So Long Viewer Nametags Says LL

I have a couple different update to get out to you this week, and those will be coming over the next few days, but first and foremost we want to let you all know about a change by LL to all TPVs (Kokua, Imprudence, Phoenix, Firestorm, Etc) that will affect us all. As stated by Oz Linden, LL has updated their Third Party Viewer policy by restricting some capabilities. These changes were made in the interest of user privacy according to LL and will be taking effect this week (The changes are largely server side). The changes to policy are as follows…

  • You must not provide any feature that circumvents any privacy protection option made available through a Linden Lab viewer or any Second Life service.
  • You must not display any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of any other Second Life user.
  • You must not include any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of the user in any messages sent to other viewers, except when explicitly elected by the user of your viewer.
  • You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.

This will effect different viewers in different ways, and it’s recommended you check your favorite viewers blog for statements on what will change. For our family of Purple Viewers (Kokua/Imprudence) the NameTags ability will cease to function this week, and be removed from the viewer in future updates. This does not mean you won’t be able to see people’s names anymore, what it means is that extra line under their name that shows what viewer they are on, and is colored purple if it’s Imprudence for example; that will no longer work.

There are of course implications beyond this for future development of TPVs, and this is only for Second Life not OpenSim so we may have a detection/switch if decide to keep it working on OpenSim. But for now at least, if you’re in Second Life on a Purple viewer, expect this feature to cease functioning if it hasn’t already.

Sorry for the inconvenience everyone, this one is out of our hands.

20 Responses to “So Long Viewer Nametags Says LL”


  1. WhiteStar

    I will miss seeing the Purple in my favourite haunts… It really added a certain “pizzaz”. :)

    Seems the biggest hangup LL is having is this “ONLINE INDICATOR” thing which all are screaming about. I did offer a solution that would likely satisfy 95% of the use cases without circumventing the privacy issue that LL is swatting at. Maybe Oz will see it in Jira:SVC-4823

    Linden Labs has NOT considered the most obvious & simplest solution to this….

    Why not simply correct the ONLINE response so that it honours the users choice of “show online status (true/false)” setting. So if a user has elected not to show their online status, OFFLINE is returned, if they elect to show their online status then return the Actual Status. Often the KISS principle being applied is the wisest, simplest & most efficient solution.

    BENEFITS:
    •It would not break existing content.
    •Does not require the Script Owner / Script Creator validation check.
    •It would not be in violation of Privacy, as a user independently selects whether or not they wish their online status available. (almost all forums software, social sites systems, group-ware system use exactly this process and is a globally accepted practise)
    •Would reduce the Tylenol Consumption required by LL Staff to deal with the fallout & resulting breakages/issues/complaints.

    CAVEAT

    ! – The only caveat would be vendors / updater’s which check a users status prior to delivering an item. These system owners would need to inform the end user that “if” they have their Online Status Display set not show, they would have to manually get updates or whatever arrangement is devised. This is “inconvenient” but not an outright breakage.

    Seriously, KISS the issue and get back to Keeping It Simple S*.

  2. Jack Mawer

    This should only apply to sl so you can still see the viewer tag thing on opensim
    Let linden do their own f***ing thing for all i care, just don’t apply it to opensim.

  3. onefang

    That’s what Imprudence has been doing in the past – SL specific things enforced by the LL Third Party Viewer Policy are only applied if running on SL.

    The viewer tag stuff will be disabled on server side by LL soon, so we don’t even have to bother disabling it in the viewer.

  4. Tahuti MortmagusII

    Viewer tags are disabled server side on SL. As Imprudence is one of the top TPVs used on OS then please don’t remove ability to display them. No need to have a detect switch as the tags will just not work on SL. We can always toggle them on and off in Preferences if desired although an easier way without bringing up Preferences could be desirable, but, not that important.

  5. Bau Ur

    Can we have a choice of color for displaying our names and titles?

    Seeing at a glance what viewer somene uses is helpful when providing advice in a help group or help location, or when teaching building or other SL skills. Otherwise, it’s just advertisemen. Good riddance.

    Anyone who really wants to display their viewer can do it with a hover text display or a tee shirt or a note in profile.

  6. fabrixx

    why imprudence transform avatars in strange dresses?
    http://www.imagehost.it/di-QIC9.png

  7. Betty Jeffers

    Well… Since hardly anyone can be bothered to use Linden Labs unpopular viewers,even in their own world..The TPV name tags must be a horrid embarresement for the Lindens. And now they will no longer publish quarterly economic reports for Second Life. Number of regions in Opensim now exceed Second Life’s. What is that on that wall over there? Looks like handwriting to me.

  8. Leslie Langsdorff

    That’s probably why they stopped posting online stats too. You know, the wrinting on the wall.

  9. Sarge Misfit

    Isn’t this like a town making it against the law to drive a car with air conditioning and power steering?

    There are way too many people who like and use Imprudence and who will use Kokua when its finally released. And we all do appreciate all the work you devs are putting into a viewer that we LIKE to use.

    So, keep all the features and, where necessary, put in switches to disable those that SL doesn’t like. If that isn’t good enough for SL, then f*** ‘em.

  10. Crim

    At least part of the reason (probably not the whole reason) is because there were jerks giving SL noobs a hassle over their use of the official LL viewer. While I firmly believe in TPV’s, that’s just not cool at all. It’s also a privacy issue. It’s really nobody else’s business which viewer I’m using unless I choose to tell them.

  11. makomk

    You used to be able to have a choice of colour for your name and title, but Linden Labs just killed that off at the server side along with viewer nametags. (Also, Imprudence has had an option to hide your viewer information since more or less forever anyway.)

