Thursday, April 3, 2008

Script Hijackers

Written 29 March, 2008

Script Hijackers

We all know what scripts are, of course. They’re those wonderful pieces of Linden Scripting Language code that make objects spin, move, disappear, change color or shape, and send your enemies 3,000,000 meters into orbit.

I don’t take naturally to LSL—it’s a bit low-level for my taste—but I wasn’t in world long before I was fiddling with scripts. I picked up every freebie I could find, put them in prims, found what seemed to be variables and, well, varied them. Lots of time I wrecked the script, but lots of other times it compile successfully and the object went slower, faster, or became a different color.

I’m in awe of cleverly scripted objects. I’ve bragged shamelessly about Mystical Cookie’s wonderful Mystitool and Kitto Flora’s marvelous little steam train. I marvel at the HippoTech networked vendors and my weather machine and Rez Faux and the smart birds until recently sold by Fairchang Engineering (my friend Al Supercharges makes a great wandering seagull). And I’m grateful for well-done freebies like the door scripts of xxx and xxx.

I am NOT, however, impressed when someone makes a free script and, without adding real additional features, locks it up tight and sets it for sale.

I can’t begin to say how many “scripting heavens” I’ve seen with products that are basically one line of code. Typically, they’re locked down so you can’t adjust the variables—and they can cost as much as products with hundreds of commands. Such sellers should be ashamed of themselves.

Long ago I put a few useful scripts in the Pele Freebies (now Whimsy Freebies). I think I’ll do more than that, however. I’m going to annotate a variety of useful code snippets and set them for sale for free or nearly so. Soon, perhaps, Whimsy will be the place to come to for some useful simple scripts.

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