Linux, and Snapshot, and Firestorm, Oh My!

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Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

This weekend was very busy for me and sadly, filled with some disappointing news.

Some good news is that Firestorm should be releasing a new update to their viewer shortly.

Yay!

I have been using other viewers, but Firestorm is still my favorite by far.

However, I was a bit taken aback to read that LL will likely be removing the ‘snapshot to email’ function from the snapshot floater.

Apparently emails sent this way are often flagged as spam and deleted or sent to the junk folder.

To combat the problem, LL has decided to just remove the function.

LL thinks that the function gets very little usage, and they are probably right.

However, not having that feature breaks some of the functionality of my CTS Wardrobe.

The wardrobe system is a way to visually organize your inventory and/or outfits by taking a photo and then adding tags to it.

So it also serves as a database of sorts, as you can search by tag.

You take the snapshot and then email it to your CTS email address, and it updates your online wardrobe.

Without the snapshot to email function, there’s no easy way to do it.

You can add textures to the wardrobe hud, but the textures must be full perm – most are not.

Additionally, many items don’t come with any texture at all, so you would have to take a photo, upload it to SL (and pay the $10L fee), in order to drop the texture into your wardrobe hud.

At this point, I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad that I haven’t completed my wardrobe project.

I had hopes of being able to take photos and categorize not only my clothing items, but my plethora of building props as well.

I’m crossing my fingers that the creator of the wardrobe will come up with some genius workaround.  -.-

The last bit of new was the most disappointing.

I first read an article about LL requesting help from Linux developers by Inara Pey.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, because I don’t know many people who use Linux – except one.

I don’t know much about Linux other than it is an open-source OS.

While I think I’m computer-savvy enough to install a new OS on my PC, I would be too afraid I would bork everything trying to do so.

The gist of the request is that LL says there aren’t enough Linux users to justify them using resources to keep the Linux version of the viewer updated.

So, they asked for helped from Linux developers.

From the comments I’ve read on various blogs and forums, it doesn’t sound like there will be anyone willing to step up to the task.

Which means that the Linux viewer is likely going away.

Without support from LL, TPV’s won’t have any code to work from, so eventually, as new things are added to the viewer, the unsupported Linux viewer will break.

My friend Nai, who is a Linux user, pointed me towards a second article about LL and Linux.

Sadly, Nai expects his access to SL to end within a year.

The only way to continue accessing SL would be to spend some significant money to change to a different OS, something he isn’t interested in doing anyway.

Many users may also not have the financial freedom to buy a new OS.

Nai has been in SL for years, and has run a successful club for most (if not all) of them.

He actually said that if not for a few factors (like the fact that his premium membership was just renewed for a year), he would likely already be gone from SL.

He has started making plans for his eventual withdrawal from SL.

I have to wonder, even though Linux users may be a small number, how many users this decision will actually affect.

It’s had an effect on me, even though I don’t use Linux, because I will be losing several good friends and a long-running venue.

Nai and I have had many conversations about the future of SL (and if there is one).

The bottom line, of course, is that LL is in sole control of the end of SL.

I don’t see it happening for quite a while, as it is a source of revenue for the company.

However, there are many past examples of users being left high and dry when a company decides to shut down.

I have visited other virtual worlds to see what they were like, but I have stayed in SL for a couple of reasons.

I have been here so long, it feels comfortable.

And I have been here so long, I have a significant amount of RL money invested in my avatar.

But, as they say, all good things must come to end – eventually.

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4 thoughts on “Linux, and Snapshot, and Firestorm, Oh My!

  1. Woof woof. Couple of things to add!

    1. You know at least 3 Linux users from Moons. How often do you hear ‘Hi guys, I use Windows?’ 🙂 You prolly know more Linux users outside of Moons, but we are a bit geeky at Moons.

    2. My exit plan has kinda been in motion for 6-8 months, I just thought I would be here a lot longer. I guess I have a year to see how this pans out, but I am not super interested in building on anything on a platform that I may lose access to at any time.

    3. The way in which Oz said Linux devs need to step up was a kick in the teeth to the devs that have stepped up. A quote from Johnnie Carling sums it up :

    “Just saying

    https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/STORM-1854

    This was a big problem, SL crashes on startup.

    I opened this jira on May 8 2012
    I found a fix on May 9th 2012

    LL Fixed the viewer on Nov 20 2012

    This my dear Oz is one of the reasons why you don’t get the help on the Linux viewer that you would like.”

    I mean that’s a pretty spectacular bug! 6 months to apply a fix that was given to you by a resident? Really? If you had the ability to program and had been submitting bug fixes for 10 years to LL’s viewer, and having them sat on like that, would you honestly be inclined to support LL? Also, how insulted would you be when there was no acknowledgement made of the work Linux devs put in and were often ignored?

    1. That ‘kick in the teeth’ sentiment is something I saw on pretty much all the comments I came across. However, if that sentiment is true, why have people stayed? Apathy? Lack of better options?

  2. Damn! I know Nai is a big proponent of all things come to an end….lord knows he’s redesigned the theatre so many times, killing one beloved one after another, but I do have SL friends I will dearly miss and he is one of them. He was the first avatar I talked to, he introduced me to dance, he turned me into a raging geek who is addicted to Dr. Who and has always had a place where a core group of older than dirt avatars can show up and know that they are always welcome, they can steal the stream and play loud music, they can invite their friends over, hang out and learn from each other as well as have an odd little support system when it all goes to hell in a handbasket. He has also seen so much in SL and knows how to navigate some of the landmines that get the best of the rest of us. Hopefully the Linux folks can find a way…..but I’m going to hug the damn flea-ridden dog every time I see him just in case……

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