Friday, 2 March 2012

The Phoenix Hour - Policy Q&A Recording

The Recording
On Tuesday we had a very large Q&A discussion about the new additions to the Third Party Viewer Policy. All four of Rockcliffe U's regions were filled with 75 people each and despite numerous region crashes, griefer attacks, and stream disruptions we managed to get through it. You can watch the video here

Interview with Oz Linden
I've also secured an interview with Oz Linden himself! The interview will take place this Wednesday, March 7th at 3PM SLT. I hope to get some solid answers from Oz and LL with some real clarifications and facts about the policy changes. The interview will be done in a private region but you will be able to participate and ask questions through the live stream. More information on that to come. Stay tuned to this blog.

Jessica Lyon


  1. I have a proposal regarding viewer id. Floating text is just irritating to everyone and group tags don't work if you use them for other purposes.
    I suggest that we all add at teh end of our display name to show the viewer we normally use.
    Firestorm F Phoenix P Singularity S Cool C etc.
    I use Firestorm so I would display:
    Karenjane Walworth F.
    Short enough not to irritate in chat and IM, but enough to identify the viewer.

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  3. Inworld Name Theron Giordano
    The viewer tags aren't a huge concern for me if its that importan to you ie got a group inworld that can give you the tag of your veiwer,what does concern me is the stagnation of SL if third party veiewers cant come up with proof of cpncept idea and implement tem anymore theres not going to be many good things coming our way in the near futues because lets be honset we all know LL doesnt care to much about the end user its main concer is the stock or share holders,basically the bottom line,why do you think 99% of SL is stil running old out of date class 5 servers when LL run there sims on nice new class 7 servers,bottom line is money,but ive gone off the topic of SL becoming a stagnent pool instead of a stream of idea's third party viewers such as Pheonix/Firestorm are the people who give you all the bels and whistle on your iewer that we al like,some people may not think its important for third partys to just be able to run with an idea and see if it works but for those back here when emerald brought out breast physics LL and Jesica by her own admission wasnt interested and didnt think anybody would be bothered but everybody loved the idea of a more move realistic avatar and yes Jes did eat her words and did so very dignantly if i may add,now LL then took that idea and thought we can do this but beter because because as jes said it was an ungly hack thet realy wouldnt of like to look in a mirorbut it proved proof of concetp an LL tok that idea saw people liked it and thought hang on we can do this but better,and now we have avatar physics> Idea>Implement>proof of concept>acceptance by LL and made better,but if the rules of today applied then we wouldnt have avatar physice today because LL would hae said no we dont like that idea and tat would have been it no if or but just stop wat your thinking and play our game,yes LL have said they will work closely with TPV to implement any new ideas if they seem viable and what the community want but LL already know what the comunity wants and thats a veiwer with options something theyre doesnt have to much of and lets be honest the graphical experience and userbility isnt friendly i joined wen V2 was in its Beta stage and i loved it but then i didnt know about TPV,now i can see how far behind LL actually are maybe if they had a UI that people could make sense of and actualy told you what things were new users migt not be such hard work,as i was found out the other day when a 3 day old didnt even know how to open up the LM folder because theres just a globe icon on a tab and a new user thats had no experience with LM wouldnt know what all these things are,,im of topic again i am sorry but LL desicion to stop TPV from implementing theyre own idea's as a proof of concept has made me so angry i just need to went about everything,as i was saying LL has agreed to work with TPV to improe things and give the viewer a more user flexabable experience but LL take so long to do things i wouldnt be holding my breath,although the fact that they will be getting idea's and coders working free to make out experience more enjoyable i think that may encourage LL to actually do what they say and work with TPV because after all it cuts costs and halps the botom line stay big fat and healthy,i personally think LL would make good dictators of a regime because not even china has the balls to make people work for free atleast they gove tem some reward from what it was sounding like TP coders wont even get the credits for theyre coding skils which may i add is very long and tedious work,just like making Nike trainers for 15 cent an hour,so hats off to all the TPV coders and developers for not throwing in the towel and leaving us with a dictatorship,and everybody should be thanking Jess with a NC and also the great Henry Beuchamp that did the imposible and made mesh usable in a V1 UI,Kudos to al of you,NOW I'LL SHUT UP.:p~~~

    1. You are so right blacksite, all the things would not be here. We would still have not more than 25 groups, not more than one thing per attachment point, no alpha layers, no avatar physics, no windlight settings, no mesh. Well, you missed the point. Linden Lab does it right and better, at least they claim to do ;-)

  4. Any chance of a transcript??

  5. Why the number of active residents continues to decline when computers that run SL well are becoming entry level for what can be bought nowadays?
    *winks and grins*

  6. I don't think Jessica has any insight into bully mentality. If viewer tags are opt in, they will just start bullying people to turn on their viewer tags... If you were to make group tags opt in the bullying WILL continue.

