it gets a tad confusing because the order of the topics is reversed from how you should view them. You have to click on “Sandbox”, which is the worst descriptive link title I can imagine. Oh well, that’s marketing at its finest. Anyway, you end up here:

https://wiki.highfidelity.com/wiki/Sandbox

So, everything I just mentioned is documented above, but it takes several clicks and good guessing to get to the help docs.


#9

There are alot of avatars and domains here which cast doubt on the none can do it argument. That said it’s only really attracting people with a developmental eye.
The devs are still busy under the hood at the moment in 6 or7 years time once that’s finished I’m sure they will spend 5 mins building stuff to make hi-fi appealing and user friendly


#10

There are maybe 50ish domains, that’s not a lot even for beta. But, you presently need to have computer geek skills too.

I asked my wife to install High Fidelity on her computer. I gave her http://highfidelity.com and told to start there. Now she is a power user. She’s a Psych Doctor and professor, uses Zoom, various edu packages, uses udacity, cloud storage, makes vids and audio blogs. She has been in SL too,so she is familiar with virtual worlds.

What happened is she downloaded interface, launched the installer. Then she asks me “this thing is trying to go through the firewall, is that OK?”. “Yes, I replied”. And then she asks “It’s saying I can’t connect to my domain? What do I do?”. So, I sent her to Welcome. At that point it took a bit to let things get downloaded and then she asks “Why is this huge hand appearing?”

Puzzled, I went upstairs and saw this:

“Oh right, it does not support your computer”, I said. “So, why did it install?” she asks. I mentioned she’d have to get either a high end laptop or a desktop. “How much would the laptop weigh?” “Oh, around 11 pounds.”

She then promptly uninstalled High Fidelity saying she’s not interested. She would have been interested if it worked on her laptop with less resolution or less fanciness. One of the reasons she was interested was that she does distance teaching, so having more than a Zoom video connection would be useful to her. But, the equipment costs for the students is totally out of their reach. BTW, this is why I was interested in virtual conferencing. It is clear to me this is a great thing but I’ll do that for her using less expensive AR gear.

I’ve had this experience with dozens of people. Once they find out the requirements for HF, they just walk away. So, yes, 6-7 years rom now when the prices drop massively, then maybe it will be useful.


#11

Thanks @Jonathan_Russell for starting this thread. One thing not yet mentioned here is getting more people setting up hosting services, so that a person like you could go to a website and just pay to get a High Fidelity server/domain started up for you, in a manner similar to Second Life (which is it’s own hosting provider). Since we don’t yet have anyone offering hosting services, it’s a lot harder - you have to setup your own server. And, as you point out, it is common to be very computer-savvy and not have strong back-end networking skills.

So we will also continue to try and get hosting service providers up (I’m looking at you, alpha users) :slight_smile:


#12

Let’s get a solid Debian (or pick a common flavor) Linux build come out of the oven along with the Windows and Mac builds, and I can see 3rd party consultants or service providers happen quickly.


#13

Sorry to say - STOP DREAMING (all of you) … start discussing how to build up things the KISS method …

What you do is follow your visions and discuss things users arent interested in, so … are you building HiFi because of your dreams or do you want many ppl using the 3d worlds? If you want to let your dreams come true - you may be on the same road other open source projects (like opensim) went and some of them disappeared already.

dont let this happen. Build HiFi in a way all users can use it - give them functions like audio streaming - a general chatsystem - a messaging and groupsystem - a DRM system … and other things they need (not you need) - dont let HiFi become a “building blocks” system where the ppl must work for their enjoyment. and please … put the normal user in front and not those who are rich enough for buying a new computer and a a stupid vr-tool… they are not the masses (even if the producers would like they were).

Kind regards from Germany


#14

I think the build something for use in 5 or 10 years from now. If people not moved out before becuse the things you name sre missing.

I need to start using more the desktop mode, the HMD and my eyes are right now not a good combination. Besides i loke desktop anyway still more then HMD, shame it still need lot’s f work.

But better desktop support would make it much more interesting fr people, combined with some ibuild tool. I have seen nice ones for unity. Still using HMd at times is nice to !


#15

I agree. I don’t see desktop use and HMD use as mutually exclusive. I think we create a false dilemma when we think in those terms.


#16

I want to add to this(I’ve said this before), that non-VR mode aka desktop mode is just as important as HMD mode. For performing artists, non-VR mode is critical in presenting their art. They absolutely need to see their instruments or the music they are to play. The system needs to capture their hands, they facial expressions. None of this works while wearing an HMD. The HMD presently and for sometime thereafter actively interferes.


#17

I use HiFi exclusively in desktop mode and have only a few (mostly minor) complaints: The lack of officially built-in text chat and that moving the camera with right-click also moves your avatar which means if you want to look at your avatar’s front side you have to go into the menu and change the view mode (or install a third party script). Making the avatar change rotation at the same time as the camera makes perfect sense in VR, but in non-VR mode it just feels restrictive.

The text chat I feel is the most important issue to address when it comes to making the platform friendly to non-VR users. It’s also good from an accessibility standpoint - not everyone is able to use a mic for various reasons, and in my case I’m often on HiFi in the middle of the night when everyone else in my building is asleep. The walls are paper thin which means I’d need to use text chat to avoid waking everyone up!


#18

Meaning no offense to anyone, but I’m pretty close to just walking away for 6 months or so and then I’ll come back to check on usability. I think the final straw was today when when something as simple as getting my avatar to sit in any of the chairs on the Market place was impossible. Everyone, both in VR and here in this forum, has been very kind and patient. This is just not an environment for a noob with no coding/networking skills to get anything meaningful done on a commercial level.

JR


#19

I tried to zoom out with the mousewheel in mirror mode.
Sadly that did not work, if the would implement at least a zoom function in mirror mode you can take picture better from the front and also can look at your whole avatar. cam around would be better at some moments.


#20

@Jonathan_Russell I doubt if anyone takes offense. Hifi is not very intuitive and I walk away every few weeks. I keep my client updated, but generally wait for a few updates before returning. Most always things are improved after a few cycles.

I have great hopes for Hifi and have plotted on how I will shape my domain. I have many plans but at present my building is on hiatus until things become a bit less frustrating. I’m a modeler and rigger but not a scripter and networks are a mystery to me. I do enjoy building but my interest stops there as at 65 years old I have no desire to learn coding.