Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Linux Client -- Spoke too Soon?

Just downloaded the new 1_12_0_51742 version of the SL linux client and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised. It has addressed most of the issues that have been reported since the alpha client was released... finally!

I do hear that LL is trying to release the client without the static libraries this time. It's causing some issues for certain users -- but thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, those problems are being addressed on the forums pretty quickly. For myself, I simply needed to install an older version of the Berkley DB libraries (libdb-4.2) and I was good to go on my Ubuntu 6.06 box. Work arounds currently exist for Redhat users and others.

Rumour has it in the forums that is involved in porting the linux client now. Browsing through his site you may notice a few projects he's simply abandoned half-way through, so lets keep our fingers crossed that he sticks to this one. I'm a big fan of is work for sure (and even read his book on linux game programming). If he does stick with it, I think we'll finally see the linux client catch up quickly with the others.

This release makes me very happy. It's almost up to speed with the windows client which means I now have one less reason to boot up Windows. With the Genuine Advantage program just being released, that's a good thing. Only a handful of programs I now rely on windows for (and a couple games, sure).

Friday, August 25, 2006

Linux Client Still Lagging Behind

I still personally consider it a crackpot and biased theory, but it is still undeniable in my mind. The adoption rate of linux is getting better almost exponentially in recent years -- and as I understand it, a big lacking area in linux is gaming or entertainment software. Call me crazy, but I think there will be a decent size of the potential gaming market in linux.

I still call it a crackpot theory because all I have to go on is anecdotal evidence generated largely from personal observation, discussions with other linux users, and well.. the severe lack of games and entertainment software available to the growing number of linux users. Now games do not make the system, but for the joe-average user -- anything that will help people to slack off is a good thing. Games let us loosen up a little.

But this isn't about why I think linux may become a new niche frontier for games development. This is about Linden Labs ignoring the linux platform. Every release since the linux alpha client has been introduced has had the same line in the release notes: "No linux client specific fixes in this version."

I think that's pretty sad. Linux is a powerful platform that is well internationalized, free, and has growing interest from academic institutions. Linden Lab has a client that can connect to their service for free and has been targeting adoption of their service among academic institutions. Imagine if the SL client was in the Ubuntu non-free (as in open-source) repositories? Adoption rates are starting to take off, but if you want them to sky-rocket you need exposure and easy access.

I really do hope they start releasing fixes to the client soon and make a formal release soon. Skip beta and go right into full release with the same feature-set as the other clients. Spread the word, start packaging it for various distros and get it hosted in repositories around the world.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Let those forums burn to the ground

I am actually relieved that the forums are finally coming down, believe it or not. I say good riddance; while the technical forums were useful -- the discussion forums were just a big, whiny bonfire.

It's sad that a group of former discussion-forum-junkies are probably getting together to bitch about it. All they ever did was get together on the forums and bitch about pretty much everything that LL did with SL and flamebait eachother. Now that the resmod program had failed to reduce the cost of maintaining such cacophony -- I think it's a smart move to just cut the bad parts off for the sake of the whole.

So goodbye discussion forums! May you roast in flaming hell!