Sunday, June 27, 2010

Will Cory Ondrejka Return? [updated: Cory says not returning as CTO at LL]

Cory Ondrejka headshotA common sentiment after the return of Philip Rosedale as (interim)CEO at the Lab, is that a lot of people want Cory Ondrejka to return too. If that is in the works remains to be seen. Cory's departure of Linden Lab in December 2007 was not one of his own choice. No, it was Philip himself who decided that they should part their ways over irreconcilable differences on how Linden Lab should be run. The rumours afterwards suggested that part of differences was about open sourcing the server code, implying that Cory wanted it to be done sooner.

This is the email Philip send to his employees, telling them Cory was going to leave:
"Cory is going to leave LL. He has been with us for 7 years, and was the fourth person to join. So this is a big deal. Cory has been a huge part of the company, having designed big parts of SL, hired many people, contributed greatly to the culture, and given a powerful voice to SL and LL. Among other things, he had the original design idea for the love machine, single handedly wrote the scripting language, and got us all doing A&Os back in 2001. Losing him will be hard for the company. I will miss him a lot. What's worse is that ultimately his leaving is my decision.

Cory and I have differences in how we think Linden should be run, differences that in the past few months have become irreconcilable. These are tensions that were more manageable when we were smaller, and there have been times that they have helped us do great work together. But now, as we change and grow as a company, I feel that we need a different set of strengths in engineering leadership. I strongly believe that this is the right decision, although not without pain, for both LL and Cory. Of course, I'm not going to go into the details of these differences. This is one of those times when, in having me as your leader, you will also have to trust me in my decision. I will hold a brown bag as soon as possible to talk about this with anyone who would like, and will schedule time both in-world and in person here in San Francisco. Please send any external questions you get about this change to Robin who will make sure they get answered.


An interesting fact you can get from the email is that Cory came up with the original design idea for the Love machine, which Philip developed as his star product at LoveMachine Inc in his time away from Linden lab. It is unclear to us if something unresolved is lingering there as well. In any regards, any differences left now would have to be reconciled first, and ego's kept in check. It might be difficult to come to a understanding where Philip and Cory could work closely together again.
CoryOndrejka 1
This does not mean that relations has completely cooled down though, recently on the 17th of June, Cory met with Linden Exes, hardly a week before M 'stepping down'. We can only speculate wildly about what was talked about in these meetings, though it seems reasonable to assume the recent past and future where discussed.

Cory made the following two statement on twitter about these meetings:
CoryOndrejka 2
"Today was a full collector's set of Lindens."
"For those who asked, no, u only get bobblehead collectable Lindens if u meet with execs."

More recently Cory seemed pleased that Philip replaced Mark Kingdon, by sending these tweets:
"good news for #lindenlab according to @slhamlet: it's welcome back Philip time"
"Officially official RT @SecondLife: Philip Rosedale returns to Linden Lab as interim CEO: #goodthings"

While some may want Cory to return, the question is why? Could Cory give a new inpluse to improve Second Life technology faster and better, or are the current technical developments(mesh,mono,plugins, etc) in excellent hands already?

What do you think?

Update: Troy McConaghy alerted me in the comments that Cory has updated his blog today. Cory list several projects he is involved in, and non are Second Life related, as if he was spurred on to do that by this blog post. A question arises though, why doesn't he say he is not involved with Linden Lab and Second Life. Or is this all a coincidence?
Cory's blog post: What's Cory Doing Now?

Update 2: 1:25pm(PDT) 28th june: I have since been told by Cory that the initial disagreement had nothing to do with open sourcing the server code. He also appears in the comments, saying the following:
"Cory Ondrejka said... Frans said:

"It is unclear to us if something unresolved is lingering there as well."

There's nothing unresolved there. LoveMachine's a cool company/project and Philip has done a fine job running with it."

update 3: 5:45pm(PDT): Hamlet on NWN is running a story on Cory today, where he quotes Cory saying:
"Haven't spoken with Philip since the announcement. Exciting to see him return as interim CEO -- he and the board definitely made the right call -- but I don't know what his plans are.

"I don't have any interest in returning to Linden as CTO."

Hamlets story on Cory on New World Notes.
Cory's recent tweets #1,#2,#3,#4
Dec 11th, 2007 - Massively breaking the news first
Dec 11th, 2007 - Second Thought with some historical anecdotes about Cory
Dec 12th, 2007 - New Worlds Notes on Cory leaving
LoveMachine Inc.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Philip's second speech 23-6-2010

While Mark Kingdon was scheduled to speak, Philip Rosedale was suprisingly filling in for Mark, because of a emergency at the Lab. We know that the next day the official word came out that Mark 'stepped down' and Philip replaced him as interim CEO.

As with the first speech I attempted to record a machinima, but even though I could hear Philip he only rezzed for me at the last second, when he was saying goodbye. Thanks to Torley we a have podcast and a transcript.

Text transcript of Philip's second speech:
Transcribed by Torley, delightfully polished by Samantha Poindexter (thanks again!).

Yay! I've got a dot, I'm very happy. I hope everyone can hear me alright. Well, I guess if you can't, maybe — ha-ha! — as before, well, we'll do our best. Somebody can be kind enough to transcript me. Hey, as I said, so welcome to Second Life's 7th Birthday! If it feels like Groundhog Day and you're seeing me again, well, you are. We had an emergency and I am filling in for M right now. So I'm "virtual M". So welcome to the birthday celebrations, I hope the last days have been great for everybody.

I hung out and heard some great — I heard a great DJ in here in the evening, Monday evening, and it was totally inspiring to have the avatar count and everything kind of down to a point where I could sit in the audience at this stage and watch a great performance — I know for me that was really just inspiring to just be able to kinda sit in the crowd and enjoy some live music — it was amazing. It also really inspired me in thinking about how live music as an example, is something that can get better if we refocus our efforts and do the things we're trying to do right now at the Lab, to just kind of back up and make Second Life just work. Work better for everybody. I think live music is just a super example of that, we're so close, there's a a few things that work — I should say there's many things that work in Second Life, and then there's a few things that still don't work quite right. And if you look at something like live music, you can just imagine how if we could just take away a couple of the barriers — for example, broadcasting a stream is pretty difficult with live music, and of course, having a bunch of people — having there be 20 people sitting at your event and [echo begins at this point] have to tell their friends, and try to bring another 50 people into the event is something that today in Second Life, just doesn't work very well, that max crowd of people that shows up and shuts off the servers. I'm hearing an echo here — who else is hearing that? — it'd be great if somebody turns that [echo stops] off. I'm a pretty good public speaker but it's very difficult to do with a two-second delay on my own voice.

Hey, so I could tell you I see a nice avatar out there in the audience. Let me take a second and turn my memory back a little bit as I did on Monday. Many of you probably don't know I actually started the company in 1999, so that means as I said on Monday, that this has been more than 10 years as a project. And for me it was basically my 30s, I'm turning 42 this year so I spent my 30s working on Second Life which is pretty lucky. I mean, I think to have been in that really productive — I guess, as an engineer and as an innovator, your 30s, what a wonderful decade where I was able to put all my creative energy into something as amazing as this and so, thank you to everybody. Thank you to all the Lindens. Look at the world that's grown up around us in those 10 years. I was saying on Monday that I can't imagine anything I would change because I wouldn't want the precious and wonderful things that have happened and that we've built here to not have worked out the way they did. In other words, even the tiniest sort of changes that you could imagine in the past might've screwed things up and not brought us at least as far as we are today.

So yeah, when I look back on this 10-year project now, I was mentioning my avatar — my avatar was a construction on the afternoon of some day in 2002 when I, we all challenged ourselves. There were about 30 Lindens at the time and we all challenged ourselves to build, like, the coolest avatar. And whoever built the coolest avatar was gonna — we were all gonna buy him dinner. And I knew I was gonna lose, 'cuz I'm just not much of an artist, and a bunch of the people, a bunch of the engineers, and a bunch of the folks at Second Life were formidable artists so you knew that in their hands, the avatars they were gonna create were gonna be pretty astonishing. So I kinda figured I wasn't gonna make it but I could at least do something fun and quick and I remember getting a pair of jeans and going into Photoshop — somebody had this pair of jeans that I'm wearing right now, and I went into Photoshop and painted out the crotch of the jeans so they became chaps and, I thought that was a pretty funny idea. That was about the depth of my creative contribution that day, and my avatar did not win. I wasn't the most popular Linden Lab avatar. I believe, for the sake of history, that was Andrew — or Leviathan Linden at the time as his name was — but yeah, nevertheless, I've never taken these jeans off and they've become something of an icon for that 3 or 4 minutes that I spent Photoshopping.

So anyways, it's been a 10-year journey. It's been an incredible amount of work together. All of us in the world as content creators, as participants, as parts of the community, as consumers of all the magical stuff that's all around us here — and for the company, as product innovators and operators, designers — we've been building this enormous piece of software. I'm not going to do it again but on Monday, I listed off, like, 50 — that is, somebody could probably say here how many it was, maybe it was 42 to the earlier nerd reference there — I listed off a huge number of modular components which are big, freestanding chunks of Second Life that have to be kept working. And it was striking, even when I made the list, how many things there were that have to be kept working for Second Life to stay up and running. And so, that's a — it's proof of, or it's an examination of, why it's such a challenge to keep this project moving forward.

There are so many parts of Second Life and we as designers of the experience — or of the software at Linden Lab — are so enthusiastic about doing everything at the same time, we just don't want to let anybody down. There's literally a million people yelling at us about every different little piece of this system with good reason, and I think the fault that we make sometimes is just an enthusiastic kind of desire because we love the world so much, and we love the community, and we love our participation in it — to do way too much at the same time.

