Users of Free
Non-Mesh Phoenix Viewer Enraged at Volunteer Team for No Longer Supporting It (for Free)
Oh Internet: The developers of Phoenix, once a very popular third party Second Life viewer, are no longer supporting the client, because it's not compatible with recent updates to the official SL viewer codebase (including mesh). That's understandable. What's somewhat confusing is that many Phoenix users are enraged by this rejection, and angry at the Phoenix team for walking away -- even though they're still working on third party viewers (the mesh-enabled Firestorm), they're a group of volunteers working on an open source project, and, you know, they gave Phoenix away for free. As team lead Tonya Souther blogs:
Ever since we announced the end of Phoenix support, people have been bitching and moaning about it... There have been a few comments recently from folks claiming to fork - or even "take over" - the development of the Phoenix viewer... One thing I don't understand is the fetish some of our haters have for accusing us of lying. We don't lie. We tell the truth as we see it. That's exactly what I've done in every posting I've made publicly, both here, on Google+, on SLUniverse, and on the LL forums.
The whole rant is worth reading if you're a Phoenix user past or present or if you're just interested in the social dynamics around open source software, but three takeaways stick out to me:
- There's still quite a lot of people who want/need to use a non-mesh SL viewer [see update], something Linden Lab and open source teams are moving away from now (whether they want to or not).
- There's still quite a lot of confusion around how open source software works. Because why else would people rage at a team of volunteers creating free software and even accuse them of lying?
It also makes me wonder if there's a commercial opportunity here: How many people would continue to use a non-mesh viewer, if the team who supported it charged money to keep it running?Tweet
Update, 1/15: As many readers noted in Comments, the most recent version of Phoenix is mesh-compatible to some degree, so I've corrected/updated this post.