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IF LL cant compete on Innovation - Stifle Competiton

Toysoldier Thor
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So I just read the announcements from the Pheonix team..... Aparently LL has given up trying to out innovate with features in their viewer compared to the TPVs..... 

So LL's motto is "If we cant compete with the TPV on innovative and more usable viewers, lets just force the TPVs to remove any feature we dont have"...

How lame is that folks!

Here it is right from the horses mouth...


2.k : You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.

Interpretation from the Pheonix Team:  "This means that third party viewers will no longer be allowed to innovate features which relate to the shared experience unless LL has the features in their viewers first. However LL has indicated an interest and preference in working with third party viewers to develop such features together."

And LL slide continues...

There was also a lot of other new rules that will further gut pheonix features from the viewer - some this week - because of LL's privacy policies.  Features the leverage your ability to see if someone is online.

So I guess the days of the TPV will be ending soon since anything innovative from TPVs cant be put in until LL puts it in first even if they steal great ideas from the TPVs.

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Listening to Oz's "the world really isnt falling" posts is like listening to the LL Commerce Team's posts that everything will be OK....

ohh hold on.... LL Commerce Team rarely posts anything accept to apologize for mistakes they made or to intro a new half-baked idea that most ppl hate..... 

but thats not the sky falling either i guess.

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So I listened to OZ's audio announcement of LL's new restrictions on TPVs...

Sky not falling??? lol

I would strongly suggest ppl listen to OZ's audio... you will hear how in LL's ideas this is no big deal and it is !

Just a few things I picked up in the first 15 minutes and no wonder Phoenix staff and a growing # of residents that mostly use Phoenix viewers are getting upset as this news from LL is getting out.  You will love hearing it Sassy :)


-  no more "true online" status checking - will break distribution vendors that rely upon it... but LL's response... "they will just have to update their vendors"  no big deal according to LL.  OZ doesnt even know the possible use cases that LL's rules will impact.  Again, another typical LL response... downplays any pain and effort that LL places on merchants, creators, residents.

-  Oz hopes that DD will fix other related delivery bugs that online status check uses to fix delivery

-  Oz's response to what TVP's should do about older viewer.... "Im not gonna worry about it".  He doesnt give a hoot that all older viewer's functionality will break in unknown ways....  typical LL response... dont care about backward compatibility.  His attitude is that all residents should keep up to date and doesnt care about residents that dont.

-  When asked when LL will break things.... He didnt know or have a date.  So TPV makers dont even know exactly when things will break.

-   Some in the audio already suggested "why dont you just kill the TPVs?"  they see exactly what most others are seeing this goofy new set of rules.  And Oz is saying... "we are not saying that" ... but meanwhile they are putting down rules that say .... dont put out any function outside what we are doing in out Viewer.  Kill innovation - kill competition.

-  LL doesnt want ppl to see what viewer ppl r using... their lame excuse is that noobs are being harassed because of the viewer they are use.  WHAT UTTER BS!  They just dont want residents to know that most ppl dont use the LL Viewer.

-  Color tagging residents will be broken this week and this will cause another huge uproar for tons of phoenix users that love this feature.  But no biggy for LL since they dont have it in their viewer.

-  But the biggest BS.... is that LL wants all TPVs to gut innovative functions that LL doesnt have.  That is the biggest embarassment joke of them all.  Talk about lame! 

LL cant compete.  Their Viewer 2 and 3 could never out innovate the TPVs ... they created a viewer that most to this day hate... so the best solution to the problem..... just kill the the innovation that LL doesnt have.... and force them out of the market.


I fully encourage all to listen to Oz and see just how lame LL has become.

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Oz Linden's voice recording seems to be confusing people. It's hard to infer a consistent policy from the examples he gives.

I doubt that it can be trusted as an expression of formal policy. And not trusting such things may be documented formal policy.

I'm beginning to wonder just why it's all looking like a last-minute panic before the server support for Viewer tagging gets switched off. What has scared the Lindens? 

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

 You will love hearing it Sassy

Oh I have listened to it and made a few comments elsewhere.