  7. Many thanks for posting this Jessica, I will watch later when I have time, good to be kept in the loop :)

  8. I've never been "bullied" about my viewer choice. I found the viewer ID in the nametag to be very useful when helping people, because it let me know what to tell them. I can live without it, but it was a useful feature and I'll miss it.

  9. re: The "gray area" of the shared experience policy wording. Just is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

  10. @blacksite: There's this thing called "paragraphs". You should look into it.

  11. Privacy, OK you can go ahead LL and fool yourself into thinking there is any actual privacy in SL..

    Viewer ID tags, well what ever... Personally it think its more about the visibly higher percentage of people using Non-LL viewers then anything to do about privacy...

    But the last "restriction to innovation" well that just nails it... LL is completely incapable of developing anything that is actually wanted by its community, and has turn a deaf ear to the needs and demands of its customers.

    I can just imagine the conversation inside of LL....

    "People, WHY do so may of the sheep in SL continue to use the TPV's over ours, and what can we do to change that"....

    "Well sir... we could try to listen to what the people want and devote some time to fix our product so things like group chat actually work, and sim crossings don't make them crash. ....."

    "Who let this numbskull in here.... Boy you obviously don't have what it takes to work here.... now GET OUT!!!!.... Any others out there have any ideas.... Like ones where we don't have to spend any time or money implementing, preferably ones that will make the customers more frustrated"....

    "Sir how about we break some more features that the TPV developers have successfully implemented, we are REALLY good at that, and demand that they don't have any features we don't have, without developing, testing, and giving them to us for free and then waiting until we have some time away from ignoring our customers and laughing how they keep spending money on the junk we give them. We can even wait so long that maybe people will forget that they even wanted it in the first place.

    "Now that's more like it... Give that man a promotion!!! Why can't the rest of you give up the notion that we provide service TO our customers and think more like this guy?.... Ok lets let everyone know a few days before we implement this, and for god sake don't listen to any of their complaints on how this will effect their SL life negatively, as look as the money keeps rolling in we just keep doing as little as possible... OK someone have them bring up my car, I have a tee time to get to"

    Gee almost feels like we were there doesn't it

  12. these changes that keep piling up (suspiciously like turds...) are bringing me to the conclusion that LL has finally gone off the deep end into being totalitarian asshats and i'll have no part of it. thank you for firestorm, guys! it was great while the creativity and freedom lasted!

  13. In away i agree that viewer tags offer little to improve the experiance. Also one thing that i agree with atleast in part is the shared experiance. After all we have all gone out and purchased an exspensive avi that uses multi attach or mesh and we have all had coments like " o.o why are you wareing cubes / donuts" or " o.o all your attachments are messed up and all over the place. So this new rule will provent this and ensure that everyone sees your avi as you want them to see it. However one thing that came to me was that some still use non mesh viewers so under this new policy those viewers will be in violation so esensualy forceing people to use mesh viewers. Now while this is good it is also bad because not everyone can run mesh viewers.

  14. Sorry EQ, you have misinterpreted the shared viewer experience TPV policy there, It does not force everyone to use a mesh capable viewer. Think of it this way. No one forces you to not wear a blindfold when you walk down the SL street, but LL will take issue with you running a feature that makes others wear a blindfold.

    1. In my opinion, the shared viewer experience TPV policy leads to misinterpretation. It's really not easy to understand and to me it seems that its interpretation already even varies among Linden Lab employees.

      After all I look at it as follows. The officially released Linden Lab Viewer is the ONE AND ONLY ONE REFERENCE VIEWER!

      That means its underlying protocols and data structures may not be changed nor extended by any means. You are allowed to make anything on top of it or to leave it away.

      You might color it blue or black or pink, you can add text to speech to it (for your own local use), you can make a text viewer or you can even implement rlv in a viewer as it does not change the protocols and the restraints are limitations the end user accepts by its own will.