And so, as I said on Monday, we just went through a very difficult process, one we've been through only once before in the company's history, where we laid some people off. We reduced the size of the company by about 30%, that's about 100 people. That's a huge change. And it's a change that you can't take lightly, you're saying goodbye to a bunch of your friends that you work with. But looking forward, that change is consistent with — but not sufficient to capture the sorts of things we need to do next. Not only do we need to be smaller and more focused as a company, we have to do a lot less. In other words, we have to do with 2/3rds of the people — we have to do less than 2/3rds of the things we were doing. We are working on too many things at once. And so as we've said in the various public discussions about this, we really need to fight and work super-hard to focus on simply enabling the basic experience that we're all having here today to be better. We want to refocus ourselves on a smaller set of objectives that address exactly the experience that you as Residents are having today and having right here, right now. We can only have so many people listening right now. If there's too many avatars or too complicated avatars, the framerate slows down to a point where this thing becomes unusable. It's hard to put your clothes on. It's hard to walk around when there's a lot of lag. These are the basic problems that make Second Life difficult to use right now, and probably are the basic reasons that we're not growing faster.

So stepping back and refocusing our efforts on the basic problems that we're seeing with Second Life today and the most obvious, immediate things that we can do that are inspiring, that are creative, that move the product forward — that's what we're going to try and do. And I talked about this on Monday, I guess I'm just gonna take the time here to say it again now: I also made the statement on Monday that I think of Second Life as being like this amazing city, a very beautiful city, filled with all the wonder that we're celebrating today. But it's a city that's surrounded by a fortress wall and a moat. Hah. It's very hard to get in there. It takes a tremendous time commitment, an incredibly good friend, a call to action, the desire to have a job — some very strong reason why you would come and jump into this world. And what I think we've been doing enthusiastically and out of love but a little bit in the wrong direction over the last couple of years is we've been kind of getting ahead of ourselves building bridges and ladders — and rope ladders and scaffoldings — that cross over that fortress wall and get you into the magical city. And we've been sort of doing that for little groups of users, whether you're talking about reaching out to a particular group of international users, or educational users, or enterprise users — we're sort of trying to build a stairway for each of them to kind of climb over this wall.

When maybe, what we need to do is backup, regroup ourselves as we're doing right now, and tear down the wall. And fill in the moat. Make these big changes to the fundamental experience that simply makes it easier, simpler, faster, smoother — for everybody. And I think that if there's a change in strategy that makes sense, it's that one. To regroup, to simplify, and to focus on the things that affect everybody. I just saw the word "basic accessibility" there in text, I think that's a great way of capturing it. The basic accessibility of the world simply needs to be fantastic. And we're not there yet. And it's a huge mission, it's okay that we're not there, I'm absolutely delighted that we have a million or so people in here doing amazing things. We have 450 terabytes of content, we have $700 million a year in US dollars in transactions between people in here. We have livelihoods for several thousand people. One of the things that's happened in these layoffs is return ourselves to strong profitability. Strong profitability means the world is not at risk. We don't think it would be responsible for the decision to hire a small group of people at Linden Lab — it wouldn't be responsible to do that at the risk of the overall economy and the livelihoods of all the people who are having so much success in Second Life. So we respect that, and that's part of why a tough decision like layoffs is the right one.

So I think that looking forward a bit to the future, I've explained there what I think we need to do: regroup, focus on the basics. I think as we've had over these last 10 years, judge us by our actions — I said this yesterday — let's all work together. Let's make small, measurable steps every day to make Second Life better. Judge us by our actions — and I think this goes for Resident-to-Resident as well as Resident-to-Linden — judge us more by our actions than our words. What matters most is that we continue to make and hopefully accelerate the steady progress that has gotten us to where we are today. This is a big, big project. So let me stop there and, in text, if anyone's got any quick questions, I can take about 5 more minutes and then, I too have to run.

And thank you, thank you all for being here, and again, I'm sorry for being "virtual M" and boring anyone who was there on Monday as well.


[09:32] Jahman Ochs: What will *your* role be, going foreward?

A question there about my role: I've always tried to find the best way to be involved with the company in a way that maximizes my strengths. First and foremost, I'm a designer and an innovator. A lot of the little parts of Second Life over the years have been things that I've been involved in making. I want to keep doing that — that's always where my heart has been around — (voice cut out) — practically speaking, I'm on the board of the company. I'm there all the time, I'm there right now. So I'm still very involved, although as has been the case over the last couple of years, not as formally, and not in the same roles.

[09:33] Youri Ashton: Philip: how will you try to tackle the lag problem? Something we all may like to know :-)

To the question about lag — how will you tackle the lag problem? — the team, and it's a fantastic team in the company now, and a lot of great people here that weren't here two years ago that I'm really proud to see here, but I'm also a lot less worried about our ability to move Second Life forward. We've got a really well-rounded team now that we didn't have before this, just one of the treasures that we have going forward. So that team right now is hard at work thinking about what needs to change and what we're going to do differently with a smaller group and a different focus. So to the question of how we fix lag, that's what they're thinking about right now, but I don't want to second-guess them. Lag isn't a simple problem. Lag is a cluster of 10 or 15 different related areas of impact that slow us down so it's strange because it's this single word that has a whole bunch of actually fairly balanced — that is to say, similarly impacting things behind it — so we need to work on all of those, so I don't want to shortcut an answer like that with, "Hey, we just need to work on avatar rendering" or something like that. It's actually a much bigger problem, but I respect the team we have to figure out a great plan for it. And look for that from us in the weeks to come.

[09:35] Frolic Mills: Philip, what can you say to the many content creators in SL who do make a living from SL ... any words of encouragement about the stability of LL?

So Frolic says, "What about the content creators who make a living? Any words of encouragement about the stability?" Well I think I just said the most important thing, which is: by reducing the size of the company, we return ourselves to strong profitability, meaning that — and that's the most important thing that can be said about the stability of Second Life, when you get right down to cases. We as a company are running a lot of pieces of this infrastructure, and we gotta keep ourselves going, so being profitable — and we're incredibly fortunate and successful as a company to be able to do that, we don't need to borrow money from investors anymore, we are profitable — and that's a wonderful position to be in, and I think that's the biggest thing I can say about the stability.

[09:35] labella Farella: Linden curency dropped , will you see it going back up

Regarding the changes in the currency — which is related to stability — the currency price changed a little bit last week. It's amazing that it is fairly stable again now, though. I think that the monetary policy and the way that money supply is handled in Second Life — although it's certainly a very new experience — we've never had a $700-million economy that existed in a virtual world before. No federal reserve bank has ever had to deal with something like that. (Coughs.) Honestly, I think the way we've managed the economy and its stability has been very impressive. Even if you look at the pricing changes that happened last week, they're very small. I mean, the typical day-to-day fluctuation in pricing is very small, even compared to something like the fluctuation of the dollar against the Euro — which of course in the last year or so has been alarmingly greater than it should be — but even if you go back, Second Life's currency has always been amazingly stable for foreign exchange. I leave that to the statisticians to drill down on, but it's obvious just looking at the graphs.

So to the content creators, what I would say is: we are going to keep trying to make the basic system more capable, easier to use, more inviting to people — which means more customers, more capabilities for you — if we can deal with things like lag, that means that your meeting spaces and your stores and your events are going to be able to have more people in them and run more smoothly. And that, coupled with the great work that you're doing building content, I think, will continue to grow the economy.

I'm going to wrap up at this point. And thank you very much everybody for having me. I hope you all continue to enjoy the birthday celebrations. I know I have. I hear some clapping there, I always love the virtual clapping. It sounds wonderful. (Laughs.) I remember the first time we did that. But yeah, thanks everyone. Let me type that as well. It's been a pleasure to take a minute and see you all this morning, and I hope to see you soon inworld.

(Resident on voice: Thank you, Philip!)

Take care, everybody.

Philip's first speech 21-6-2010

At the Second Life 7th Birthday Philip Linden made two speeches, this is a machinima recording I made of the first speech. Transcript is below the video and Q&A, audio version by Torley is at the bottom.

Philip's speech was followed by a short Q&A in text chat.

Dousa Dragonash: Is there any truth in the rumour that Second Life is preparing to be bought?

Philip Linden: Dousa.... nope.

Honour McMillan: thank y ou Philip - what is your ongoing involvement?

Philip Linden: Honour.... I am always working closely with Linden, and lately focusing on how I can help with product direction.

Gazanfer Jehangir: people are thinking sl is headed in a direction to end up as a 3d facebook? any enlightenment on this please

Philip Linden
: Hmm..... well SL and facebook are very different. But we certainly do need to make it easier as an experience, in manner similar to how easy FB is.

Youri Ashton: Philip: Could you tell us what kind of things you still do with the Lindens, besides your new project

Philip Linden: Youri: I'm active as board member, and am also often at the office.

Zol Link: I am wondering if SL will have any new graphics updates? And will there be a way to reduce lagging and load times during play, I noticed some places lag less and have less Issues then other areas, I would like to see if you could pull off what Eve online and or Entropia Universe has, where over 1k + players could stand in one area with little to no lag

Philip Linden: Zol: The graphics work we've been doing lately is state of the art, in terms of shadows and the like. I agree that 1000 people in one area would be incredibly great. what we need is higher frame rate for the complex builds and avatars in SL

Full Transcript:
Transcribed by Torley and polished by Samantha Poindexter

Philip Linden: Okay everyone! I realize not that everyone there can hear me and I'm sorry for that, but I've got until 11:30 this morning and then I've got a drop-off at summer school to do, so I absolutely have to leave. So I just wanted to get started and again, I'm sure somebody will — maybe if we're lucky here — will do the favor of recording and translating me. I can't type as quickly as I can talk, so I'm not going to try to. I'm just gonna speak a little bit here and then let everybody — well, let's get on with the experience of celebrating Second Life's 7th Birthday this week!

It's amazing for me personally looking back. I sat and thought about this 7th year of operation — you know, for me, it is, of course more than 10 years. I started the company in 1999, so in fact I've been at this for 10 or 11 years now. In fact for me personally, my 30s were basically spent building an experience — experiencing and growing alongside Second Life. It's remarkable that entire decade of my life has basically been dedicated to Second Life. This year, I will turn 42. (Laughs.) So it's an amazing thing looking back and looking at the troubles we're having even just being here together today. I would say that those 10 years have been incredibly hard. They've had incredible moments of frustration. But they've also been incredibly rewarding and inspiring and I wouldn't take back any of it or even do anything differently. And I think that's something that not a lot of people are lucky enough to say.

You know, you might jump up and say, "Hey Philip, of course there's so many things you could've easily done differently that in these last 10 years that would've made things better — or executed better — but you know, changing history has the risk that you might have done something that broke everything in some way, and I wouldn't toy with that. I think what we've achieved here is a magnificent accomplishment together — all of us, the Lindens, the Residents, the Lindens that aren't with us anymore — we've all worked together to build something just incredible. And I wouldn't even take any chance at anything that might mess it up, it's unbelievable what we've achieved.

I was thinking about this — what to say today and what to talk about — and I had a thought. I wanna try something. I wanna read you guys just a quick list that I made this morning, so bear with me and let me read you a list of stuff here:
Our financial fraud detection systems; the systems we use to transfer assets from the Teen Grid; the central databases; our dark fiber backbone; our asset servers which have about 450 terabytes of data; the 40,000 simulator cores in the system; the group chat system; the LindeX Market placement and fulfillment systems; the physics core; the visual rendering system; the scripting engines; the ability to transfer and move land; the region conductor that manages all the sims coming online; the map servers; the inventory servers; the client UI; the content takedown tools; the monetary policy, processes and systems we use; the customer support tools; the Department of Public Works; our international payment systems; our backup systems; Linden Homes; the Welcome Islands; the Infohubs; the grid monitoring tools; the localization systems; the private regions; our land auction systems; forums; search appliances; the Support Portal; metrics dashboards; our Phoenix, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. data centers; our 3rd-party Viewer directory, open source repositories and programs, and our internal build systems.


So I'm just gonna pause there. That is an incomplete list of major components that make up Second Life that I was able to just sit and kind of bring up from memory this morning while I was thinking about us. Now, the reason that I read off a list like that is to kind of — looking back — to sort of beg everyone's forgiveness and explain that this is an incredibly complicated system. And we have been building all of these different systems, these core components — they're all part of the Second Life experience, they all hold it up — together. Over all these years, this team of Lindens, and for some of these things, the Residents as well. They're all important parts of the experience. Probably in the years to come, some of the things I just said will become whole companies in their own right. As Second Life in this experience grows another order of magnitude or two, these things that I just mentioned are probably standalone companies, some of them.

So this is — so Second Life is an incredibly complicated system. We face an enormous set of parallel challenges and I just wanted to take a moment to remind everybody of that. Again, it's a magnificent accomplishment, but the sheer length of that list is one of the challenges that we, as a company, have faced historically, and we very much face it even moreso today.

You know, overall, I would say that our fault as Lindens has been to be overly enthusiastic. We have tried, as a company — because we've been so excited about virtual reality, about we've already accomplished together, what we've seen everyone do, what we've seen you guys do — it's been so exciting that we have tried to fix it all at once. We've tried to make everything better at the same time. I think one of the nicest things about the company is that it's all done out of enthusiasm, it's done out of excitement, it's done out of love for the world. And everything and everyone that's in it. But I think the challenge we've had is that over and over again, we've been this small, smallish company trying to work on something that is just unbelievably complicated and figuring out how to restrict and serialize and sequence and prioritize all of these different pieces has been a huge problem and frankly, one that we've done our best — we haven't done as well, I think, as we could — but it is just a huge list.

I wanted to speak for a couple of minutes and touch a little bit — obviously — on the layoffs we just did. We sadly reduced the size of the company by about a third — by about 100 people a week ago, and that's a big deal and a huge change. But I wanted to say that standing here today in the midst of such a rich world and such continued creative — and for some people, financial — success that's here makes me realize that, that choice is the right choice and one that though it is hard to make, is definitely correct and obvious. We're never going to — as a company — risk the world and the businesses and the livelihoods of the thousands of people who make money working here by growing too quickly ahead of profits. By doing the difficult process of restructuring the company and making layoffs, we'll return ourselves to solid, very solid levels of profitability.

We're safe, the world is safe. As smart as we may think we are, we are not always going to be able to predict Second Life's rate of growth and hiring is something that you tend to do something in a linear way, but the growth that company goes through — especially something as amazing and phenomenal as Second Life — tends to be punctuated, that is, you're gonna have periods. And we've been in one of those periods now for the last year or so, where the world grows very little because we're trying figure out together — you and us — what to do next, how to make it better. The growth, when it comes, is typically non-linear. Growth happens very fast. A company, of course — and we've been through these days as well — reels as it tries to provide a solid service offering for everybody as that growth occurs. And then in other times, you know, you have to hire with the anticipation that there are things you can do that are gonna drive growth. And sometimes that doesn't happen. So I think this combat between linear company growth and sort of non-linear world growth is, again, one of the big problems that we face. And so, to be safe, we have stepped back — reduced the size of the company — and kept everything safe.

Looking ahead as we've talked about, what are we gonna do beyond stepping back? I mean, I think a high-level way to describe it is that we may have sort of two-thirds of the people that we did a couple of weeks ago, but we need to actually do less than two-thirds of the things that we were doing. So the process of restructuring and replanning that the teams are engaged in right now is fundamentally to figure out how to do a lot less a lot better. And also to step back for a moment and readdress our efforts — and refocus our efforts — on simply improving the core product experience that we are having right now, together, as Residents — here. We need to focus on the things that matter most to the people who are here, to ourselves as users of this system. We need to make the basic features and capabilities of Second Life work really well. And so, the planning process that we're going through right now — of retrenching and deciding what's gonna happen next — is one that fundamentally focuses on that, on improving this core experience for everybody.

I think that Second Life — addressing that sort of core experience problem — I still think of Second Life and the past few years as being something like this: Second Life is this wonderful, beautiful city — once you're in it and you're having this amazing immersive experience, you're just totally blown away by it. But the city itself is surrounded by huge walls and a moat. It's like a medieval city. To actually get into it you have to invest an enormous amount of time and energy getting across that moat, and over the walls, and into this amazing new world of people inside that are waiting inside. And I think that in our excitement about the success of Second Life — in its amazing initial growth and the amazing things that you guys have done and that we've done together — we were getting ahead of ourselves a bit as a company and this is what we really talked about in this restructuring. We were building these sort of rickety — we were in many cases building these bridges and scaffoldings that sought to get different types of people across that moat and over those walls, whether we're talking about international Residents, or the community welcome areas, or enterprise or education users — we've been sort of building these little, thin bridges that try and quickly get everybody kind of over that wall and into Second Life. And of course, you can understand why we'd do that, because it's just so fantastic an experience once we can get people there.

But I think what we have to do — what I know is the kind of thinking that's informing our planning process going forward — is ask whether instead we can stop doing those many, many peripheral, highly usage-specific things to get people in here — and instead just take a step back, look at the basic problems that we are all faced by, and by fixing them, fill the moat. Tear down the walls. Stop trying to build over them. We have a product here that can deliver an unbelievable experience to everyone if we simply make the basic pieces of that experience work. Whether we're talking about how many people can stand together in a meeting like this, or how to put clothes on, or manage your inventory, or build basic objects inworld, or how voice works, how parcel media works, live music — all of these basic features are things that are amazing experiences when you can have them, but they're not easy enough yet. They're not — they just in many cases don't completely work, and we — it's so easy to get ahead of ourselves as a company and forget that. So going back to those basics and just trying to make this thing work for all of us is what you can expect to see from us next.

I want to stop because I don't want to run out of time before being able to maybe take a few questions — if the text works. The last thought I had, and it's kind of a thought that always comes back to me in these times: the reality is, slowly but surely, virtual worlds are working. We are still growing. We have grown slowly and steadily over all these years. We may not have a trillion-dollar economy together, but we have a $700-million-dollar economy that is bigger than a lot of countries, continues to grow, people continue to innovate and build amazing things inside it.

So one thing I would say is: looking back and looking forward, let's just keep all working together. Let's keep making this thing easier, more solid, a better experience together. And then, as a final thought, I would say: again, looking back on even the first birthday ceremonies we ever did, that we should all judge ourselves, Residents and Lindens alike, by our actions more than by our words. The actions we've all taken together speak loudest and the wonderful things that we have built together — successfully over these years — nothing can take that away from us together. So let's just keep working together, watch and expect us to keep making the world better for you, and just hang in there and keep going. And I think that every excited statement that I've ever made about VR and about Second Life and about what we're doing together — I believe every one of those — and I think that we may have these funny periods where we have to wait for things to happen. It is all going to happen, and we are going to get everyone in here eventually. So, let me just say again, thank you for all being here, and maybe via text — perhaps we could try via voice — I can take maybe a couple questions before I have to run in about another ten minutes here.

Original audio source (philip-speech-sl7b.mp3)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Philip is Back at the Helm

Philip LindenIn a surprisingly swift chain of events has Mark Kingdon(M Linden) stepped down and Philip Rosedale has returned as interim CEO. CFO Bob Komin will take the extra responsibility of COO.

The COO traditionally is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the corporation and for operations management. Philip mentions that Bob and He will be working side by side with each other, at least suggestion that Philip will be deeply involved in the day to day stuff for some time.

What I find interesting is that Philip will step in as interim CEO. Suggesting that he will leave and be replaced once Linden Lab and Second Life reaches a positive upward swing again and/or a new CEO has been found.

MLinden's Last TweetsMark leaving the Lab happened surprisingly quick, he was announced to speak yesterday on the Second Life 7th birthday, but Philip stepped in at the last minute because of a 'emergency'. Philip mostly repeated his speech from last Monday. On that same Monday Mark was reportedly seen enjoying SL7B, apparently unaware that he was going to 'step down' on Wednesday.

There where jokes on the blogs and twitter yesterday morning that Philip would come back and take over from Mark, after Philip gave the second speech instead of M. When rumours appeared last night that the joke was becoming reality, I and some others where quite surprised and unwilling yet to believe it could be true. Hat tip to Hamlet at NWN for reporting on it last night first.

