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Thursday, March 01, 2012


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"If you think about it, doesn't that include a viewer that doesn't support something like mesh? Doesn't that also change how one person would perceive the same virtual world?"

The new policy doesn't address TPVs that break shared experience via a lack of features compared to the official viewer, just TPVs that break shared experience with one too many shared experience breaking features the official viewer doesn't have. Oz was very clear about that.

So if a TPV was very popular right now running on pre-mesh code, nothing would've changed.

Inadvertently though, if TPV devs now have to shove their ideas through Snowstorm first before it can become part of their TPV, they may tend towards the latest viewers if its the only way to realize their ideas.

But nothing about the new policy will mandate they catch up on any given feature.


i understand that the incompatibilities are frustrating.

but you have to remember - these people are CHOOSING to use these viewers. you may think they're crazy... and maybe they are... but when you start taking away their choices, it never ends the way you want it to.

Pussycat Catnap

TPVs can choose -not- to render things.

Its when they impact the shared experience that the policy triggers - such as causing only members who use their viewer to be able to see something.

But a text only, or no-mesh rendering viewer would be fine: only self-limiting, not limiting the experience of others.

The extra attachments hack of Emerald is an example of where the policy triggers: something only its users could see, in effect messing up the shared experience because non-Emerald folks didn't see it, or saw it wrongly rendered.

That said...

You must be reading my comments - I've made this point in a few places recently, including on Daniel Voyager's blog today:

"TPVs have not been leaders in innovation since ‘jiggly boobs’ in 2009. The Emerald days.

They’ve been, at best, keeping slightly lagging pace with LLs since that time, and sometimes notably months and major lag-bug fixes behind.

Its a popular claim to say this policy stifles innovation. But really it’s just a poorly worded way of working to try and get some of those TPVs to either catch up or fade out.

Since most of the innovation of the past year, and often the past 3 years, has been from LLs, they’re making that official.

But poorly worded in the sense of appearing to say “you dropped the ball, so we’re taking the ball away from you.”"

Chestnut Rau

Some of the features the fashion community has come to rely on -- like multiple attachment points -- were innovations driven by TPV developers. An innovation like multiple attachment points would not be allowed under the current policy.

More people will be pushed to use mesh. That is a good thing. However, what innovations might we never have?

Nickola Martynov

"...forcing third-party viewers to keep up with the features already offered by the official SL viewer."

Are you kidding me?

It's LL who needs to keep up with the innovation of the TPVs. If it wasn't for TPVs we wouldn't have windlight settings or avatar physics. And with the new policy we're not likely to get proper mesh because LL won't implement the deformer tool so desperately needed to make mesh worthwhile.

Like someone else said, choosing a non-mesh viewer is a TPV option. TPVs don't force feed nasty broken viewer updates down people's throats.



Its not about choice of viewer so much as choice of codebase TPV devs choose to build ontop of. When someone chooses their favorite TPV I don't think its a no-vote against every feature the TPV doesn't support.

Outside of Kirsten, no TPV moved from the Viewer 1 codebase until a year or more after it was deprecated. What does deprecated even mean then?

Because of the hostility towards Viewer 2, with only about half of it being righteous, features like Shared Media were dead on arrival and the delay of support of tattoo and alpha layers caused a bunch of clothing stores to create Viewer 1 ways of handling clothing layers and alphas and Viewer 2 ways of handling clothing layers and alphas.

And I don't want to name names but I've seen some TPV devs blog maliciously about TPVs' power over dictating what new Linden Lab features will live and which will die. It is a problem whenever new viewer features roll out but no one uses them because of feature support fragmentation across connected clients, especially when a TPV dev is withholding maliciously or Second Life simply isn't their primary platform of support as is the case with Imprudence.

This policy doesn't directly do anything about it, but Linden Lab should enforce timeframes on listed TPVs' support of major new features. It's kind of silly that Rod is asking TPV devs to please support the destination guide at SLCC, it's silly mesh took however many months before half of connected clients could even see it.

We as users have rights over whats installed on our PC but Linden Lab has obligations to provide a consistent world. The idea of spending real money on virtual land and goods is shaky enough a foundation already. The only worth in it is the show-and-tell of it all, feature support fragmentation takes away from that show-and-tell and Linden Lab should definitely have a very strong interest in everyone seeing the same thing as closely and reasonable as possible.