      But, you are not allowed to implement any new technology that is not officially supported by Linden Lab and cannot be used/seen in their own viewer.

      I assume that nobody disagrees to what I said so far. It sounds easy to understand. But let me give a little example regarding the misinterpretation.

      Feel free to make a text viewer, nobody says you are not allowed to do so. Linden Lab officially said it's the users decission to be happy with the limitations a text viewer has. It has ben said in a recorded meeting.

      But here I see a problem. Most text viewers let the avatar appear as a cloud for others. Is that shared viewer experience? No, not in my opinon.

      What I want to say, I'm loosing trust. They say so today. But more and more people I know are using text viewers when travelling or at work. What will be tomorrow, when a growing number of avatars are running on those Androids or whatever and appear as a cloud? Is that a shared viewer experience? NO, not for me, never! And I'm sure Linden Lab will no longer accept this some day in the future and they will change their mind before offering a innovative solution for the problem. Next, based on others experience, they will find some fancy ways to get the problem solved and dictate, how it has to be done and they will say, oh, sorry, that's nothing new, it has alreday been said with the shared viewer experience TPV policy released in February 2012.

  15. I agree viewer tags are not important.
    Anyone who has noticed the issues Google are having in Europe with their privacy policy will realise why anything that circumvents a users privacy choices is a nono.
    I can also see why, when LL are trying to up their game and improve their product, they don't want half the avatars a newbie sees on their first time in SL to have, for example, funny cubes floating around them in mid air.
    BUT as usual LL have failed abysmally to communicate the changes, leaving people like Jessica to explain after the event.
    AND LL seem have not to have thought through any alternative pathway for innovative ideas not only to be tested technically but also for their worth to users to be evaluated. "Without bouncing boobs we would not have avatar physics" is very true.
    Oz needs to explain how wacky ideas will get developed, with some sort of staged approval process so that if an idea is accepted at stage 1 it will only be blocked later for a technical reason or because users don't want it. He also needs to explain how such projects will be road tested technically and with users.
    I hope this is the start of closer collaboration between the TPV community and LL, but it is for Oz to convince that community.
    I for one very much hope he can

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  17. Saying client tags are irrelevant in every respect is not true.

    For the common users seeing the tags is quite unimportant alright. Displaying them might be quite another thing because for all who are offering any sort of inworld-support the situation is a totally different one. The tag-removal is a major pain in the bum to support people (which include TPV support as well as content providers) because it was far easier for them to help out when they knew at a glance what the other party was using. Many PC- and SL-noobs simply have issues even understanding what a viewer is, so quite naturally they won’t be able to tell you exactly what they are on.

    So there is some very real and sensible functionality in having viewer tags.

    What with people who are bullying others for the viewers they are using: That’s a violation if not of the Terms of Service then certainly of the Community Standards and is worth an Abuse Report. I don’t think it’s reasonable to blame the TPVs for the moronic action of some residents.

    1. Personally I dont care much about the viewer tags, but I understand your point of view.

      A future solution for this problem could be some functionality built into the viewers, that let you ask the viewer information by a single click that has to be accepted by the user. Much like you have to accept animations and the like. All users are already used to this.

      I could think of this as a useful feature that could be requested and forced by TPV providers when they work together with LL.

      Regarding the bullying of others for the viewers they are using, so I'm really surprised to hear that. I've never seen this so far. Running on low resources I've often been suggested to use another viewer, but always in a friendly way and far away from being bullyished. And yes, I agree, users doing this should be reported!

    2. I know it's not the place to mention this here, but the idea behind the functionality for requesting viewer information could also be used to implement a mechanismn that allows to "sign" the soon will be broken online status checking scripts.

      The actual proposed solution requires the logged user to provide the script. This sounds rediculous and not very user friendly. In my opinion Linden Lab should not implement such restrictions before providing a solution that is viable for all.

      A mechanismn that askes the user to "sign" the script automatically would solve the problem and would probably help a lot towards creating trust that LL is seriousely interested in privacy protection.

  18. @ Connie in a Sec

    Im sorry but it is infact you that have failed to understand the shared viewer experience TPV policy. Had you read it corectly or even watched the info vid regarding it you would see that it is aimed at makeing the way things are displayed consistant across all TPVs useing the official viewer as a benchmark. So yes any new feature that enhances or changes they way one viewer works or displays content and that has not been imploments by LL is against this policy.