The community has taking this news with overwhelmingly joy and optimism in the first hours, which hopefully will have some lasting quality. In Mark's tenure at the Lab as CEO he got a lot criticism from the community that never seemed to turn to the positive. Eventually the upward movement that SL was in when Philip left halted and at best reached a plateau. The SL blogoshpere and Main stream media that once was mostly optimistic about Second Life turned to the critical and pessimistic of Mark's decisions and Second Life's viability as a platform.

The recently downward trend of Second Life resulted that the once stable currency exchange Lindex had started to slowly rise, and had last week a day where a short panic had broken out. The new positivism has already resulted in a increase of buy orders at the Lindex at this time, which helps stabilize the market. The following days/weeks will tell if this is lasting or just opportunistic behaviour.

Kapor helping RosedalePhilip is a visionary, but more importantly he is a visionary who has the ability to make you believe in his vision, and that is what Second Life needs most. People have started to doubt the prospect of Second Life and lost the vision, if Philip can do one thing is bring that back. He won't be the only visionary working on that, Mitch Kapor, famous technology entrepreneur and investor in Linden Lab has announced that he will be working closely with Philip as he returns as CEO.

Philip's two speeches from last week will now come under scrutiny, trying to find clues of what is to come. One of the Philip's repeating statements in those speeches has been: "We were doing to much, we actually have to do less then two thirds with two thirds of the people". The two thirds is referring to the massive 30% lays off from earlier this month.

OhMeadhbh - deposed Monarch

Press Release
Sl Blog Post
NWN Post
Linden Lab Laid off 30 percent of Staff

Monday, June 21, 2010

SL7B Opening Monday 10am SLT

SL7B-MainstageSecond Life is turning 7 this week, and to celebrate it there will be a week long party on 21 sims dedicated to celebrating Second Life. The sims are a showcase of content of Second Life Residents, with over 700 contributors and 300+ exhibits.

The first year in 2004 the celebration was a parade through the mainland and Philip Linden gave a speech over the then newly released media stream. Each following year the birthday party became bigger, more elaborate and more advanced with some new technology that has been released during the previous year.

Philip Linden 21/06/2004The theme this year is 'Unexpected Collaborations', a celebration of one the unique characteristics of Second Life to spring forth ad hoc collaborations. With an emphasis on the social networks created through Second Life and the chances for creative and productive collaboration.

This year amongst many residents, both Philip Linden and M Linden will be giving speeches, and over 300 live performances are lined up to celebrate with you. The celebration will go on from June 21 through June 27, but the sims will stay open till July 3rd, to give you ample time to explore the creations of the Second Life residents.

Philip's speech will be Monday June 21st, 11am SLT. M Lindens will address us Wednesday June 23rd, 9am SLT. Both will be at the Main Stage

The full schedule is on the SL7B Blog.

This is Your World Your Imagination!
Let's celebrate!

Page on Wikia about the first Birthday
Pictures of the 2004 parade on The AlphaVille Herald
SL7B Blog

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Updates on Mesh uploads, NDA was temporarily lifted.

NDA-liftedFriday, Testers of the private Beta of a viewer with Mesh uploads where told on the SL forum by Runitai Linden that the the NDA they signed was lifted and started to talk about it in the AW Groupies group and the connected irc room. Shortly there after they where asked again to stay quiet until LL could give them more direction on what they where and weren't allowed to talk about. I guess they will hear more on Monday.

Meanwhile we have a sneak peak via the chatlog and it lifts a little bit of the veil of what we can expect:
  • Import format will be Collada
  • Collada allows rigging which means:
    • Wearable clothing
    • Entire avatar replacements that bent with animations.
  • Five submeshes for each object
    • Four for different Levels Of Detail
    • One for collisions for Havok.
  • Meshes will need specifically made textures
    • You can have custom uv maps applied to your mesh
    • Material id can be assigned to polygons, they can be accessed as "sides" in lsl
    • The sides you can use to script texture changes, like in prims
  • Theoretically Unlimited number of vertices can be used in a model, but some N number of vertices will be counted as 1 prim against the parcel Limit
Downloading models in the Collada format from sites like google warehouse and uploading them is possible. Providing a whole lot of new free content, though these models are often not optimized to conserve vertices, and will likely quickly fill up your parcel. It will give people a starting point to learn to model by learning to optimize free content that is available.

A few days ago Hamlet posted a video on his blog of a Violin playing Alien, at first he though it was a Sculpted model, but now it seems like it is actually a custom mesh rigged to the avatar. Look how the arms, knees, shoulders slightly deform while bending, if it where sculpts those would stay rigid.

I have also found a second video of a alpha tester just playing around with two mesh models. One of the things you can see here is that the collision mesh follows the contours of the mesh. No weird oblong shaped collision mesh like with Sculpts. Turn your sound down, there is some unpleasant sound distortion in this video.

It seems soon we can see some amazing things in Second Life. If you make sculpts you will like meshes, as you will be able to do what you always wanted but couldn't because you had to work around Sculpts limitations. For the end user it will be mean higher quality content, and possibly a better frame rate. As optimized mesh objects will surely cost less rendering time then a highly compounded objects consisting of multiple prims, sculpts and textures.

For professional modellers this will open up SL for their content, expertise and skills, though they will have to learn how to deal with thousands of end users and possible content theft.

I would recommend checking out the links to Runitai Linden's pictures and the SLCC 2009 preview of Mesh Uploads.

Other Links:
Short Chatlog on Mesh while NDA was lifted.
NWN Post:An Alien Who Plays Paganini on Violin


Mesh Uploads Chatlog

Chatlog about Mesh uploads, while NDA was temporarily lifted.

<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: nda has been lifted about mesh
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: aska away
<jonathanyap> Where is an announcement?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: when will it be here
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: what types of objects can we inport
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: what is the max nr of vertices a mesh can have
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: 1) i dont know
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: 2) collada, has has been hinted
* GridInterop (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa waits for NDA lifting confirmation first ;)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: lol
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: you think runitai posted that by mistake?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: lol. good one. u hoped somebody will spill the beans:)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: he did say monday though
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: how many people r acquainted with "ghosted avatars"
<beybar> Can't really say I#m acquainted with them. No matter how much I try, they never talk to me.
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: those unlucky people that the sim says they r in it, but they have been logged out and can't login until the sim is restarted
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: [23:17] Alexa Linden: 1. you are no longer under NDA
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: ok, it's official mesh NDA is lifted ;)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: [23:17] Alexa Linden: 2. yes, you can blog, post videos, etc
<beybar> Oooh!
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Uni Ninetails: woohooo no more smegging NDA
<beybar> So who knows all about meshes?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: so, ppl, ask your questions
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: i heard that is possible to unghost somebody without restarting sim. is it true?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: uni, latif, me and others also
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: Rex, I only know with restart
<beybar> I don't know, Rex. Restart is the only way I know, too.
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Uni Ninetails: It was meeee mee who ressed the titanic a 2 sims mesh and pissed everyone offf muuahahahahaha
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: rex, i had to open support ticket and the support to restart sim
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: lol
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: took about 5 minutes
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: uni, yeh, you could have checked the scale first ;)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: Rex sometimes they can reset your AV
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: well. i heard it can be done without restarting
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: it doesn;t always work though, reset is teh easiest
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Uni Ninetails: if i had ressed it mega meshes wouldnt have appeared as quick :P
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: yes it can be done without restarting
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: you still have to put in a ticket
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: and it doesn;t always work
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: for some reason, they are squeamish about restarting a mainland sim
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: so. it is true. u have to write a ticket, and the lindens have to reset your ave, but it doesn't always work. so sim restart is the only thing left. thank u:)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Azure Twine: yep
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: regarding the NDA. what good is if it was lifted. if even those 3 basic questions i just asked can't be answered:(
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: rex, what was it again
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: Rex, what questions?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: import format is collanda
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: inlimeted numbe of vertices, but some n number of vertices will be counted as 1 prim agaist the parcel limit
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: rex i was looking for the official breakdopwn of that
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: (that bit is still not fixed)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: what types of objects. when will be here, and what is the max nr of vertices it can have
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: as in, how it gets counted
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: 2 sec
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: but in practice its nlimited
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: Rex, collada format, new object type
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: but 1 mesh != 1 prim
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: they will have to be really optimized otherwise you gonna end up with 1 mesh that "costs" 100 prims
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: collada:(
<beybar> How many vertices are there in a torus prim?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: so yes, its possible to grab stuff grom google warehouse directly import to sl
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: i guess ".obj" formatis not popular enough:(
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: BeyBar, I know, making a torus out of a mesh will be expensive :)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: but not awlays a good thing as it will clock up on prim count
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: rex, but with collada we can rig too
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: and sl support s it
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: so you can have wearable clothing
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: show me an 3d editor that doesn't support ".obj"
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: or entire av replacements
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: rex, obj is from the stoneage
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: ie. mesh attachments that "bend" with avatar movement
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Nyx Linden: makes a more direct correlation between prim count and triangle count, which is better from a performance reporting perspective
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: hey nyx
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: what viewer support mesh uploading?
<jonathanyap> Do you need a very new viewer to see these mesh objects?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: yes you need a viewer that is not publically available
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: meshes are still closed betaa
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: from the stone age we also have fire. and what do u know? it is still working today:)
<mojito> I heard that Vista broke it
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Patnad Babii: NDA been lifted on SL mesh viewer? anyone know where to get
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Nyx Linden: NDA on talking about it is lifted - its still a closed beta
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Patnad Babii: urm.. bummer
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: so mesh beta is still closed, except that people who are testing it are allowed to speak about it :)
<mojito> They will admit that it exists, but not exactly what it *is*
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: for meshes u also need to provide a specifically made texture
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Yuu Nakamichi: Latif - they are asked to speak about it :)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: Mojito, I know (pretty much) exactly what it is
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Drew Dwi: hey nyx - did the viewer-external go backwards build wise? the appearance options went back into a floater in the last push when it changed from 2.0.2 to 2.1.0
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Nyx Linden: o.0
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Nyx Linden: it shouldn't have Drew.....
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: JonathanYap and rex, special client, based on v2
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Drew Dwi: let me get you a build #
<mojito> So these meshaes are done with the wrapped texture teqnique, rather than a list of vertex coordinates?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Nyx Linden: Drew, can you send me an email? I'm trying to escape the office :)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Patnad Babii: well its possible to see a vid here at least:
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: can there be screenshots posted of imported objects, the interface?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Drew Dwi: sure thing nyx@ll ?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: rex, check the video
<jonathanyap> please repost the video link
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: i want to see stills:)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: Mojito, you import meshes from .dae (collada) files, which i belive are nothing much that a glorified list of vertices ;)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Patnad Babii:
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: by stills, i mean still images:)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: how does havok sees those meshes?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: there are 5 submeshes for each object
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis:
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: 4 for different LOD + 1 for colissions
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: ^thats some of runitais pics
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Patnad Babii: why is LL dont do a list and announcement about betas, i mean its always super top secret and only the ones at OH can really sign up for something.. i mean im doing alot of beta testing and LL do it poorly
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: the "cost in prims" of a mesh object will depend greatly of how complex the physical represantation is + total number of vertices
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: now i have to wait for video to download. i screenshot would have been available i wouldn't have had to:(
<jonathanyap> Rex, that video is pretty blurry, better to look at the photos
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: for a few seconds my network went down. so i lost the link to pictures
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: and looks like will be unstable for a few more minutes
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa:
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: Mojito, you can have any kind of custom uv applied to your mesh
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: is that hippo mesh. lol
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: material id can be assigned to polys, they can be accessed as "sides" in lsl
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: so you can script texture chnages
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: colour etc
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: like on normal prims
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: but you get to choose what polys, via their material id
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: this is very cool imo
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: r there any pictures of the interface?
<jonathanyap> Are there public wiki entries for the new lsl calls?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: interface?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: looks the same as normal v2
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: only there is a new upload dialog
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: yes that one
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: specifically for mesh
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: i would take you a screenshot, except i cant run the client here at work
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: and if u want to edit them in world. that should be another dialog/floater
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: same build menu as normal afaik
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: so if you ned to access the "sides" you do it via lsl
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: lone, go to CBP
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: where and how do u choose to what polygons to apply the text to on a mesh?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: the texture*
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: eek
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: someone is knocking at the door
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: and i made such a nice tweet ;)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: ugh, men in black and they are wearing sunglases ffs its night time
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: may u live throught the night to see tomorrow:)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: ok, parently we had a 5 minute window to blab about mesh
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: now we have to wait for more official word on what we can and cant say
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: if anything
<jonathanyap> Ah, you are shut down?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: yes
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: what? u said tooo much? gee. that was just the tip of the iceberg:)
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Saijanai Kuhn: what's going on
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Latif Khalifa: stand by
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Patnad Babii: any idea when there will be an open beta for mesh then?
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: nda for mesh was lifted for a short while
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) lonetorus Habilis: now we are asked to wait till we get more official clearance
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Saijanai Kuhn: LOL. Darn and I missed it
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: r u guys playing hide and seek. lol
<jonathanyap> someone can post the session log
<gridinterop> (grid:agni) Rex Cronon: r u taunting people? hugh:)

