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Monday, February 27, 2012


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i'm hard pressed to understand the motivation here - presumably Kirsten's viewer with its shadows presented a different view of the SL world. but i think we can all agree the shadows were a good thing, even though some people saw them and some people did not. right?

it's all very confusing and odd.

Missy Restless

I don't think your example (viewer that renders avatars as nude) is correct. I could be wrong but my understanding of the "shared experience" requirement would say that a viewer rendering avatars as nude would not violate that requirement. It's confusing and somewhat unclear which is one reason it is a bad requirement. A better example is the use of secondary attachment points introduced by Phoenix (neck 2, spine 2, etc). If an avatar had an object attached on one of these secondary attachment points then that object would render properly for other avatars using Phoenix but not for other avatars using other viewers. The shared experience was broken.

Beyond the lack of clarity in this new requirement, the more serious problem with it is that it will likely chill third party viewer innovation. I compare the SL viewer development situation to the browser wars except in this case there is no U.S. Justice department to step in and moderate. It's like Microsoft is telling the Mozilla Foundation what they have to do.

Adeon Writer

Shouldn't Imprudence be blocked then, since it can't see mesh?

Missy Restless

Again, it is not clear, but my interpretation of the "shared experience" requirement is that a TPV that does not provide a rendering feature (like mesh) would still be compliant. The requirement is on TPV's, not on LL so LL is free to innovate away but a TPV can only innovate in ways that LL adopts. Were the situation reversed and Imprudence implemented mesh rendering but LL did not then yes maybe that would violate the shared experience requirement. It's just a lousy requirement.

Hitomi Tiponi

I think that is the problem with "shared experience" - unless it is officially defined with clear examples, everyone will have a different interpretation.

Adeon Writer

Not seeing mesh is like, the ULTIMATE violation of a shared space. Things like viewer tags, not so much.

elizabeth (16)

i think the mesh clothing thing is more about providing a TPV capability to derender worn items in a way that the linden viewer does not


a TPV that circumvents "experience permissions" in ways not the linden viewer does not would also be breaking the shared experience imo. like a TPV that could deny autoteleport in a combat game or quest in a way not provided for in the linden viewer

elizabeth (16)

another example is the newish neck attachment point in the lastest linden viewer. some of the older TPVs not implemented this so stuff ends up in random places. linden seems to be saying that those TPVs need to be updated

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Bald men fight over a comb.

Nalates Urriah

The almost 2 hour audio tape of the TPV Dev's meeting lead by OZ Linden does a good job of explaining how the Lab defines SHARED EXPERIENCE.

A violation of Shared Experience is the old Emerald Viewer's new attachments points. Using Emerald you saw your attachments using those points in the right place. Everyone else saw them in odd places. The viewer changed the world for those not using Emerald. That is a violation.

Kirsten, Exodus, or Nirans viewers making better shadows is not a problem because only the person using the viewer sees the shadows. The viewer does not interfere with what I see using the main SL viewer.

I have a summary of the audio tape up on my blog. http://blog.nalates.net/

The Policy change will also break llRequestAgentData() in a couple of weeks. Lots of discussion about that as it will break all the Online Status devices and scripts in SL.


> Kirsten, Exodus, or Nirans viewers making better shadows is not a problem because only the person using the viewer sees the shadows.

Nalates - then why does the rule apply to my deformer - exactly like those cases, only the person using the viewer sees the deformation.


The last two new releases of the official SL viewer have somehow messed up the graphics, transparency, shine, texture and glow display plus the correct rendering of the ground textures would this not be a violation of their own 'shared experience' regulation? Here is an example of why I now have to use the SL 1.23 viewer... http://www.dailymotion.com/TRP360#video=xn75b8

Ann Otoole InSL

SL belongs to LL. LL decides. SL is theirs. Customers of LL have no right to say anything about what LL chooses to do. Obviously LL's staff is paid with funds not derived from SL revenue. Otherwise LL would have to do what the customers demand.

Whatever. rodvik will make LL profitable without SL. Read between the lines.

Adeon Writer

Qarl, I'm guessing whoever made the judgement call was viewing it in it's final form - where others on the same TPV world see the deformation.


@Adeon - again, this is identical to the shadow situation, where others using the same shadow viewer all see the same shadows.

Henri Beauchamp

Here is my take on this matter:


Metacam Oh

Why does it seem Linden Lab doesn't want free volunteers working on making things better?

They roll out things at snails pace, when it is ready its broken and they don't have any urgency to fix anything. Then they hire and buy new companies to put resources toward new irrelevant products.

