Friday, July 23, 2010

Drag-N-Drop Animation Overrider: a kite with a string for two.

Client-Side Animation Overrider made even easier with drag-n-drop ability. You just drag animation items from your inventory over to the animation overrider and drop on to the actions you want to override.

We've expected drag-n-drop features out of desktop environments, so I wanted to point out something Torley Linden said today on Twitter: "Opinion without action is like a string without the kite."

Often web developers tend to go quickly for the fancy graphics before an application really has the tools required to get a job done. The nice transparencies, sliding windows, rollable icons, mirrored images grounds, fades, and professional rendered backgrounds are all very nice to have. I think it is more important that the applicaton continues to let you be able to add such fancy graphic features yet still have the basic toolset that we require remain. Drag-and-drop is one of those features that often get left out as there has been a major shift to web page based applications.

If you thought a kite with a string for two is just an opinion, let me remind those that there are kites made with two strings for smoother and quicker control.

Two strings is the thought that came to mind when I remember how to change those HUD style animation overriders. You had to drop it on the sim ground, edit the animation HUD object, take out or put in animation items (drag-n-drop!), edit the notecard to update list of current anaimation items, and then wear the HUD objects again. Sounds easy until you try to teach someone to do that. It would have been nice to have two strings.

So lets take out the step to drop the HUD on the ground. For one, if your in the middle of a meeting in-world, and the parcel doesn't let you place your objects on the ground, then your kinda left with option to keep your old animation overrider as-is for the duration of the meeting. You can't fix it if one of the animations are too risque for the business meeting. Oops, forgot about that, better update that notecard with animation for perputual ojigi.

How about the step to edit the notecard. Easily to solve this if there was no notecard to edit because the script was smart enough to detect desired animations. Despite those issues we could bring up, I mainly want to point out the need to have to type the name or UUID or the animation. We shouldn't have to type those at all. It was typed once and drag-n-drop should allow us to not have to type them again. We could drop-n-drop into the notecard, but then it creates a link, yet this potential confusion is solvable, too, as well as this whole step.

You probably understand what I emphasized here, in action, from the opinion I had in my previous blog post ("User-Created Content: What haven't you been able to do?"). With client-side animation override, there is no notecard to edit. There is no HUD you need to drop on the ground. Even if the meeting place doesn't let you edit, you can still change your client-side animation overrider on the fly. You don't need to type names or lookup UUIDs.

We could get much deeper into what drag-n-drop can do for the user inventory. After couple 10,000 items in your inventory, even simple drag-n-drop is a challenge against the vertical list. I think I would like a fancy walk-in immersive mall for an inventory before another fancy sliding UI window.

Snapshot of string for two in action of the client-side drag-n-drop animation overrider: