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Does Firestorm support/work with LL?


SLtesterL2
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Just wandering since I avoided using FS because I thought it was a thing of its own. While it does run SL, I was wondering if LL benefits from users logging on using FS instead of the offical viewer. IDK i felt kinda gilty not helping and contributing the people who gaveme this virtual world. FS feels like a guilty pleasure... :matte-motes-mad:

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SLtesterL2 wrote:

Just wandering since I avoided using FS because I thought it was a thing of its own. While it does run SL, I was wondering if LL benefits from users logging on using FS instead of the offical viewer. IDK i felt kinda gilty not helping and contributing the people who gaveme this virtual world. FS feels like a guilty pleasure... :matte-motes-mad:

Linden Lab doesn't benefit from ANY viewer - their entire revenue stream comes from land rental and other things that are independent of the viewer. LL wants people to use viewers that use current server technology, which Firestorm does.  The difference between any two viewers is similar to the difference between a Pontiac Firebird and a Chevy Camaro - cosmetic differences and minor additions/subtractions but based on the same basic technology and structure.

Linden Lab wants people to sign in to Second Life - that's all they care about. If a lot of people do that using Firestorm instead of the LL viewer, so what? Actually, in reading the Firestorm blog I suspect the Lab is delighted to not have to deal with that particular complaint stream.

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If you are talking about monetarily, then both benefit pretty much equally in the arrangement.  Linden Lab benefits by users who choose to use the Firestorm viewer (or any other viewer) get a viewer that they are comfortable with and has features or the look that the user likes or enjoys..........that tends to retain the user.  For Firestorm the users need a viewer in order to enter Second Life and Linden Lab provides that virtual world.........that give the Firestorm people a market.  Without an market any business ceases to exist.  It's easy to see how LL benefits....more users, more moeny.  It's a little more difficult to see how Firestorm benefits (in my eyes anyway).  The Firestorm folks are part of an open source genre of sottware programming.  It's free for anyone to use.  In many ways the people who write the code for the Firestorm viewer(s) do so out of a "labor of love".......these people love writing code.  :)  How they make money (which I believe is very little) is through donations from the users.  I'm not sure any open source effort for software would continue to exist without user donations.  So my advice if you feel guilt at all, your feelings of guilt are misplaced if you are thinking LL.........donate to the open source folks (they will certainly appreciate it, I'm sure).

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Our mission statement is to "Improve the user experience".

Since the beginning of this project we have worked diligently towards cooperation and communication with Linden Lab because we can achieve our mission far better by working with them than against them, and we certainly do not want to be against them.

Who benefits?
I believe they benefit in that we make our users happy, our users are their customers, and happy users tend log in more often, stay logged in longer and spend more money than dissatisfied users, however I don't think LL see's it that way unfortunately. But LL does express interest and make effort to work with us and other third party viewers for whatever their reasons may be and that's good for everyone.

We benefit working with them by having some say on things LL does which ultimately lead to improving the user experience or detracting from it. Our benefit is in having a strong voice, which gets stronger the more users we have. Improving the user experience brings us more users, more users give us a greater voice and influence, a greater voice gives us more control over improving the user experience. It's a convenient cycle.

While we do not gain monetarily, we do earn enough income through google adsense to cover our running costs which are a few thousand dollars a year, but we do not earn income individually. I don't believe it would be fair to earn income from what is 90% written by someone else. Firestorm is based off LL's viewer, we just make modifications to it. It is a common question from people as to why we do what we do if we do not earn anything. There are several reasons for this which I'll try to outline.

Why do we do it?
- We care about you, no really we do! We are passionate people who genuinely care about the users of Second life, because we are users too, just like you.
- We use Firestorm too and any improvements we make to Firestorm we benefit from as well.
- We get great personal satisfaction from knowing we've helped someone. Just like helping an old lady across the street makes you feel good about yourself, for us knowing we're helping hundreds of thousands of users makes us feel good.
- Our developers like developing. It helps hone their skills and is in itself rewarding to accomplish creating some great feature that a lot of people enjoy, benefit from and appreciate.

Ultimately though the underlying reason is that what we do is personally rewarding to us.

So to answer your question... We ‘try’ to work with LL, though some days we have more success than others. We do not work ‘for’ LL though, we work for our users. We do support and encourage LL when they do things we believe will improve the user experience, and we advocate against things which we feel takes away from that experience. In some cases we will fight LL on something if we believe strong enough about it, if our users express strong enough objection to it.

We try to be the voice of the average SL user and for the average SL user by reflecting to LL how the average SL user feels, what they want, don’t want, etc. We listen closely and communicate with our users so that we are as accurate as possible in speaking for you. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail but we will always continue to work towards our mission of improving the user experience.

I guess it is more accurate to say we work with LL in order to support the user.

Hope that helps explain things a little bit.

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc

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