No innovation going on here folks, nothing to seem, move along.

Adeon Writer

Custom TPV shadows don't communicate anything to each other. I think LL is picky over the deformation bit support. I think that's the difference.

Ajax Manatiso

This seems to be all about the mesh deformer. LL doesn't want new people using the official viewer to think SL is full of folks with bad-fitting clothing. My post from months ago predicting that LL wouldn't allow TPV scripts adjusting the mesh fit seems pretty accurate right now.

shockwave yareach

Making the TPVs show the same VR as LL's viewer is a positive step.

Forbidding the TPVs from creating new features not found in LL's viewer is a gravely negative step however. How long did we wait for LL to create multiple attachment points? Body physics? It was the TPV folks who created this and LL followed their lead. LL cannot innovate everything and by forbidding any innovation by any viewer but their own, they destroy almost all need for TPV in the first place.

I know many people who will not run LL's viewers anymore. Some have weak computers. A few of us use things like Pocket Metaverse on our phones which is text only (yes, I'm an addict -- sue me.) If they go then so will those users; and they'll take their money with them. Me, I love LL's V3 and that's the viewer I use. But there would never have been a V3 if not for the TPV folks creating improvements, since LL didn't bother.

There is a simple work around however. Simply say all TPV viewers that are RELEASE have to emulate LL's capabilities. And all BETA TPV viewers can demonstrate new features that the customers may want. If the new features work and are clearly desirable by the users, LL will incorporate the improvements into their viewer, and all other viewers have to do the same thing as well. This would meet the goal of a Uniform World while not stifling development -- people running Beta test software expect to have a different experience than normal, as the code isn't finished.

It is possible to both innovate and keep a common appearance to the world. Whether LL's management style is still sane and fluid enough to operate like a small startup is doubtful. Clever companies and customer oriented companies can use beta TPV as test beds for future features. But LL has long lost its way in both cleverness and customer service. So it looks like the lights are soon to go out in TPV land, and LL will lose yet more customers due to bumbling implementations of what should be a simple, good idea.

Arcadia Codesmith

Don't break the official viewer.

Seems pretty straightforward to me.



Except it doesn't say "don't break the official viewer", which would be just as vague anyway.

-How- not to break the official viewer? How not to alter shared experience? The whole point of allowing TPVs is to allow different, customized experiences. This is a question of how different are TPVs allowed to be anymore.

Anyway, whatever. Let them do something drastic like suddenly decide they don't want Qarl's mesh code anymore, cause an uproar and deal with any resulting consequences if there are any.

And PS, why bother Peter when something important like this pops up? Why is Rod only pinged on matters of aesthetics of vampire photography and ideas about interaction fiction? We know he reads these blogs and comments, how about demanding him to comment on something very important for once? Everyone.

shockwave yareach

All LL has to do is say "All viewers inworld MUST have the following capabilities" and spit out what the TPV must be capable of as a minimum. I agree fervently that there needs to be a base level of interoperability, else you end up with 10 people each able to only see part of the building they are standing in. One person could see the mesh while one person sees only a sphere and one person asks why they are all floating in the air.

Imagine all the fun we shall all have, being AR'd for being naked in PG land when in fact we were wearing our mesh clothing! How were we to know that Bertha Bellows in Sagginlow MI couldn't see mesh and we appeared naked to her? Ah, the sims that shall be lost because we get banned for being TPNaked in the wrong places. So much money about to fly out the door because Bertha Bellows wants me banned because she can't see my clothes...

It's not hard to make a unified world that still has additional stuff for innovative TPV creators. But it takes understanding of the VR world, its users, some customer service and desire to improve. LL has all but FOUR of those qualities.


@Adeon -

that's my understanding as well. but i don't understand how that squares with "maintaining the shared experience." it seems like (as said before) not rendering mesh, or rendering shadows, or rendering lights differently, all break the "shared experience" in a more profound way.

(not to mention RLV, which modifies nearly everything about the shared experience - but is allowed because it's "opt in" - which of course the deformer is as well.)

the rule is vague and the examples are contradictory. i really don't get it.

regardless, i have asked Oz whether the deformer could be spared this fate by removing that signaling bit (perhaps a bit of clever logic can make it unnecessary.) he has yet to respond.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

LL really needs to clearly define what they mean by "shared experience" and what they think breaks it.

I certainly hope that they won't forbid the "derender" feature that Firestorm provides. If it had been around in the days of the "impeach Bush" extortionist, he'd have been a laughing stock minutes after trying to pull that stunt. It's very useful for keeping a storefront or billboard from wrecking your photo composition--better to cull it from the start than be forced to do tedious and error-prone excision afterward with Photoshop or GIMP.

