Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looking toward Viewer 3.0

Looking toward Viewer 3.0
by Selby Evans (AKA Thinkerer Melville) 
Yeah.  A good PR move.  Project Snowstorm has been hard at work cleaning up Viewer 2.x.  Now that Snowstorm  has 2.5 done and 2.6 in development, I hope they will  follow the suggestion from JayR and round up.
Viewer 3.0!
Nice clean break with the past.    
JayR  says they are heading toward a highly customizable user interface.  
Actually, there have been a number of customizing options added to the V2.x series already.  Right click on the bottom bar in V2.4 and you will find that you can add and remove a number of buttons.  For example, I added the Map button and dumped the Move button.
Be wise.  Customize!
The user profiles have been moved to the web.  I am going to skip over the short -term problems with this.  I already had my say about this.  I have been working with computers since about 1962. I am use to things not working.  In fact, I don't think anything I did worked right the first time. 
And I use blogger/blogspot for my blogs.  Some things used to work and stop unpredictably.  Ok, that's Google.   But that's not how I got used to things not working.  I used Windows for years -- you get the drift.  
Torley mentioned some problems that they are working on with the profiles

  • Web profiles tend to load slower than old-style sidebar profiles, so there's room for performance increases.
  • Some stuff hasn't been migrated to the web profile yet — like you can't edit a classified in the web profile yet, so the behavior of hopping back and forth is confusing. But plans are hatching for better integration.
  • Having both a web profile and the sidebar open at the same time takes a lot of screen space, and that could be tightened up too.

So rather than complain about the past, I will speculate about the future-- possible developments that may come from the webification of Second Life.  
User profiles.  Already on the web.  I can access and modify my profile without using the viewer. I have a list of my friends on my dashboard.  If Second Life has made the connections I cab look at their profiles from my dashboard.  
With a little cooperation from Facebook, I could look up those profiles from  Facebook.  There ae some privacy issues here.  But that would not concern my friends or me.  We have our Second Life identities spread all over Facebook.  So I am happy for my friends to be able to find me on Facebook, as they already can, to a limited extent,  on Google (mail, IM), or Skype. 
But finding profiles is no big benefit.  I rarely need the profile of people I already know.  What I want to do it talk to them.  Of course I get IMs in e-mail and I can respond to those.  

But I am imagining a shift of IM traffic to Facebook. 
  • Used from my smart phone
  • Free of Second Life network congestion  
  • No capped IMs
  • Able to transfer files as easily as Skype does     
  • And take another load off the Linden Lab network
Of course, I don't know that the Facebook IM system will do all those things.  The Facebook programmers may say "Can't be done."  But these are things readily available on the internet, so  Facebook can find programmers who know how to do it, whether it can be done or not.  
But this is just the start.  Other things that might go to the web:
  • Group profiles
  • Group chat
  • Voice calls
  • Local chat
  • Local voice
  • Notecards
  • Textures
  • Object inventory
  • Other asset inventories
These are ordered by my rough estimate of order of difficulty.  And some of them may introduce unacceptable levels of inefficiency.  But it is someting to think about. Another time  

1 comment:

Hitomi Tiponi said...

Wrong on many counts - there are no plans to move to 'Viewer 3.0' and also group IMs, and probably IMs will be rolled into a better industry-wide IM mechanism, but not Facebook.

Once user profiles have been finished off properly (if the current web team ever manage that) they will then move onto groups being migrated to the web. Let's not forget that current profiles and groups are already really web-based but displayed through the viewer panels. None of the other stuff, except possibly notecards, will ever go web based.