You may not have noticed it, but there has been some pretty amazing stuff going on in and around Second Life this week.
Last Thursday there were new rules for Third Party Viewers announced. That had the blogs churning over the weekend. Surprisingly the articles themselves and the comments to them were mostly constructive, trying to understand what it all meant. I saw very few flame-out rants or end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it predictions.
By Monday afternoon Oz Linden was answering questions, in detail and officially!! He was even agreeing with some of the objections and promising to make things whole again when possible. He even delayed action on part of it so they could find a better solution! Just as importantly he explained why the policies were changed! There is no need of me going into detail here, but suffice it to say there were legitimate problems to be resolved. The methods may have been heavy handed, but much of the vital functions that were lost can be recovered by doing things a different way, either in world or by LL in server code.
The “shared experience” part of the new rules can be hard to understand. It is very vague as written. Two important points: 1- LL is primarily concerned with TPV features that break on the official viewer. Features that do not work on other viewers (even LL features) are a concern of the effected viewers development team and users. 2- Oz suggested that Test Viewers, even on the main grid, would be okay; so long as the default download met the TPV requirements. This is a huge relief! TPVs have been the testbeds for several ideas that LL would never have approved in advance (avatar physics among them).
The whole air of communication and cooperation around this change has been something new in Second Life. I give a lot of credit to Oz for his efforts.
Then —— Rodvik announces a decision on last names. Basically – NO.
The new thing is that he explains why – at length. Personally I do not agree, but at least I know why the decision is as it is (for now, he dangled a carrot at the very end of his post).
If all this communication and cooperation keeps up we may get Second Life back on track!