I'm not surprised by it all actually, I foresaw as much a while back.  LL could not continue to go forward with new server side elements (such as those in Linden Realms at a guess and other such things they have, oh and mesh) while they did not have control of the incumbent viewer.

In fact mesh is probably the most notable example.  Mesh adoption was never going to increase until Firestorm and Phoenix introduced it.  Until that point, scorn was cast over the unfortunate ones for having to use an LL viewer just to see mesh.  So it's understandable that LL want to be dictating much more control over the viewer itself.  I'm not saying I agree with the changes, only that I can understand it).

The rest i've already commented on elsewhere so i'll just sit back and watch while waiting for the drafted in ex-Enron Actuaries to produce the positive feedback report on Received Items.

Anyone seen ma' popcorn?



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I can see that Rodvik came in here and thought... "why the heck does LL allow competing viewers?  This loses our control and strategy of the SL grid".  I have said this during the emerald days that its only a matter of time before LL will force the wipeout of the TPVs.

I guess Rodvik is making this happen.

The spokesperson from Phoenix said it right.... if LL is going to restict our innovation to improve SL then we might as well go to other grids like Inworlds.

Oz can spin this BS any way he wants but this is LL's full press attempt to wipe out TPVs... we know it , the TPVs know it , and even secretly LL knows it.

what is sad is that LL doesnt have the capability and often not the foresight to run with innovative ideas that have come from Phoenix and other TPVs.  They are stopping TPVs from innovative and they do not have the ability to enable the TPV's features.

DARK DAYS get darker. :( 

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If that recording were an audition tape, Oz wouldn't get the job.

If it were a presentation to senior management, on some new project, I'm inclined to doubt he'd get the budget.

Oz doesn't give me a sense that he knows what he is talking about, but I shall admit to having high standards on this sort of thing. Still, there's more than a bad performance involved.

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The Phoenix team did get involved with an alternative Grid provider, a long time back now. I can't recall any details, but I think the outfit was doing something about a multi-Grid marketplace, a sort of XStreet that would deliver the same item to more than one Grid as a single user transaction.

For a while, Firestorm seemed to be a bit dismissive of alternative Grids. I have a local OpenSim server I can run, and I usually use Phoenix. Firestorm setup was awkward and apparently unsupported.

There are things I am seeing reported which make a local OpenSim server seem to be a really good content-creation option for a Merchant, but I'm not clear about how OpenSim and Mesh works out, Physics is also a likely problem.

What's next? Stopping the import of link-sets? 

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@WolfBaginski The grid in  question  was Spoton3D

@Toysoldier "InWorldz" There fixed it for you  ;)

@YT Sky not falling?  Tell  that to merchants that make: gift vendors, bot systems, staff boards, staff time clocks, ad boards, tip jars, gift boxes, delivery gadgets, RP systems and thats just a few of the  items relying on the online status code.

@Randall any  and all  LL cheerleaders must be in  full  PG attire ;)

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That´s no new innovation in global buisness. Buy your competitor and close them down. Or even better if you can close them down without spending money.

TPV features are not needed to survive but they made things easier. If SL moves to become the new Sims Online, what was a major fail, the next on the list will be, remove the build for everyone ?

What´s about RLV ?

If mesh didn´t come up the way wanted because alot people use TPV´s that didn´t support, why people still insist that the majority use LL Viewers ?

So if TPV makers will move to another grid some, not all, might follow them. My problem with other "worlds" was that there are not enough users around but this could change it.

Bad move in my opinion, very bad move ...

Cut down my online time from over 30 hours a week to 1 - 2 hours, about a year ago, it´s no big deal to just close the door fully and maybe walk over to a really user created free world.



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Monti Messmer wrote:

What´s about RLV ?


RLV is exempt here because it doesn't alter the shared experience.  Just because I choose to live my world with RLV enabled, doesn't alter yours so that's why.

However, if LL should change their mind, the revenue from the many people who choose to spend money could have a much larger impact.