  12. Leslie Langsdorff

    While I believe that it’s not cool to hassle anyone over a completely dumb decision (IMHO) about which viewer they use, I don’t agree with the way some of these people define privacy. If the viewer I’m using is a privacy issue, then I should just pull the “H” from my honda, because people don’t need to know what kind of car I’m driving. Ir the reebok branding from my shoes. Hell, I should just go to work in sweats. That’s not what privacy is all about and some people worry about what people know or what they will find out way too much. All of this is IMO, anyway.

  13. Tahuti MortmagusII

    @Crim. Viewer Tags could be turned off. Last I heard LL were considering allowing it, but, off by default.

    Biggest problem is to do with a viewer being able to alter shared reality. If that had been not allowed in beginning we would never have had things like multiple attachment points, breast physics and a host of other innovations which LL took up after TPVs started inovating them. Few people would be prepared to be creative and put many months into an inovation if they thought LL would stamp on it.

  14. Tahuti MortmagusII

    @Lesli, while I agree with you generally and was surprised at the suppression of Viewer Tags, evidently there is a little more about it than just privacy. Here is a little from information gathered from a public meeting with Jessica Lyons the video of which can be found here:
    http://treet.tv/shows/phoenix-firestorm/episodes/firestorm-28feb12

    Jessica Lyons was approached by a linden privately a few months ago about her opinion on breaking viewer tags. She was wondering why that would be done…and the Linden told her LL has a lot of reports on users BULLYING newbies that used a LL viewer. Jessica couldn’t believe it and set up a new account, to do research on this. To her dismay she found this CONFIRMED through a number of talks with newbies, and was bullied herself. She is pretty disappointed about the part of the community who does such things.

    However, she thinks the best solution would be an opt-in, to have tags disabled by default but allowing people to ENABLE them if desired. Also “Viewer 2″ tags could generally be suppressed to avoid bullying on unidentified/LL viewers. That option however was denied by LL too. “We’re sorry, we can’t do that either”

    She does not want to speculate about further reasons but she is sure there are more than just THIS.

  15. Andros Baphomet

    “Biggest problem is to do with a viewer being able to alter shared reality. If that had been not allowed in beginning we would never have had things like multiple attachment points, breast physics and a host of other innovations which LL took up after TPVs started inovating them. Few people would be prepared to be creative and put many months into an inovation if they thought LL would stamp on it.”

    THIS, a hundred times over. This was EXACTLY what I was afraid of when LL started their TPV policies. Now, according to a strict reading of this, future innovation will be restricted to whatever THEY can handle. What a joke.

  16. Greybeard Thinker

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
    It’s past time we had a purely Opensim viewer and LL can go to hell in a hand cart, for those of us who never log to that grid.
    Yes, the changes are “only” SL server side, but what are they going to try to force on all VR next, all because they can’t get their user security act together?
    More than enough SL centric viewers out in the wild anyway, why not specialise “Purple” as a genuine Opensim viewer, once and for all?

  17. Siwan

    I agree that LL is doing this because they don’t want people to know how unpopular their own viewer is–and also don’t want them to know how many of us see their fancy Mesh clothes as silly blobs, as fabrixx illustrated with that snapshot. I think rather than protecting “our” privacy by hiding what viewer we’re using, SL should think of the customer by forcing creators to disclose clearly when the clothes, hair, etc., they’re selling are being made with Mesh so we can use our judgement before we buy them.

  18. PinkSamurai Fairlady

    I am for giving the user an option for more privacy, “Option” being the operative word. I would like to have the option to broadcast or Not information about my viewer and/or my online/offline status or whatever else about me and my avatar. This preference for having the option to independently decide what others see about me is not SL specific, it’s across the internet.

    I don’t really care why LL are doing this, what I care about it that they do it the right way which is give ME the use the OPTION.

  19. stebbiro

    I don’t want to get into bashing LL… They fumess themselves enuf without my $L2.

    For everyone really concerned about some boogeyman privacy concern about what viewer one uses… It should be no more an issue than what web browser you use when visiting a website.

    Browser information and more is readily available, detected and tracked. The purpose is mostly to determine what content or type of content can be sent or how it is presented. So it looks right no matter what browser you use.

    The same technology should ber available for those who choose to use SL as a means to present content.

  20. Michael

    Well I’ve been on sl for over a while. I’ve seen LL screw the simplest things up. I have been in customer service for over 30 yrs and LL is the poster child on what not to do to your customers. With OpenSims avaialble LL keeps shooting themselves in the foot. Mesh I think will become a fad and die out. LL viewer will still be the orphan of LL while other viewers will surpass them because LL just does not listen to their customer base. How many times has someone come up with an great idea and tried to get the idea across to LL? With what results? LL is as releavant as their customer service. L L’s Second Life will die out soon if LL does not start listening to who use Second Life. Firestorm, Pheonix, Singularity, Imprudence are great viewers. A footnote here. LL had a really good chance to work with the builders of Emerald. What happened? Ego’s, Hubris and idiot. Instead of supporting Emerald and getting on board making sure everything worked, LL went their own way and designed a viewer that I don’t even like. Sad really, becuase they have so many people that enjoy Second Life, now there are people that will navigate toward open sims. Remember the salesmen’s saying, ‘The customer you made angry has 3 people close to them. Those 3 people know three other. It doesn’t take long for a negative to snow ball into a failed customer base. Especially now with Twitter and Facebook pages out there for angry customers of LL to vent what they feel as abandonment by Linden Labs.