Source of chatlog

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Photos from the Ex-Linden Independence Day Party

Ham Rambler from the Dublin sim and Community organized a Ex-Linden Independence Day Party for Lindens or their alts to come together with the community and have a fun time, and reintroduce each other with new or old avatars.

Hamlet Au/Linden showed up as well, to report on the party for his blog. In style he arrived in just his boxers and a tie. He claimed he forgot to change after a Nude 'Party' the day before.

"Hamlet Au: Oh wait, I forgot I was last at that RMB nude party, and forgot to change.  Oh well, boxers work in a pub of drunk people, right? "

"Hamlet Au: Yeah I got my tie on, so I'm still dressed in business casual!"

Ex-Linden Independence Day Party @ Dublin (8)
Looks like the girl on the left from Hamlet got all excited about it.

I took more picture of the party, which you can see in the slideshow. I was running the viewer on low settings and on 800x600, meaning the pictures aren't nearly as good as they could be. I also added a Slideshow from Ziki Questi, her pictures are somewhat better. ;)

Outing of Linden Alts!

Ziki Questi Pictures:

Ex-Linden Independence Day Party annoucement
New World Notes post on party
Recap on 30% Lay off at Linden Lab

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Linden Lab Laid off 30 percent of Staff Today [Update One]

[Updates at the bottom]

As most you might have noticed Linden Lab put out a press release and a blog post about laying off 30 percent of their staff. Mostly consolidation in a few geographic locations and closing down offices abroad.

A slow trickle of lay-offs have been happening for a few months now, Tateru Nino had just written about it on Massively two days ago. Still the sudden and large event of today came as a shock to the community. Though some rumours had been heard that more lay-off where about to happen. Still I had not expected this.

What this means for Second Life or Linden Lab I'm not sure, but it is quite worrisome. A lot of Lindens with a long History and Knowledge are being let go, it is a large knowledge drain that will take time to recuperate from.

Besides the announcement of lay-offs, the press release also mentioned that LL will be focusing on creating a browser based viewer. Which sounds cool but 3D applications on the browser aren't mainstream yet either, and something as diverse as SL will be challenge. We will have to wait until LL tells us more about what direction they will take that before I can fully comment.

The blog and the twitter verse are a blaze with opinions and I have been collecting links and tweets that I would like to share below. Also at the bottom is a partial list of laid off Lindens a lot of those are confirmed.I apologise if someone is wrongly in the list.

List of blogs post:

LL Press Release
Tech Crunch Report
LL Blog post

Massively post from 2 days ago about the lay off of the last months.
New World Notes
Botgirl's take on Linden Labs new direction
Virtual memoirs

Two posts on first and second

And finally Grace McDunnough wrote a post in march that was strangely predictive.

As I said a lot of tweeting is going on and a selection of those I have put below, first on the lay-offs followed by the browser viewer.

Tweets on Lay off:

@hackshaven Claudia Linden's last day at Linden Lab is today? At what point should I start to get nervous? #sl #secondlife

@soft: Geography &hierarchy issues were big determinants in the lay-offs. Some really amazing people are moving on. Who'll find them 1st?

@ZhaEwry: Hugs and best wishes to everyone swept up in the Linden layoffs.

@GiannaBorgnine: The Linden causalities are growing... I can't believe Claudia and Babbage are on that list. Who else?

@poppylinden I'm still a Linden, as far as I know. Also, I'm supposed to be driviOH SHI

@yoz To @vrika, @whump, @JimPurbrick, @cynfusion, @bluelinden et al: You rule, and I deeply envy the next venues for your awesomeness.

@rivenhomewood: Some of the Lindens who are leaving are awesome people - I will miss them, for all my nagging and complaining

@RhiannonSL:When the landscape of a platform evolves, how do you work to make sure the community born from it perseveres? #secondlife #sl

@JimPurbrick (aka Babbage Linden) Thanks everyone, it was fun (Linked In recommendations and job offers gratefully accepted).

@TimelessP: What the... how on earth can @SecondLife justify losing @JimPurbrick ?! That's core server-side talent.

@tezcatlipoca Linden Lab officially imploded today. Been a long time coming, but they have no idea... it's like watching a baby with a shotgun. 12 mo tops

@SkateFoss: Is #SL7B supposed to be a wake? What kind of celebration is this?

@HiroPen @MLindenSL So, is business, enterprise, and education completely off Linden Lab's priorities for SL, now?

@HiroPen Most alarming thing about LL's layoff press release? The 2 stated goals don't include business, education, government, etc. WTF LL!?

@FlipperPA It really suck when your life is going well and you get the news that 10-15 of your friends have just been laid off. Damn you, M Linden.

@OhMeadhbh whoa. doug soo just posted to facebook that he got the axe as well. krikey!

@Nethermind So, is the common denominator for LL firings, "has relationships with community and logs into SL = canned" or what? What a travesty.

@cuppy @Nethermind Community folks are always among the first to go, across the game/web/vw industry spectrum =(

@botgirlq: Prediction made in March by @GraceMcDunnough on direction for Second Life seems Nostradamus-worthy

Tweets on Browser viewer:

@Frans: Also, LL aims to create a browser-based virtual world experience, eliminating the need to download software.

@poinky: Remembering LL's track record in announcing technology and when it actually gets delivered.

@slhamlet: My guess is LL makes a web browser *option*, like this one made 3 years ago by IBM-backed startup: #SL

@Ariella_Furman: My guess- linden will create a browser-based SL but it will be like SL lite. The full version will still be available to developers.

@Frans: @Ariella_Furman I'm thinking that too. A browser viewer just to view and buy, and a hardcore viewer to build content.

@Poinky: @HiroPen What about the part where they are moving to a technology that doesn't exist yet (browser-based 3D with no download)?

@HiroPen @poinky It exists. VRML, x3d, Unity3D, HTML 5.0, etc - there's a variety of technologies. Using one of them w/ SL? That's the Question!

@poinky: @HiroPen Unity3D requires plugin download, and as far as I've seen the other platforms are not ready to support 3D virtual worlds (yet)

@OhMeadhbh @poinky @HiroPen - WebGL is a cool technology, but it's at least a year away from being anywhere near "done" and ubiquitous.

@TimelessP: Oh I get it, @MLindenSL , was Google Lively before your time? You need to know that it failed!

@magzkam: Considering what would be gained and lost in a browser-based SL. And why close the Enterprise unit? Is LL moving away from OpenSim?

@BardHaven: @magzkam LL are also getting into mobile devices and being browser based is agnostic. Secondlife on the iPad or the PSP...think about it.

@magzkam @BardHaven Being browser-based CAN be agnostic but isn't always ... willing to give the benefit of the doubt until rollout.

@magzkam @BardHaven I see going to the browser as a mixed bag. Will be easier/more portable, but I wonder about advanced functionality

Laid off Lindens:
Several old time Lindens are in this List, Like Babbage, Blue, Claudia and others. Seeing them all go is quite puzzling because it will make current developments stall and deep knowledge of interconnectivity of technologies and communities disappear. Second Life is a complex beast and many of these people wrote the maps.

