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Viewer 2.5 with Web Profiles Has Arrived

Q Linden


Today we launched Viewer 2.5, now out of Beta. The most significant update is a new, web-based profile system, which allows profiles to be viewed and edited both on the web and in the Viewer. For example, here's mine. Please note this is just a starting point for the web-based profiles; we’ll be doing a lot of work to refine the usability and make them richer over time.

In response to your feedback from the early beta versions of Viewer 2.5, we've added some privacy settings that will allow you to control just how public your profile is. Once you’ve logged in, click on “Privacy Settings” in the upper right corner of your profile. Group settings set in the Viewer will be overridden by these group privacy settings.

  • "Everyone" means that the information is available to the whole Internet and can be picked up by search engines.
  • "Second Life" means that the information is available to all Second Life Residents who are logged into the website or inworld. This is the default for all existing Residents using Viewer 2.5.
  • "Friends" means that only your Second Life friends can see the information on the web and inworld.

This is why we have a beta process--to address concerns and improve your user experience. We will continue to iterate as we get more feedback. Thank you for all your help and comments. Please attend the Viewer 2 User Group meetings if you would like to share your thoughts and feedback directly with me and the Snowstorm team.

Viewer 2.5 also has some other new features. The one I like best is that you can now have your Favorite landmarks also appear on the login screen, so that you can log directly into your favorite locations. Torley made a video about this, so check it out! We've also improved some texturing performance and fixed another batch of bugs. Watching the internal data, we've already seen a noticeable improvement in stability and performance--on par with Viewer 1.23.

Download Viewer 2.5, try it out, and keep the feedback coming! And, if you Twitter, please use the hashtag #slviewer2.

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I do not have a button called 'private settings' at the upper right corner of my profile.

I can't do/change a thing with my profile anymore!

I can't change a thing  f.i.make  friends/people I know see I am online or not online if I do not want to be disturbed. Etc. what now?


I cannot edit my profile at all! Can someone help me?

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No no, not at all, Cody.  I just didn't want you to think that I disagreed with your assement of the situation.  I am trying to be realistic about what is going on and prepare myself for the worst case, because as of right now I am pretty sure that SL is turning into something I do not want to use.  I hope I am wrong but I have a private scoreboard of predictions I have made in the past and, sadly for me, I have been right more often than I would have liked to be.

It seems that your thinking and mine are meshed (no puns intended) pretty well, really, as far as what will eventually happen.  Your ideas for handling this situation are very good but I am not sure that Linden Lab has either the resources or the interest in taking that approach, sound as it may be.  Here's hoping

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Well... People are actually leaving as the concurrency and retention rates show. But where are the new users that compensate the loss? Since the release of Viewer 2 about one year ago that should be considered the first big incentive on getting new types of residents, none worked out. Even the Web 2.0 styled UI with all the bling crap didn't help. And instead of making things fail-safe with fallback options for previous residents, LL ruins their experience, too. Can't see a valid reason why they are so foolish and mess with the already paying customers only in HOPE and UNCERTAINTY that they will be replaced by new paying customers. It's a golden rule in business to not offend your loyal customers - at least not the majority of them. A lesson LL obviously still needs to learn as it seems...

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From what I have seen, the problem has been that Viewer 2 (as first released) didn't meet the needs of the platform--it was too wonky to work the way LL wants to use it.  It's taken a long time but apparently the viewer has become, or is very close to becoming, the tool that LL actually wanted in the first place.  Some of the first comments (and complaints) about Viewer 2 related to "the Facebook-like sidebar."

Almost everything in the Real World takes longer and costs more than initially thought.  Why should Viewer 2 be any different?

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a grid of compatible connected grids where the smallest grid is a single sim where it's size depends on the server it runs on.
and the most successfull viewers will be the ones the users like the most.
hmm, wait, i think i've heard of that somewhere before.

ah, yes, france 1789-1799, hehehe

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A lot of the other grids out there are indeed OpenSim/Hypergrid based, but not all.

The most successful viewers will be the ones that actually feature all the functionality that they need.  Depriving Viewer 1.x of the ability to search is just one step towards making Viewer 2 the de facto mandatory viewer, if not by blocking Viewer 1.x, then by making it unuseable.  Although the Phoenix team has shown itself to be remarkably resilient .

