Posted in Emerald, Privacy & identity, Second Life, Viewers

Farewell to Emerald

[Originally posted 01-Sep-2010 here]

As you know, there has been a lot of worry and concern over Emerald with regards to privacy issues, data mining and illegal activities.

Linden Lab have removed Emerald from their Third Party Viewers list and advised everyone to use other Viewers.

As of today the developers of Emerald have folded the project due to mutiny, disagreement, and Linden Lab demanding that certain developers be removed which they were unwilling to do.

I’m sad to see Emerald go as, for all it’s warts and dodginess, it was a very good Viewer and was very innovative.
It’s just a shame that it was ruined by a bunch of immature Script Kiddies who couldn’t resist messing it all up for everyone.

I’m sure the hard work will be back-ported into other Viewers. LordGregGreg has a version of the full source code for Emerald that he has released as “Emergence” although has stated he will not be actively developing it.

Meanwhile Jessica Lyon has resigned from Emerald and has set up a blog to discuss her side of things –

Posted in Imprudence, Second Life, Viewers

Imprudence – a review

[Originally posted 26-Aug-2010 here]

Well, I’ve been using Imprudence for a few days now.

I’m pretty impressed. It has a lot of Emerald’s features, and some are better resolved – I like the fact the client-side radar is much smaller and hung off the bottom of the mini-map. Although I’d like to be able to increase its size without increasing the size of the mini-map (ie. stretch it vertically)

It’s lacking Emerald’s hacky multiple attach points – the Imprudence developers are planning on back-porting proper multiple attach support from Viewer 2.0 and state that they are not interested in hacks and dodgy code. I rather like that attitude.

It’s also lacking Emerald’s spell checker and command-line mode (so you can’t type “dd 256” to set your draw distance to 256m). This means that the quick-rezz gesture that many of us use doesn’t work. However Imprudence appears to have a quick-rezz built in (I’m basing that on the fact there is a checkbox to turn it off in the Advanced settings).

Like Emerald, it is possible to hide your LookAt and PointAt beacons. However, unlike Emerald it is not presented in a nice friendly setup page. To, say, make LookAt private you need to go to
Advanced -> Character -> Private LookAt

Likewise it supports Emerald’s famous “Breast Physics” but the settings are all hidden away in the Debug menu rather than being in a nice friendly setup page.

Imprudence also support the new tattoo and alpha layers from Viewer 2.0 and I think that will interest a lot of people.
Emerald v1.23.5.1636 (the last version I used) didn’t have this, although I’m told the very latest Emerald does.

One feature I do like in Imprudence that I haven’t seen in other Viewers is the title bar of the Communicate window shows how many unread IMs you have. This is very, very useful when you get IM hell and the tabs go off the end of the window. No more missing an IM because the tab that is flashing is off the screen.

In summary:

Imprudence is a little rough round the edges, being only a Release Candidate rather than a full stable release, and did crash on me several times when changing settings. However, I think it has a lot of potential and I felt instantly at home with it. I would certainly recommend it to Emerald refugees like myself.

I wrote the following in response to an nice email from someone and thought I would share…

“It’s true that Imprudence isn’t as friendly as Emerald – there are less whizzy menus and stuff is hidden away in menus more. However the Imprudence team do seem to be better on documentation and they have a FAQ on their Wiki that tells Emerald users where stuff is. You’ll find Imprudence has more features than you think.”

Posted in Emerald, Opinion, Privacy & identity, Second Life, Viewers

Emerald and alternatives

[Originally posted 26-Aug-2010 here]

Oh dear. Just when we thought Emerald was ok, it turns out that it (or possibly just one developer) had nefarious intentions after all.

I love Emerald and it has some fantastic features, but this is very concerning. I think that it’s laudable that the remaining members of the Emerald team are making very positive noises about restoring confidence in the viewer, but I think perhaps it is time to investigate other viewers. Not least because of questions on whether Fractured Crystal was working alone or in collusion with developers who are still on the Emerald team.

Talk on the blogs and stuff is that the Imprudence Viewer is worth a look as it has a lot of the features Emerald has, including a client-side radar, RLVa, temporary texture uploads, Disable Login/Logout/Teleport Screens, See object’s Last (previous) Owner, IM autoresponder, and Breast Physics. Yes, we all claim that Breast Physics is no big deal but we all know it is. LOL.

So I’m going to have a play with it tonight. Imprudence, I mean. Not my breasts.

Have fun