Last month, we announced our decision to drop support for Second Life as a result of Linden Lab’s new Third-Party Viewer (TPV) policy. It was a difficult and unpleasant decision to make, and we expressed out hope that Linden Lab might revise the policy to address the serious concerns that we and other viewer developers had about the policy.
In the weeks since that announcement, we and many other developers and concerned individuals have engaged in discussion with Joe Linden. The end result is that that Linden Lab has changed several phrases in the policy, to make it clear that they are not attempting to pin extra liability on developers (which was one of our three main concerns). Furthermore, Joe Linden explained that as long as the viewer complies with the policy while connected to Second Life, its behavior while connected to other grids is beyond the scope of the policy.
The Imprudence team met this week and discussed the policy changes. We all agreed that the liability clarifications are a substantial improvement. And although only one of our three main concerns has been addressed, we believe that it would no longer put the project at risk for us to connect to Second Life after April 30. Therefore, we have decide to resume support for Second Life.
What that means is this:
- We will attempt to comply with the TPV policy, so that users who wish to connect to Second Life may safely do so. This will involve modifying the viewer’s behavior while connected to Second Life. In particular, that means that while the viewer is connected to Second Life, the content export tools will be somewhat more restrictive than they are now.
- We will make some effort to ensure that the viewer continues to operate with Second Life.
- We will give consideration to issues that affect the viewer when connected to Second Life.
- We will try to offer assistance to users who have difficulty using Imprudence with Second Life.
What that does not mean is that we are shifting our focus back to Second Life. On the contrary, OpenSim is, and will remain, our primary target. OpenSim-related features and issues will take a much higher priority than before, while issues specific to Second Life take a back seat.
In addition to focusing on OpenSim as a platform, we are becoming more involved with the OpenSim community. The response and enthusiasm from OpenSim users and developers has been incredible, and we’re looking forward to a long and fruitful future with OpenSim. I’ll be attending the weekly OpenSim developer meetings whenever I can, and we hope to collaborate with the OpenSim development community to improve the OpenSim user experience, and to implement great new features that are only possible when viewer developers and server developers work together.
All in all, this is a very exciting time for the Imprudence Project, and we’re absolutely thrilled with our new direction. OpenSim is the cutting edge of innovation in virtual worlds these days, and it’s great to be involved in building its future.