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Actually the sidebar is still crap for most stuff. Thankfully Firestorm will have the OPTION to turn it off!

Hehe.. even better.. the option is to turn it ON.. the defaut is OFF.. or GONE

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It's not gone because somebody made the viewer unusable if you turn it off. So you have to do some tricks to make it invisible. Same with the undocked floater when they are "closed". But better than having to deal with the sidebar...

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What you're saying makes a lot of sense Fender. It's the only thing that makes any sense as a matter of fact.

To all my fellow residents; to those who believed in the whole Your World, Your Imagination hype, those of us who built up SL to what it is currently LL is telling us loud and clear that we're no longer valued, no longer needed or wanted. It doesn't matter whether you've been here 5 years like me or are a Charter Member from 2003 you are not part of the new target demographic of Facebook/Twitter/flavor of the month social networking/invasion of privacy  website users and your needs, your wishes or opinions do not matter.

It's been a fun ride for the most part but I see the writing on the wall in large letters; your kind no longer welcome here. Of course no one from the Lab will ever say this in public, but I wish that just for once someone would tell us the truth. If my money is no longer welcome here tell me and I'll gladly delete my av and move on.

How about it Rod, Fredrik, anyone on the Board? You got the guts to shoot straight with us old timers?

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Ok, i use a notebook, so the only way i can use ? is with alt gr + w, but when i press it, it opens a window '-'

Sorry for the bad english

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For the curious ones: these are the privacy settings (see top right of the page, next to the name) you find on http://my.secondlife.com/username

Note the top check box? "I want my profile to be available on the web." Just for fun I tried that on an alt, then tried to open the profile from a viewer using web profile. The result? A blank page with the text "This name is unavailable". Ergo, as long as I keep that "be available on the web" unchecked nobody using a viewer with web profiles inworld can view that alt's profile.

Good thing: if you have unchecked "show in search" in your profile before, the default new privacy features follow that (as they should): people trying to access your profile from out of world will get the "This name is unavailable" page.

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Yeah, thankfully I already found that one out when 2.5 installed ... after checking yesterday it was nice to see that I didn't come up.

I guess people don't understand that your profile CAN be hidden, but I"m still curious that if someone "likes" your profile, if it still shows up on a FB page?

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Hello.  I like SL and all the exciting posabilities it provides.  I started using Viewer 2.3 and had a good expereince with it.  I upgraded to 2.4 and then 2.5  However, in 2.5, I am having major issues with the new profiles option.  My system is a 1.8 Ghz solo core on XP with a good graphics card.  It ran SL fine before, but these web profiles are very unreliable and slow.  It can take as much as 30 seconds to a minute for a profile to come up.  This is because after 20-30 seconds to see if it might load, it will often fail and then I have to stop it and refresh.  I have an 8 Kbps internet connection and no problem browsing with Internet Explorer or Firefox.  It is just this problem with viewer 2.5. 

The search and find option is also very slow, but the find option is relable.  I can search for something minimize it and come back 30-60 seconds later and the results will be loaded.  This is not true for the profiles!  I have to babysit them because if I minimize and check them later, they often do not load and need to be stopped and refreshed.  Or it just goes to my profile instead!

It is very frustrating because I like to check the profiles quickly of new people I meet.  I really liked how 2.4 handled it on the side.  It was out of the way so I could continue the conversation and did not take up most of the screen.  Also, it was INSTANT.  I could easilly check the profile on everyone in a group within seconds. 

I understand having a web profile offers new possibilities.  You can allow the profile pics to zoom in and can allow people to access profiles on the dashboard on the web.  You could also give them the option to be larger.  I still do not understand why there are text character limits so small.  Text takes almost no time to download and no server space to store.  I sincerely think it would be best if you made the new web profiles an option and not a requirement.  Have the way where it shows up on the side panel like before and have a button to view the profile on the web.  This would solve so many problems.

I would also like to note that the new feature to show your favorite places on the login screen is not working.  I have enabled it and I have a few favorites in my landmarks.  None of them show up at login; the drop down looks as it did before. 

I have downgraded now to 2.4 and am very happy about this.  I hope you will allow it to continue to work.  It is really a faster and better option.