    Equaly if a viewer does not have a feature that LL have implomented and as a result effects what the user sees this again puts this viewer in violation of the shared viewer experience TPV policy because what this viewer would display would not be consistant with that of the official LL viewer

    For example:

    Official LL viewer you see a Great looking mesh avi / clothing

    On TPV thats non mesh you would see a naked person with random prims

    This meens that the visual experiance is not the same and that the non mesh TPV would be in violation of the shared viewer experience TPV policy.

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  20. seems you are something special that you get a privacy audience

  21. @ EQ ... you really need to re-read the transcripts of the meetings because you got it wrong. The new TPV policy applies to new features added to viewers and does not apply to older viewers that don't have new features added. Those old viewers will become unusable over time as other server changes break them.

  22. @ Cincia I have already seen the vid and understand it full i have alos read the full Updated shared viewer experience TPV policy on the linden website and this situation is covered in the full rules. Yes you are right that this covers new features but if you read the full rules it also covers old / curent features also. Also if you look at the name of the rule "shared viewer experience TPV policy" This basicly means that content must be displayed the same accross all TPVs.

    I have no doubt you will come back saying im wrong and i dont realy care im quite happy to sit back and use my firestorm while i see you denieing what is happening as they slowly block non compliant viewers .

  23. @EQ

    The policy says LL's viewer has to be able to view any changes any TPV's make. Thus the custom selection beams are ok because LL's viewer shows them properly even if it can't do them itself (yet). The old secondary attachment points would be an example of something that wouldn't be allowed now. If you were using an LL viewer at the time, the stuff attached to those showed up in mid-air.

    There is nothing in the policy that says a TPV has to be able to display changes that LL's viewer makes. If a TPV can't view something right, that's not LL's concern. Mesh would be an example. There is no requirement that a TPV be able to show mesh.

    I hope this makes things clearer.

  24. Have finally found the time to watch this recording and I must say it really answered a lot of questions and allayed a lot of concerns, so thank you very much Jessica for doing that show and I look forward to your interview with Oz Linden tomorrow although being in the UK I don't think I'll stay up to watch it live (with all the downtime, it would seem an hour-long broadcast takes at least twice that...)

    I would like to mention that regarding your preference for opt-in viewer tags, sadly I agree with David that if bullying is a real concern - and your own research indicated this is true - then it is not going to stop just because people can choose not to display their tags. The assumption will be that anyone who won't show their tag is hiding something, namely, the fact that they are on a LL viewer. So in that respect I can see why LL will not consider an opt-in system.

    On the other hand, I agree with Raymond Martinek that this kind of bullying is clearly a TOS violation. LL should deal with it the way they should deal with any other kind of abuse. It is not really a sound policy to limit information just because a small minority will use that information to abuse. Trolls use internet forums to abuse other users, but you wouldn't take down the forum, you would just try to police it. Therein lies the problem, I think; LL do not actually police abuse very well (I'd venture to say, hardly at all until it concerns communities rather than individuals) and so they are removing the source of risk in order to cover up their own inability to act. They definitely do not want a host of new users coming to them with abuse complaints which will not/cannot be upheld. This, again, is why the enlightened and peaceful users of viewer tag information will, sadly, not be getting their [our] way.

    1. Fledge said…

      »So in that respect I can see why LL will not consider an opt-in system.«

      As far as I understood it, the opt-in to display viewer-information refers solely to the TPV support groups. In the Phoenix/Firestorm Viewer Support group chat window for example you have a check-box »Specify viewer type«. Up till now this box has been ticked by default. From now on it must be unticked and the user must tick it himself.

  25. Anyway, meanwhile I find that whole viewer identification discussion is a lot of baloney, and Linden Lab’s purported aim of protecting users from abuse is a laugh. Linden Lab’s line of argument is Orwellian newspeak gone marketing. The silly thing being that they are not even good at it, transparent as it is. They want to protect themselves from being laughed at because of their moderate viewer-marketshare. That’s understandable. But Linden Lab have decided to pull off a proprietary policy stunt which goes with a lot of patronizing. That is the old procedure of treating the symptoms instead of curing the cause.

  26. I just saw that Nalates Urriah has an updated (as of March 9) written and lightly commented summary on her blog: