Second Life: Who is Using Which Viewer?

We seldom get stats on how many are using which viewer. But, there is a post over on Gaming World about the Imprudence Viewer and they include the most stats I’ve seen in a long time. Or so I thought. This page just popped up in my reader, but it is dated 2/23/2015… and the data seems to be much older.

It Can Be So Nice

It Can Be So Nice by Mr S. is looking at you, on Flickr

See: Gaming World Imprudence Viewer. (read on before you click) If you are clicking to the page, WARNING: be careful where you click. The page is full of ads and most clicks will speed you to someone’s ad site. 

The stats they quote say:

  • 56% Phoenix Viewer
  • 26% SL Viewer 2.x
  • 16% SL Viewer v1
  • 3% Imprudence/Kokua, Emergence, Ascent… !?!

Ascent… The authors of this viewer stopped production in 2011. Emergence? I remember the name, but I don’t find where I have covered this one or ever downloaded it. And where is the Linden SL Viewer v3? This viewer was released 23 August 2011‎.

I am convinced the data and article are out dated.  The rough numbers I hear around SL are that about 2/3’s of users are using Firestorm now. About a 1/4 the SL Viewer v3. I am almost certain no one is using a Linden v2 viewer. A few may be struggling with a Linden v1, but I think those v2 versions are blocked from the grid.

The Phoenix viewer is blocked from the grid. I haven’t tried my Phoenix 11?? that I used to use for exporting the avatar shape as an OBJ file. I don’t have it installed so I can’t check.

There seems to be an increasing interest in the Second Life virtual world. As sites chase clicks we will likely see them using whatever they can come up with to use for click bait. I think Gaming World is recycling an old story.

7 thoughts on “Second Life: Who is Using Which Viewer?

  1. Emergence was what LordGregGreg Bach called his viewer, based on the last commit of Emerald that he could guarantee was clean. After it had become clear that Phoenix was both reputable and here to stay, he stopped supporting Emergence and went off to work on other projects. That can’t have been later than 2011, I think.

  2. Those values could be correct. Phoenix Firestorm might have lost many users since its development stuck – its lack of CDN and HTTP support is a big disadvantage for those on other continents. In addition, it is still widespread not to differentiate between SL v2 and v3, but to call everything published after v1 as v2.

    • I am not at all sure CDN is a good thing for the user. I think my render performance is much worse.

      The Lab handles the DNS for CDN, Bake, and other ? URL’s. This means they can send any viewer to CDN if they want. I think the viewer changes were for the purpose of testing.

      I am pretty sure the Phoenix numbers are wrong. No one can say for sure (other than the Lab), but 2/3’s to 3/4’s of users are using Firestorm.

    • Hate to break this to you, but Firestorm 4.6.9 supports both CDN and Monty’s HTTP improvements. HTTP pipelining support is in the upcoming 4.7 release.

      And while I’m here…no, Phoenix is not blocked from the grid. It’s not very useful these days, but it’s not blocked.

  3. 1) Phoenix viewer support and development stopped at the beginning of 2013, but was not blocked. The code is not updated and newer operating systems cannot run it without installing legacy code.

    2) CDN is not a viewer feature, so every viewer, even Phoenix, could use it. The goal of CDN is to offload the texture demands placed on their asset servers onto many other servers around the world. In effect, those with even the poorest connection to the LL servers could still fetch textures quickly.

    3) HTTP support has always been in all modern viewers. That the Lab are working on now is HTTP Pipelining, which is an attempt to improve the viewer’s HTTP implementation. Firestorm doesn’t have this yet since it was made available after the last version of Firestorm was released.

    4) The information you have is indeed old and grossly incorrect, as evidenced by the Phoenix Viewer usage claim. Phoenix hasn’t held that spot since 2012.

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