User:Blondin Linden/3rd Party Viewer Brown Bag: Session 2 09 Nov 09/transcript

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Blondin: I want to welcome you here today. I'm blondin linden and I'm part of the community team here at Linden. I'm the one who has been organizing these brown bag meetings. Just a couple quick notes here before we begin. Torley will be recording the voice and be making an audio transcript available after the meeting. I just wanted everyone to be aware of that before we started just so there aren't any questions. I'd like to point out and have people remember that we are continuing to support and continue an open platform here on second life.

The idea is to create a third party viewer registry. The determiners for this have not been decided and that's why we're here. The purpose of this meeting is to engage in a conversation to discuss and define the appropriate uses. Keep in mind that no policy has yet to have been made. We just wanted to talk to you and see your thoughts and hear your opinions.

If you have questions during this please IM to me directly and I will ask them aloud. We ask that everyone behaves in a professional manner so please respect everybody and respect their opinions, no shouting or arguing. And with that I think that we can throw it to Jeska to start us off.

Jeska: Hi everybody. First I just want to thank everybody for partiticpating in this and a big thanks to Blondin for setting everything up. As Blondin mentioned we are here to get feedback for a new feature we are going to do. It's the third party registry and we described it in a blog post. I don't have the link offhand but I'll grab it for you after we get started. We're here and there's a bunch of us lindens here to listen in and have a conversation. The primary thing is I'd like to hear more about how you are using third party viewers, what things you consider when you're choosing one, what kind of features you are using what kind of things you'd want to know before downloading one. We'd also like to give you a chance to ask some questions. The way we'll do that later, we'll have an open Q+A and Blondin will be moderating. If you think of any questions while we're talking send them over to him and we'll use that to kick off the Q+A section.

Again, we're here to get feedback and the first question and you can either type or we'll go around in voice; I really want to know more about what third party viewers or helping create, especially what features are you using? What are you using everyday and can't live without, and little more information about that feature and how you are using it.

And go!

Tenshi: I've been using Emerald because I use an Acer laptop and it's less taxing on the system but the other thing is the Emerald developers have agreed <breaking up> (developers agreed to work with "Artist's voice")

<technical issues>

Jeska: OK anything else from Tenshi or anything else? What features are you using?


Jeska: So Tenshi's saying that she uses Emerald because "her laptop doesn't handle Secondlife that the Linden lab viewer, and Emerald devs are also working with Artist's Voice in taking community input for new features to combat content theft and we're poking around and trying different things and one thing that was proposed was a virus-checker like feature that scans your inventory for legit content, but that was vetoed" Just wanted to read it for the transcript.

Jeska: Anybody else? What features are you using that aren't currently available in the official linden viewer and how are you using them?

Rebel: Hi this is me Rebel. I don't really use any outside viewers because I'm a bit afraid to. I have experimented with emerald. But, I really have been kind of afraid to use them. I have seen the bad parts of neolife in fact I had a situation just on Friday where I watched a guy take my stuff and followed him home and watched him rez all my stuff full perm, so I really have a negative thing about third party viewers. I know emerald is pretty safe and I've talked to the guys there but still just a little sketchy about using them.

Jeska: Rebel can you talk a little bit more about why you feel safe with them.

Rebel: With emerald? I think because so many of my designer friends and people that I know are using it and they seem to be very comfortbale with it. I was scared actually to log on to it with Rebel so I used an alt to do it. I think I'm just really a little gunshy because of all of the stuff that's personally happened to me. I think that one of my concerns is that an outside viewer could take information such as my password and things like that and gain access to my account. I've been assured by Fractured Crystal that that does not happen and they don't have the intent to do anything like that. I may venture out with rebel to try it.

Blonding: Valiant had a comment he raised his hand.

Valiant: Pretty much everything on the emerald tab of the options is useful. The building tools, I'm a huge fan of encrypted chat. I know that's a potentially separate conversation but the option to speak in an encyrpted fashion especially with business partners and as SL is moving toward the business community with the offering of the business platform. I think there's going to be many small to medium sized businesses that will like that type of functionality built in, it's a real plus.

Jeska: Thanks valiant. Is that how you are using the encrypted chat now? For business stuff?