Pussycat Catnap

"It's LL who needs to keep up with the innovation of the TPVs."

That comment is so 2009.

Its now 2012. Where have the TPVs been? Still stuck in 2009.

Innovation these days is coming out of LLs, like it or not - the TPVs would have us all stuck in the early days of jigglies and XML-hacked attachments.

So yes, the TPVs now need a bit of a push to keep up. But the new policy isn't really that push...


@Ezra -

if the users felt these things were important, they would use the LL viewer. they're grown-ups - they can choose for themselves.

Pussycat Catnap

@Qarl: In a world of no externalities 'let them just choose' would be acceptable. But that's now how things work.

Context and pressures from peers or devs, irrational reactions to change, rational reactions to change, second-shock fear after a bad-experience from a bug, time to relearn, and so many many other variables come in to play.

This whole individuals can choose argument is therefore extremely flawed... It makes for a great buzzword or catchphrase, but because it fails to take all variables into account is a great way to 'slam the door' on any discussion about ideal paths to take.

- And it is usually brought up by one side which in fact has a very strong agenda that is not really about user choice, to attempt to derail the other side's agenda by merely "appearing" to take the so-called high road.

Like one of those 'let the voters decide' kind of statements made by somebody with the backing of a super-PAC...



Second Life can't survive like that. Every new feature Linden Lab rolls out can't become a chance to express oneself as a free-thinking grown-up by deciding what the viewer will be capable of showing.

Linden Lab forcing everyone to use a client that supports mesh should be as trivial a matter as Twitter pushing New Twitter or WoW forcing an update that changes the way the whole world appears due to some dragon.

Its silly that if in Second Life being forced to use a new feature like mesh would mean a person is less free or less of a grown up.

On the contrary, because we're grown ups we should understand that the value in a virtual world is largely based on how much of it we can share. Its less complex than road rules. If one of the rules means we all see the same things, surely we can abide by it without having our personhood threatened.


@Pussycat Catnap : the simple fact that you view LL as innovative when whe speak of viewer show your bias.

LL as never made any text viewer, or any viewer to connect to mobile phones, and they are not able to implement things the TPV are implementing.

That's why Oz as decided to stop the TPV and put them under is dictatorial power. To stop them from giving him and his Linden Friends to much work to follow TPV's innovations !... and to hide the fact that so much residents are using TPV's instead of Linden Labs viewers, too (ashamed maybe ?)

I just hope that TPV devellopers will continue develloping their viewers for OpenSims, and let LL, doe what it wants... alone.



Yes, most certainly the common rhetoric we hear isn't on Linden Lab's side.

There's too many people now deathly afraid of mesh because they believe it'll do nothing short of destroying Second Life or their PCs, or both.

There's too many people of the belief Linden Lab should actually stop making Viewers altogether and leave it to TPVs, because the vitriol has gotten so bad over the years there's actually people that believe 99% of TPV code isn't provided by Linden Lab.

Second Life shouldn't be held hostage to choices made by ill-informed users, malicious TPV devs or TPV devs who gathered a user-base for Second Life only to target Open Sim primarily later on.

Linden Lab can and should stand behind their new features and make them prevalent. And if those new features suck? It has nothing to do with the good of forcing a shared experience and everything to do with the Linden devs making bad decisions. The latter needs correcting, having a fragmented experience via TPV devs dictating what new features live or die isn't the solution.

DBDigital Epsilon

I have to disagree here. There are many people that don't think mesh is the best thing since sliced bread. Don't care for it, or have trouble rendering a room full of mesh clothes.

A lot of people are holding on to the older viewer because it just works better for them. To force mesh on everyone and you will loose people. And lets face it, these days can we really afford to loose good people on the grid? The grid is already shrinking a LOT. Do you want to speed that process even more? I sure don't.

If mesh is wonderful, and the best thing ever to you, fine, but please keep in mind that is a OPINION. Not fact. Here is a RL example. Some people have a Porche, or a Viper, or a Mercades. But does that mean that someone with a old truck that can still get around is worse? Keep in mind that Sam Walton drove around in a old pick up truck and was one of the richest men in the USA. Why? Because he choose to. It is what was best for HIM.

