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15 August 2010

We had 1.XX (fundamental viewer) and Snowglobe (experimental viewer), then V2 (just a mental viewer) - but now LL is trying to harness the opensource community for a project called Snowstorm:
"Linden Lab spent the better part of the last two years revamping the Second Life Viewer to create Viewer 2. Some of the changes were important new features, and some were controversial - some were both. The bulk of the design and engineering work was done with only limited, indirect participation from the open source and resident communities, which has left many in those communities feeling alienated and disenfranchised.

In recent months we have released both Viewer 2 and a 2.1 update; Linden Lab has also been through a major reorganization. We are now evaluating the results of all of this work, and we are making significant changes to the way we design and build the viewer.

Linden Lab has created a new team whose goal is to develop the Second Life Viewer in the open and in response to the needs of our Residents."

Sounds good. I'll be downloading it and trying its first iteration as soon as I backup every chatlog and setting in case it does what the V2 Beta did (wipe everything from the normal viewer - well that was when I uninstalled it, but better safe than sorry).

I'm going to have to work on my aversion to Essbee Linden; She was featured in videos extolling the virtues of V2, and somehow without wanting to I now get queasy when I see her name (no, I'm not joking).

SLCC video of a presentation about V2 - which is kind of weird because the first section's kind of an explanation of why V2 sucks, given by major V2 dev Q Linden remotely from a rehabilitation facility where he's recovering from a stroke. One might think the stress of the reorganisation must've contributed to his infirmity. I'd like all alphabet Lindens to adopt real names, please, as single letters scream "FU" at customers, and double letters are not much better.

The middle and latter parts (and you can hear then being very careful about phrasing) is explaining how they'll work, how customers are included, how things are open for scrutiny and involvement, and how they know they were working the wrong way before but they will do it the right way now and please help.

A questioner brought up what I've been saying about focused user-groups to aid UI development, so that's being thought about.

On the whole it was something to be pleased about, and made things seem much less crazed than at any time since the massacre. (They need to stop the massacring now, by the way. I keep getting worried about various people and I'm sure they are sick of me asking if they are ok.)

The only flat note to me was when someone asked a question about viewer considerations for the vision-impaired user, and was assured that the issue is understood to be very important with team-members having long-standing commitments to inclusion and disability issues. That rang falsely since V2 has, since its first appearance, been unuseable by the vision-impaired (or even some aging eyes) as it's grey on dark grey with microscopic icons. They did say they are now working with Gentle Heron to increase its usability, and want to fold TPV improvements into the code, but I'd rather not be fed a glib line about former degrees of commitment as it's obvious there was none.


posted by - 1:39 PM


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