Tag Archives: Rodvik Linden

Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the Wackadoodles!


The blogs are full of the news that Rod Humble has “moved on” from Second Life. I first saw it at New World Notes.

Remain calm. Take a deep breath. We have been through this before. Don’t believe the rumors, the sky in not falling!

Linden lab will eventually let us know what is happening and what their plans are.

“Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war” William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

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Anticipation and Prognostication

November is upon us, and if recent history is any guide Rod will soon declare the Lab’s projects and goals for the coming year. I will jump in slightly ahead of him with my suggestions, wishes and expectations.


Terms of Service agreement as it applies to the Lab’s rights to our content. There are pretty clear indications that they are taking a second look at the latest TOS with an eye toward respecting OUR intellectual property rights and their related responsibilities. With a little luck this could be resolved by the end of the year.

Lesson to be learned: This and similar decisions need to be run by some people who “get SL”. There are very few such people left at the Lab (Rod; You think you are among those few, it is clear that you are not.) Typically Lawyers, Upper Management and those who’s primary qualification is “a background in gaming” do not understand what SL really is.


The Year of the Avatar! The SL avatar has not seen a significant improvement since – – well, ever! It is past time for Avatar2. Some suggestions:

1-More and better bones.

2-Toes and animatable fingers.

3-Skin/clothing layers reconfigured to reduce distortion.

4-Face configuration that blends more smoothly.

5-More and better facial animations.

6-Integrated Mesh Deformer*

It should be possible for SL to have 2 coexisting avatar formats. If Avatar2 is done well it will be possible and acceptable to remove support for Avatar1 after a few years since it will see minimal usage. The trick will be to maintain as much inter-format compatibility as possible while creating a truly new and upgraded Avatar2.

*This does not necessarily mean the mesh deformer developed by Qarl. I am sure there are several possible ways to accomplish this, it is the Lab’s responsibility to select, develop and implement the best one.


Last Names. This is one of my pet peeves. The feeling within the SL community of a new/old separation based on names persists in spite of our best efforts. This CAN BE FIXED! It will not be easy and no solution will satisfy everyone, but it would heal a wound in the SL community. My link to Rod’s decision is blocked, suffice it to say he set out all the good reasons for bringing them back, then went into a rather childish whine before saying he would not do it.


Eye-in-Hand Logo. If the company lawyers need something productive and profitable to do, have them work out a licensing agreement so the easily recognized SL Logo can be bought on the usual range of t-shirts, Jackets, coffee mugs, etc. Believe it or not we will pay to do some of your RL advertising that way.

Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”Dale Turner

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Flat Rodvik – – – –

Strawberry Singh’s latest challenge to bloggers is “Flat Rodvik Linden”.

To wit:flat Rodvick I thought as much




Wh-Wh-What’s going on!? Kupo!?

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Filed under Blogger Challange / Meme, Second Life Community

No return to Last Names, a disappointment

Rodvik’s decision last week not to bring back last names rings a bit hollow, especially in the face of the massive community support for returning to them (the jira post has 2453 votes and 737 watchers). His primary reason not to make a change is that it is inhibiting to new sign-ups; a valid point, but easily resolved with a simple (optional, you can do this later or not at all) in the sign-up process. One of the reasons for the changes in what is required of Third Party Viewers was that newbies were being harassed based on the viewer identified in their tag (unfortunately this has been independently verified). I am sure there is even more widespread discrimination based on “Resident”. Simply removing the Resident or .resident in as many places as possible will only help a little, we are not fools, anyone without a space in their name is a newbie! Display names only confuse things, for all practical purposes we must see actual names in order to know who someone is, display names and appearance are too ephemeral.

I suspect that one of the unspoken reasons for not re-implementing last names is that coming up with continuing supply of acceptable names is a time consuming pain in the ass for the Lindens.

A better way:

  1. Allow deferred last name adoption at sign-up.
  2. Create a database of names suggested by the SL community, something similar to a jira where we can not only suggest but comment on suggested names. Make it searchable and so it can be ordered alphabeticaly, by most recent, or by most recent comments. That would provide a continual supply of names for LL to choose from. Preload it with existing names (marked “taken”) and vet it occasionally would be all the maintenance LL would have to do. The list would, of course be clearly labeled as suggestions. What names are used and why is solely at LL’s discreation.

This would result in last names reflecting the time frame when names were adopted, rather than rez date but I suspect there would not be much difference.

Lastly, this IS win/win. It will get the community off your back (this will not go away until you address it constructively) and we get last names back.

Proper names are poetry in the raw.  Like all poetry they are untranslatable.  ~W.H. Auden

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A Surprising Leap-Week in Second Life

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!

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin

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Filed under Linden Lab, Second Life Community, Veiwers and tech stuff

A return to the good old ways

There have been reports in the last week that Linden Lab is returning to some practices they should never have abandoned.

Tuesday Daniel Voyager posted that Rodvik Linden says they are looking into a return to last names! Once a decision is made on how to go about it, implementation is expected sometime in 1Q 2012.

Yesterday Hamlet Au noticed that “Your World. Your Imagination” has returned to Second Life advertising. I have always thought this slogan was the most concise description of what Second life was all about.

Today I got some actual service from a real live Linden (not a Scout, a Linden)! Not just hit and run either, we worked together for half an hour!

Now if I can just get a baseball cap and a coffee mug with the Eye-in-Hand logo my second life will be fulfilled — well almost 🙂

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Communication vs. Rumor from Linden Lab

SLUniverse has always been a valuable source of information about Second Life, mixed with roughly equal parts drama and rants. When Rodvik Linden, CEO of Linden Labs posts however it tends to be treated as an “announcement”. His discussion of PathFinding and the potential uses in SL is interesting follow up. His enthusiasm is a good thing!

Then he posts:“For the UI changes. First you will see a merge of the modes. (basically click to move + new camera coming into advanced which you can turn to old way if you like). That should be End of this month.

Next a large GUI change for all our users. Yup we are taking another crack at UI design again…(Moria drums)

So in fairly short order you will be enjoying a new Linden Lab UI AND new features to help things run amok inworld.

Good or bad it will be glorious (emphasis mine). Does he not understand that “new UI” sends shivers of dread up almost every virtual spine in SL?

Mind you I am not complaining about LL creating a whole new UI, it is badly needed. It is the flippant attitude that bothers me. We have seen a lot of what a bad UI can do and it is anything but “glorious”!

Rod needs to follow the same rules regarding announcements he expects the rest of the Lindens to follow. Posting important stuff to unofficial sites is just not done. Posting from the pub is never a good idea.

A correction and apology– – – kind of – – – I guess.

On 10/04/2011 Rod posted at the Linden blog “Soon you will see us merge the Basic and Advanced modes, which will eliminate the need to switch. All functionality will be in one mode with easier-to-use controls. After these modes are merged and deployed, you can expect us to release an improved UI into the viewer. This should be a lot more flexible for user flow for all users.” Sorry Rod, I read your post at SLUniverse as a whole new viewer. I guess you intend to modify the existing Viewer2/3 in stages much like the third parties viewers are doing. Blame it on my Linden Viewer paranoia.

Update and News!

Tateru Nino has posted an “official” communication with Rhett Linden regarding the nature of the changes. Good Bye Sidebar!!!!!

Nalates Urriah has screenshots  It is still a development viewer so there are bugs but this looks a lot cleaner. I actually like the buttons on the left side idea better than Phoenix/Firestorms buttons on the bottom. I have a wide screen monitor, I can spare space at the sides. The best solution would be a drag and anchor button bar, let everyone customize their own view.

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