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September 1, 2010

Emerald: The End

It looks like Linden Lab made some demands on the Emerald development team that didn’t make it into the public domain before now.

Now, I made a promise to everyone to disclose the remaining requirements from LL. Those final two requirements that were given to us by LL, was to have a release out by Friday September the 3rd that would not support emkdu or llkdu even if one of the files was present, and that Lonely Bluebird, Skills Hak and Discrete Dreamscape be removed from the project. The alternative was that LL would block the viewer from access to the SecondLife Grid. While Discrete and Skills gracefully stepped down, Lonely refused.

(From the first link above)

So Linden Lab are putting their foot down on who is allowed to be on development teams.  As I said previously, loss of these three developers pretty much leaves Emerald with only one active developer. Phox (aka Lonely) is obviously willing to kill the whole project by refusing to leave and locking other developers out of the servers.  Respect where it is due to Skills and Discrete for stepping down when requested to.

If that was not enough, Fractured Crystal is applying for a trade mark on the Emerald Viewer name.  This to me seem the petty attempt by someone caught doing wrong and made to account for it to get their own back at the development project just because he can.  It would be interesting to if challenging the registration on the basis that he left the project of his own accord before applying for the trademark (assuming timing here) and thus ceded rights to the name to the person or team that took over.

If anyone has any doubts about the kind of people who were in charge of Emerald, the behaviour of Phox and Fractured should clear that right up.

Over on the Modular Systems blog (still using that huh?) Arabella announces The End saying:

Alas this was not  to be. Linden Lab has made demands of the team that are impossible to meet. Among the demands not listed publicly elsewhere was to publicly release an RC without any ability to load the emkdu or llkdu files. This was do-able. The final demand was to ‘delete’ 3 key members of our team. While making this demand, Linden Lab was quite aware that this was effectively the guillotine to the project.

I don’t see that these demands were unreasonable or impossible to meet.  Removing the ability to detect and load a DLL should be a simple enough task that Moy could able to handle easily.  The removal of Skills, Discrete and Phox from the team may have been sufficient to encourage others to join, certainly with a compliment viewer available the team could have started rebuilding its reputation.

So what now for Emerald users?  Arabella continues:

For you, the user, what this  means is that there will not be any further releases of the Emerald Viewer after today. The existing releases will continue to operate until Linden Lab decides to terminate their access and end Emerald once and for all.

There will be one final version of the Emerald Viewer released here later today; that is, the viewer we’ve been working on for the past six months. It would be a shame to let the efforts of the developers who put so many unpaid hours into this project go to waste.

I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to decide whether to trust it.

Posted in Viewers

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