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JadedJewel13 wrote:

It's middle May 2014 and I am curious to see what you all have to say about this topic now.. I am new to SL for the most part, I've pretty much stuck to Firestorm and Singularity, but having trouble in both.. Anyone have a suggestion or some ideas on what you would consider as the best viewer for SL at this time. With so many viewers out there, I would love to hear everyone's current opinion.

There is no better viewer (unless you actually want the RLV stuff) than the LL one you download when you created an account - the one you probably have now. Many people will tell you that such-and-such a viewer is better so you ought to get it, but they can't usually tell you what's better about it, beause they don't know. It was recommended to them and they believed it, that's all. So, unless there is something in particular that you want in a viewer, use the LL one. I use it because I'm not a sheep and I don't follow people just for sake of it.

There is one little thing that is better for me in non-LL viewers and I use one of them when I want that little thing. But needing it is very rare.

Incidentally, nobody makes a viewer except LL. All the other viewers are LL's viewer with some modifications. Because of that, the LL viewer is always ahead of the others with any changes. The others can't include the changes until they get the code from LL, and that happens after we users of the LL viewer have them.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


JadedJewel13 wrote:

It's middle May 2014 and I am curious to see what you all have to say about this topic now.. I am new to SL for the most part, I've pretty much stuck to Firestorm and Singularity, but having trouble in both.. Anyone have a suggestion or some ideas on what you would consider as the best viewer for SL at this time. With so many viewers out there, I would love to hear everyone's current opinion.

There is no better viewer (unless you actually want the RLV stuff) than the LL one you download when you created an account - the one you probably have now. Many people will tell you that such-and-such a viewer is better so you ought to get it, but they can't usually tell you what's better about it, beause they don't know. It was recommended to them and they believed it, that's all. So, unless there is something in particular that you want in a viewer, use the LL one. I use it because I'm not a sheep and I don't follow people just for sake of it.

There is one little thing that is better for me in non-LL viewers and I use one of them when I want that little thing. But needing it is very rare.

Incidentally, nobody makes a viewer except LL. All the other viewers are LL's viewer with some modifications. Because of that, the LL viewer is always ahead of the others with any changes. The others can't include the changes until they get the code from LL, and that happens after we users of the LL viewer have them.

Oh, I can rattle off a very specific list of things I prefer in my Viewer of Choice that make it 'best for me.' 

And even the most current Official Release with all it's 'improvements' may not be the best for someone.  If you go back in this thread I went through a lengthy period of time where the Official Viewer  consistently gave me abysmal Frame Rates.  

So again, this is why I say "The best viewer is the one that works best for you."

(I will agree that there are sheeple who would be unable to verbalize why they think one Viewer may be superior to another, but that fact is not really salient to this converstaion).

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Very much depends on your rig, but Niran's Black Dragon is unbeatable for me.

It doesn't have all the firestorm toys, but it rezzes faster than any viewer (for me) in a bright, clear way.

Niran's continual push to clear the screen of viewer, and fill it with sl, whilst still having the buttons you need to push and the info you need available - is unmatched.

I used to use Kirsten's, but Niran has got it mostly right for me since.  Niran produces the viewer he likes, and shares it with anyone who wants it, so I take the great with the very few not so great.  Overall I can't fault it.

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I still prefer the official viewer.

Twice bitten with suspicious changes to viewers was twice too much for me. First with Emerald (The criminal DoS attack, and other issues), and later with Kirsten's (which logged me into a 3rd party 'support' chat system using my credentials from the viewer).

- While I do not believe any current viewer is up to shenanigans, there is obviously a lack of ability on LLs part to prevent this from happening BEFORE the fact, and I am not confident they would act fast if it were ot occur again.

So I stick with the official viewer.

 

Different viewer meet different needs for different folks. Ever since LLs put the 'shared user experience' policy in place - quality of the TPVs has not been as bad, though one of them is notably slow in updating and tends to repeatedly fall behind the entire rest of the herd.

I'm of the opinion that unless one specifically needs something, like RLV, or that mesh conversion thing I think Singularity had, then there's not much reason to use something from independant developers who are only accountable to themselves.

 

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Baloo Uriza wrote:

I'm still partial to Singularity and Kokua.  Still don't trust the viewer formerly known as Emerald (or whatever it's called now).

If you don't remember, the history goes like this: 1. Emerald --> 2. Phoenix --> 3. Firestorm.

Only Firestorm is active now. All of those have been my main viewers, of my own choice, since their release. I have encountered no problems whatsoever in using them. If they were malicious ones, as you appear to fear, surely something very bad should have happened to me during all these years.

 

shrug-1.gif  :smileyindifferent:

 

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UkanDo seems pretty good and has the Secondlife viewer automatic updates along with some useful additions like rlv and a button for turning advanced lighting on and off, but unless I am missing it there is no built in AO which is a huge omission for me.

Singularity is great on my netbook because you can reduce view distance below 64m, and has a built in AO.

