Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Commentary about "Every Viewer But V2 Will Die"

For some time, I've been hearing various people say that Linden Labs plans to suddenly block Viewer 1, Snowglobe, and all Viewer 1-based third party viewers from Imprudence to Singularity to Phoenix, etc. Viewer 2 and any third party viewer based on it, which for now includes only the Firestorm Beta, will be the only ones allowed to access the Grid. With the development of mesh, the whispers became a little louder, and recently people have been talking about a matter of weeks.

The reality is most likely not going to be that one day soon Viewer 1-based viewers will be blocked from Second Life, but rather objects made of Mesh will be fuzzy to them. But just how bad will it be? A quick look at the Phoenix blog read "As many of you have heard, V1 viewers including Phoenix will soon become broken and mostly unusable on the SL grid as LL begins to turn off server side functionality these viewers require."

In my opinion, the Lab is not going to turn off the ability of Viewer 1 viewers to access the Grid, at least not if they're smart. The protracted recession has meant that people whom would have otherwise upgraded their computer or gotten a new one have postponed doing so. While some residents have refused to use Viewer 2 out of finding it hard to use, others, such as myself, have found it simply won't work on our computers. While some would dig a little deeper in their wallet should Linden Labs do such a thing so soon, many will simply sigh, and email their best buddies on the Grid they'll have to wait until they can scrape enough money for a new machine before getting back on.

Most likely, residents stuck with Viewer 1 will simply find a few more inconveniences, depending on how popular Mesh is. In fact, some Mesh users may cut back on it's usage if many residents can't see their new products.

Myself, I've tried using Viewer 2, and the Beta V2-based Firestorm. The pictures show as far as I've gotten. They won't work, even though I recently updated the Operating System. While I can use viewers that it once couldn't handle, Viewer 2 is not among them.

Am I worried? Maybe a little as the Lab has pulled some boneheaded things in the past. But I'm not expecting to email my friends saying they'll have to wait to see me for a while and writing about Second Life from the outside.

Bixyl Shuftan

1 comment:

  1. What we will see is a period of time about 5 months long when people will be able to run both. Then, at the end of the year, the V1 chain will be closed out.

    But most people I think refuse to run it simply because it IS V2, assuming it's as yucky as their first experience with V2.00 way back when. Those of you writing software, take this lesson to heart -- if you rush it out and people run screaming away from your product, you'll never ever get them back.

    The grid currently supports both, but the mesh coming up is a problem because only V2 can see it. Thus you have the grid look one way for X and another for Y. This may be unavoidable in the near term, and hopefully people wanting to see the meshes (which will revolutionize things) will move toward V2 (probably with a TPV) on their own. But the code has to move forward, not sit on its behind and never improve.

    It must become a V2 only grid at some point. And then it'll eventually be V3. Then V4. Etc etc. The time period where both v1 and 2 are running simultaneously is the backwards compatible phase; but it won't last forever. Supporting two major versions of viewer complicates the jobs for the servers and things would run more stably if the servers didn't have to keep juggling what data to send to what user for what version of viewer.

    The mess that M made of the V2 viewer will be the longest lasting effect he had on the grid. And it will remain with us until LL moves us to a V3 codebase (codenamed: Don't hold your breath) But it can be learned and most of it does make sense, if you give it a chance and use it for a week instead of reflex dismissing it out of hand.