Thursday, December 08, 2011

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If Kirsten's Viewer Development Isn't Fully Funded By December 17th, Kirsten's Viewer Development Will End

Kirstens Viewer Crowdfunder

Click here if you're a user of Kirsten's Viewer, the popular third party Second Life viewer of the same name. It's the crowdfunding campaign launched by the viewer's creator, programmer Lee "KirsteenLee Cinquetti" Quick, who needs 25,000 UK pounds to continue developing the viewer, and to support his partner, Sylvia "Dawny Daviau" Thevissen, who has health issues. As first reported by Inara Pey, if the crowdfunding goal isn't reached by December 17th, development on Kirsten's Viewer will end.

"As I said in the past," Sylvia tells me, "we need stability... We needed the funding for one year's wages, as we can't live out of the allowance (welfare) in the UK (not nearly enough to eat) so we need to move on." While nearly $10,000 in donations have been raised so far, "Lee is already looking and applying for jobs."

The thing is, 25,000 UK pounds is an attainable goal. Kirsten's Viewer is used by about 8,000 people. If just one thousand of them donated an average of 20 pounds each now, the goal would be fulfilled. Click here to become one of those donors.

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foneco zuzu

And for those complaining about the no Rlv support, if any donates more then Uk 50, you can ask for that to be included on next version, so lets hurry up.
And even some, like me that will not use a v2 coded viewer at all, donate, cause if we can do some things worth, this 1 one of them!

HALEY Salamon

GEEZ,, CANT L.L .just give him a job,, we sure need him HALEY

shockwave yareach

Perhaps the code for Kirstens can be handed off to a different development team, and they can continue work on it. While disappointing, there is no reason to let the codebase vanish because RL hands one of the coders a bum hand.

Ann Otoole InSL

Isn't Kirsten's viewer open source? Where is the code?

However this will in no way replace Kirsten's magical ability to fix the graphics borks LL's staff creates. Sadly we are in a global recession and now is not the time to ask for an entire year's salary up front. Had Kirsten asked for quarterly installments the project would have been a go. Asking for a year was a fatal error.

Xpontaneus Com

I don't know how many times I said this to before, but here I will come again. Opensource doesn't mean that a program should be "Gratis" (free as a beer), it means "Freedom", I mean freedom to do one thing without restrictive licenses or anything else.

Speaking about if kirstein asked for a fund, I don't think it is a bad idea and even it is not "a fatal error". Making program takes time and sacrifice, this is something some people don't see it.

Even wikipedia ask each year for money to just for maintenance, development and to updates. Why Kirstein can't ask for it ?. Some people don't see in their own eyes how hard is to make a program.

Inara Pey

"Had Kirsten asked for quarterly installments the project would have been a go. Asking for a year was a fatal error."

Problem there, Ann, is there is no guarantee of continued funding. As it is, funding for 3 months of development work has been raised - but is that a real guarantee that there will be sufficient funding to support the 3 months after that, or the 3 after that?

Both approaches have problems, but with a year's funding up-front, Lee at least knows he and Sylvia have that cushion between themselves and the demands of everyday life.

Cisop Sixpence

I've given 3 separate times so far. I just don't have enough income to make up the difference in the short time remaining. This viewer is well worth the investment. I've looked at other viewers and so far I've not found one that can hold a candle to this one. Certainly a good investment, even for #Oprah, #BillGates and #WarrenBuffett. Yep, I was trying to get their attention for a small investment. ;)

Myf McMahon

@ Xpontaneous: Your point about what "free" means in an open source context is absolutely correct. And I agree absolutely KirstenLee has every right to ask for payment. In fact, Istr, there was a Paypal donation button on the blog for a long time, during the active development of the viewer.

Here's the thing though. Even at (what are in my opinion) Hamlet's overly optimistic estimations of the userbase, £20 is a fairly expensive price point for a piece of software that is largely not your own work. When you take into consideration that there are other TPVs, including one in the same screenshots/machinima niche Kirsten's operated in that are all available gratis. It's kinda hard to begrudge people's disinterest in forking over enough money to buy a copy of Minecraft.

