September 7, 2010

Emerald Viewer to be blocked from Second Life

As of Wednesday, September 8, 10:00 am, all versions of the Emerald Viewer will be blocked from accessing Second Life. This includes the last release. Read Joe Linden's blog post about it. Anyone logging in to SL or with a valid email contact should have also received direct notice from Linden Lab about the change.

This is truly sad in many respects because Emerald held such promise and was, for a long time, my viewer of choice for building, creating and playing in Second Life. However, it does show the limitations of open source projects especially when they are tied to people with shady records in Second Life.


If you must have an Emerald clone going forward, then the Phoenix Viewer ( might be a good option. The development team, composed of some Emerald folks with some new members, has promised complete transparency. This is not a guarantee of a drama-less future however. The team is large and the Emerald project has always been very ambitious. So who knows?

Other options are Imprudence (which I'm using) or Kirstens Viewer (which I like and KirstenLee is awesomeness).  If you want the last version of Emerald itself compiled from "known trusted sources" by LordGregGreg Back, the go here.

If you use an official viewer, I'd lean toward Snowglobe or maybe the old SL version 1.23 viewer. While Viewer 2.1 has greatly improved texture loading speed over the old lines, the UI is just so arcane and difficult, it may well lead to short-term insanity. If you feel like being on the bleeding edge, then you can play with Project Snowstorm AKA the Development Viewer which is also available from the SL main viewer download page.

That is all -- back to your regularly scheduled viewer drama my dahlings!

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