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Hello.  I like SL and all the exciting posabilities it provides.  I started using Viewer 2.3 and had a good expereince with it.  I upgraded to 2.4 and then 2.5  However, in 2.5, I am having major issues with the new profiles option.  My system is a 1.8 Ghz solo core on XP with a good graphics card.  It ran SL fine before, but these web profiles are very unreliable and slow.  It can take as much as 30 seconds to a minute for a profile to come up.  This is because after 20-30 seconds to see if it might load, it will often fail and then I have to stop it and refresh.  I have an 8 Kbps internet connection and no problem browsing with Internet Explorer or Firefox.  It is just this problem with viewer 2.5.

You should try a V1 viewer like phoenix. Search and profile results are almost instant. for me, 4 Seconds is to long for me to wait, 30, I would be in tears.

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I switched to viewer 2 at the beginning and suffered through the first one sometimes sneaking back to an old viewer or a TPV. But, I committed to it very early on and defended it against many who tried the first version then vowed never to go back

I'm afraid 2.5 disappoints me, why do we need the web profile inworld? I see all the plusses for the web, but, I do not need a big portion of my screen filled when I check the profile of someone who walks into the club.

Just as an aside, my profile got wiped clean of my description, photo, everything...just left my name


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I don't want spam with another message to repeat what was already said, but I agree 100% with Ephany. If somebody from Lindens will read this, let me tell that according to me it is absolutelly useless feature, slow and causing only some discomfort to users. Dont mentioning bugs it contains (when I click on somebodys avatar and chose Profile it shows my own profile instead - I dont know if I'm only one experiencing this).

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There is no reason to say that Linden Lab is taking an attitude of "your kind no longer welcome here."  Of course you are welcome--we all are--but realistically, it has to be on LL's terms.  LL is the backbone from which all else in Second Life derives, and no matter what we think of their policies and practices, without LL there is no SL.  That is why I can truthfully say that a decision on LL's part to embrace the Facebook-style Web makes me sad but not angry.  The situation is driven by economics and if LL goes under because of a refusal to accept that their original model for Second Life is not viable, then there won't be any Second Life for anyone in any form.  If this means that they have to risk the loss of some of their current user-base, I for one cannot find it in my heart seriously to blame LL.  Their resources are finite and must be applied in a way that makes sense for their future.

I absolutely have no idea if this new approach will produce the results Linden Lab wants and needs but one thing seems to be clear:  Linden Lab feels that it cannot continue with the original plan and remain a serious competitor in the virtual world arena.  And if that is what they think, then they have no choice but to change their operations to reflect it.

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Ok... so.. now that we have web profiles in-world... how do i see the notes i have created in friends profiles.. stuff like their rl birthdays.. or other notes i have made to myself about them?? 

Also.. let's say someone is not on my friends list, and not in the same sim where i could click on them to send them an im... see the problems here with these web profiles..  you can no longer search someone and be able to actually contact them.  good job.. you just prevented 99% of SL from being able to communicate with each other... should be a fun, if somewhat solitary existence from now on..

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Why the heck does Viewer 2.5 keep deleting my Profile Pictures and Profile Biographies?? It took me months to collect all those information in there! And Viewer 2.5 just wipes them off every time I put them there (3 times already)! This never happened with the last Viewer's Profile interface. I hate the new Web-style Profile in 2.5, I want the last one back. I have to remake my entire Profile everytime I log in!! Darn!!

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Yes I'm with you on this - the great improvements in some areas are being negated by annoying stuff like this. As a V2 user from almost the beginning I give credit for the terrific improvements that have been made, but this profile thing really is annoying.

Also LL - can Hiptomi's Starlight Skin not be incorporated into the main download as an 'optional skin'. For me Starlight really adds functionality and the colour system is better IMO.

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Can i just say that moving the profiles to a web based window is a stupid idea.. The windows arent as easy to open and it lags the crap out of my SL.. I prefer the old way then this version as its so slow..


Sorry that wasnt AT you Mags.. i apologise.

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  I have to say the new update is totally useless,at least for me.

Each 10 seconds I get an error alert from some script of my AO, not to mention I cannot see myself, everything and other avi's looks all gray and messed up.

If I want to open someone's profile I cannot see it, mine appears all the time,plus, too slow for me.

As for me, I'd like the old one better.

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I just love clueless people who say "nice bells and whistles, keep up the good work".  Gimme a break!  Are you on another planet????

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