Since I know that the rumor mill is a vicious tool and can take forever to stop turning, I've decided to share what I know, based on the official statements from the Emerald Viewer Development Team, and information from the blog posts on the Modular Systems website. Read on so you can know what I know, and then make your own decisions regarding the situation...
By the time I logged off of SL Monday night, there was what I can only describe as budding mass paranoia regarding Emerald's 'legal viewer' standing. Rumors spanned from the mild 'uninstall and change your password' to the more extreme 'anyone caught using this viewer will be suspended or banned from Second Life'. Mass hysteria was sparked and caught fire quickly causing many people to panic and uninstall Emerald Viewer and tell their friends to do the same. I can understand the reaction... but I have one question for all of those people... Did any of you stop for a minute and even attempt to find an official statement regarding the issue from Linden Labs first? I'm rather doubtful on that as nothing came from LL until today (Tuesday) and it was
Here's where I'm at with the whole thing... I heard the rumors I got a few of the paranoia notecards... I did not remove Emerald Viewer from my computer. What I did do was log into SL on my Emerald Viewer, open up my Emerald Group chat, and get the skinny from their side. I also embarked on my own journey searching for some official statement from Linden Labs. What I came up with throughout the day was this:
- Emerald Viewer is currently removed from the TVPD (Third Party Viewer Directory) due to actions by recently departed Fractured Crystal from the Emerald Developers team, the related blog entry can be found here.
- Following his voluntary step down from the team and the disassociation of the Emerald Viewer from Modular Systems, there was a restructuring of the development team which has been described I think fairly well here.
- The Developers of Emerald, as well as the Support Team have been rather open regarding what's been going on, in my personal opinion, issuing statements both on the blog and in the inworld group, answering questions in the group chat as they come in.
- The TVPD listing is completely voluntary on the part of Emerald, they've chosen to reapply for inclusion on the page as an approved 3rd party viewer.
- There was a public statement released in the Emerald Group related to the issue, included was an explanation of where they were at with everything, specifically mentioning the why's of their removal from the TVPD, what changes they were making in their development and team policies, and not once making excuses about what happened. If anyone would like to read it themselves, I will happily share upon request. However, you can get a great idea of what happened by listening to this interview.
- With the severing of ties between Fractured Crystal/Modular Systems and Emerald, the introduction of a fresh website for the Emerald faithful to redirect their bookmarks to has come out of the ashes.
Before we go further, those who know me, know I'm an avid Emerald user, so yes, generally speaking I am personally biased. My first 3rd party viewer was the now outdated Gemini viewer, and I was so excited about all the new options that it provided me, as well as less lag and faster rezzing, that I was faithful to the viewer from that point on. When the developer announced he'd no longer be updating the viewer and instead would join the Emerald team I scoffed at it, I had never used Emerald and I wanted my Gemini. I did acquiesce and downloaded and installed Emerald and what I found was a new 3rd party viewer that I really did enjoy using, and now hate the idea of doing without. I am now Emerald faithful and with the current situation going on, I'd rather find out as much information as I possibly can before I run away screaming. I'd like to think I've made a good go at it, and hopefully a good go at sharing what I've found out.
My personal closing thoughts are if you use Emerald and are happy with it, please continue to enjoy it. If you have questions, please join the inworld group which you can find in my SL profile, as I find the support staff to be a great group of people, as well as quite a few very helpful and knowledgeable regular users. Most importantly, if you're not comfortable using Emerald right now, please do check out one of the other 3rd party viewers or even one of the official viewers, as I feel that being comfortable with the viewer you use to be very important to your SL experience.
For those who are current Emerald users, there is a new beta version out, I'm sharing the links to the currently available builds here:
For Windows 32bit users: http://www.emeraldviewer.net/box/Emerald_Viewer_126.96.36.19973.exe
For Windows 64bit users: http://www.emeraldviewer.net/box/Emerald_Viewer_188.8.131.5273_x64.exe
For Linux users: http://www.emeraldviewer.net/box/EmeraldViewer-i686-184.108.40.20673.tar.bz2
For Mac users: It's in the works (Sorry *sadface*)
Until something else inspires me to ramble, and thank you for reading... Krisy