People are usually quite willing to spend money on their entertainment, particularly when it comes to feeding their kinks in private.  I guess LL just consider that all they'd lose would be a few "adult" merchants, oh and a few sims on that region called what was it again asked the exec team, Zoodle?...Zindo?  ah Zindra!

It's bigger than that though, the same people who spend L$'s on self gratification also happen to spend it on fashion and other aspects of their SL.

There was once a company called IBM who believed that the home PC was just that, a toy that wouldn't catch on, they pitched their business on the mainframe...

Kodak refused to acknowledge that film didn't have a future...

Being pragmatic though, we don't know the plan.  What we do know is that LL doesn't understand the customer or how SL is used, they can't decide on who their target market is.  Or on the other hand, they may well have a totally different target demographic of which the "old school" isn't part of anymore so I'd say give up clinging to what you want based on what you know and start planning on how you can steer your "Titanic" through the iceberg field that is SL.

Their plans might be quite ok if it dumps 100,000 "old school" users and gains 1 million school children playing Linden Realms equivalent games who then persuade their parents to buy merchandising which is coupled to the online experience.

"Build a Bear" anyone?  That's just one example.



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Yes I do think this is a willed change. It is hard to beleive a company could be so out of touch not to see how this (and other prior decisions) will effect the current use of SL. Or could they? Any company of this size must have a long term plan regarding all their products right? If they don't something is very wong. SL as it is atm might not be part of their over-all plan. Which I would find sad but I might not be within their precieved target marked...Somehow I almost hope they're just a badly run company and they'll see the errors of their ways. But I can't beleive they don't have a goal to which all this are means to get there.

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Koltari wrote:

Yes I do think this is a willed change. It is hard to beleive a company could be so out of touch not to see how this (and other prior decisions) will effect the current use of SL. Or could they? Any company of this size must have a long term plan regarding all their products right? If they don't something is very wong. SL as it is atm might not be part of their over-all plan. Which I would find sad but I might not be within their precieved target marked...Somehow I almost hope they're just a badly run company and they'll see the errors of their ways. But I can't beleive they don't have a goal to which all this are means to get there.

I totally agree with you Koltari,

I dont think Rodvik is a stupid man.  He may have as little maturity and experience in understanding and running a customer driven company, but he is not stupid.

This new set of TPV Clarification rules is clearly set out to influence the TPV makers to showdown and get out of the SL Viewer Business. 

Rodvik does not believe in opensource and these policies prove it.  Rodvik believes that LL needs control of the critical factors to LL's major sources of revenue - SL.  They have known for a long time that their inability to create a viewer that best meets the needs of the customers (the disaster called Viewer V2) and with the viewer code being opensource, it allowed a better viewer to be created that met LL's customer needs. 

Because of this LL lost control of the majority marketshare of the Viewers.  since the version and functionality of the Viewers are critical for many new / changing features in SL, the fact that LL lost control of the viewer market was and continues to be a big risk to their business.  As Sassy said, the extent to how badly LL lost control was when LL deployed MESH in August.  As I stated in the forums when mesh was released, I predicted that Mesh adoption would not reach critical mass for a main reason that LL did not own the main viewer marketshare and so mesh would not start to be adopted until Phoenix released mesh in their viewers.  This must have royally frustrated Rodvik and the Sr. LL team.

This new set of policies is LL's cowardly approach to deal with TPV's once and for all.

Why do I say cowardly?

Because instead of taking the mature up-front approach of just making a corporate statement that "by October 1 2012 LL will no longer allow any TPVs to be used to log into SL", they decided to simply take the cowardly approach of putting policies in place that will remove almost all incentive for any TPV makers to keep developing.  No need to develop when LL literally wipes out any chance for them to innovate without handing the good ideas to LL for their permission and then general release.  They might as well become LL Viewer development staff.

What is even more sad in Oz Linden's announced policies and strategy is how little he either knows about or cares about LL's customer base.  To make an announcement on Fri Feb 24th that a major function will be shut down for privacy reasons and then LESS THAN A WEEK LATER EXECUTE ON THE STRATEGY....  WOW.... that is just poster child example of how immature LL's management is.