I will update this list when I know of more Lindens.
-Anna Linden
-Babbage Linden
-Blue Linden
-Brent Linden
-Callen Linden
-Chiyo Linden
-Christy Linden
-Claudia Linden
-Cody Linden
-Cogsworth Linden
-Crimp Linden
-DJ Linden
-Dough Linden
-Drub Linden
-Gayathri Linden
-George Linden
-Gisele Linden
-Harmony Linden
-Jarv Linden
-Jay Linden
-Karina Linden
-Katie Linden
-Kristi Linden
-Lexi Linden
-Liana Linden
-Meredith Linden
-Mia Linden
-Pastrami Linden
-Periapse Linden
-Pink Linden
-Rakesh Linden
-Rika Linden
-Scott Linden
-Sejong Linden
-Siz Linden
-Socrates Linden
-Storrs Linden
-Teagan Linden
-Theeba Linden
-William Linden
-Whump Linden
-Zero Linden

Some people are maintaining a pastebin with all the lindens gone from Search, it has already over 140 missing names. This might include Lindens that have been gone longer, and multiple accounts operated by the same person.

Forum threads:
I have selected two forum threads where diverse discussions are going on about the current events.
The main forum at
And the discussion on

SecondLie has been twittering a storm with his brand of satire, to end the gloom with a bit of humour I'm sharing this last retweeted tweet:

@OhMeadhbh:everyone join in: RT @SecondLie "Always look on the bright side of (Second) Life" ♫

Update 0ne, Thursday 10/6/10 10:15am :
Added Teagan Linden to the list.

Gwyneth Llewelyn analysed the changes during M Lindens tenure, and concludes that yesterday's press release and blog post indicate that Linden Lab will be focusing hard on the consumer market again.

Zha Ewry has written about the aftermath, suggesting that yesterday's event was more the result of diminishing concurrency and economy.

CodeBastard Redgrave built a memorial in Rouge yesterday, for all the laid off Lindens, it became rapidly one of the places in Second Life to congregate and talk about the changes, continually packed with avatars.

Hamlet blogged about it too, saying:
When I was there late last night, a girl in a richly embroidered Korean dress kneeled before one, rezzed a flower there, and remained there for awhile in silence. Many more kept coming, as did the flowers. Even some Lindens arrived, to pay tribute to colleagues who were moving on

Monday, June 07, 2010

Chatlog of Q&A with Erica Linden at Oxbridge

Erica Linden is a User Experience lead at Linden Lab and this talk was about Viewer 2.0.

[19:00] Vanessa Hamer: Hi Everybody, we're going to get started now. Please welcome Linden Research Software Developer Erica Linden to Oxbridge. She may be using voice, she'll instruct you accordingly
[19:00] Martini Discovolante: hello Red.
[19:00] Erica Linden: Hi gang!
[19:00] Erica Linden: Just waitinf for my face to rez
[19:00] Frans Charming: Looking at your title, are you Dutch?
[19:00] Vanessa Hamer: HI Erica!
[19:00] Red Quixote: ㋡
[19:00] Red Quixote: hello Martini
[19:00] LillieJay Mills: Hello Erica
[19:01] Erica Linden: Does one typically talk in text or voice here?
[19:01] LillieJay Mills: text
[19:01] Jayleden Miles: Text probably would be better for the hearing impaired that might be among us.
[19:01] Eila Eiren: Text please
[19:01] Vanessa Hamer: oh sorry, there's a step on the other side, but you can just click the podium
[19:01] Erica Linden: Sounds good
[19:01] Red Quixote: Hello Auto
[19:02] Erica Linden: `oh my what a great space
[19:02] Erica Linden: I typically have meetings in someone's 2005 era office
[19:03] Erica Linden: So to start, I'll introduce myself, I'm Erica Linden and I'm one of two User Experience leads at Linden Lagb
[19:03] Erica Linden: new keybord sorry for any typeos
[19:03] Kerhop Seattle: an appropriate typo :)
[19:03] LillieJay Mills chuckles at "Lag"b
[19:04] Anna Darwinian: Hey LillieJay :-)
[19:04] Erica Linden: wocka wocka
[19:04] Erica Linden: heh
[19:04] LillieJay Mills: Hi there Anna :)
[19:04] Erica Linden: so one of the fun things about having a Linden last name is that it's impossible to step inworld w/out IMs from random strangers asking for advice
[19:04] Anna Darwinian: Queen Frog?
[19:04] Pacoima Core: ribbet
[19:04] Erica Linden: this just happened. ;)
[19:05] Erica Linden: Some Dutch residents called me that one day, and i was honored
[19:05] Frans Charming: :)
[19:05] Erica Linden: we've had a variety of Frog lindens
[19:05] Erica Linden: I guess we're sort of affiliated with Furries.
[19:05] Erica Linden: The Slimys perhaps?
[19:06] Erica Linden: Right! So, I work primarily on the SL viewer
[19:06] Pacoima Core: it is becoming :)
[19:06] Kerhop Seattle: (there goes the bears)
[19:06] Erica Linden: and in the last year and a half I've worked (along with about 20 of my closest friends) on *dramatic chord* Viewer 2.0
[19:07] Erica Linden: So, all of the things you like in viewer 2 were my idea. And all the things you don't like were the other guy. ;)
[19:07] Erica Linden ducks
[19:07] Tao Mistwalker: :)
[19:07] Frans Charming: lol
[19:07] Kellan McKenna: :D
[19:07] 76 Rain: lol
[19:07] Red Quixote: ^^
[19:07] Savannah Blindside: :)
[19:07] Anna Darwinian: I wondered about that :-)
[19:07] Erica Linden: I have a background in Human compute4r interaction
[19:08] Erica Linden: a masters from the university of michigan, and a VERY useful undergrad degree in English an dLinguistics
[19:08] Frans Charming: haha.
[19:09] Frans Charming: It helps with the typos? :P
[19:09] Anna Darwinian: I bet it helps with reading other people's typos
[19:09] Erica Linden: My daily life consists of trying to juggle the needs of extremely smart and advanced residents, with folks who are new to SL and have computers made of wood.
[19:09] Erica Linden: All within the constraints of a 6 year old codebase
[19:09] Kerhop Seattle: Abacus?
[19:10] ABBI Hunniton: ha
[19:10] Roberto Viking: maybe there should simply be two viewers
[19:10] Roberto Viking: a technical one and a simple one
[19:10] Savannah Blindside passes Miss Linden some of the good chocolate and a bottle of asprin
[19:10] Erica Linden: to display content that I can barely begin to imagine
[19:10] Erica Linden: the wonderful thing about SL is that it is entirely user generated
[19:11] Erica Linden: but as a designer that means i have no idea how long the names of things will be, how many million items folks will have in their inventory, what level of complexity an object will have, etc
[19:12] Erica Linden: so it's sometimes a challenge to get it right the first time
[19:12] Erica Linden: we're about to release our early 2.1 beta version
[19:12] LillieJay Mills cheers
[19:12] Quinn Skyther: I guess 'checkspell' is too cutting edge to make its way into a legacy viewer
[19:12] Kerhop Seattle: thank heaven for decimal versions
[19:13] Frans Charming: Great!
[19:13] Kellan McKenna: yay :)
[19:13] Erica Linden: which will address a bunch of the things folks have been totally annoyed by
[19:13] Erica Linden: believe it or not, we live and die by the popular pjira issues
[19:13] Vanessa Hamer: that's SO refreshing to hear
[19:14] Erica Linden: even though it is absolutely TERRIFIYING to go in there and comment. ;)
[19:14] Kerhop Seattle: do they affect your performance reviews?
[19:14] Erica Linden: and unfortunatly, many of the things folks want are pretty darn difficult to wrangle
[19:14] Erica Linden: our performance reviews are quarterly and are affected by a bunch of things including the quality of work we have produced and the reviews of our coworkers
[19:15] Anna Darwinian: Hovertext penetrating opaque walls is difficult to wrangle?
[19:15] Erica Linden: the jira's we've worked on are a big part of it, yes
[19:15] Erica Linden: heh
[19:15] Erica Linden: maybe a bit
[19:15] Kerhop Seattle: ok :)
[19:15] Be Ewing: Erica -- it seems to me that we live and experience daily ... why are your reviews only quarterly?
[19:16] Erica Linden: and there's lots of fun stuff that's just getting quietly worked on in the background that we can't announce because it takes like a full quarter to qa some of it (cough cough mesh)
[19:16] Frans Charming smiles
[19:16] Anna Darwinian: :-)
[19:16] Be Ewing: Erica - but that's just it
[19:16] Erica Linden: i'm hoping these small things that you mention Victorian will be given more attention in the coming months
[19:16] Be Ewing: we experience 2nd Life without time dimensions
[19:17] Antique School Desks: Unable to find specified agent to request permissions.
[19:17] Be Ewing: and expect things to be delivered instantaneously
[19:17] Asimov Starsmith: hehe
[19:17] Erica Linden: I'm very proud of our viewer team for doing two things in this latest build - 1) focusing on the top pjira and bugs from the betatesters (stuff like the sidetray covering the world vs moving it over)
[19:18] Frans Charming nods
[19:19] Erica Linden: and 2) changing our scope quickly based on data and going from some feature-add stuff to focusing entirely and obsessively on CRASHES AND FRAMERATE
[19:19] Erica Linden: It has been really cool to watch.
[19:19] Erica Linden: and by focus, i mean Everybody.
[19:19] meghan Flinders: do you have residents test this before things like not being able to see chat easily and screen being covered would be picked up much quicker by
[19:19] Erica Linden: meghen - indeed we do
[19:19] meghan Flinders: and they didnt notice?
[19:20] Erica Linden: there were 500 NDA'd testers on viewer 2
[19:20] Erica Linden: several of which worked in our internal jira and filed bugs
[19:20] Kerhop Seattle: Speaking of framerates, any chance we could get an updated version of ?
[19:21] Erica Linden: and yep, they noticed. and we thought "ah, it'll be ok" and "not really a big deal" and other such inaccuate things. And got swept up in the 45,000 other things that needed fixing.
[19:21] Erica Linden: so, yeah. my bad, and it's now an option in preferences. it's really a personal preference, and i'm glad we let folks choose now.
[19:22] Frans Charming: Thank you for admitting that. :)
[19:22] Erica Linden: Frans - I wish I made great decisions all of the time.
[19:22] Erica Linden: sigh.
[19:23] Erica Linden: but so, it's pretty easy to get thinking the DIFFICULTproblems are the ones to focus on
[19:23] Frans Charming: That's ok. It is refreshing to hear someone say they made a mistake sometimes. :)
[19:23] Erica Linden: and ignore the tiny easy to change things
[19:24] Trance Mistwallow: erica. do you think in future that SL resources will be more evenly distributed between new AND old residents. i.e. When you are a new account crossing sim borders and teleports etc are instantaneous whereas once your inventory hits about 10,000 and u wear a few attachments these things take much much longer, not to mention the tp probs, it seems to me that although front end customer service and experiance is prioritised that i am always hearing from older residents that the second life experiance suffers greatly the more you accumulate over time, will this always be a problem with SL do you think? or will perhaps a new system be developed maybe a multiple-object-thread loading system for people with larger inventories but who are not unfairly overusing sim resources?...
[19:24] Erica Linden: it's kind of silly how many giant mountains we've been climbing to clean up stuff in the background (I personally touched and cleaned up every single panel and floater in the viewer to make sure there was consistancy and clean layout) and just kind of write off little things
[19:25] Erica Linden: hmm Trance - that's several questions - let me try and pull it apart
[19:25] Erica Linden: so first, yes resources should be pretty evenly distributed
[19:26] Trance Mistwallow: ok
[19:27] Erica Linden: and believe it or not, they were with viewer 2, but the line "new users" kept getting used as a substitute for "lord there's no way we have time to do that too" and considering the desparate need to clean up 1.23 in the background /code level, it ended up being more of a cleanup than a ZOMG new features build.
[19:27] Trance Mistwallow: i guess all i am trying to ask in a nutshell is that will similar resources be expended in keeping the SL experiance a fluid one with older residents as well as the newcomers?
[19:27] Trance Mistwallow: ][_ (( )) ][_
[19:27] Trance Mistwallow: i see
[19:28] Erica Linden: happily, because of the 2.0 cleanup work (killing embedded text strings, widgetizing ui stuff, etc etc) it's way faster now to iterate UI and fix stuff
[19:28] Trance Mistwallow: 2.0 plus is faster. :)
[19:29] Be Ewing: Erica -- I do have one question here
[19:29] Erica Linden: so - re: lots of inventory = lag i'm not the best person to address that, but i do know that there are some things that are purely related to the speed and power of yr graphics card (another thing that varies person to person)
[19:29] Be Ewing: I come to 2nd Life just to enjoy the experience and meet/learn from others
[19:29] Vanessa Hamer: Be? Please let Erica get to Victorian's Q first, so she's not overwhelmed
[19:30] Be Ewing: I still have older viewer .... but newer one too
[19:30] Trance Mistwallow: sure i understand that, i am merely reffering to the universal problems that all residents have over a cetain age, but i can save these questions for another occasion...
[19:30] Trance Mistwallow: also 10,000 is actually a small amount of inventory for someone a year or 2 old, mines is 30,000
[19:30] Be Ewing: Don't you think it would be good to switch back to older policy where at a certain point everyone switches to same viewer though others exist elsewhere?
[19:31] Erica Linden: Re: Disneyland (tm) - I think our old new user experience was really good for folks who like to figure it out themselves, explore, and twiddle various controls. However, there's also a bunch of folks who are potentially awesome residents and creators who jsut hit our new user experience and EXPLODE.
[19:32] Trance Mistwallow: ][_ (( )) ][_
[19:32] Erica Linden: one of the things i did early in my time at linden is run a ton of inperson user observations
[19:32] Erica Linden: we brought in random folks from different demographics who had never used secondlife and essentially watched them fail
[19:32] Patti Larimore: Are new residents going to be asked to fill out questionaire..on their interests..and then be placed in gateways to you know? Or are they already
[19:33] Erica Linden: and as someone who's job it is to make things easier, it was really hard to watch
[19:33] Trance Mistwallow: i hear in the future there may be a questionare at account creation so when they are lopgged on for first time they are placed in best location for their interests and with relevent info, as everyone has slightly diff resons to be here, is this true?
[19:33] meghan Flinders: tbh.......almost everyone starts as free account and to not be able to ask support questionsfor problems is a turnoff....
[19:33] Erica Linden: so, as in education, different people learn in different ways
[19:34] Erica Linden: and it's important to provide different avenues
[19:34] Quinn Skyther: Optimizing for shopping KA/KT makes SL look like a bloated 3D Google appliance
[19:34] Erica Linden: many people I watched learned by communicating with others - asking questions and pestering folks. ;) Many others read every word in front of them and loved notecards and tutorials
[19:35] Erica Linden: and others would rather eat glass than take a tutorial.
[19:35] Trance Mistwallow: so true erica
[19:35] Erica Linden: and our job really, is to provide access to information that is palatable to all these learning types
[19:35] Erica Linden: and really try to communicate WHY SL is so compelling.
[19:36] Erica Linden: and honestly (for me) that was hard to do in 1.23
[19:36] Tao Mistwalker: Oddly, I never had to take a class on the old viewer, tho. I feel completely lost in the new one.
[19:36] Erica Linden: because before we could even get to the "zomg look castles!" part of SL, folks were bailing because they couldnt figure out how to walk
[19:37] Erica Linden: and um we looked like shareware
[19:37] Trance Mistwallow: thats because u are so used to the old viewer, even though i find it hard too, fact is 2.0 plus IS more consistent with other web software
[19:37] Frans Charming: Tao, I have given RL classes with the 1.23 viewer. People are generaly lost quickly.
[19:37] Erica Linden: so the good news is SL tests way better with new users under viewer 2
[19:37] Antique School Desks: Unable to find specified agent to request permissions.
[19:37] Erica Linden: since it's more consistant, and there are a few more familiar UI metaphors
[19:38] Erica Linden: but that in no way solves the problem
[19:38] Trance Mistwallow: understandable
[19:38] Patti Larimore: Perhaps...but 1/2 this room is using 3rd party viewer, one that seems more user friendly.
[19:38] Erica Linden: and the next step is to figure out how to hook people up quickly with stuff that is intersting to them
[19:38] Erica Linden: patti - re; 3rd party viewers - well i certainly hope folks are using the viewer that works best for them!
[19:39] Erica Linden: that's why we are open source
[19:39] Ni Rumble: And has jiggly boob physics! :p
[19:39] Kellan McKenna giggles
[19:39] Erica Linden: also important!
[19:39] Frans Charming: stand still Erica, else Ni gets distracted.
[19:39] Patti Larimore: lol
[19:39] Trance Mistwallow: ][_ (( )) ][_
[19:39] Kerhop Seattle: Has LL collected any gpu statistics for viewer 2 in order to update
[19:39] Erica Linden: The great thing about being a frog is you don't ever have to worry about your hair or makeup
[19:39] Marion Questi: Good to hear the 2.0 tests well with new users. Is it helping with retetion and Premium conversion?
[19:39] Erica Linden: Kerhop - oh heck yes
[19:40] Vanessa Hamer: Great gown though!
[19:40] Savannah Blindside: I was about to say; a very well dressed frog!
[19:40] Erica Linden: as a matter of fact, since we've upgraded some our stat collection software, we've gotten a much better idea of the type of processing power new users have
[19:41] Erica Linden: and literally, priorities changed overnight
[19:41] Trance Mistwallow: ][_ (( )) ][_
[19:41] Trance Mistwallow: i can only speak for myself vis a vis emerald vs 2.0plus, emerald has comprehensive radar, useful for quickly spotting new residents who might be a little lost, and of course theres phantom lock, would be lost without that
[19:41] Kerhop Seattle: I'll be shopping for a new gpu later this year and it'd be nice to know which ones perform better similar to the chart on that web page
[19:41] Patti Larimore: How does the stat collection software work?...surveys...? or
[19:41] Erica Linden: sadly, most people coming into welcome island are using balsa wood and chewing gum computers
[19:41] Be Ewing: All -- I definitely am in the minority ... but don't you think most people just want to sign on and communicate and use 2nd Life and be transparent to all of these developer questions?
[19:42] Erica Linden: patti - again i'm a bit vague on the statistics but it's something serverside that figures out aggrigate % of different graphics cards and ram
[19:42] clank trader shouts: Ouch!!
[19:42] Erica Linden: as a result our QA folks started collecting really old computers
[19:42] Erica Linden: we shipped a bunch to offices all over the country
[19:42] Erica Linden: and everything is getting retested for average framerate
[19:42] Kerhop Seattle: no netbooks or iPhones?
[19:43] Erica Linden: Kerhop - I wish
[19:43] Kerhop Seattle: :)
[19:43] Frans Charming: That is good to hear.
[19:43] Kerhop Seattle: cool
[19:43] Erica Linden: right - so where was I?
[19:43] Erica Linden: I know i missed some questions
[19:43] Erica Linden: !!
[19:43] Erica Linden: heh
[19:44] Patti Larimore: Was curious about the entry survey.....
[19:44] Erica Linden: I don't think that is a problem
[19:44] Erica Linden: oh the viewer 2 survey?
[19:44] Trance Mistwallow: yes
[19:44] Patti Larimore: if there was going to be one. I am education manager for GOHA and ....was told
[19:44] Patti Larimore: new residents would be filling out survey
[19:44] Erica Linden: i wasn't involved in making that but it was intended as a way to get info from people in a friendlier way that pjira
[19:44] Patti Larimore: if they are interested in winter sports for ex. they go to that gateway
[19:45] Quinn Skyther: Survey's don't work well when users don't know what they don't know
[19:45] Erica Linden: a couple of the release managers and qa have been squishing the feedback into actionable jira for us
[19:45] Erica Linden: (actionable and drama-free)
[19:45] Erica Linden: Quinn - SO true
[19:45] Patti Larimore: Excellent point the gateway will be manned
[19:45] Patti Larimore: volunteers
[19:45] Patti Larimore: hopefull:))
[19:46] Erica Linden: imho, the best way to tell how someone works with software is to observe them using it
[19:46] Erica Linden: and the best way to get folks to cool content is to provide a bunch of browsable options
[19:47] Patti Larimore: lol
[19:47] Be Ewing: so net net bottomline ... I am a straight user ... giving you most direct feedback ... and you seem to be totally oblivious to the value of this feedback interactively given
[19:47] Quinn Skyther: I was surprised to see a lack of 3GL-like look and feel skins
[19:47] Ni Rumble: Touching on Trance's question concerning massive inventory accumulation...will SL ever allow the back up of inventory to hard drive? Or would that just make it too easy for people to pirate content?
[19:47] Be Ewing: wouldn't best way to get feedback to have 2nd life interactive sessions here rather than pjira/jira etc?
[19:48] Erica Linden: I rather hate those websites, like my insurance company, that ask you "are you a customer or an employee" and you don't know which to pick because you are an employee SOMEWHERE and your COMPANY is a customer and you don't want to miss any good options so you end up picking both. ;)
[19:48] Erica Linden: or university sites tend to do this
[19:48] Erica Linden: Students | Faculty | Researchers
[19:48] Erica Linden: people are often all three!
[19:48] Erica Linden: it's pretty difficult to define yourself in that way
[19:49] Erica Linden: Ni - lord i have no idea
[19:49] Be Ewing: Erica -- I will try one mor time
[19:49] Kerhop Seattle: even "male or female?" is tough for some people ;)
[19:49] Be Ewing: I am an individual user of your product
[19:49] Erica Linden: pirating is definitely something we all want to prevent
[19:49] Be Ewing: I am not affiliated with any organization
[19:50] Jayleden Miles: Be please be patient and let Erica have a chance at answering everyones questions and concerns.
[19:50] Vanessa Hamer: ty Professor Miles
[19:50] Erica Linden: Be - i'm try9ing to read scrollback - your question is pretty spread out
[19:50] Kellan McKenna nods
[19:51] Erica Linden: are you asking if i think there should be One Viewer to Rule them All?
[19:51] Tao Mistwalker: lol
[19:51] Erica Linden: or are you suggesting inworld sessions such as this for gathering feedback?
[19:52] Savannah Blindside: I think there was also a suggestion about an alternative to jira - more live help
[19:52] Vanessa Hamer: Miss Erica, it appears Be has left
[19:52] Erica Linden: ah ok
[19:52] LillieJay Mills thinks Be meant the latter but doesn't see her anymore
[19:52] Erica Linden: oh
[19:52] Kerhop Seattle votes for the latter
[19:52] Erica Linden: well i will try to answer anyway
[19:52] Trance Mistwallow: i think most ppl who use 3rd party viewers would say there are prob one or 2 features that are the reason they use that viewer, is good to havethe choice i think
[19:53] Erica Linden: re: jira vs live help - live help is pretty hard to scale over 10,000 users a day or whatever the numbers are lately
[19:53] Erica Linden: it is very costly
[19:53] Erica Linden: and we are a free service for the majority of residents
[19:53] Marion Questi: Have you been able to measure the impact of V2 on new user retention and Premium account conversions?
[19:54] Erica Linden: jira serves a different purpose - it's a way to catch the comments and patches from open source contributors and residents patient and passionate enough to deal with jira
[19:54] Professor Viper: you had a lot of volunteer help, the Mentors, and you shut them down
[19:55] Patti Larimore: Erica..Trance and I ...and maybe others in the room..are members or sl Mentoring programs...part of RHN.....does LL have any way..or any reason to keep track of how many residents provide assistance to new residents
[19:55] Trance Mistwallow: the new RHN system sems to be working better than the old one group system
[19:55] Patti Larimore: LL supports RHN and many Lindens are members I understand
[19:55] Trance Mistwallow: i have seen a great surge in enthusiams on the front line at welcome areas since its introduction
[19:55] Erica Linden: Professor Viper and Patti - I'm not very up to date on the Mentor vs RHN issues unfortunately
[19:56] Trance Mistwallow: ][_ (( )) ][_
[19:56] Trance Mistwallow: ... maybe we're going off topic
[19:56] Kerhop Seattle: hmm, it seems if mentors/rhn volunteers are hanging out at welcome areas to new residents of V2 that they should be involved with V2 stuff. given a heads up, common questions about V2,e tc....
[19:57] Patti Larimore: Kerhop..true..most are
[19:57] Trance Mistwallow: yes i agree to an extent
[19:57] Patti Larimore: I use both viewers....
[19:57] Trance Mistwallow: i am hoping we can repeat this meeting with the RHN groups at next convenience
[19:57] Erica Linden: Kerhop - that's why we try so hard to announce and release beta versions (which often are buggy!) despite their not-readyness
[19:57] Patti Larimore: But LL has done an excellent job of providing tutorials in help areas
[19:58] Kerhop Seattle: 'tis true
[19:58] Erica Linden: it's a way to get feedback, iterate, and most of all give folks a headsup on what is coming
[19:58] Trance Mistwallow: there are too few of these sessions
[19:58] Erica Linden: similarly, the tech blogs have been really active in posting mockups, proposed features, etc
[19:58] Vanessa Hamer: Hey guys, one more question, I don't want to keep Erica too long.
[19:58] Professor Viper: I would use V2 more often, but every time I switch, eiter way, it resets all of my preferences
[19:59] Patti Larimore: Would be excellent if Lindens could on occasion with mentor groups ....
[19:59] Patti Larimore: At least heads of groups
[19:59] meghan Flinders: Erica..what are the changes we will see with viewer 2.1
[19:59] Savannah Blindside: I've had that happend and I *hadn't* switched viewers
[19:59] Kerhop Seattle: I like PViper's question
[19:59] Erica Linden: it's the fist time i've worked like that and I really like it. I was converted. it was pretty scary at first to post my proposed design document to the blog - flaming is pretty depressing, but Nyx and I got amazing feedback and I think we made better decisions because of it
[19:59] Erica Linden: reading up...
[20:00] meghan Flinders: there are many mentor groups..possbbly leave meetings open to all
[20:00] Trance Mistwallow: i have asked erica in IM if she is willing to repeat this meeting, i have offered to gather all RHN groups at one venue so all who want can be there
[20:00] Patti Larimore: Any connection..information sharing...I agree
[20:01] Erica Linden: ah - preferences resetting - yeah. switching back and forth has it's charms.
[20:01] Erica Linden: personally, I save a copy of my settings file and replace it when i upgrade (if i'm not testing new user experience)
[20:01] Quinn Skyther: Hard to focus features of on a "generic experience" engine. What is the LL prototypical user experience reference? Gamer? Shopper? Business Collaborator?
[20:01] Professor Viper: how do you do that
[20:02] Professor Viper: file name?
[20:02] Erica Linden: it depends partly on whether the version you are going to has teh same app name - so if you install a new version of SL Beta 2.1 over an old version Zap go your settings
[20:02] Trance Mistwallow: i would say, chat room user, networking etc
[20:02] Pacoima Core: I have a simple question?
[20:02] Erica Linden: Viper - in mac they are in library > aplication settings > sl
[20:02] Vanessa Hamer: That'll be it after Pacoima's, OK?
[20:03] Professor Viper: how about PC
[20:03] Trance Mistwallow: before you log off erica could you quickly respond to the IM i sent? and.. thanks so much for your patience
[20:03] Pacoima Core: is it worth my $10 /month to use tech support?
[20:03] Erica Linden: Trance - i'd be happy to - re: viewer 2.1 features - there is going to be a blog post really soon and i don't wanna steal their thunder
[20:03] Trance Mistwallow: perhaps after the blog release?
[20:03] Pacoima Core: in lieu of attending clases in worlk?
[20:03] meghan Flinders: where will that be?
[20:04] Vanessa Hamer: I think Pacoima's "Premium Membership" question is a great one to close on.
[20:04] Erica Linden: Pacoima - I'm not sure I can answer that - are you asking about the value propasition?
[20:04] Erica Linden: ah
[20:04] Erica Linden: ok
[20:04] Pacoima Core: i guess so
[20:05] Erica Linden: again, that's a personal decision. our support folks have gotten great reviews, and Linden homes is pretty cool.
[20:05] Patti Larimore: Thank you very Much Erica..for this. Interesting.
[20:05] Erica Linden: Yo I just make software though.
[20:05] Erica Linden: ;)
[20:05] Erica Linden: You do what you've gotta do.
[20:05] Vanessa Hamer: Erica, thanks SO much!
[20:05] Tao Mistwalker: Yes, thank you for your time, Erica... :)
[20:05] Frans Charming: Thank you Erica.
[20:05] Kellan McKenna: Thank you Erica! :)
[20:06] Erica Linden: Thank you - I'm really glad to hear your questions.
[20:06] Trance Mistwallow: thankyou so much
[20:06] Pacoima Core: ♫♪♪♫ APPLAUSE!!! ♫♪♪♫
[20:06] Savannah Blindside applaudes
[20:06] Q-Translator v0.21 - English: Too many HTTP requests too fast.
[20:06] Frans Charming applauds
[20:06] Erica Linden: Dinner awaits!
[20:06] Ariell Enoch: thank you
[20:06] Erica Linden: :)
[20:06] Jilich Lavendel: great presentation
[20:06] Carl Metropolitan: Thank you for coming.
[20:06] Vanessa Hamer: Thanks to all who attended as well
[20:06] Quinn Skyther: Thanks for the information.
[20:06] Pacoima Core: for she's a jolly good fella.....
[20:06] Erica Linden: hee
[20:06] Erica Linden: ribbit