Machinima Artists Guild

Moderators: Cisko, Larkworthy Antfarm, Celestial Elf, Asil, Natascha Randt

There is very disturbing news from well-known developer Gwyneth Llewelyn about the attempt to legitimize the distribution of a dubious 3rd party client called “Neil Life” which appears to be full of illegal features that allow people to steal everything except scripts in SecondLife, . Here's the link to her blog:.http://gwynethllewelyn.net/2009/08/07/spammers-are-disseminating-a-...

Personally, I find the viewers Linden Labs offers to be less and less functional. The last release was giving me about 6 fps before it crashed and I was in an empty SIM with an ARC of less than 200. Tweaking got it up to about 10, but when I tried engaging in a SIM with activity, I lasted about 10 minutes before the dreaded stack-dump error.

So how does the User determine what coders are reputable? I've been using the Kirsten viewer because Suzanna Soyinka (the developer of CCS) and some of the machimima makers here, recommend it.

I'm testing the Meerkat viewer now, because I like the idea of being able to use the same client for multiple virtual environments. Meerkat seems to be legitimate, they are associated with the Open Metaverse Foundation and appear to be working with Linden Labs on development ...plus I haven't found anything that indicates that viewer has exploits, but I'm not a coder so I'm basing my assessment on a lack of complaints.

Cavaet Emptor appears to be Linden Labs practical position on third-party viewers. Their official download page points to the official viewer, release candidates and Snowglobe ...see http://secondlife.com/support/downloads.php, and the WIKI page that points to third-party downloads ...see http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Alternate_viewers ... has a honking big disclaimer "Third-party, hybrid, and homebrew viewers are not associated with LindenLab, are governed by their own respective licenses. LindenLab is not responsible for any desired or undesired results in association with those viewers."

There is a JIRA requesting Linden Lab implement a plug-in authentication model to prevent phishing abuses. See: http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-14778

Also found a second, related JIRA ...see http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-4636 ...which proposes an authentication or licensing scheme for third-party viewers.

I encourage Guild Members to review these JIRAs and vote for them. Please, don't be deterred by the posters who advise nothing can be done about the problem. Small groups of thoughtful committed people can [and do] change the world every day.

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That's a great help, thanks for all this info!
Thanks Asil! I just logged on to post this from a Massively blog
http://www.massively.com/2009/08/10/dodgy-second-life-viewer-doing-...
which deals with the same problem -
thx for this important issue. like to share a few brief impressions with my exp using the alternative viewers.
- meerkat
the main advantage is to pick up fullperm obj. and move them to other worlds works for me. textures get weird names, but big deal. Killerapplication for SecondInventory.
had probs with media streams and voice/lipsync - won't work @ all .-(
- snowglobe
well, it's faster. to load textures via web orientated database, but B U G G Y!!! had to replace my whole mansion wall textures - not funny
- emerald
works pretty good - love the radar and renderdistance. very handy. but here too - no voice/lipsync poss.

all of the alternatives doesn't generate the shadow option.

so - mostly i stay with the latest SL client.

happy crashing and testing .-)
Being a developer of viewers I read the jira with much interest, some good points were raised. And I certainly have no objection to some sort of registration.
On the subject of trust I think the following common sense precautions should help a person decide if a third party viewer is for them.

1) Who makes the viewer? Do they have an account with SL? How long have they been in SL, things like payment info on file and land owning help re-inforce the credentials ( they have more to lose! )

2) How long has the viewer been around? The longer and more established the better.

3) Were is the download? if its rapidshare or a torrent do not touch with a bargepole! If the developer has dedicated blog/web presense and even better a bona-fide sourceforge account thats all good.

4) If you decide to download have uptodate anti-virus software and ALWAYS check any downloaded binary before installing

5) Recommendations from others are helpful but in all cases always check with all of the above.

and last but not least if there is any doubt even the smallest DON'T use DON'T download :)
I promise you any developer worth his/her salt would not be upset and totally understand.

Best Regards Kirstenlee Cinquetti
I know one SL user (who shall remain anonymous) that bragged about their ability to copy stuff and bring unlimited textures inworld for free with their viewer. They then insisted they only use this viewer ethically... (Knowing human nature I find that hard to believe.)
---> Lowe. Unless you are a coder who can understands how the viewer is working on your computer, here is my question to the person you mentioned: if the viewer you are using was designed to break the copy/mod/transfer permissions of the content inworld, you are using a tool that was designed to steal. If the maker of the viewer is fine stealing the intellectual property of the people in-world, what makes this person think said maker won't also see the user of this viewer as fair game also? /me shakes her head in disbelief.
I agree completely!

Asil Karu said:
---> Lowe. Unless you are a coder who can understands how the viewer is working on your computer, here is my question to the person you mentioned: if the viewer you are using was designed to break the copy/mod/transfer permissions of the content inworld, you are using a tool that was designed to steal. If the maker of the viewer is fine stealing the intellectual property of the people in-world, what makes this person think said maker won't also see the user of this viewer as fair game also? /me shakes her head in disbelief.
Lindens' have started a wiki thread requesting members chime in on the functionality that matters to them. Reads like fact-finding in anticipation of an update to how they plan to manage (or start managing) the support of third-party viewers.

Here's the link: https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/community/blog/2009/10/20/th...
Linden Labs formally announced their updated policy on third party viewers: http://secondlife.com/corporate/tpv.php

The goals of the policy and program are to:

* Prevent Residents' passwords from being stolen
* Protect Residents from griefing and other harmful conduct
* Guard against intellectual property infringement
* Preserve our ability to provide you with high-quality service
* Involve the community in evaluating third-party viewers
* Create a visible repository for alternative viewers with novel and interesting applications

Massively has given it a big thumbs down, but I'm glad the Lab is making some effort to protect the user community. Time will tell.
Here's the Lab's official third-party viewer page (http://viewerdirectory.secondlife.com/).

I would counsel anyone wanting to test a third-party viewer restrict themselves to this list, as your personal information (login credentials and through them, access to whatever credit card or Paypal account you may have linked to your SL account) could be stolen by an unscrupulous developer compiling an illegal viewer.
New faster and original viewers for Second Life - "Second Life Popular". It's have many intresting features. See more in: http://inflife.net
As of this writing, this viewer is NOT listed on the official third party viewer page.

clm said:
New faster and original viewers for Second Life - "Second Life Popular". It's have many intresting features. See more in: http://inflife.net

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