Oz stated in his audio presentation that this is a new LL Management and they should not be judged on past bad LL management practices and decisions.  Well he is right... with how LL Commerce Team has handled DD deployment, and their recent handling of the ALL RECEIVED fiolder we all hate but LL will still deploy and now how Oz is executing the new TPV polcies....  The new management has changed.... its even worse.

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#1: There's still plenty of ways to get peoples online status - with their consent. I suspect even still a few without. That it breaks content is bad, but for me it's worse that SL has historically had absolutely zero privacy.

#2: RLV and such is exempt. It doesn't alter any shared experience for anyone. Same as my own viewer modifications don't change anything for anyone else (but I also don't distribute these changes nor is it in the TPV).

#3: Viewer identification? I always identify as LL v3, even when I didn't use LLs viewer. I don't mind LL knowing what viewer I use, but I do mind if anyone else does.

What LL will gut beyond that is, at this point in time, up in the air. It should not affect, for example, region search, nor radar enhancements, nor other clientside changes. They don't affect anyone else, just like RLV does not. On the other hand, the old Emerald additional attachment points did breat stuff fairly badly for people who were not using Emerald. Another possible reason is a (non-TPV) viewer which provides additional options like "free" prims per parcel stored on a third party server, circumventing land impact limits.

I don't see TPVs going away anytime soon, nor do I think they'll get gutted. Apparently, neither does the Phoenix "team". LL hardly is innovative, let alone even in touch with their customers, but to be honest... this change is at the moment a lot of hoopla about very little.

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I actually found this one rather positive. Not because it may break some content and products (which I empathize with, having our own ability increasingly limited by LL features and optimizations), but because I've always viewed LL offerings as amateur.

Part of this has been their utilization of open source and viewer development, not because I believe open source is bad, but that open source "is" particularly bad when it comes to products with a decent level of user end polish and sophistication, and even worse when it comes to "game" development in something like a game client.

To open source the viewer in the first place I believe was an extremely bad decision by founders and board members that are active in trying to monetize open source and crowd sourcing. You get what you pay for, and in this case that has proven to be true.

We've always been in need of a consistant experience, so must agree that anything that affects our experience collectively should be the same.

If from the beginning there were no third party viewers, the market would have taken care of viewer development by itself. If people couldn't login, there would be less users until the viewer was improved so that people with those hardware configurations could. If features X and Y were badly done, there would be more pressure on the only viewer to improve them and greater incentive for the company to do that. The same goes for new features, etc.

No problem with them trying to make sure new features are consistant and if done, done properly by supporting code on the backend and backed by customer support.

It's just so much more professional and I think important to new users to find a singular experience.

Having to download a different client because I experience the world differently with it is amateur.

Downloading a different client because the layout is better, or because I can do machinima better with it is less amateur.

Having a single client that I have no major gripes with would be the most professional, but the founders who decided to save some money with free contributions and depended on viral aspects of open source instead of solid marketing kind of ruined that one.

Rod did inherit the problem as did some of the newer employees and they know that, and don't appear to be crazy about it, which is refreshing.

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Dart I do agree with you and always have had a belief that LL founders should not have come to market with an OPENSOURCE model.... not for the grid and not for the viewers.

Yes I understand some of the benefits of opensource to quicken and leverage innovation via collaboration, but if LL would started out 9 years ago with a proprietary architecture then many of the problems that are fundamental risks to SecondLife now would likely not have appeared.

-  There would not have been a major bleed of their customers to countless opensource grids based on the SL grid when LL's poor customer service encouraged many SL residents to leave SL to other grids like Inworldz.  LL can brag (like they did in the Oz Audio) that Inworlz has no content and Phoenix team is free to move development to thes grids but they cant deny that LL has lost a lot of monthly revenue from customer that have moved their communities to Inworldz and other competing grids.