My viewer of choice is firestorm, it has a built in AO, I don't have to have the r-click pie menu and well everything is just in the places I am used to and I don't have to hunt things down.

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I can understand Baloo's caution regarding Firestorm. The people who started it's origianl (Emerald) were the ones who invented Copybot. Then they put Emerald together and, when it became very popular, used it for a DoS attack on a competitor's website. Everyone who logged in with Emerald back then were unknowingly part of the DoS attack, but nobody knew it was happening, so you wouldn't have noticed anything untoward, Coby, and you wouldn't notice anything now if Firestorm is used for anything similar. It was so unnoticeable that it only became known when one of the Emerald people outed it. LL banned the viewer, and also the people who were responsible for including the attack programming in the viewer.

Then many or most or the Emerald people came up with Phoenix, and later Firestorm, which is the current incarnation. It's said that none of the people who instituted the DoS attack have been involved since Emerald was banned, but it's understandable that some people, myself included, don't necessarily trust the honesty of that, and find it preferable to stay away from anything to do with that group.

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To be fair, the Emerald "shenanigans" (as Emerald's then spin doctor tried to dismiss them) were the work of two people with a pretty notorious reputation even before they became involved with Emerald.   That it was only those two who were directly involved was, as I recall, simply proved at the time because it was easy enough to see who had committed what code to the repositories.   

Firestorm isn't my preferred viewer (I have nothing against it -- I just prefer Catznip) but I think it's unfair to try to implicate the present Firestorm team in the old Emerald scandal, particularly since so few, if any, of the original Emerald people are, in fact, involved in Firestorm.   

It also seems to me improbable that, given the viewer's history and how widely-used it is, LL don't keep a very close eye on the code.   Be that as it may, the people running Firestorm now are nothing like Phox and Fractured Crystal, and I really think it's unfair to tar them with the same brush.

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Was it Phoz & Fractured who originally did CopyBot?  Any more it's history gets blurred and with so many On Line Aliases it can get confusing whom was whom.

Copy Controversy - New World Notes - Nov 2006

Also,

"CopyBot was originally created as a debugging tool......."

"These intended official applications required creator and owner permission, and a response to a disclaimer before content could be copied....."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CopyBot

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Coby Foden wrote:


Baloo Uriza wrote:

I'm still partial to Singularity and Kokua.  Still don't trust the viewer formerly known as Emerald (or whatever it's called now).

If you don't remember, the history goes like this: 1. Emerald --> 2. Phoenix --> 3. Firestorm.

Only
Firestorm
is active now. All of those have been my main viewers, of my own choice, since their release. I have encountered no problems whatsoever in using them. If they were malicious ones, as you appear to fear, surely something very bad should have happened to me during all these years.

 

shrug-1.gif
  :smileyindifferent:

 

Or it just hasn't surfaced publicly yet.  Wouldn't be the first time that dev team has let something slide under the radar for far too long.  They have trust issues that really can't be dealt with short of replacing everyone on the dev team.

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Baloo Uriza wrote:

Or it just hasn't surfaced publicly yet.  Wouldn't be the first time that dev team has let something slide under the radar for far too long.  They have trust issues that really can't be dealt with short of replacing everyone on the dev team.

 In effect, I think that's already happened.   Which members of the present Firestorm dev team do you say were also members of the Emerald dev team when the DDOS episode took place?    The only person I can think of, offhand, who had then commit rights and still does is Kitty Barnett, who is more of an independent contractor, making versions of RLVa for any viewer that wants them. 

I may, though, be mistaken, because I don't follow these things too closely.   Who else do you say is a hangover from before the DDOS stuff came to light?   Certainly Jessica Lyon and Tonya Souther joined after all that.   LordGG, who blew the whistle on Phox and Fractured Crysta,l still appears on the list, but he's no longer active on the team, as far as I know and I don't think anyone has ever questioned his probity.

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I'm not tarring the current lot, Innula. I'm saying that it is easy for those who remember to distrust that viewer, so Baloo's (and my) distrust is understandable. We don't keep tabs on who's who over the years. All we know is that it happened, and for all we know, the people who did it are still around that group, although not officially.

The group leader (project manager and founder) is still the same person, and weren't they friends back then?

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Yes, they took a publically available LibSL programme that was written for above board purposes and built it into a viewer for unscrupulous purposes. The copybot problem was created by them.

Later, at least one of the copybot creators had the gall to sell an anti-copybot device. I.e. they created the disease and then started selling the cure.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I'm not tarring the current lot, Innula. I'm saying that it is easy for those who remember to distrust that viewer, so Baloo's (and my) distrust is understandable. We don't keep tabs on who's who over the years. All we know is that it happened, and for all we know, the people who did it are still around that group, although not officially.

The group leader (project manager and founder) is still the same person, and weren't they friends back then?

Nope.  Jessica Lyon, the current project manager, came in after stuff hit the fan,  very much as a clean pair of hands to try to salvage the project.    In the event, Arabella Steadman and Phox, the two people remaining from the old regime, refused to cooperate with LL's conditions for not banning the viewer (one of which, as I recall, was "Sack Phox"), locked Jessica and most the others out of the code repository,  and went on to produce a final version of Emerald, which was promptly blocked by LL and Arabella and Phox were banned.

