[opensource-dev] Snowglobe 2 and Open Source

Howard Look howard at lindenlab.com
Tue Feb 23 11:42:43 PST 2010

Hi Open Source devs,

As you probably saw, we just launched Viewer 2 to public Beta. We've been dark for a long time, but it is for good reason: We needed to do a total overhaul of our user experience and that's not something best done by a large group. Honestly, there are times when we had an awful lot of cooks in the kitchen just with our internal team!

We also today are launching Snowglobe 2, the Open Source package of Viewer 2.0. Merov has been working really hard to make this happen on the same day that we launched the Viewer 2 Public Beta, so please send him lots of love. As I type, Merov is pushing the svn repository and updating the Snowglobe wiki.

We've been completely consumed with getting Viewer 2.0 out the door, which is why you've heard so little from us about where we plan to go from here. But I want to reiterate: We are committed to open source and to supporting the open development community. We embrace the notion that this community develops viewers that serve the needs of a wide range of Residents while we pursue a broader consumer market.

I realize that it frustrates some that we are not a completely "open development" project, i.e. we do not do our internal development in a public repository. I do not expect this change in the near future. Over time, we hope that core components of our code can be developed in the open, while the functionality that we wish to keep proprietary can be developed internally. I expect us to evolve to a model that is less like Firefox, and more like Safari+WebKit, where the core engine is an open development project but the high level app is proprietary. Unfortunately, we're not there yet. Our code is not yet modular enough to support that model.

There have been many wonderful ideas here recently regarding viewer scriptability, and that's definitely an area we intend to pursue. It goes hand-in-hand with making a more modular code base. The time hasn't been right for us to engage deeply in this conversation; again, we've been quite busy getting 2.0 out the door. Once the dust settles from the 2.0  launch and we're on track to deliver 2.1 in short order, we'll be back and very interested in engaging on this topic.

Thanks for your support and patience.


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