Nok Highfield

£20 is certainly expensive to many people in these straightened times. However, it's less than many people regularly spend on games, and well worth it to retain Lee's expertise. There was nothing quite like KL viewer to enable a keen amateur SL snapper to produce satisfying images, and I, for one, am already missing it. Donate!

Xpontaneus Com

I think some people needs to change their view of "opensource", I mean. I am not speaking about the money and some investment in Kirstein's viewer would be nice. I just wanted to clarify that sometimes people confuse "opensource" with "free as a beer" and that is completely erroneus. The main reason of "opensource" is that the freedom of have the source code and modify as you want or even do what you want and share with the comunity.

Some of the opensource projects even they just ask for fundraising and one example is LibreOffice when they began the project they asked for some fundraising and they made it. Anyway Kirstein's Viewer may not be used as LibreOffice but would be nice if they could do some fundraising. May be the period of the fundraising was to short or may be the money that kirstein's ask was to long. Always you cannot goal what you want.

Myf McMahon

@Xpontaneous: That's all well and good, but no one's said KirstenLee's viewer should be free (as in beer). I think everyone here agrees he has every right to ask for and recieve funding. What a number of us have said though, is the way he's gone about trying to fund the project is flawed.

Bluntly, it's no good saying "well people should do X" and then sit back and wait for them to do that, you'll only be disappointed. What you need to do is sit back and say "I would like them to do X, now how close to X can I realistically expect them to get."

GreenLantern Excelsior

@Inara "Problem there, Ann, is there is no guarantee of continued funding."

One guarantee is that if the viewer goes away, the funding will drop to zero. Also, ending support for the viewer is disrespectful to those who have already donated.

These are difficult times financially. Many people have their hands out looking for money, and most are glad to have whatever donations they can get. Take the money, thank those who donated, and work on the viewer as time allows.

Nanu

There is no point to it anyways. See the "delay" story with qarl. Either people do it on their own out of free will, or not. End of story. And qarl prove one can waste donations in a better way.

Myf McMahon

@GreenLantern: There is No funding yet, Crowdfunder doesn't work that way. What there is is the promise of funding. If the target goal is not attained the promised donations are refunded. It was made clear from the outset that this was the way the project was being funded. Anyone who donated should be aware of this. It is not disrespectful in the slightest to return monies in exactly the way you said you would.

GreenLantern Excelsior

[GrouchoMarxVoice]That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard![/GrouchoMarxVoice]

So the only two choices are either everyone donates a large, probably unattainable amount, or the developer gets no money at all? That makes very little sense unless the goal all along was to abandon the project and place the blame on the users. It's like the old Laurel and Hardy line, "NOW look what you made me do!"

If the developer wants to supplement his income with donations from the users, he can do that the way most other people on the planet do it; put a PayPal icon on the web page and send a thank you note to everyone who gives.

Myf McMahon

It's SOP for pretty much all crowdsourcing operations. There are some that pay out before final goals are met, but they're few and far between. The idea is to insulate donators from having the donatee turning round and saying "well gee I made some headway, but your money ran out, sorry!"

It's a perfectly reasonable fund raising method, it worked for Qarl's mesh deformer and I've seen it work for all sorts of other projects. To be a success though, whomever's asking for money needs to be realistic about how much they need and much they think they can get. I seriously doubt Kirsten Lee is being realistic about either.

Holger Gilruth

I think there will never get it to 25.000 its of course too many money

Siana Gearz

Holger, no it isn't too much money, that's a few cent per month per user, while people - users of Kirsten's in particular - spend an average of a few $ per month on SL. You'd think they could fork off, like, a couple % of what they spend to help a developer in need?

Then again, i thought this was doomed from the start. My own viewer is immensely more popular than Kirsten's and i'll be "happy" if my donations reach 100 EUR for the length of the whole year. Kirstens' users have been more charitable than that.

And GreenLantern, it doesn't work. I'm sure you'd LIKE that to pay nothing and receive something worth thousands of hours of unpaid developer's per year, but so does everyone else too. Paypal button has been there all along, hardly anyone uses it.

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