Emerald Viewer Scandal Continues – Part 1

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New World Notes has an article about another interview with Jessica and Arabella on Rezzed.tv. See Emerald Developers (Attempt to) Answer Your Questions on Rezzed TV on New World Notes. This video runs 115 minutes. The direct link to the video on Rezzed.tv: Rezzed.TV Presents Emerald: Your Questions, Answered

The interesting part is that if you listen to the earlier interview and compare it to this interview, there are inconsistencies. See Emerald Viewer Interview – Arabella & Jessica. It is confusing whether Fractured left, was kicked out, gave control to a new team, control was taken, or all the team left and formed a new team. Some of those scenarios are nuanced. In many ways it does not matter which it is. But, in a scenario where trust is a major issue the changing nuanced explanations sound like a caught politician trying to spin their way out. It is frustrating and negative.

Jessica says the New Emerald Team will have more transparency. Any changes made to the code will be submitted to all other developers for their review. Also, the code is being placed on a public code management system so anyone can review the code.

For the closed source portions of the Emerald code a wiki will be built explaining what these proprietary sections of code do. As long as these code libraries and features are used Emerald will have code that only the license holders can view. That is not the Emerald team’s choice. The companies supplying the code require the code be kept confidential.

However, the Emerald team has a choice as to whether they use those features. A few are required for any viewer that will connect to the Linden Lab grid. Vivox, llkdu.dll, voice synthesis, and similar features are a Linden Lab choice. That gets imposed on third party developers. While OpenSim can use any of several open source voice systems the features simply don’t work in SL unless Vivox is used.

At about 41:00 minutes the Question and Answers section starts.

The first question si: What are the new Linden requirements? Providing a public repository for the code is one requirement. Also build logs are required. Emerald is including commit messages too. Eventually MD5 hashes will be used to verify the code shown in the public repository is the code used to compile the binary. These things mean little to non-tech residents. But, these are common features for most open source projects. The MD5 hash is sort of a mathematical signature that ties the published source code to the compiled binary. Rather than have to compile the public code and compare the resulting binary to published binary, one only need compare the MD5 signatures.

Linden Lab is requiring the Emerald team to make their developer chat a public chat. This means anyone can listen in at any time. Open Developer Chat is also more communicative with users. While this is a good idea, there is no way to assure there is not a private channel too. This is really a trust issue. If one trusts the team then they will believe the public chat is the only chat channel. If one does not trust the team, they will suspect there is a hidden chat channel. There is no way to prove something does not exist, so there is little LL or the Emerald team can do prove anything.

Linden is requiring that Emerald give LL the dev team’s real life names. I find the responses from Jessica and Arabella interesting. They are saying that LL has the RL names of all the dev’s as they all have payment info on file with LL. But, whether Jessica and Arabella have all the RL names remains a question. Also, Arabella has voiced a resistance to publishing the real life names because of… well, retaliation and possible abuse and harassment from Emerald opponents.

SL has a load of griefers and haters. There is a long history between some of the team and others. So, the fear of abuse has grounds. So, while they are afraid to publish the names, their opponents are going to use that as a club. Those that have had their trust in the team shaken and haven’t taken the time to get all the facts are pawns in the conflict. Only time will tell how this shakes out. I see no good solution.

Jessica says the team will provide a full list of the requirements Linden Lab has set. She feels just releasing the list would allow the Emerald opponents to use the list against them. The plan is to provide the list item by item as they bring the viewer into compliance with each item of the requirements. This probably makes lots of sense, if you’re in full bunker mentality, which the team management seems to be. But, there is no question the Emerald viewer has its detractors. See: Was Vivox Chat p0wned by Emerald Developers? on Alphaville Herald.

Oddly in another place in the interview Arabella, I think, states the viewer is ‘compliant’. If that is so, couldn’t the list be released now? Well, there are several confusing conflicts in this interview.

At about 41 minutes into the interview they start questions and answers.

One question was has LL required Emerald team to stop using emkdu.dll? Yes. Next set of releases will not have it. Once those viewers are out, older Emerald viewers will be blocked. A list will be provided to LL and LL will block the older versions of Emerald viewers. This means all current versions of Emerald. Only the coming release will be able to be used on the SL grid.

Another question is about whether Emerald will have all the current features once it is compliant with the LL list? Fact is some esoteric features will be broken and stop working. Most, the major majority of popular features will remain and continue to work. However, it is likely the viewer will be a bit slower, but not much. The actual difference in speed between OpenJPEG and KDU is small. Imprudence that uses OpenJPEG seems faster than 1.23 series viewers and on my machine faster than Emerald. So, actual performance is complex. I doubt most residents will be able to tell a difference unless they actually look at the viewer performance stats.

Another person wanted to know if Fractured has access to any user information? Jessica and Arabella say he has no access to the any of the new team’s servers, blogs, forums, etc.

Another wanted to know if it is just coincidence that 3 days before Snowstorm’s opening splash LL came down on Emerald? And will Snowstorm have an effect on Emerald? Jessica won’t speak for LL and decided not to answer. I however will speculate. Watching the open source dev mailing list I see a lot of work and progress by the Snowstorm team. The planning and mobilization for that team had to be in the works long before the announcement by LL. So, this is a conspiracy theory supported by nothing more than feelings, imagination, and lack of experience with software management/development.

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3 thoughts on “Emerald Viewer Scandal Continues – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Emerald Viewer Scandal Continues – Part 2 « Nalates' Things & Stuff Blog

  2. Pingback: Emerald Viewer Scandal Continues – Part 3 « Nalates' Things & Stuff Blog

  3. Pingback: Emerald Viewer Beta Released « Nalates' Things & Stuff Blog

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