So over the last past months Linden Lab seems to have been changing a little bit in their communication efforts. To the better. As I don’t just want to post the bad things I might I do a little praise here :-)
So there have been many things going on in order to fill the gap between Linden Lab and the residents again (I just assume that in the early days it was naturally somewhat closer). And it makes sense because sometime ago it really felt as Linden Lab was very much disconnected in deciding stuff which resulted in many surprises for residents and in turn in many demonstrations which eventually surprised Linden Lab (remember opening up the registration).
So what has changed? For one thing the Second Life blog was initiated which IMHO serves a better purpose of communicating one-to-many than a forum (while still incorporating the discussion in form of comments). Also more and more Lindens have been posting to the blog and not only announcements but also technical details for those interested or just asking for discussion.
The other thing is the creation of the Linden Village around sims like Ambleside or Grasmere. Along with that office hours have been established which is another great way of participating in the conversation with the Linden folks. And it’s not only about policy but also about the hard technical details (with Zero Linden) or discussions about how to bring the open source project forward.
And another great thing is that Linden Lab is also more open regarding the underlying technology. This seems to be one of the consequences of being open source now. Not that many secrets are left then and in general it does not make that much sense to hide them anyway.
So all in all LL feels more connected (to me at least) to their SL inhabitants and the discussions are more about how to do things together instead of Linden Lab dictating what has to happen. Of course there are some business decisions which are unlikely to be decided by the residents (such as voice) or which are still secret. But in general it is a big step forward.
So what does get discussed at those office hours? Let me give some examples in some brainstormed way ;-)
- Zero Linden was telling us that they put up a testgrid which just is based on LLSD messages. This is the new protocol Linden Lab wants to do client-server communication with and is part of the longtime plan to make SL more stable and extensible.
- Robin Linden was telling us that there are 3 projects underway for getting Second Life more stable:
- led by Xylor Linden, is to fix the immediate bug problems, such as the group IM problem. this is to try to minimize the worst pain points (going on every day)
- led by Doug Linden, is to improve the scalability of the existing system, by refactoring some of the code and improving efficiency (takes place over the year)
- led by Zero Linden is to redesign the entire thing and to address in particular the orthogonal scaling problems of land and agents (takes place over 2 years)
- Rob Linden was discussing how to best open up the subversion repository to make development of LL devs and open source devs a lot easier (right now the process is a bit cumbersome, I might explain this someday in another post)
So these just as an example. There are office hours by other Lindens (such as Torley, Jeska, Pathfinder and others), too and if you are interested make sure to visit them.
(ok, I know that I now will receive some comments on being an LL fanboy ;-) But let me tell you that there are still things that could be better ;-) (otoh they all usually need time).