Valiant: Absolutely

Jeska: And is that with your own team or with a customer or?

Valiant: With both internal as well as with associates who run emerald. In fact I just recently this past week said to a number of people I'd really love to talk with you about this but we either need to do this on the phone or via an encrypted conversation. As a result they loaded up emerald and away we went.

Jeska: Are you talking abotu voice and text or just text or?

Valiant: Primarily text obviously voice is so different animal but just having a method to easily share information that you know is going to stay private I think is a huge feature plus for any client that has that feature enabled.

Angela: Can I say something?

Jeska: Sure of course

Angela: with regard to emerald and encyrpted chat, with most of your IM communications using encryption is just about standard in this day and age. I was talking about one of the emerald developers about potentially encrypting voice and hooking in skype, because I know Vivox is proprietary. I'm definitely not against encrypted chat, I think it's a great idea. I've used emerald and I think there's a lot of things as far as most of the viewers it stands above most of the viewers I've tried out. There's a few things that cause me concern, one of them is the ability for people to mark profiles that show whether a person's online, have an online indicator, even if you aren't on their friend's list. I'm concerned about the privacy issue there. I'm concerned about uploading content that is not created by the person uploading it. Those are the two primary concerns about it. I love temporary textures. Even though I can go to aditi to try out my builds, it's just so much easier to do it in world especially when my builds are also going to be prims which I can't easily reconstruct on the main grid after I've done the tes.t

Jeska: Thank you angela. Were those the big ones for you?

Angela: The big one for me is uploading content that wasn't made by the individual that's uploading it. That's been I would say the big sticking point for me and why I presently do not use emerald. And the less big one that I still think is a serious one, that I think Linden Lab should address on the server side is issues of still being able to see someone online that has either unchecked you or they have "only friends can see me". I have a real problem with that. I see that as more server side, but I'd like to see the viewers abide by the premise that people want privacy. So that's less of a sticking thing, the bigger one is the content creatorship. I'd really like to see Linden Lab to come out with a firm statement with regard to how they feel about that, as opposed to "I'd be nice if you would".

Jeska: Angela could you say the last part again, I missed the part about the firm statement and I apologize for that.

Angela: I'm sorry my throat I had a cold. It would be nice to see you come out with a firm statment with regard to where you stand regarding uploading content you did not create.

Jeska: <Garbled> Could you pass that to Blondin for later... We can save that for the Q+A...

Angela: I've given him the list already.

Jeska: Someone else peeked in there was it you Rebel?

Rebel: Yeah it was me I just heard a tidbit about being able to upload content, I don't understand that. If maybe someone could elaborate on that for me.

Jeska: did you mean...?

Rebel: If somebody's using emerald viewer they can upload content?

Angela: I can explain it. Basically what happenes is that emerald has an export/import feature. The export retains everything about the data, all the metadata about the particular content and it does have a flag to check to see if you are not only the owner but full permissions for all items you want to export. It checks that you are the owner as opposed to being the creator. When you upload, lets say you have a full perm chair... so you can export that chair, when you go to import that chair what will happen is based on the way the server model is designed, that chair comes back in world and now it has you as the creator as opposed to the person who originally created it, in other words it does not retain the creator's signature. My concern is that by allowing this type of thing you end up without speaking it, saying that it's ok to take somebody's content that they created and now slap my name on it, when in the rest of the free world it's not considered appropriate to plagerise written content or stealing other stuff. So my concern is that this very easy thing gives the message to epople that think "full perms means I can do what I want" that it really kind of supports that and gives people that message. That's the area that I would say I feel very very strongly. The emerald team and probably verify that with regard to the content and it's my main sticking point as far as that viewer.

Rebel: Emerald users can now do that?

Angela: Yes they can. It's been since June.

Rebel: I'm not real thrilled to hear that.

Jeska: Thanks for explaining that.

Rebel: There's a lot out there that don't even realize that it's not OK to take something. They might be new, they may be from another country and don't speak english whatever... it's OK for them to take something that I've made and make it their own, that's not OK.

