08 February 2011

Answering anti-v1 FUD

Ash Qin has been passing around the following notecard full of FUD, arguing that people shouldn't use version 1-based viewers:
Users of 1.x viewers might not be aware...
As it stands, the 1.x viewer branch currently creates more lag and issues for other Second life residents as they are more harmful to simulator resources. In the 2.x branch of Second life, textures, assets, inventory and even various detailed information are downloaded from dedicated servers for these resources.
Many 1.x viewers don’t even support these options and those that do are using outdated methods or buggy implementations that automatically fall back onto older methods. These older methods do not request the data from the dedicated servers, but instead hammer the region with requests which degrades performance of the region for everyone. The difference measured in a region between ten users using a 1.x viewer and ten using a 2.x viewer on a region can be enormous resource wise.
Additionally, a few popular 3rd party 1.x viewers use various non-standard methods where standards have been established. One example is the use of secondary attachment points, when Second life supports attaching attachments to any point multiple times without needing to readjust attachments in the 2.x branch of viewers. The non-standard attachment points are incompatible with all the different viewers out there, while we have already a proper standard for them, this stifles the Second life user experience as 1.x viewer developers are not conforming to standards.
To summarize, the 1.x viewers are introducing more lag and creating incompatibility which reduces the user experience exponentially. 
I ask that you be more considerate and not ruin other people’s Second life experience - please don't use a 1.x viewer.
Thank you for taking the time to read this,
Quite simply, Ash, you're full of prunes.

What he's referring to in the paragraphs talking about lag is HTTP GET for textures. (No code, not even Linden Lab's Viewer 2 production releases, uses HTTP fetching for inventory. Remember the inventory problems last December or so? Those were caused when LL tried turning HTTP inventory fetch on. They had to turn it back off, and viewers will need code changes to use it now. Those changes are not in 2.4 or earlier viewers.)

All currently running Phoenix releases can and will use HTTP GET for textures, just as Viewer 2 will. The ability was turned on by default in release; users still on can set it with a menu selection. (I recommend everyone upgrade to 818 anyway, for this and many other reasons.)

The argument against secondary attachment points is an old one, dating from the time Emerald introduced it - many months before LL introduced their own system. There were a few folks complaining about others using secondary attachment points because it made things look wrong to those not using advanced viewers. As it happens, Phoenix 818 (and 725, for that matter) support multi-attach, while still viewing things on the secondary points correctly. This is the best of both worlds. People who switch from 373 or earlier to 725 or later will automatically have their attachments on secondary points converted to the new system.

Ash has a comment in his profile that's telling here:
If you can't see some attachments (ie: parts of me are missing), it's because your viewer doesn't support Linden lab's standard multi attachment support.
This is just the same complaint people raised against Emerald's secondary attachments, but in reverse. The difference is that, until the release of Phoenix 725, more people could see and use secondary attachment points than multi-attach. Even now, significantly more people use Phoenix than Viewer 2 - in any incarnation.

Who sets the standard? LL tries, but the users vote with their feet. Less than a third of users currently use Viewer 2. The percentage on Phoenix is higher than that.

I firmly believe in the idea that one should not ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity. However, I do note that Ash is associated with INSILICO and has posted some blog entries and comments defending the CDS package, claimed to be a copybot defense system. Both are projects of Skills Hak, one of the three folks LL insisted leave the Emerald team - though Skills, at least, agreed to go to keep Emerald alive.

Even so, I can't help but suspect his motives in slamming V1 viewers - and especially Phoenix, the most popular viewer on the grid - are somewhat less than pure. His arguments are either simply wrong or amount to equine sadonecrobestiality.

If you're running Phoenix 818, you're not hurting the grid in any way. The choice of what viewer to use is yours and yours alone. Don't let FUD from anyone tell you any differently.


  1. Well well well, see who's talking... didn't this one person try to FUD me out of my line of work?

  2. Sorry, Siana. I just noticed this one.

    I'm not trying to FUD. It's just that the situation has changed in the last nine months. I'm here to post my own take on thing, now...