Ziki Questi

Listening to the meeting with Oz (even though it's a bit long at 1 hour 40 minutes) will provide a much clearer sense of what the Lab means by "shared experience." (Although one also has the distinct impression from listening to that that Oz and the other LL staffer spend such a small amount of time inworld that they're pretty out of touch with what the user experience is. Also, the deprecation of viewer tags seems, notwithstanding their brushing it off, as an intended way to reduce resident's awareness of TPVs.)

With respect to mesh, that's different. What Oz is saying is that viewers can't introduce *new* features that change the user experience. A viewer that doesn't show mesh is simply not keeping up with the times, so that's fine with the Lab.

Pussycat Catnap

Why would a viewer that made everyone appear nude on your screen be a problem?

It doesn't mess with the shared experience at all - just your personal experience.

Its not changing the 'world' of SL one bit.

This policy is a lot less dangerous that people presume. It bars messing with the experience of others - not how you yourself render the world.

Pussycat Catnap

"They roll out things at snails pace, when it is ready its broken and they don't have any urgency to fix anything."

For the last year LLs has been steamrolling ahead at full blast while its been the TPVs that have been lagging behind - sometimes 3+ years behind (V1 viewers).

That said, this new policy basically kills the mesh deformer project dead unless LLs decides to adopt it.

But that's one, albeit giant, item in a whole sea of changes that have been coming out at lightning fast pace.

Pussycat Catnap

"Nalates - then why does the rule apply to my deformer - exactly like those cases, only the person using the viewer sees the deformation."

So it doesn't actually deform the mesh? I had thought, and I'd hazard to guess most had thought, that the deformer was more like 'Wardrobe Wizard' from the Poser world - changing the mesh itself to fit the avatar, causing a new mesh as the end result.

If it only makes the change in the user's own view, that's a near useless product - you'll still look horridly deformed to anyone else, popping out of clothes in the wrong places...

- If someone else has the deformer also, will they at least see how you deformed your meshes? Or will they see the original mesh?

Pussycat Catnap

Not seeing mesh is like, the ULTIMATE violation of a shared space. Things like viewer tags, not so much.

- If I prevented -someone else- not using my viewer from seeing Mesh that would violate the shared experience.

But if I just blocked -myself- from seeing mesh, no shared experience impacted.

foneco zuzu

Any can login with a banned viewer, copy boot all and they don't care!
But any that tries to sort out their messy product is banned or simple ignored!
Any contact with users needs are simply ignored!
Well guess what Lab, other grids exist and there they know what users need!


> If it only makes the change in the user's own view, that's a near useless product...

heh. i'll try not to take your criticism personally.

on the contrary - if you want the clothing to deform anytime the user changes their shape - or say 30 times a second when their boobs jiggle (a strange requirement put forward by the lab) it needs to be done like this.

but you see now - the deformer DOESN'T change the shared experience - it's all local. of course - if another user is using this viewer - they too will see the deformation. EXACTLY LIKE HOW SHADOWS WORK in Kirsten's.

Pussycat Catnap

Qarl: Ok, a bit more useful if other's using it also see the deformation you make.

But also becomes apparent to me why that triggers the new policy. Because people -not- using a deformer TPV won't see the change... so you are making a shared experience, but not sharing it with everyone...

- Kinda screwed there...

But on the other hand, this deformer is the kind of thing that -MUST- be in the official viewer... and I can see a lot of resident anger if it gets turned down.

foneco zuzu

And btw, Imprundence is the viewer i use on Open sims, and i really love it more and more, so simple so neat, so clean, and i really wish some features from other Tpv's that work as well on there.
So if any creator wants to improve Open sims dedicating less time trying to figure the mess that the Lab created again, feel free to give it a try!

iskye silverweb

Does LL HAVE to maintain its own viewer? Why don't they leave viewer development to the TPVs and let the Lab concentrate on SL's codebase, graphics engine, infrastructure, hardware, improving the user experience that way? As they make available new features or functionalities that would benefit users, they can release those to the TPVs... Maybe that's a bad idea, but I wonder.


> Because people -not- using a deformer TPV won't see the change

right - exactly like people NOT using a shadow viewer won't see shadows. i still see no distinction between the two...

Ciaran Laval

@Qarl if I'm on a viewer that doesn't have the deformer, does the mesh go squishy or change to an odd looking shape?

