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.