Most of us are curious about which viewer is popular and most used. We only know how many people are logging on with a particular viewer when Linden Lab decides to tell us, and that isn’t often. Viewer developers can usually tell us how many downloads have been made. Some that use their own web based splash page can tell us how many unique visitors come to the page. But the information is sketchy at best.
This blog has stats and I’ve tried to make the viewer articles easy to find via Google/Yahoo search. The top two viewers bringing visitors to my site are Ascent and Emerald. Interest in Ascent has lead the stats here for weeks. Ascent is 1st, Out of Emerald’s Ashes… 4th, Greenlife Emerald 5th, Phoenix 7th, Greenlife Emerald Breasts 8th, Phoenix 9th, and Emerald 10th.
The rankings have nothing to do with what is the most used viewer. I think they show what people are interested in. I think the Third Party Viewer (TPV) Directory list may influence the numbers. The Dolphin Viewer is listed first and Ascent second in the list.
That Emerald is still a top search item landing visitors on my site is interesting. I think it suggests some persistence to information on the Internet and SL. Or may be it is just name recognition at work.
This site has between 600 and 2,200 visitors per day. It places well with viewer articles typically in the top 10, if not the top 5. The Dolphin article has a third to fifth place listing, depending on when you search. The Ascent article has a 4th place listing. So, I think that suggests it is actual interest not just the ability to find the articles.
My Take on Viewers
Viewer In-World Support
I use several different viewers, which you know if you read this blog, thank you. I belong to several different viewer groups in SL. Phoenix and Imprudence by far being the largest groups. The most chatty groups are Phoenix then Imprudence then Kirsten’s.
Best Overall Support
Support for viewers has obvious obvious differences ranging from none to better then Linden Labs… ok that better than LL doesn’t sound impressive, but LL does have support staff from 8-5 Monday though Friday. I think Phoenix has the best support hands down in world or on the web. Their wiki explaining viewer features is far ahead of any other viewer. Plus they are actively looking for support people. They have people in the group quite often.
This is a complex issue. My opinion is subjective and based on a narrow view of actual facts. I just can’t know everything that is happening. From my viewpoint Phoenix users are having the most problems. But, that may be because they are a large group and tend to be power users more than it is viewer problems.
I suppose the SLV2 viewer users have a larger number of problems. But, TPV users are more experienced residents. The SLV2 users are likely to be new to SL. So, there is a skew in the ‘problem stats’ that is influenced by the inexperienced users. So, I think Phoenix users are having the most problems. Which is a mixed blessing and curse. More people experience the problems, but that means more people are looking for solutions.
I also think Phoenix will become a top viewer over the next few months, more so than it is now. The current problems are echoes from the Emerald Scandal; a new team, revised code, loads of changes from LL having to be back-ported to series 1 viewer code, and server changes, have all made for a huge mountain for the team to climb in a short time. While the viewer may have lots of users experiencing problems, it is still an excellent viewer.
I have the least problems with Imprudence and SLV2.4 (2.4=Development Viewer – which I update weekly). I tend to use Imprudence’s Experimental viewer more than the current ‘stable’ release of Imprudence.
I find that many people having Second Life problems are using SLV and TPV viewers. Using more than one viewer and especially mixing series 1 and series 2 viewers seems to bring on problems. Those problems can be reduced by using a separate cache for each viewer.
I suspect Phoenix and SLV2.2 are the most used viewers in SL. The number of Imprudence users is increasing as are the numbers of those using Kirsten’s and Ascent. Things are changing so fast it hard, if not impossible, to see a trend. there are so many factors it is hard to predict a trend.
I think LL fixes and new features are going to pull people back to the SLV. Many of the new SL features will show up in SLV’s first. Also, new users are first exposed to the SLV2 user interface. TPV’s are promising to hold to the series 1 interface as they change to series 2 code and that will make more resistance to change for new residents.
How all this will develop over the next few months should be interesting.