The End Of The Emerald Viewer

Well, it’s a sad day when I hear that it’s the end of Emerald the Third Party Viewer, which Linden Labs has succeeded in destroying by encouraging them to destroy themselves.

I have read with incredulity the events that have been unfolding over the last couple of weeks. Firstly, there were the issues over Emerald’s apparent misconduct, then there were the onerous new conditions Emerald had to meet in restrictive timescales, then their infighting and implosion.

For those who have no idea what this means in terms of Second Life well it’s this…..Linden Labs have their own official viewers, their own portals if you will to the virtual world. There are also alternative third party viewers built by others (not Linden Lab) for the benefit of residents and those who wish to have other functionality. The original Linden viewer was ok but needed updating, so when they announced the introduction of the new viewer 2 you can imagine the excitement and anticipation. What a total let down Viewer 2 has been…but here’s not the place to dwell on that again (see my other post ‘SL Viewer 2 Rant’…for my views on that issue). In short the introduction of Viewer 2 by Linden Lab has probably been their costliest mistake to date, not just in the investment they’ve made in time and money but also the real and significant impact it has had on declining resident numbers. I’m sure Linden Labs will refute this but anyone who has been a resident for a while knows that there are fewer people in world and this has started to have a big impact on in world investment. Major store owners are downsizing (and I’ve seen many many examples of this) and many creators have seen a general and continuing downward trend in sales.

So how does Emerald fit into all of this? It was the alternative viewer of choice for an incredible 50% of all those who logged into the virtual world. It had extra functionality that helped you make sense of our often complex and  strange 3d world and for builders and content makers like myself  it had many of extras to aid the act of creation. In a word it was better than Linden Labs’ own viewer and 50% of those who logged in can’t all be wrong.

So where do we go from here….for me using Viewer 2 is just a non starter, it just doesn’t work properly, makes building anything harder, is glitchy, rezzes slowly and looks pants. Before anyone writes in t0 say ‘you need to get a better computer’ I already have a super fast computer with a high end graphics card, so if it doesn’t work on that, it ain’t gonna work. I’ve tried some of the other third party viewers but none are for me. I  can’t get used to Kirsten’s viewer but will give it another go, Impudence just doesn’t do textures justice and the others…. nah. I’ll have to stick to Snowglobe and hope that Emerald will one day, rise Phoenix like from the ashes in a new, even better version. I also hope that they will be able to learn the lessons from the past so that the same mistakes are not made second time around…I hope so.

What do you think…let me know by completing the survey!