I'm not quite getting this shared experience issue, the extra attachment points were a fine example, straight forward, they changed how I viewed things. The original avatar physics as they were introduced, made no difference whatsoever to how the world appeared to me on the official viewer, which is the viewer I usually use, things didn't look odd, I have no idea why that would be seen as a violation and if it is, why then would funkier shadows not be a violation?

I'm also not sure what the issue is with parcel windlight, if I don't see it, tough titty, as long as it's not interfering with my view, I don't see it as undermining the shared experience.

foneco zuzu

Qarl, truth must be said, You become persona non Grata for the Lab long ago and if some can't even understand what they are selling, for sure their hate and memories didn't fade away!


blah blah blah..
"shared experience"..more california bs...

like porn. LL will "know" it when it WANTS to see IT....

and then delete at will.

Pussycat Catnap

"Does LL HAVE to maintain its own viewer? Why don't they leave viewer development to the TPVs and let the Lab concentrate on SL's codebase, graphics engine, infrastructure, hardware, improving the user experience that way?"

Kinda hard to be a big giant video game company when you're not even putting out the thing people use to play your video game. :)

Does Blizzard HAVE to maintain its own World of Warcraft Client? Why don't they leave client application development to the random-addon-makers-on-curse-and-gold-seller-dot-com and let Blizzard concentrate on making elves dance more, murloc sounds, flight paths, server hardware, improving the user experience that way?

- It just doesn't work so well that way.

I mention WoW there because I've always felt they should have gone the 'addon' route with the viewer instead of the opensource route.

Blizzard can spot a malware client connecting to its game right away, and don't have to wait a year for the malware to become obvious after a few tens of thousands of its customers have switched like LLs had to do with Emerald... Only one client in town for WoW, and their 'addons' all have to work from within the client using a contained scripting language that can't reach beyond the limits imposed. But those addons still manage to be seriously innovative.

Renmiri Writer

I compare the SL viewer development situation to the browser wars except in this case there is no U.S. Justice department to step in and moderate. It's like Microsoft is telling the Mozilla Foundation what they have to do

Precisely. I think Linden Labs is doing a very clear violation of the spirit of antitrust laws, by blocking any innovation from Third Party developers.

Perhaps the justice department, or a class action lawsuit, could do something about it.

shockwave yareach

@Renmiri - if the Justice Department couldn't prove Microsoft was a monopoly, then they certainly won't be able to do so with LL. Especially with all the Open Sim stuff in the wild. The only way LL will learn that their stuff is overpriced and their policies too strict is for the whole thing to crash down upon them.

Metacam Oh

"Kinda hard to be a big giant video game company when you're not even putting out the thing people use to play your video game. :)"


Does Hamlet develop his own web viewer to view new world notes?

And lets not call Second Life a video game, its a platform like the internet. Even Second Life as a gaming platform is horrible. Second Life can be the next iteration of the web, but did netscape limit its web browser to only netscape.com? Second Life is going to die eventually (in the next few years) because Linden Lab doesn't know what they have. They stand here and build walls around this thing with immense potential like the current internet, thinking they have a product like Madden 2012 that they got to keep in a vault. Second Life has failed and is underachieving because the company that runs it can't figure out what to do, or refuse to do what is inevitable. Either they will break down the walls and create the 3d internet or someone else will. No one is going to stampede into SL to pay 295 for their own piece of the 3d web, or to breed shitty pets that are lagged to death that will never be fixed because the parent company keeps pushing away free help.

shockwave yareach

"Second Life can be the next iteration of the web..."


*sniffs* Ohhhh, man. You really shouldn't drink 4 year old Koolaid, you know.

The web was created by creating standards for communications, and Microsoft trampling them later on. The web operates upon the internet and thus is by design able to function in spite of damage. The web has no single owner, nor any proprietary standard for operation controlled by only a single corporation.

SL crashes if you whisper too close to battery park, is solely owned by LL, operates with closed and proprietary protocols that only LL has, and can be turned off at any time when LL so chooses. And at a more fundamental level, there is almost no application for SL on the web that regular browsers cannot do better and with cheaper hardware.

SL could no more be the internet of the future than the Wright Flier can be the airliner of the future. While it could potentially grow up into something awesome one day, this is not that day. And it certainly won't be anything LL puts out that achieves it.


I don't see any ambiguity and I think everybody knows what they are aiming to achieve.

"Don't make a viewer that allows the user to make things look normal when they don't look normal to others."

Putting shadows in a scene doesn't make abnormal things look normal.
Making people nekkid doesn't make abnormal things look normal.
Making orbiting wigs look like they are attached to your head does make abnormal things look normal.
Making mesh blobs look like meaningful objects does make abnormal things look normal.

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