Meanwhile, Jessica and the rest had taken the last available clean copy of the old Emerald Code (i.e. the last known not to have been tampered with) and worked on producing a viewer that complied with LL's conditions.   That was how Phoenix started.

As you may remember, I was quite vociferous at the time, here and elsewhere, about what was going on.   Initially, I did then share your doubts about Phoenix and the new team, so I did keep quite a close eye on who was involved in the new viewer, and my initial doubts and reservations proved not to be justfied, at least as far as I'm concerned.    

I'm not saying people should use Firestorm -- I don't, often, except for testing my products to make sure they work in that viewer -- but I just don't think it's now fair to blame the present team for what Factured, Phox and Arabella got up to back then.  

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Thank you for those details, Innula. It's most illuminating. I'd thought that Jessica was a main part of the original team and was friends with the ones who did it. The fact that LGG, who was the one blew the whistle, is still listed as being involved is also encouraging :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Thank you for those details, Innula. It's most illuminating. I'd thought that Jessica was a main part of the original team and was friends with the ones who did it. The fact that LGG, who was the one blew the whistle, is still listed as being involved is also encouraging
:)

When Emerald was taken down, I started using Lord Greg Greg's viewer Emergence, because I found him to be rather trustworthy.  I used it until which time he announced that he would no longer be developing it and suggested using the Phoenix viewer instead, which is what I did.  I'm not sure if I would have been at all comfortable switching to it, had he not basically endorsed it as he did.  The way Jessica handled the whole thing, specifically stating the steps that were being put in place to avoid the possibility of such a thing happening again (mostly having to do with code transparency... like not using proprietary code which couldn't be shared and therefore seen by everyone), was also reassuring.

As such, I have faith that someone on a dev team as big as Firestorm's, which has access to every line of code, would be able to catch some other dev trying to include something malicious into the repository.  So, while I fully understand that such a thing is certainly possible, I believe that the likelihood of it happening is low enough that I need not worry myself about it all that very much.

...Dres

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That's what I did at that time - use LGG's viewer because I also decided he was trustworthy. I don't remember why I used it though. I've never been one for using TPVs, solely because those who produce them are not reputable companies. They may be reputable people but they don't have anything to lose like reputable companies have if they are disreputable, and I have no way of knowing whether or not TPVs are produced by reputable people, so it's easier to trust companies running programmes on my computer than it is to trust individuals. It may have been that the abominable V2 was LL's offering at the time, which forced me elsewhere.

I also trusted LGG's endorsement of Phoenix when he went back there, but caution led me elsewhere. Once bitten and all that (although I never used Emerald so I was never actually bitten).

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hehe but no. Companies are not always trustworthy but tell me this. If you had to have a programme running in your computer, which would you rather write it? - a company that's known to you, such as Linden Lab, or an individual who you've never heard of?

I have an idea. I have a number of websites that contain affiliate links, and I earn money every time somebody clicks one. I could produce a viewer that auto-clicks affiliate links on my websites before, or while, loading the SL login screen for you. Will you run my viewer? :)

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:

Reputable companies?  You mean like Linden Lab?  You must be joking. :smileyvery-happy:

...Dres

Actually, I do think LL is a reputable company. It's an awful company as far users are concerned, and I have no time or goodwill for it, but I'd trust them far more to run programs on my computer than any unknown individual or group of unknown individuals. Unknown to me, that is. I 100% do not expect LL to do anything underhanded with the viewer. If they did, and it was discovered, it would be a very big deal in the media, and the company would almost certainly go under, imo. I simply don't believe that LL is in the business of doing underhanded things like we're talking about, whereas I have no such total belief about people who are unknown to me.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I could produce a viewer that auto-clicks affiliate links on my websites before, or while, loading the SL login screen for you. Will you run my viewer?
:)

There are rumours of this, actually. I'm yet to confirm, and won't release names either way.

A somewhat small-but-active viewer had been reported to be adding a Bitcoin mining operation (presumably, with the Devs pocketing the results) to a Second Life viewer. Positive side-effect of this could be a new dynamic for funding Open-ish Source development with volunteers, in the way that LL prefers.

My opinion is mixed. I don't love the idea of adding even more weight to a piece of hardware that is lacking in most user-cases - the graphics card.

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You surprised me, Freya. I've no idea about anything to do with Bitcoin, so I can't visualise what you mean. The idea crossed my mind while I was writing the post you replied to, because I've written programming to auto-click links, gaining me money as an affiliate, before. It was above board though, and cleared with the engine that was getting the auto-click, so it wasn't unscrupulous, but such things would often, or usually, be unscrupulous. The idea of incorporating it into a viewer never occured to my until I was writing that post, but it can be done, and it would have the huge benefit of clicks coming from all over the world. I prefer to stick with LL's viewer for most things :)

ETA: I could make a fortune if my viewer became popular :D

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