Oz Answers TPV Policy Questions

Innula Zenovka post a link on SLUniverse to an Question and Answers page where Oz Linden answered residents questions about the new TPV Policy. Cummere Mayo start the thread here.

See: Questions about new TPV policy. (Questions only please.)

The most controlversal and misunderstood part of the policy is the idea of what is meant by SHARED EXPERIENCE. So, the number one question is: What is meant by shared experience?

The pertinent part of Oz’s answer is:

A shared experience change is one that modifies the definition of the elements that make up the virtual world, or how they behave, in such a way that users on other viewers don’t experience the same virtual reality.

This rule does not affect changes to rendering, user interface, or the controls a viewer offers for interacting with the world.

Another thing that keeps coming up is RLV, Restrained Love Viewer features, Most people are sure that this change eliminates RLV. Oz, makes a rather long windes answer to the question, Does this mean systems like RLV and integrated AO’s are no longer allowed? Quoting Oz:



Another aspect of viewer development that comes up is adding new features. Some fear that this new policy will slow development of new features. It may. On the other hand, it may save wasted effort on features that would not be acceptable to the Lab. It is going to be impossible for anyone to KNOW if it speeds or slows development. I have no doubt many will decide they know and push their beliefs as if they were facts.

The having to match the Lab’s features is also confusing. What features do they have to have, which cannot not have, and on and on. So this question comes up: Does this mean that third party viewers may no longer experiment with and help test new features?

Oz’s answer reveal more about how the Lab understands the policy:

No – if the feature would fall under the 2.k rule, then it is faster and easier for everyone if the primary development and testing of it be done based on the common upstream code we make available to everyone, but parallel work by developers in test versions (not the default downloads) of TPVs will usually be ok as long as everyone (including the users of those test viewers) understands that the feature may change in incompatible ways, or even in an extreme case be withdrawn (such as if it is found to be harmful in some [irresolvable] way).

Many people have pointed out that Text Only Viewer give one a different experience. So, this question comes up: Does this mean that text only viewers or “voice only” viewers would no longer be allowed? I think this answer is very enlightening in understanding the policies. Oz says:

No – failing to provide a common feature is not the same as adding a new feature.   Users who choose to use such viewers are making a choice that is up to them.

There are more questions asked than Oz chose to answer. Some of course are just rude as frustrated people that can’t be constructive vent. Some ignore facts and show their lack of knowledge of events and ongoing efforts. No surprise those were not answered.


I think we are getting a clear picture of what the Lab hoped to accomplish with the policy change. It is also not as bad as many of us first took it to be. I certainly freaked in my first post on the change: #SL Viewer Shock Wave.

I’ve seen many others making the same mistakes I made. All we can do is provide them accurate information.

I’ve also seen many people assigning motives to the Lindens for why they have taken the action of changing the policy. I tend to come back to Psych 101 and the skill psychological counselors use. They get patients/clients talking about others’ motives to find out what motivates the client, basic transference and projection.

In my summary of the audio tape (#SL Viewer Policy Change Meeting) I have added time marks so you can hear Oz state the reasons they made the changes. I have my paraphrasing of it, but hearing it clues one with voice intonations that give is some clue how sincere one is or isn’t.

2 thoughts on “Oz Answers TPV Policy Questions

  1. I think allowing “test viewers” will help resolve one of my major reservations. Often new ideas (think avatar physics or multiple attachments / point) get a less than enthusiastic initial reaction from the lab. It is only after it proves to be wildly popular that LL is dragged along. This has proven to be one of the most effective ways residents have to influence LL and the nature of the world we inhabit.

    • It certainly looks that way.

      We know the Lindens are programmers and not users. I think most of them know it too. So, user enthusiasm for some feature often catches them by surprise. Charlar admits they expected people to use mesh for buildings and things more than clothes. They were surprised that mesh clothes were so popular with users.

      We lack anyway to accurately communicate the importance of a feature to users. I think we even lack anyway for users to know until we begin to clamor for something or scream at its removal. Whoever figures this one out should get rich.

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