Ebbe Altberg Interview

The new viewer is planned to be easier to extend, I suppose like Blender. We once heard about plug-ins for the SL Viewer. That sort of got lost somewhere. It never seemed to happen. But in the SL2 Viewer it will be the way for TP Dev’s to add to the viewer.

Open Source 2014-41

Open Source 2014-41

By having the viewer be ‘extensible’ the Lab can develop the viewer at their pace and not worry about jiggling their open source partners elbows. All the Lab has to do is keep a stable API/Plugin interface. This would also seem to allow the TP Dev’s to avoid dealing with LL code. Conceivably, development things could move much faster.

56:00 – So, what are TP Developers going to do? With the SL2 Viewer extensibility is their doorway for adding features. TPV Dev’s do more front end development and features than backend. So, the new ‘extensibility’ concept feeds into that and may prove to be more efficient for everyone involved. The Lab can always go open source of that proves not to be true.

There is the problem of not having TPDev’s to find mistakes in LL code. There are some downsides. For now the Lab believes the upsides far out weight the downside.

57:10 – How to transition users to SL2? How much of our stuff can we take with us? Don’t bank on being able to take your stuff with you. We have heard this before.

We know the Lindens are currently working on mesh import. We will likely be able to import our mesh building and furniture with a minimum of change. Mesh clothes will likely not be so easy.

Ebbe tells us scripting is going to be completely different. So, people will likely develop script converters to move scripts from SL1 to SL2. But, again don’t bank on it. The server side things that scripts talk to will be changing too.

In the beginning not everything doable in SL1 will be doable in SL2. With time more and more use cases will be supported. With time we will be able to do more. It is very likely that with the legacy restrictions that kept us confined removed, we will be able to do amazing things.

Anoterh aspect of SL2 is the intent to allow identity and L$ to move back and forth between SL1 and SL2.

1:01:00 – Ebbe thinks many SL1 items will be able to be used in SL2 but he is NOT promising that. Plus people will make ways to translate SL1 things into SL2 things.

SL2 is not going to start out as a superset of what SL1 is. But, those things we like in SL1 are likely to find their way into SL2 and be better there. Whatever SL2 becomes, it is a long process.

1:03:30 – How to establish community in SL2… Ebbe says they are not actively working on those tings now. But, they are experimenting with and testing things in SL1, which will likely make therir way into SL2. The idea is to move the abilities and remove the problems found in SL1.

Building communication, social, financial, etc… systems in SL is like rolling FLickr, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks intone package. Building all these things with a tiny staff compared to the giants building the single apps is quite a feat.

1:08:45 – Loki mentioned again, I’ll skip it. But, Ebbe has seen his Loki’s Escapades, but has yet to see the finished product. From the way he talks I have  no doubt he will eventually make it back to Escapades.

1:10:00 – What to call SL2? Internally they have a code name, so says Ebbe. They don’t want it out as it may start to create a brand image they do not want to tie SL2 down. For now Next Gen Platform

The Lab is talking with PR and branding companies.

1:12:15 – SL1 and SL2 plans for improving IP protection? Ebbe thinks they have done more than most. It is a difficult task. There is no IP protection schema on the planet that works. The recording industry has spend billions and not come up with anything that works. Don’t expect the Lab to find a solution.

No matter what they do, someone will rip stuff off. They do all they can without being ridiculous or wasting resources.

Ebbe skipped talking ToS. I think Elrik and Saffia let us down here.

Ebbe says they are thinking about how to do Copy, Modify, and Transfer for IP protection and when in the design process to implement it. Ebbe is interested in what the Lab can do to make the users successful… they will do what they can. Ebbe knows if people don’t feel it safe enough to develop for SL2, they won’t and all will fail. So, he is taking IP protection seriously.

1:16:15 – What is it that drew Ebbe to the CEO roll at the Lab? Ebbe’s upbringing and things that have interested Ebbe in his life. Those are logic and reason mixed with art and creativity. In school Ebbe studied computer science and fine arts. He was equally happy in both places. SL is the breadth of use cases for both these fields. Ebbe can’t think of a more interesting place.

1:19:00 – Saffia felt a need to sit for this interview. Ebbe thinks the interview in SL1 works far better than if conducted via Skype.

Discussion on inviting someone to come and join in a meeting in SL1. Skype, WebX, can take 5 minutes to get going. After that people go nuts. So, the 30 minutes to an hour it takes to get going in SL is a BIG problem, something they plan to fix in SL2. We need an easy way to bring non-SL users into our world for meetings.

Once people are here, SL1 is way better than anything else going for a meeting or discussion. But, add eye contact and better facial expression… SL would rule…

1:24:40 – The hope is to see SL2 as easy to use as Skype. The virtual presence in SL would be far better. Ebbe is confident it is going to happen. The big design challenge is lowering the entry barrier.

1:26:00 – Saffia points out this is the 250 episode of Desinging Worlds. She asked if there was anything Ebbe would like to ask Elrik and her… yes, said Ebbe, tell me all your dreams and hopes for SL2. Saffia response was, ‘ To be able to raise one eyebrow…’

1:28:00 – Facial expression is coming.

1:30:15 Stone face… changing skeletons… input devices to control avatar…

1:31:15 – LEAP Motion discussion. Ebbe says it is not there yet. Someone needs to do some middleware for it…  LEAP 2.0 much better than 1.0 but, still not ready for prime time. I agree.

1:33:00 – Using SL Go. Ebbe, says it is a good solution. Good performance. Saffia relates a good user case.

1:35:11 – closing & thanks.


We learn a lot about what is coming for SL2 and a bit about the timing. That we are may be a little less than a year from some beta testing is amazing.

I think the idea that SL2 will be the spirit of SL1 is much more clear and this interview added depth to that. In all a positive and good interview.

12 thoughts on “Ebbe Altberg Interview

  1. Note to Ebbe:
    Create 2 new FEMALE alts, one old style, one mesh. 2 complete new outfits for each every week. At least one of the old style avatars weekly outfits must be fitted mesh.
    You will “get it” within a month.

    • Or… just change your outfit ONCE a day… Try having an appearance (shape and face) that you want to keep and dressing that avatar.

      And Ebbe, what is with not being able to arrange Outfits in folders?

  2. I think if Ebbe tried asking the women in SL – or even being female himself – his take might be a little different.

    We are not just a huge part of SL, we are what helps to make SL different I think – For example, the number of female creators and families here is very significant I think.

    • Sylvie, I so agree with you.

      I’m not sure all guys can do female and gain insight. But, I think many could. Ebbe might.

  3. Thanks for writing all that down. Some interesting and good news on SL2 – APIs are definitely the way to go .

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  6. Altberg is the worst CEO Linden Lab ever had. I am convinced that he´ll not only bury Second Life, but Linden Lab too – if the board does not stop this DOA project Whoever made the decision to invest millions of (customer) dollars into a somewhat \better tech\ Second Life, for which no one ever asked for, without customer asset backwards compatibility, must be completely mislead by the attraction of shiny new technology while celebrating total ignorance of the human interface, customer demand and the iron rules of the asset management software market.

    You are right, THIS guy has absolutely NO clue on what for and why people spend time and money in and on SL. All he knows are the metrics and probably some biased forums and blogs, which don´t tell the story at all. Market research and a valid customer survey obviously never were planned nor executed. And now WE pay for another idiotic Linden Lab shot into the blue.

    Unfortunately, the only ones ho could stop this guy ruining the company is the board, and the board does not seem to have too much interest in redirecting the company into market compatibility.

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