-  They would never have lost control of the critical viewer that is the window into the SL Grid.  Way back in 2009 when I was at a Linden session that Blue Linden was hosting on dealing with a lot of problems about copybotting ... I told Blue then that LL should never have opensourced the viewer and that they should start the process of shutting down opensource viewers to regain control of access to the grid.  We all see now the price LL has paid for opensourcing the viewer. 

Sadly most of us will now pay in the future as LL starts weening us off TPVs and pushing the TPVs out of the SL grid.  It will take about a year but if I were Phoenix and especially the smaller viewer makers, there would be little reason to be developing a viewer that pretty much will have little difference to the LL viewer.  Remember that most of these TPV teams get little if any REAL rewards for creating these TPV.... only LL benefits from it.


So Dart, you and I agree on LL's wrong strategy way back when on using OpenSource.  The problem is that OpenSource is entrenched into the entire SL archtiecture and countless non-LL entities have extremely strong hooks into this model.  So for LL to begin the process of shutting down OpenSource and getting TPVs out of their product will be a very slow and painful process and hurt a lot of people in many stages as the hooks are ripped off.

Sadly LL is taking a cowardly approach.  Rodvik should just stand up and make a clear direction / roadmap statement on their new direction and set a deadline of when he wants TPV's off the SL grid.  He should have the ethics and customer service mindset to give everyone a long period of time to adjust to this new model.  i.e. No TPV's on the grid as of Jan 1 2013.

Most importantly Rodvik should come out of denial and realize his LL Development is not innovative on viewer development nor do they have the cycles to provide effective resourcing to develop and maintain the best viewers for the SL grid.  As such, LL should develop a strategic partnership with a new SL Viewer Development Team that is OUTSOURCED to a company like Pheonix.  i.e. LL should be PAYING the Pheonix Team for being their Viewer Development Branch.  Also, LL should give this team a high level of development freedom whereby their ideas would get a priority in the LL development roadmap.

But we know this is not how LL thinks.


PS... for anyone to think that Oz's friday announcement not being a big deal.... that is naive thinking.  It would typically be coming from someone from LL or someone that is a loyal LL Viewer users (a rare one:).  The writing is on the wall and dont be surprised in the next 6 months when LL announces further TPV restrictions that deals with exceptions like the RLV viewers and other restrictions. 

Thinking this is no big deal is short-sighted thinking.  This is part of a bigger plan that Rodvik has.

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:


No problem with them trying to make sure new features are consistant and if done, done properly by supporting code on the backend and backed by customer support.

It's just so much more professional and I think important to new users to find a singular experience.

Having to download a different client because I experience the world differently with it is amateur.

Downloading a different client because the layout is better, or because I can do machinima better with it is less amateur.

Having a single client that I have no major gripes with would be the most professional, but the founders who decided to save some money with free contributions and depended on viral aspects of open source instead of solid marketing kind of ruined that one.

Rod did inherit the problem as did some of the newer employees and they know that, and don't appear to be crazy about it, which is refreshing.

You will never please everyone with a client, I don't think different clients are amateur, but it seems LL want people to tweak the user interface and as you suggest, make a client that is more focussed on machinima and photography, rather than introducing new features such as avatar physics and parcel windlight, which LL deem to be world chaning events.

I think there are some grey areas here, which is where people are getting hung up, I don't see the problem with either avatar physics or parcel windlight as it doesn't change my SL much, extra attachment points though, I can see why LL would suggest that shouldn't have happened the way it did.

If you look at how MMO's develop in these areas, World of Warcraft has a lot of custom add ons, to change the layout and interface but it isn't a world changing development, it doesn't make the inworld action different, it may make it more comfortable for people to play, but it doesn't add anything new in the game itself, I think that's where LL are coming from, they maybe haven't explained it well.

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I'd be against removal of TPVs as well, even though I don't use one anymore. Why? Because choice is good, despite the support problems that come with having a choice. The proper solution to the support problems is exactly how LL handles that anyway: "We cannot help you if you do not use the official LL viewer".

