Charlotte Wirtanen was chatting with someone and explained they have discontinued development of the Ascent Viewer. The reason given was, “…because of Linden Labs’ plans to effectively kill off the ability for 1x viewers to even connect anymore at some unspecified point in the near future.” Whether that is the official verdict or not is hard to say.
The phrasing of “…Linden Labs’ plans to effectively kill off the ability for 1x viewers to even connect…” seems to suggest that a goal and effort was or is being put into destroying series 1 viewers for some nefarious corporate benefit. That is somewhat like saying Ford is building 2011 models to kill off 2010 models. One can still connect with a series 1 viewer. One can still drive a Model-T Ford too. But try to put air conditioning or air bags in a Model-T.
With the coming new features to add mesh and social networking to Second Life, maintaining series 1 viewers was going to become an onerous, if not an impossible task.
Another handful of nails in the coffin are the upgrades of KDU, cURL, Web Profiles, Inventory API, XMPP chat/IM, Mono updates, and the literally thousands of bug fixes. Plus there are a number of static libraries that the Lab makes available for those compiling their own viewers. Recent changes to allow residents to move over to Visual C++ 2008 and 2010 required the compiler control files, libraries, and dependencies lists to change. They have been weeks figuring out how to get things to compile correctly. It is unlikely that will ever be fixed for older versions of the viewer and its various parts.
The hand writing has been on the wall for months.
I’m sorry to see the attitude and the loss of a viewer. Ascent Viewer is still one of the most frequent searched terms that bring people into my site. So, it certainly generated some interest.