Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thoughts that sunk in about the new TPV policy changes

Mister Acacia is online

OK, I did post yesterday with the intent of just stating the facts and a bit of interpretation that I got from Oz Linden and others present at the meeting where the changes were announced. Here are my thoughts about each:

Viewer tags: They're going away. In fact, as it currently stands, your tag will not only lose it's viewer identifier, but also the color you choose, if your viewer uses color. Every tag will be the same color and will not show the viewer you're using.

Why did they do this? Well, they claim that V2 users have been bullied by TPV users to change viewers. Our Jess confirmed this does happen. So, why punish the entire grid because of some bullies? Why not AR and ban them? Or does the AR system suck as much as V2?

Personally, I think this is because they're tired of being the minority viewer. They want to level the playing field by bringing everyone else down to their standards. But that's just my opinion. If their viewer wasn't crap, maybe it wouldn't stink.

Still, removing viewer tags means first that it will be harder for folks to actually support viewers to quickly determine in a live venue which viewer you're using when you ask your question. LL, it seems, doesn't do any inworld support and so has no concept of efficiency in this situation.

Next it means that you can't be sure if someone is using a viewer that might be capable of copybot functions. And for those who ban text viewers, your ban won't work any more.

Finally, it means we lose the ability to wear the color of our choice and instead have to wear what LL says we should wear. Plus 1 for Firestorm's Contact Sets, which lets you color viewer tags for your own view at least. Make mine light blue please.

Then there's true online status. First, no viewer can contain a feature to show true online status. This doesn't exclude HUDs and the like, but the Phoenix feature has to go. And it will, Tonya pushed an update and 1602, at least, will not bypass a user's desire to hide their status.

I'm all for this, actually. If I don't want you to know when I'm online, that's my right, isn't it? But, on the flip side, vendor and other customer-facing scripts that wait until you're online to deliver things to you will stop functioning because you'll always be offline to them. Now, LL claims they thought this through. Really?

Next is kind of minor, viewers can't push viewer details unless the user opts in to such an action. If you're a Firestorm or Phoenix user, this means that when you post something into your Phoenix/Firestorm Viewer Support group, the next release of the viewers will have the Specify Viewer Type option turned off by default. No biggie, except we'll have to remind people who ask for help to turn it on so we can have the first question answered right away.

The most damaging is the one that might just spell the biggest decline in SL usership ever, and that's that no viewer can give users a "shared" experience that can't be shared by users of LL's viewer. In other words, if their viewer doesn't render it, then nobody's can.

They want all shared experience development and code to be done on their own viewer first, then released by their viewer first, before any other viewer can release it. Are they fucking kidding? They can't hire innovative developers so they have to essentially extort code from others? And not pay them, and hold that code hostage until such a time as they get around to putting it into their viewer? Which could take years?

OSGrid and InWorldz might see a development boom as a result of this as developers abandon SL, which LL seems to have foreseen since they thought this all through, and start developing and releasing viewers for other grids.

So all the shared experience features you see in TPVs now that aren't in LL's POS viewer are potentially on the chopping block for removal. I don't think LL is quite that stupid, but one never knows. Their policy has always been written with a very broad pen so they literally can dictate (oh there's that word) what viewers can and cannot do.

Well, except they cannot tell TPVs not to use other grids.

Mister Acacia is offline

No comments: