[opensource-dev] Client-side scripting in Snowglobe

Maggie Leber (sl: Maggie Darwin) maggie at matrisync.com
Thu Feb 18 05:22:30 PST 2010

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 7:42 AM, Morgaine
<morgaine.dinova at googlemail.com> wrote:
> I referred recently to Linden's internal project "Firefly" to add
> client-side scripting to SL viewers.  This has been the topic of open
> discussion at several Office Hours with Lindens in SL, but that openness has
> not extended to many design details --- the Firefly design process is not
> open to the community...

Personally, I find it difficult to escape the conclusion that the
preposterous amount of secrecy now surrounding viewer development has
any legitimate purpose.

The argument that it is to preserve some commercial competitive
advantage for Linden Research is silly. Competing solutions are
constrained by their own architectures in the functions they can
deliver. (I suppose it might be possible that this stealth systems
design might be intended to sabotage efforts by other users of the
Second Life Viewer codebase. If so, I'd be interested in the legal
implications of that relative to antitrust and unfair trade practices
law. But IANAL.)

Most charitably, I'm left to conclude that -- like so many other
activities conducted by Linden Research -- it is being done in secret
with the intention of maximizing spin control of reactions of the user
community until such initiatives are fait accompli.

Whatever the motivation for this, I think soliciting and exploiting
developer involvement and contributions from the open-source community
and then turning around and treating them like mushrooms is

Trade press reporting of statements made by Joe Linden about
restrictions to be placed on third-party viewers (including
implementation of mandatory technical standards that enable servers to
discriminate against various viewer implementations) call for an
immediate response  from Linden Research that goes beyond simple
ad-hominem attacks on their source to authoritative clarification,
denial or confirmation.

"You'l find out when it's most advantageous to us to tell you" is a
deep expression of contempt for your customers and business partners.

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