To not respect others and say "you are behind the times, get a upgrade" or look down upon them because of this is to be quite honest...a bit on the petty side. Perhaps you should read the "Miss Manners" column yourself. ;)

Melissa Yeuxdoux

"... few are talking about how it could also be a good thing, by forcing third-party viewers to keep up with the features already offered by the official SL viewer."

Actually, it does no such thing. In the specific case of mesh support, during the infamous chat, I believe Oz Linden said (paraphrasing) if people want to use viewers that are behind the times, e.g. not supporting mesh rendering, that's their business, though they shouldn't be surprised if they break.

The constraints all go the other way; any change that affects the (nowhere defined in the policy!) "shared experience" can't be put in a TPV until the latest LL viewer already has it. Must be nice to be able to prevent competition by fiat.

Kim Anubis

It's irresponsible to write and publish an editorial when you admit that you don't understand the ramifications of the policy you're discussing.


Purely fashion and mesh... dont know about the techy stuff -

"This makes designers more hesitant to adopt (and adapt to) great new innovations, and the end result is a fashion world that is evolving far more slowly than it should."

Maybe a few months ago, but I think we`ve past that. When mesh was enabled more than a few creators came out saying that they had been waiting forever for this day to come and ran with it. Instead, I think it's these creators excellent content we`re seeing, especially this last month with big name (in fashion circles) creators jumping into the game, that are steadily enticing anyone with a fashionable pixel in their body to a mesh viewer. Not to mention two mesh centric events just this past week and the awesome content, much of it mesh, at Epoch. The majority appear to be on board http://danielvoyager.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/sl-mesh-2012-usage-metrics-week-9/
So if this remaining corner of the grid are, as I suspect - prim shoe, bling wearing, never change clothes or leave the home sim - users OR people more attached to their UI than hair that doesn`t poke their boobs, then I think serious fashion creators need to find a new excuse/reason for not diving into mesh.
(I`m excluding the very vocal minority that can't update for whatever reason)

Ironically, it`s the official viewer that most often fails to render mesh for me right out of the box and has me unlogging and back on my TPV of choice.

Hamlet Au

"you don't understand the ramifications of the policy you're discussing."

I doubt *anyone* knows all the ramifications of the policy... including staffers at Linden Lab. So by that logic, no one should comment. Better to state one's lack of omniscience up front and make one's best assessment. I've read a lot of SLers doing the opposite: Writing like they know everything about the policy and all the secret motivations behind it.

Ziki Questi

Iris, your argument is misinformed. The policy, as Oz makes pretty clear in the long audio file (and personally I'm not in agreement with his reasoning, but...) states that the point is that TPVs cannot introduce *new* features on their own. In other words, the things that TPVs introduced such as multiple attachment points, parcel windlight, etc., would be prohibited under this new policy. (Parcel windlight, he said, would be grandfathered in, since the Lab plans to adopt it -- something of a crazy acknowledgment that TPVs contributed something useful even though he was rapping their knuckles at the same time.)

On the other hand, a viewer that doesn't keep up with the times -- for example, one that cannot show mesh -- is perfectly acceptable. The inability to show mesh doesn't have anything to do with creating anything *new* that changes the shared experience. It's just an old viewer that's crippled, and the Lab assumes that over time people will stop using them.


i cannot disagree more strongly - i believe that whenever possible adults should be able to make choices for themselves.

and i daresay that a great deal of the animosity directed at the lab is due to this tendency to "force them to do what's good for them."

Ann Otoole InSL

As with everything else in SL LL always sets the parms wrong and way too low. Set MaxMeshRequests to 64.

Rin Tae

Since it has been mentioned ... the last metrics I read about mesh viewer usage several weeks ago showed that something around 75 to 80% (I don't remember the exact number and don't have the time to look up right now) was already is using a new mesh enabled viewer.

So I think that those 'many people' afraid of it and not wanting to use new viewers are a bit of a myth that is being repeated all the time. Of course there are always some and a few others who have technical problems but gladly we have TPVs for them that often run better then the regular viewer (or other TPVs actually)
Those people would have a big problem if not for the fixes and add-ons those viewers brings.

