It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…

Talking with a reasonably broad cross-section of SL residents it is clear that some harbour a deep-seated mistrust bordering on resentment toward Third Party Viewers and their developers. The Emerald fiasco is the source of much of this resentment, though anyone with a bit of history in Secondlife knows that Fractured Crystal was only one of a number of amoral individuals who have sought to bend SL to their wills (and by no means the most successful, I might add). Due to the popularity of the Emerald Viewer, Frac’s profile became more widely known, and that is his legacy.
However it seems that a small minority of folk genuinely believe that the influence of Emerald in particular and TPVs in general is malign. They comfortably forget that at best Linden Lab are slow to respond to problems, even ones of their own creation, and were it not for the sometimes less than well-received nudges from TPV developers, many of the fine features that we have in Secondlife would still be on the “list of things to do”.

When a TPV introduced a new feature, it more often than not spurred on Linden Lab to bring out their own “take” on it, and sometimes their version was a great deal better: multiple attachments is a good example, following the introduction of the “Secondary attachments” by Emerald. I was frustrated myself by those, since the TPV (Rainbow Cool) that I used did not render them at all properly.
Now we have multi-attachments that all can see as they are intended, but how long would it have taken Linden Lab to introduce them, had not the Emerald “hack” been introduced?

That is my point. If TPVs don’t “push”, we only get a slow trickle of innovation onto the Grid. Some say: “Ah but Mesh was a great success by Linden Lab.” Erm I seem to remember that it took LL several attempts and a lot of thrashing around before Mesh actually made it to the Grid. Don’t misunderstand me… there are some great minds at work at Linden Lab. It is the stifling and leaden processes that go on within that organisation that cause many of the irritations and frustrations we have on the Grid, not the ingenuity of LL’s developers.

Without TPVs pushing the limits of the possible in our “shared experience”, Secondlife will be the poorer and I very much doubt that it will be more stable. The changes that Linden Lab have made (and are fully entitled to make, I do realise) are petty and bureaucratic and say more about the inertia of the company than about its intentions.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on March 3, 2012.

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