Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dance HUD Analysis Update


Dance HUD Analysis Update 120209

We are continuing on the process I described earlier to analyze the Category 4 dance HUDs:

1. Start with the Category 4 Dance HUDs. When we finish with the Category 4, we will move to the Category 3 Dance HUDs, if there is a need.

2. Ask each of the Category 4 Dance HUD makers to comment on how their HUD compares against the criteria we have established for comparing HUDs.

3. Ask volunteer DANCE QUEENS members to confirm and complete how each Dance HUD compares with the criteria. The names of the volunteers will be kept confidential.

4. Publish the preliminary results without making a recommendation and ask DANCE QUEENS members to comment.

5. Modify the results based on the comments.

6. Make final recommendations.

I reported on Step 2 last month. Since then six DANCE QUEENS members have volunteered to analyze (Step3) the Category 4 HUDs. We are about half way through the analysis. Here is the note that got the volunteer group started

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THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR WORK

The first thing to say is how important this work is. There are a lot of Dance HUDs in SL (http://sldancequeens.blogspot.com/2011/11/comparing-dance-huds-categories.html). As you know, dancing in SL is a lot of fun, but also is quite technical as you get better and better. HUDs cost a lot of money and selecting the right HUD is an important decision for dancers. When we identify the best HUDs, we are going to affect the decisions of many dancers.

Making a Dance HUD requires a lot of programming and skill. The most advanced require probably hundreds of hours of programming work. When we select HUDs we are making some HUD makers winners and some losers in terms of work and income. Although our work will improve the HUDs, we have to be prepared for some unhappy HUD makers.

When you volunteered, I said your identity would be kept confidential. I do not want you to feel pressure from any HUD maker or DANCE QUEENS member. This way you can be freer to make the tough decisions we will make. I thought about keeping your identities separate from each other, but concluded that we will have to discuss the HUDs at some point and need to know each other. SO, PLEASE KEEP THE NAMES OF THIS GROUP CONFIDENTIAL. I know you all and trust that this will happen.

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HOW WE ORGANIZE OURSELVES

I think all of you are familiar with the Huddles EZ Animator Deluxe. This gives us a HUD which we all understand and it can serve as the standard for comparing other HUDs. If you are unfamiliar with the Huddles, let me know.

My idea for proceeding with the analysis is to assign each person HUDs to analyze. There are a total of nine HUDs in Category 4. Excluding the Huddles that is eight. I feel for the first pass that two people should analyze each HUD. I want two opinions on the first pass so that we get a broader view and people can work together if they choose. That means each of us will analyze two or three HUDs.

Each of you has identied the HUDs you have. I have assigned the HUDs to analyze to fit what you have. Some HUDs no one has and I have also assigned these. I WILL PAY FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE HUDs YOU DO NOT HAVE. Just tell me how much.
Here are the assignments:

Animazoo Dance HUD Quadro (Full Version)
Volunteer 1
Volunteer 2


Barre Dance HUD
Volunteer 3

Volunteer 4

DanceMaster Mobi
Volunteer 2

Volunteer 5

Fleursoft DanceHUD v1.0
Volunteer 6

Volunteer 3

Henmations Dance Control HUD V3
Volunteer 4

Volunteer 7

MLDU4 and MLDU5
Volunteer 2

Volunteer 6

TIS Fusion Pro
Volunteer  7

Volunteer 5

VISTA ANIMATIONS- DANCE HUD v1.5
Volunteer 1

Volunteer  6

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DOING THE ANALYSIS

We have already identified criteria for analyzing the HUDs. I don't want us to get lost in the detail of the analysis, rather I want us to keep a focus on each HUD relative to the Huddles Standard. There are eleven broad criteria that have been identified:

I. CAPACITY
II. NAVIGATION
III. ORGANIZATION
IV. SIZE AND APPEARANCE
V. LEADING DANCES
VI. SEQUENCES
VII. PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
VIII. ADDING DANCES
IX. LAG
X. HELP
XI. OPTIONS


Each criteria has sub-criteria to help you make a decision about a HUD relative to the Huddles. What I have in mind creating is an analysis that looks like this SAMPLE at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohZI4XRY-bwdHRVX09Uc3BTSTgwcXp4ZE1IZFllZEE

In the sample I have listed the eleven criteria and placed a number from 2 to -2 under each HUD for each criteria. The Huddles is always a 0. If a HUD is better than the Huddles in a criteria put a 1. If it is exceptionally better, put a 2. If it is worse, put a -1. If it is really terrible or not useful because of a major deficiency, put a -2. The SAMPLE is not real data. It is only to show you the comparative result we will create.

If you use a number other than 0 for any criteria, we need a SHORT explanation why.
Before we get started I want to give you a chance to comment on the approach. If there are no major changes suggested, we can start on Friday of this week. I will send to you all the questions I receive and the ideas for improving our analytical approach. I think it will take a couple of weeks for us to do this first pass.

Once we have the first set of data, we probably will want the whole group to look at the best candidates to make a final decision of what we recommend.

====================

A few days later a follow-up note was sent to the Volunteer Group:

===

This is the Second note for the group who has volunteered to analyze the SL Dance HUDs that are in Category 4.

This note describes the questions and answers that you have sent relative to analyzing the Dance HUDs. I have made a slight adjustment to the criteria (below) based on your input.
This note also describes how you should send me your analyses. You can begin your analyses at any time.

===

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Most of the questions that you asked were administrative questions or financial. There were two questions that were a little more significant.

The first involved how to deal with HUDs that performed couples dancing in addition to the capabilities of a Category 4 HUD. For this analysis consider that managing couples dances is an added feature under options, so we will add section XI. C. MANAGES COUPLES DANCING. Perhaps at a later time we will define a Category 5 for HUDs that manage couples dances.

The second question concerned documentation of HUDs that would be considered difficult. The difficulties are sufficient to cause possible misunderstanding and may be due to being incomplete or poorly written. We will add a section X. E. INSTRUCTIONS EASY TO UNDERSTAND

===

SENDING ME YOUR INPUT

When you send me your input, please place it on a note card. Identify the title of the note card with the HUD name and your name. The contents of the note card should list the eleven categories with a number assigned to each category. If you assign a 0 to a category, you do not need to add any text. If you assign any number other than 0, you need to say why. Remember the scoring is relative to the Huddles. In some case you will not be able to score. Use an NA (Not Applicable) for these cases.

EXAMPLE
I. CAPACITY: 0
II. NAVIGATION: 0
III. ORGANIZATION: 1
The HUD allows the user to jump to the center of the notecard making it easier to access the notecard contents

IV. SIZE AND APPEARANCE: 1
The HUD is resizeable to fit several sizes when fully displayed

V. LEADING DANCES: 0
VI. SEQUENCES: -2
The HUD can handle only 20 sequences

VII. PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: 0
VIII. ADDING DANCES:: 0
IX. LAG: 0
X. HELP: -2
Instructions are in swahili only and are totally incomprehensible

XI. OPTIONS: 0
Of course you can write as much as you want. You don't have to be as concise as I have been in the example.

====================

Once we have the initial analysis done, the entire volunteer group will discuss the best two or three HUDs so we get the opinion of all. Following that discussion I will send each HUD maker the analysis for his/her HUD only to allow for comments. When we receive the comments, the volunteers will review the comments. If more analysis is required, we will do it. If not, we will publish the results to get comments from DANCE QUEENS members (Step 4).

I am hoping to complete the analysis by March.
xxx
Nottoo


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