And also .. by not including something like the alligment tool or not having thought about something as iimportant as the mesh deforment LL negatively impacts my expirience of their own product XP

(their addition of multiple clothing/tattoo layers and the better addoption of a system that allows more attachments still earned them a hug on the other hand :) )

Winter Seale

I still use a pre-2.x viewer, due to features available there not found anywhere else. The third party 2.x viewers have most of them, but the LL viewers have essentially none of them.

Have the TPVs given me anything recently? Nope. But LL hasn't actually made any progress to catching up to 2009. I really wish they would...

(Of course, I would *still* be using a TPV for RLV, which I use to manage outfits. Of course, if LL's outfit manager was less heinous, it would be an option, but it isn't so there you go.)


Innovation is so 2009, creativity is so 2009, experiment is so 2009.
The 2007 SL hype lasted exactly 2 years, then the really talented people moved on to other things, or got bored with putting their brain into it and retrieved to bdsm or such ...
the confusion about the new TPV policy now will drain even more interested talent ... to other things or bdsm >.< and this goes on and on ... until it doesn't matter anymore anyways.

Creativity moves on when not challenged anymore, and SL managed to keep it up much longer than other platforms ... but the Phil spirit is gone, we are a business now (or call it a game). SL is so 2009 ...

Pappy Enoch

Miss Iris, I done read that-there last blob you writ up about gettin' nekkid with mesh.

I were a-hopin' this one would be the pictures o' you showin' yo' stuff, but you done took "nekkid" one step further and am the Half-Invisible Gal.

Tell me where I kin buy me them clothes in a XXXXXL size so I kin hide. The fake lawman am after me again.

foneco zuzu

TPV developers, you work for free as your goal is to improve others choice of enjoying the metaverse!
Join a grid that is all about freedom of choices and use.
Forget about greedy companies as Linden Lab and just move to Open sims.
Lab, better watch those who keep using copy boot viewers every day, can you at least do that?

Ajax Manatiso

There are people who don't give a rat's behind about fashion, trendiness, being with the fashion in-crowd, mesh, or being a virtual Khardashian. I think most people log into SL to interact with their friends and not to be oh-so-cool and fashion trendy. Don't care, don't give a **** if no one ever thought of mesh. It just doesn't matter to 90% of people who long into SL.

Shug Maitland

My understanding, after watching the replay of the Phoenix/Firestorm meeting, is that LL really does not care if what you see on a TPV is somehow broken, so long as what is seen on the "official" viewer is okay. This policy change will not force TPVs to do anything. It does remove some functionality from what they have now however.

Kim Anubis

"I doubt *anyone* knows all the ramifications of the policy... including staffers at Linden Lab. So by that logic, no one should comment."

No, you can comment to say that the policy is unclear and no one seems to know what the hell is going on. Or, you could interview someone who does know, or write an article informing your readership that the Lab continues to decline to comment or clarify the policy, if that is the case. You could ask legal experts to read the new policy and comment on it -- that would be very interesting and helpful. Or, you or one of the folks you pay to write for NWN could transcribe Oz's audio discussion of this policy. Heck, I would Paypal you some money if you did.

I get a lot of my SL news from NWN, and have for years and years, and I thank you for it. I wouldn't bother hassling you when I'm disappointed if I didn't care for and rely upon your publication. I really want to understand this policy, and I think it would be helpful if everyone was able to understand it, but I feel this article added to the confusion. It's not a terrible piece in and of itself, but it isn't really about the TPV policy, but about mesh adoption. A little editing or even just a different headline would have gone a long way.


> My understanding, after watching the replay of the Phoenix/Firestorm meeting, is that LL really does not care if what you see on a TPV is somehow broken, so long as what is seen on the "official" viewer is okay.

i just want to be clear - their position on windlight parcel settings (illegal even if done in a non-hacky way) shows that this isn't true.

Pussycat Catnap

"Don't care, don't give a **** if no one ever thought of mesh. It just doesn't matter to 90% of people who long into SL."

It apparently -DOES- matter to the 80% who have switched to a mesh viewer.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

"When mesh was enabled more than a few creators came out saying that they had been waiting forever for this day to come and ran with it."

