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Mircea Lobo

Fate of the open-source viewers

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Recently there's been talk about Linden abandoning the existing viewer, and creating a whole new viewer from scratch. As expected, the new viewer is intended to be closed-source instead of FOSS like the existing one... which I assue is the purpose for LL going through the effort of making a new viewer at all. Way to involve, Linden Lab... your fear of Opensim grids must sure be strong :matte-motes-mad:

Anyway, it's not the official version of the viewer that interests me, since I always use custom viewers. My worry is whether viewer 3 based clients will remain compatible with the main grid... and for how long. Are there plans to eventually disable logins for anything based on the existing SL viewer? Or will the new proprietary viewer Linden is creating stick to the same server protocol, so Opensim viewers can keep connecting to the main grid too?

Will the Server <-> Viewer protocol documentation remain available otherwise? So V1 to V3 viewers can continue development throughout the community, and keep themselves compatible with the latest features of the main grid.

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Mircea Lobo wrote:

Recently there's been talk about Linden abandoning the existing viewer, and creating a whole new viewer from scratch. As expected, the new viewer is intended to be closed-source instead of FOSS like the existing one... which I assue is the purpose for LL going through the effort of making a new viewer at all. Way to involve, Linden Lab... your fear of Opensim grids must sure be strong :matte-motes-mad:

Anyway, it's not the official version of the viewer that interests me, since I always use custom viewers. My worry is whether viewer 3 based clients will remain compatible with the main grid... and for how long. Are there plans to eventually disable logins for anything based on the existing SL viewer? Or will the new proprietary viewer Linden is creating stick to the same server protocol, so Opensim viewers can keep connecting to the main grid too?

Will the Server <-> Viewer protocol documentation remain available otherwise? So V1 to V3 viewers can continue development throughout the community, and keep themselves compatible with the latest features of the main grid.

I believe that talk was about the new platform... not the current SL.

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Mircea Lobo wrote:

Recently there's been talk about Linden abandoning the existing viewer, and creating a whole new viewer from scratch. As expected, the new viewer is intended to be closed-source instead of FOSS like the existing one... which I assue is the purpose for LL going through the effort of making a new viewer at all. Way to involve, Linden Lab... your fear of Opensim grids must sure be strong :matte-motes-mad:

Anyway, it's not the official version of the viewer that interests me, since I always use custom viewers. My worry is whether viewer 3 based clients will remain compatible with the main grid... and for how long. Are there plans to eventually disable logins for anything based on the existing SL viewer? Or will the new proprietary viewer Linden is creating stick to the same server protocol, so Opensim viewers can keep connecting to the main grid too?

Will the Server <-> Viewer protocol documentation remain available otherwise? So V1 to V3 viewers can continue development throughout the community, and keep themselves compatible with the latest features of the main grid.

You may be confused over Ebbe's statement about the viewer for the new platform which LL is developing.  He said that it would probably be closed-source initially... much like it was for SL at the start.  I haven't heard anything at all about LL reversing course for the SL viewer and would consider it a ridiculous step for them to take this late in the game.

...Dres

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Indeed that comment relates to the NEW platform, not Second Life. The Firestorm team and I suspect most of the other TPV folks are working closely with Oz Linden. The viewer for the new platform will likely be closed source at the beginning. There is no way to tell at this point if it will remain closed source. That is too far in the future with too many unknowns.

This is talked about in the audio of the third party viewer meeting where Ebbe unveiled the plan for the new world. You can hear the message at: http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/ebbe-confirms-were-working-on-a-next-generation-platform-with-audio/  

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Oh... I see now. What does new platform mean exactly in this case however? Is LL working on a new virtual space, which is entirely a different project? Or might that still mean it's a new viewer intended for the existing main grid? I assume new platform means a new project (new server + new viewer), but just asking to be safe.

If it's a new project, starting off as closed source is of course Linden's choice, and not for me to complain over. If it's a new viewer for the main grid, I'd be upset because they're taking away the open-source nature of the existing system. Still their right of course, but this would be a wrong thing to do toward the community IMHO.

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Mircea Lobo wrote:

Oh... I see now. What does new platform mean exactly in this case however? Is LL working on a new virtual space, which is entirely a different project? Or might that still mean it's a new viewer intended for the existing main grid? I assume new platform means a new project (new server + new viewer), but just asking to be safe.

If it's a new project, starting off as closed source is of course Linden's choice, and not for me to complain over. If it's a new viewer for the main grid, I'd be upset because they're taking away the open-source nature of the existing system. Still their right of course, but this would be a wrong thing to do toward the community IMHO.

It's a whole new virtual world, which will be entirely separate from SL.

...Dres

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LL is working on an entire new virtual world. SL residents may migrate to it and keep their avatar name and $L's will be the currency there too.  Not much else is known yet about the new world because it is still in the earliest stages of development.  It will be at least a year before it goes to beta.  Starting here, are some posts Ebbe Linden has made about it.

LL has said they have no plans to shut SL down.  SL will continue to exist for those that prefer it or that want to maintain accounts in both worlds, at least as long as it is profitable for LL.  That has always been the case though.

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Mircea Lobo wrote:

If it's a new project, starting off as closed source is of course Linden's choice, and not for me to complain over.

Note also that so far we have only heard that plans for it are exactly that: to start as closed source. The SL viewer was closed source for years before it was opened, and personally I would choose much the same path for a new generation: start closed (although this time develop with the knowledge that eventually it will be open-sourced).

It might be a different story if there were already fully-specified requirements, or full-specified changes from an existing implementation. Then third-party developers might be able to contribute to a shared open source tree (maybe -- but it would require vastly more discipline than the current TPV development approach).

Of course, the prospect of ever opening the source does impose strict limits on what kind of licensed software can be included, so that would likely mean that any possible open-source approach could only use older components, so that may not be good either. As we've seen with some of the current viewer's componets, it can take years for open-source alternatives to appear, if ever.

 

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Thank you for all the info. If it's a separate project and will not affect the SL main grid, my worries are unfounded. This otherwise sounds like an interesting project, and I'm curious to see how it goes!

Also sorry for my attitude toward LL in the first post in this case. I initially thought they're switching to a closed-source viewer out of some interest... like to draw people away from Opensim to increase land renting rates. I was wrong and take back that statement.

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Nal, your site is 403'ing on me.

403 - Forbidden: Access is denied.You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied.

 

 

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My issue is why work on a new viewer/ grid when their is so many problems with the current? Linden lab needs to focus on its own current project instead of tossing it to the side-where many users like the current standered instead of showing something new that maybe people will not use at all; they have a good source code going here- why throw it away , or attempt to do some-thing else?

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SamanthaPrater wrote:

My issue is why work on a new viewer/ grid when
their is so many problems with the current
?

That's the very reason why they are building a new world. There are too many issues and limitations in the present one. Therefore it is sensible thing to build a totally new one without the burden of all the old bugs and limitations.

Nobody knows will it be succesful or not - not even Linden Lab. Anyway, they chose to take the risk.

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