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Perrie Juran wrote:

Can you imagine what would have happened if there were not alternative TPV's available when LL introduced Viewer 2?  How many people would have left the grid as being now unusable?

/me shudders at the thought.

Yes you are completely right. 

As much as I see that a proprietary LL viewer would have helped LL now in keeping control of the SecondLife Service and how much it would have reduced / almost eliminated one of SL's biggest problems (Copy-Botting on the grid), I think we all know what happens where there is no competition within a product or service.

If LL forced SL and its viewer to be locked and internally developed only, we would now be stuck / forced to use a horrendous LL Viewer.  We would not have a lot of the innovative functions, features, solutions that TPV like Emerald and Phoenix brought to the SL Residents (even against LL's wishes for them to do so).

It was the presence of the TPVs and their quick moving, customer driven, innovative teams that introduced the competitive atmosphere that forced LL's undesirable LL Viewer to even introduce changes they surely would never have done if the TPVs were not in the market.

But sadly these surprising out-of-the-blue and extremely fast to execute LL policies will surely have a huge impact on the incentive of these TPV's to continue to innovate.  I am sure a lot of wind left their sails on Friday.  You could clearly hear it in their voices on the audio - a sense of "the end is near" and "LL is starting to shut us down" attitude.

Oz only provided lame arguments on the reasons for this new policy and everyone listening to him could easly tell was nothing more than excuses from LL for a policy that has alterior motives. 

The one that made me laugh was when Oz said the reason that LL wants Viewer Tagging to be removed from avatars is because SL Noobs were being harrased!   ROFL laughing.  What grid did he hear that from?  The unspoken truth was that LL did not like that highly visible message over all SL resident's heads that most residents dont use the LL Viewer.  Everyone on the audio sesssion knew that.

So for those of you that truly believe that LL's recent TPV crushing policies will have no impact on the future of TPV's developing for the SL Grid.....  ask yourself this...

If you were on one of these teams and you are getting no revenue / profits from all your efforts create and support these TPVs and what drives you and your team is just the internal satisfaction of being innovative and developing viewers for SL that provides a clear value add to the overall experience of SL for residents. 

Then LL shocks you one day by telling you in one meeting that :

1) many of the functions in your TPV that many of your customers love will be removed for "privacy" reasons, 

2)  LL will "break" these functions in the next 5 days with no ability to properly warn and socialize these removed functions and knowing that all the SL residents will attack your team (not LL) with support calls and anger on why these functions all of a sudden were removed.

3)  LL add another policy that limits many of the innovations to improve the experience on the grid unless LL first blesses it AND THEN LL develops it themselves for you to use later !  

4)  And you know that regarding point #3, many of these innovative ideas have often been rejected by LL and even if they werent rejected, LL simply does not have the resources to take on this development of your ideas.

5)  Finally you are not a stupid person as a TPV developer and you can see that LL's long term objective is to choke you out of the market and so you are now waiting for the next call from Oz Linden to tell you that "here are the next rounds of TPV restrictions that we left as exceptions last time".

So.... if you are in the TPV's shoes.. tell me how inspired you are to keep developing TPVs for LL and SL ?


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My guess is that this is not a knee jerk response to some long standing problems, but still poor implementation or decisions on how to fix the problems.

As much as Oz may have tried to think through peoples objections he obviously didn't fully understand the domino effect on legitimate use of some functions.  That is not necessarily his fault, any one person can only do so much. We don't know what was handed to him by upper management or the time frame he had to deal with it.

Have people been griefed over their choice of viewers?  Absolutely.  Was it wrong?  Absolutely.  But griefers are griefers and they will find another way to get their jollies.  They aren't going away.

What was bad about the announcements was the time frame for implementation given.  "This is happening with the next roll out."  Not allowing anytime for public feed back and/or for people to adjust things that needed to be adjusted.  (I do truly hope they have delayed the crippling of llgetagent or whatever that function is called.)

In the interim, until all the feed back was gathered and analyzed, they could have simple asked the TPV's to remove the online status from their code.  Maybe a pain, but a fair intermediate step until a final resolution was reached.


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