Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tech: Is Snowstorm melting?

 Is Snowstorm melting?
By Selby Evans aka Thinkerer Melville
JayR has been pointing out signs of the end for Snowstorm:
SecondLife "Breaking News" "Q-Linden Leaving LL" "Another Blow Strike's Project SnowStorm Team"
By Avatar JayR Cela
Well I'm very unhappy to report here that this coming Friday will be the last day for one the the LL Project SnowStorm Team leaders. The very much respected and well liked Q Linden is apparently moving on to other tech related pasture's. Apparently a start-up. No detail's were given. His advice as far as the project's future is concerned..... # 1 Near term -- proceed as usual. # 2 Longer term is waiting on reorganzational decisions for LL engineering in general.
Looking toward Viewer 3.0
SecondLife "Linden Lab Removes SnowStorm Downloads"
The business case for Linden Lab 
to cut back on viewer development.
LL signaled its long-term plans for viewer development, way back when it chose the open-source route.  It does not expect to develop the viewer as a proprietary product.  In the long run it expects to leave most development to the open-source community.
Viewer development is not a profit center, it is a cost center.  LL does not sell viewers.  It develops them because they are part of the infrastructure of the its virtual worlds business.  That is the kind of situation that leads a CFO to ask, "Why are we spending money on this?'
The initial answer would have been: Because nobody else is developing viewers.  But the TPVs now silence that answer.
Maybe in January, 2010, the answer might have been: Because we will have shared media and that will give us a technological lead.   But a CEO would now look at the Viewer 2 fiasco and ask "Viewer 2 has a technological lead but that doesn't do much for uptake.  Maybe we should get out of the viewer development business."
Note that I am not evaluating Viewer 2 here.  However good a product is, if the customers won't use it, it is a fiasco.
But Linden Lab may need a connection to the viewer development process.  Voice and shared media are examples of why.  They both required developments in the viewer.  How would that be handled if Linden Lab got out of viewer development?
Let me imagine one scenario.  The Phoenix team seems to be doing a lot of  things right.  I pointed out some advantages they may already have in the form of the Phoenix support group.
Who would you bet on to succeed in developing software that can win user acceptance?  I can imagine LL officials contacting some of the Phoenix people.  Perhaps suggesting a contract.  
  • Get user evaluations and wishes about viewers.  
  • Keep track of the problems people have with the current viewers.  
  • Recommend product redesign. 
  • Maybe write the specs for the inhouse dev team
The next level of cutback could be to offer a contract ( to Phoenix people or others).  Rapid prototyping. Then you only need the inhouse dev team to finalize the product.
Of course, I am just making this up out of my imagination. Surely Linden Lab would never outsource viewer development.  (Don't call me Shirley.)  And surely the Phoenix people would not be interested in such contracts.  And there is the question of how you fit such contracts into open-source development.  
But that is the benefit of brainstorming.  You get to think of possibilities.  That is often more useful than thinking of impossibilities.


Hitomi Tiponi said...

At last a sane view on Viewer 2 going forward on this blog - and yes, the answer is that future development is likely to be more of a partnership than it has been in the past - but a lot will depend on the major reorganisation that is currently being undertaken.

JayR Cela said...

Hey Sis

It's our blog, we can say,post what ever we like. Just as you have been extended the courtesy to post your comment's. Thank you for voicing your opinion.

But I gonna continue to rag on V2 until, it is fixed !

Plain and simple !!

My Dear friend,

You have been invited several time's to Post here on this blog, and have chosen to decline. So I extend the invitation once again.

That makes 3 invitation's.
*Bigg Huggs*

JayR :_)

Hitomi Tiponi said...

No thanks Jay - but I feel it is necessary to correct some of your more outrageous posts simply because some of your readers (who may be new residents) may not be aware that the 'facts' they contain... well aren't. You can hate Viewer 2 as much as you want (it is your blog after all), but I find hatred achieves little - pointing out problems and working together is the best way to get things done, and I have a feeling that will be something that will be increasing in the future at LL.