After Emerald: the Phoenix viewer

Jessica Lyon and LordGregGreg Back have assembled a new team to work on the successor to the Emerald viewer, which is called Phoenix and is already available for download. It is based on the Emerald 1.5.0 codebase.

Emerald is dead – or pretty much so, it seems. Let’s hope we have less drama and double-dealing with Phoenix.

Edit: since LordGregGreg Back has joined the Phoenix team, we must presume that Phoenix replaces his Emergence Viewer, although he has not yet updated his blog to state this explicitly (2010-09-06 12:30 UTC+1). It is slightly odd that the Emergence Viewer is now on the TPV list as well as Phoenix, since it is stated clearly that no updates or development will occur. Lord GregGreg Back is presumably not intending to make any further statement about this (2010-09-08 10:30 UTC +1).

After Emerald?

It seems clear that Arabella Steadham has not told us the [edit] whole truth on the Modular Systems blog. A series of new blog posts by Jessica Lyon, now removed from the project, makes it clear that the three developers who had been responsible for breaches of the TPV have not all been removed because Phox (Lonely Bluebird) refused to leave, whereas Skills Hak and Discrete Dreamscape did agree to leave according to Linden Lab’s requirements, as have finally been published by Jessica. However, contrary to what Arabella Steadham described as a “hostile takeover”, Jessica has provided evidence that all she reasoned with Phox (Lonely) before trying to force him to step down in order to save the project, but that otherwise it did not constitute a takeover. I do think, however, that the Emerald developers need to think a lot harder about democratic process, including Jessica, as the number of attempts at taking control of the servers that I have seen described on their various blogs does seem to be quite staggering. Internal power struggles seem to have been the mark of Emerald.

However, the only developers now remaining on the project are Arabella Steadham and Lonely Bluebird (Phox), as all of the other “innocent” developers, i.e. those with whom LL had no quarrel, have been removed by exactly the sort of takeover that Arabella ironically criticises Jessica Lyon for! Meanwhile, the Emerald name is being trademarked by none other than the recently departed Fractured Crystal (although initially Jessica believed it was Phox).

Two things are obvious: firstly, LL will ban Emerald because they have said they will do so unless the terms are met, one of which included the resignation of Phox/Lonely and the two who have in fact resigned as asked by LL and the team. This has not been met, and looks unlikely to be. Secondly, the Emerald viewer will only be able to connect to OpenSim grids thereafter, and clearly Fractured is intending to trademark the name so that he can return to the team with Arabella and Phox, neither of whom can be considered trustworthy now. [edit] for reasons unknown. I withdraw my remark about Arabella, after her latest post.

The ray of hope is that the remainder of the team, according to Jessica, hope that they will be able to start a new TPV compliant viewer offering the Emerald functionality. LordGregGreg‘s Emergence viewer is only a stop-gap solution, it appears, as he has said that he does not intend to fork the Emerald viewer or provide Mac or Linux versions.