Monday, September 01, 2008

The Imprudence Project

ImprudenceJacek Antonelli announced today the Imprudence Project. Being disappointed with current slow pace of development of the SL viewer, Jacek and McCabe Maxsted have started a organised effort to create a user maintained viewer with a pro change attitude. From my own experience with watching the Jira it can often take weeks or months for user created patches to end up in a Release Candidate viewer let alone the Released client.

"This is probably the first you’ve heard about Imprudence, so I’ll take a moment to explain it. 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. "

To give their ideas shape and direction they created a manifesto. It explains more precise why they are doing this and what the goals and methods will be for this project.

"The primary goal of Imprudence is simple: to greatly improve the usability of the Viewer. In particular, there are 3 aspects of usability that we intend to address:

  • Approachability. Improving comfort and ease of use, especially for new or non-technical users.
  • Efficiency. Improving speed and ease of common tasks and workflows.
  • Satisfaction. Improving the emotional effect of the software on the user. "

In many ways this is very exciting, reminding me of my early days in SL, when the scent of change was in the air. They are inviting everyone to help whatever your skill level or expertise. Non programmers are specifically invited, tell them what you think is important, or comeup with a new UI design, etc.

Though a project like this stands or falls by the community involvement and the original creators capability and desire to let it grow beyond themselves. But it seems like they are aware of that and have set it up in a way that it is very easy to continue or split off if so needed.

Let's welcome their intentions, energy, hard work and help out where needed, and who knows what wonders will await us.

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