It's possible that people who don't know me personally will be reading this, so I suppose I should introduce myself.
I'm a Second Life tigress. I joined SL in May 2009 because some good friends are there. The friends are what keep me in SL instead of jumping ship to Inworldz or some other grid. To me, SL is first and foremost a communications medium for people that just happens to have aspects of a game about it. It's not a game in and of itself.
I've built and scripted bondage furniture for almost my whole time on SL. I've written my own script suite for furniture. It's open source and freely available, reusable, and redistributable. If you want a copy, just ask me. I sell my furniture from my store, Tonya's Restraint Works.
Because of that, I've been using third party viewers for almost as long as I've been on SL. I started out with Marine Kelley's Restrained Life Viewer, and then switched to Emerald when I got tired of waiting for RLV to be updated on the Mac. Emerald had the richest feature set and was actually updated on the Mac at the same time it was on Windows.
When Emeraldgate happened, the team was in disarray. There was a beta release of Emerald that was supposed to be a major step forward. I couldn't find out, because it wasn't available on the Mac because it was broken there and nobody was left available to build and test. So I volunteered. The next thing I knew, I was a member of the Emerald team...for all of four days before the project was killed.
I'm now the lead Mac developer for the Phoenix Viewer. I'm also helping to organize the non-profit corporation to carry on the project's work. I'm learning a lot about Second Life that I never knew in the process. I'll share those insights here.