Indeed some did, and even some daring clothiers--but without the mesh deformer or something like it, mesh clothing isn't the "one size monogluteally fits all" of painted-on texture clothing, so the alternatives are: forget about mesh, change your sign to read "Procrustes's Mesh Clothing", or suffer the combinatorial explosion of inventory that RL forces on RL clothiers (i.e. make a bunch of different sizes of everything).

Kiro Dragoon

I would like to point out to anyone who states that TPVs haven't done much for Second Life, that many things have come from third party viewers.

Built in AOs clear space on your HUD and don't take up script resources.
Built in radar also clears some space which also saves on script resources.
RLV is a very popular feature.
Temp texture uploads let you see how a texture will look on your build without spending the money.
The capability to export your shape so you can make mesh that fits your avatar properly.
the Worn Items tab so you don't need to hunt down an attachment in your inventory.
Double click teleport which is useful if you get stuck.
Instant draw distance refresh button in case the area isnt loading properly.
The Exodus Viewer which was programed much better than the basic LL viewer, which happens to be the only viewer that works on my 8 year old computer.

All of this and more have been from third party viewers.


@ qarl

I agree with you in general but I'm not shure it fully applies in this case. Users don't have one choice, they have many choices, and often choosing N will force you to accept X, Y & Z. How many users were willing to use mesh but preferred the v1 UI? Their choice of UI forced them to go without mesh until a mesh capable viewer with the v1 UI came out.

That's just one of many examples over the past 3 years, both for and against TPVs. Shure you can technically call that choice, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I think that's the kind of situation LL is trying to get rid of with this policy. You could say they're going about it the wrong way, and I'd agree with you for the most part. But I don't think you could say the intended goal ways wrong.

Connie Arida

AS mentioned above, I do think you have misinterpreted the intent of the new TPV policies. No one is forced to have a viewer that can see mesh, for example. If people want to use an old viewer that does not support recent developments, that is their prerogative. That they wont see what LL intends ( and the majority of other residents see)that's their problem.
Bottom line is, It's LL's world and we live in it. If the "restrictions" are too onerous,or creators don't have the time or inclination to learn to use mesh, they are free to go to opensims or whatever.
Technology moves on, adapt or die. That goes for individuals as well as businesses.

bobbi1969 melodie

I have to admit I like the way mesh skirts and dresses look on me since they fit my larger than SL normal female hips and bottom better than skirt and dress layers of the older clothing do. All I've done, however, is try on demo, free, or a few inexpensive items to see how the look differs. And, as one who has spent way too much money on clothing in Sl already, I'm reluctant to buy any of the new fairly expensive (by SL standards) mesh clothing items.

For the fashion designers who are eager to shift over to mesh, it would be really nice if they would provide free or deeply discounted replacements for things I've already spent money on. I'm not opposed to capitalism and realize the economy of SL is partly based on sales of clothing and other items, but forcing people who've been around in SL for a while to spend relatively large amounts to keep up with the newest fashion isn't right.(Or, am I the only one who has thousands of clothing items?)

Otherwise, for LL and TPV developers, please, please, please make sure everything I already purchased will still be visible in the newer viewers.

Anony Mouse

Wow.. this has to be the most unthoughtful, and bland response i've ever seen.

There are of coarse SEVERAL problems with your limited view of the digital world.

1) Most TPV's already support mesh. The viewer used to take that snapshot does not.
2) Because we all know digital fashion is well worth being force-fed updates, not to mention the fact that LL feeds them to the user in such a way that they have to potentially corrupt their registry by forcing a kill of the program that's updating the viewer.

3) The only limitations TPV provide to second-life is they limit the amount of laziness from LL. The fact that LL has started to directly take functions, features, and improvements that work better with TPV's due to close development of said features between the OpenSim developer community, and TPV dev's such as firestorm/phoenix from Opensim, and other such open-source grid servers to add features to Secondlife.

Take a good hard look at some of the recent " improvements " made by LL, you can directly track them back to Opensim, or other open-source,third party grid developers.

Functions such as:
llTeleportAgent vs OSTeleportAgent
Virtually IDENTICAL in name, use, and delivery.

So... before you go off half cocked about TPV's being " behind " the curve. No. More often than not, they tend to be ahead of LL, with the exception of intentionally leaving features out that LL have yet to stabilize, and provide proper documentation for.

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