• 31Aug

    I’ve been plotting and scheming and laboring for the past month on a new project. Those of you who have heard me hinting darkly of a grand manifesto and giggling maniacally in the dead of the night — now you’ll find out why.

    From the Imprudence Blog:

    Imprudence is (or rather, will be) a major fork of the open source Second Life Viewer. Our aim is to greatly improve the usability of the Viewer through community involvement, thoughtful design, modern development methods, and a pro-change atmosphere.

    Why are we doing this? Because we, the Second Life Residents, need a better Viewer, and Linden Lab isn’t getting it done — not fast enough, anyway.

    I’m sure they’re trying. They have made some modest improvement. But they are faced with intractable obstacles that block them from making real progress: a lack of resources, an overloaded QA process, and a large established user base who are, on the whole, sullenly content with the way things are — and tend to resist any change.

    Those are tough problems, and I don’t foresee Linden Lab being able to get past them any time soon. Rather than continue to push against these obstacles with little to show for it, I’ve decided to carve another path. A community project has its own obstacles, but they are obstacles that we can overcome. They are obstacles we can act against for ourselves, instead of sitting on our hands waiting for someone else to act for us.

    Go on and read the full post and our manifesto.

    I have high hopes for this project. It has been a long time coming, and there are a lot of people dissatisfied with the current viewer. If you’re one of them, get involved in the project and help us make it better!


    Posted by Jacek Antonelli @ 7:00 pm

8 Responses

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  • Moggs Oceanlane Says:

    Oh Yeah! Fanastic plan. Brilliant idea! Can you tell I’m excited. Will come back and read more now my immediate curiosity has been sated. Thanks! You are a legend.

  • Thema Felix Says:

    Sounds great! The more advancements in UI he better. This is just my little plug for a Mac version to be made alongside any Windows version. ;) I’ll go check out those links!

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  • Tao Takashi Says:

    Sounds like a great plan! :-) But also not an easy one.. Branching completely away from the official source code of course has it’s dangers but I also see it as the only way.. Now with HetGrid and all it also shouldn’t be too complicated to stay compatible as the server version should stay compatible for older viewers anyway.

    What are your plans regarding OGP? I would of course like to see this supported and the viewer if possible support both ways to connect (right now it should be rather easy anyway). Here it might even serve as some experimentation ground on how to make the whole protocol better.

    (another cool project would be to factor out the rendering completely so that it can be reused in other languages/frameworks but that would be quite some work I guess).

  • Jacek Antonelli Says:

    Thema: Naturally, we will offer Windows, Mac, and Linux versions! :D

    Tao: The core, low-level code will likely remain similar enough that many of the diffs on the Linden viewer will be applicable to the Imprudence viewer as well. As long as LL keeps releasing the source, we can keep up to date with the protocols.

    As for OGP — it has been my intention from the start that the Imprudence viewer must be/remain compatible with OpenSim. I’m a strong believer in OpenSim and Open Grid, so I’d be thrilled to have some collaboration with th OGP folks.

  • Night Morrisey Says:

    I can hardly restrain my excitement. Thank you so much for taking the lead on this important – and I believe historic – task. I wish i had some talent to lend to the task :(

    One question: Will the IMPRUDENCE PROJECT will be a fully-featured viewer like Rheta’s proposal, or a “noobie” viewer? Both are desperately needed, but of course a fully-featured viewer is of more interest to me personally. Just wondering.

    If I can help in any way, please let me know!

    -Night

  • Bartholomew Kleiber Says:

    This is good news, since something like a ‘simple viewer’ was high on my list (and probably on everybodies).

    I see at least three options:
    - a noobie mode (like Night Morrisey suggested) where you can move in a simple WASD way and have just a few interactions
    - a business mode where you can move and have some easier access to chat, voice and ‘look at’ functionality, suited for example for virtual conferences
    - an editor mode basically regrouping existing viewer functionalities

    Probably there are more use cases, too.

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