As we approach the end of the year I tend to reflect back things, and 2010 certainly has a lot to reflect on in regards to Second Life. In fact 2010 has been a pretty crazy year, with the official release of Linden Lab’s Viewer 2, the massive layoffs at LL and office closures around the world, the departure of M Linden from CEO, the return and departure of Philip, the announcement of merging the teen grid, removing educational discounts, excitement over the upcoming 40 groups and death of chat lag, and much more, 2010 has been a year full of ups and downs for all of us.
But more than the on-goings at LL, we also saw the unexpected demise of the ever popular Emerald Viewer. It was a time of sadness and confusion for hundreds of thousands of users in SL.
However not all was lost, the demise of the Emerald Viewer lead way to the Rise of the Phoenix!
In just 4 months the people here at The Phoenix Viewer Project have brought the Phoenix Viewer from unheard of to the most popular Third Party Viewer in Second Life, more popular than all others combined… more popular than Emerald ever was. Having started with the Emerald code base which was stuck in beta for over a year because it was so unstable; In 4 months we made it the most stable Third Party Viewer in Second Life with the lowest crash rate in version 184.108.40.2068.
Phoenix Viewer sessions ending in crash %
220.127.116.118 = 11.81%
18.104.22.1685 = 12.44%
22.214.171.1243 = 12.44%
126.96.36.199 = 13.10%
188.8.131.52 = 17.48%
184.108.40.206 = 17.95%
Note: versions 168 and 156 will be blocked near the end of January.
Now I don’t mean to brag but suffice to say, I am DAMN proud of everyone on the Phoenix Team and the accomplishments we’ve made in such a short time should be mentioned in an end of year message like this. Our Developers, Support team and QA team deserve a huge pat on the back! I am beyond proud of them all. You guys are amazing… simply amazing.
But beyond all this, one of our founding goals was to rebuild the trust from the residents in SL and from Linden Lab towards Third Party Viewers in general. I believe we have come a long way in that regard as well.
New Years brings us the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. 2011 is looking very promising here at the Phoenix Project as we work on the much anticipated Firestorm Viewer based on V2 code base, but made a lot more friendly to those who are used to the 1.23 UI. Phoenix Viewer has pretty well reached it’s pinnacle and it’s time to start over and do it again. We have some very big plans for the Firestorm Viewer and while at first it may not be much, by this time next year I hope to see it become the next favorite viewer of the wonderful residents in Second Life. Some other plans for 2011 will be support run classes for sl residents on the Phoenix Viewer, more video tutorials especially for Firestorm and an announcement about a partnership Phoenix is forming with another grid. Stay tuned for that one!
I would like to also thank all the residents in Second Life for your enduring trust, faith and commitment to us. I must admit there was a time in the beginning where I had second thoughts about starting a new viewer project… The Phoenix Project. I questioned myself, if I would be able to dedicate my time as much as would be required to run such a project. After-all, I was left very tired, depressed and down after the demise of Emerald. I questioned if I even had the strength and leadership skills to lead such a project, I am after all, just a lowly photographer in the real world. Could I really manage a team of 14+ developers, a team of 20+ support people, a QA team of almost 200 people? Would I really be able to stick with it? without burning out? What was I thinking… to start a new viewer project.. I asked myself… Am I crazy?
It was YOU, with your enthusiasm and appreciation that swayed me into making that commitment and taking that chance. It was the thousands of IM’s from thousands of residents that inundated me with hope. It is YOU who made it possible for the Phoenix Viewer to exist. It was YOU! And It is now that I turn to you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for pushing me over that edge. For pushing ALL of us into working so hard to bring you this viewer… this… improved user experience.
From the bottom of my heart and from all of us here at The Phoenix Viewer Project.
Happy New Year Everyone! and may 2011 be a safe, prosperous and happy year for you all!
Phoenix Viewer Project Manager