Friday, January 20, 2012

Doctor Who Series 6 and Sarah Jane Adventures Series 4, Decision Time, and Demolishing the Lies About Viewer 1


I was able to get hold of both seasons on DVD, and once I've gone through all episodes of SJA, I'll issue a review of the latter series.

I maintain my criticism of Moffat's tenure as head writer of the show as one fraught with inconsistency — on an overall storytelling basis, that is.  Moffat does well in doing one-off stories, but trying to keep a longer term story arc running and maintaining story continuity are two tasks he can't seem to balance.  We'll see how Sarah Jane Adventures' final season pans out.  Considering it was the last complete series of the show before lead actress Elizabeth Sladen passed away, there's going to be a certain poignancy watching that is bound to color my review, but I'll try to do justice with an honest one.


Now, I've been thinking a while on the events of the past year or so.  2011 was, needless to say, horrible for me, and a fairly large chunk of the SL side of things was my own fault.  Swiping prims from a copied Dalek avatar in a fit of impatience was pretty stupid, and that's going to haunt me for a long time to come, no matter that I paid back the guy whose builds were swiped and admitted what I did.

Since then I've passed the remains of Archangel Network over to others, and it now exists in the form of Sci-Fi Enterprises.  Right now the only things it sells are unscripted TTC exteriors and freebies, and that's it.  I haven't had the time or the inclination to package up my unscripted console builds, but I've been seriously thinking of changing that.  I'm tired of having them sit in my inventory gathering pixel dust.

Of course, even if I were to do that, what then?  Who'd buy an unscripted console?  The whole point of having a TTC in Second Life is to have a grid-wide teleporter that serves triple duty as a skybox and role-playing scene.  It kind of defeats the purpose if it doesn't actually do more than look pretty.

It doesn't help that two of my closest friends in SL are on indefinite hiatus from SL, and one of them was a scripter whose skills were slowly but steadily improving.  I was hoping that my consoles would one day be sold with a functioning set of scripts again, and that is true of two of them, which are sold through Novatech.  Those are the Steampunk and the Zero 3.0 console.  But the rest languish in my inventory, and that's just a waste.  I'd love to be able to script them myself, but I've had to accept that I'll never be able to find someone willing to teach me what I need to know.

So what are my options?  I can try to convince my scripter friend to return to SL, hoping she'll script my consoles for me, or I can hire someone else to do them up and do a fifty-fifty split on sales.  But then, given that the last scripter I had disrespected me, then stabbed me in the back by trying to take over my company, I've got obvious issues with the idea of letting someone else have that kind of advantage over me again.  I've been burned too often by trusting all the wrong people.  Never again.  I can always submit my builds to other sellers, but most of the Whovian TTC sellers in SL are either severely backed up on submitted builds or not inclined to have anything to do with me.

I'll have to make a decision soon as to what I want to do with my builds, and more than that,what I really want to do in SL.  I have goals I'd like to achieve, but never the means.  And really, there just isn't any point to having those goals if I can't ever possess the resources to accomplish them.  And then what's the point of even staying in SL?

Ya know what I'm sayin'?


There are certain people going around spreading lies about the fate of SL Viewer 1.23.  They claim that because Linden Lab is no longer offering updates or support, this means that the viewers are going to go away any time now, so we had better get on the crappily designed, highly unstable, resource-hogging Viewer 2 and its clones — or we will be forced out of SL altogether.  The truth is that Viewer 1, or more accurately, Third Party Viewers (TPVs) that use the Viewer 1 graphic user interface (GUI), are going to be around at least until their developers decide to quit the projects.

One person to expose the Big SL Viewer Lie for what it is is Henri Beauchamp, the programmer who brought us Cool VL Viewer.  Henri's code work was incorporated into the latest Phoenix Viewer release, albeit grudgingly and still with the lies about Viewer 1 going the way of the dinosaurs.

Why is this claim a lie?  For one thing, no one making it is able to give a definitive date for Viewer 1 GUI being shut off.  This is because, according to witnesses, Rodvik Humble himself stated that Linden Labs "would NOT be turning off v1.x access - just that they would NOT be updating the 1.x viewer themselves, so their version would not be kept up with the new features - that would be the responsibility of the TPV coders."

What this means is that the CEO of Linden Lab himself is saying that there are no plans to turn off Viewer 1 access — no company is stupid enough to literally block access to its product for more than half its user base.  They're simply not offering updates or support for it anymore.  As long as TPV programmers are able to back-port features like mesh and other goodies, like Henri Beauchamp, Boy Lane, and the Singularity Viewer developers, SL Viewers that use the Viewer 1 GUI will stick around.  As one member posted on Henri's forum, the liars are starting with the false assumption that a viewer's features are inextricably bound to its GUI, and then using that false assumption to create a false rationalization for why they want to force everyone else who uses SL onto the Viewer 2 GUI viewers, namely, theirs.  But as was pointed out, "under-the-hood" features simply are not tied to the GUI.  At this point the only real difference between the official Linden Lab viewers and the TPVs generated using the Viewer 1 GUI is only...the GUI.

It is highly dishonest for people who love Viewer 2 GUI viewers and their clones, and despise Viewer 1 GUI TPVs, to claim that those viewers with the Viewer 1 GUI are going away.  They're not.  Linden Lab isn't claiming that they are turning off access to Viewer 1.  TPV developers who still like the GUI on Viewer 1 will continue to back-port Viewer 2 and Viewer 3 features into the Viewer 1 GUI until the only thing that is still "Viewer 1" about them is how the finished program looks on your screen; in fact, they're pretty much that way already.  If you don't like the Viewer 2 or Viewer 3 GUI, or if you simply find that the Linden Lab-approved viewers are still too buggy and unstable, you do have alternatives, and you will continue to have them for a while.

For your downloading enjoyment:

Cool VL Viewer -