Jeska: Yeah I don't want to delve too much into what they have that we're super not keen on I'd love to keep us focused on this right now and then we can go back on Q+A. Are there any other features that you do or not do like, can't live without that you really like, if not I can jump to the next question.

Jessica?: I love the radar, the sim wide radar is very nice.

Jeska: The next question we have, through switching gears and it pull very well with what we were just taking about. What kind of things thinking more about the registry and the place where you can go to find out more about a third party viewer. What sort of things do you want to know about viewers if you are looking for a new one. What kind of things do you want to know about the iewer itself or people that made it.

Jessica: I would want to know if the source is viewable that way you can check for yourself for a chat log or anything like that.

Tenshi: Who made it, what general opinion is on the viewer, what the differentiating features are.

Jeska: Thanks Tenshi

Blondin: for the record Valiant says: Purpose, industry expertise, source availability

Jeska: Is there anything you'd want to know about the viewer itself.

Male: May I?

Female: A rating's system would be nice.

Jeska: Go ahead

Valiant: I think it would be great to voluntarily have a feature matrix. Not that I would want a heads down feature bloat competition. I envision a time in the near future where different clients are developed to support different vertical markets and functions and it would be great to be able to take a look at all of the viewers and identify if there is a particular market that they were targeted at and look at a feature comparison to see what features might be in a particular client that would benefit somebody who was interested in whatever that veritcal market is.

Jeska: Thanks, valiant I had just a follow up, what do you mean by industry experience.

Valiant: It ties to the comment I just made, I would be interested in if there is a vertical client that's specifically designed for the medical field in a particular area, to train people in a particular area of medicine, it would be great to know that the people who were developing that had a background and deep subject matter expertise in that area and that kind of ties in with my vision that developers of future clients may also be solution providers themselves and focus on particular verticals.

Jeska: Chris says: I would like the registry to be as low inertia as possible, so that it is current and not full of outdated info. So I want as little as possible in the registry. Bad/outdated info is worse than none.

Jeska: Anyone else have what they are looking for? Rebel you mentioned that you hadn't used emerald but you trust them. What things help you make that judgement without friends using it.

Rebel: Well I didn't completely understand that you were able to upload content made by somebody else that really bugs me. I'm all about theft here today because it's happened to me so much lately so I think that would be one of my biggest questions in a new viewer coming into second life, how is that viewer going to protect me as a content creator and all of us as content creators. That would be a huge question for me, would I want that in Second Life.

Jeska: Thanks Rebel. Anyone else?

Female: Could I actually just make a comment regarding import/export. The main issue most people have is that of course import export only works with full perm objects. But I do understand the argument that it allows someone else to make themselves the creator. There used to be an exploit, luckily it's been fixed a while back, but it allowed you to change the creator's name on an object. The exploit was fixed but I wonder if it would be possible to modify that exploit to allow an object that was exported say it belonged to angela as the creator and she exported it an imported it, that it could reimport it under her name as the creator. That would be something only dev could answer. It was a bad exploit on one hand but on the other hand it could be used for good as well if it were managed.

Blondin: We have about a half hour left. Jeska do you have any follow up questions?

Jeska: That was the big one as long as everyone had the chance to say their piece. Anything else you'd want to know about a viewer?

Blondin: We've got a slew of them we'll start with this one: Outside of your posted ToS will you be providing those developers who wish to register with your program a list of regulations?

Marty: Yes, when we launch this it will come with a set of guidelines for what a viewer needs to do and not do in order to be included in the registry. So the answer to that question will be yes it will be in addition to what's included in the TOS. And the goal of this to be clear, jeska already said it, it's to give as much information as you guys want and we can give about the various third party viewers that are available so that you can make a good choice when you choose to use one. And to allow the developers to those to start to build up reputation about the kinds of functionality that they include and don't include in the viewers that they release.

Blondin: Marty we had a follow up with that as well: Will you be employing a similar policy for 3rd party developers (i.e.,, your content seller program)?

Marty: Yes. We're probably likely to call this instead of the viewer's registry the "developer's registry" and we're also planning as soon as we can get it launched, a seller registry for people who sell content in second life to register to represent that they don't sell infringing content and make whatever kind of representations we as a community decide that we'd like to see them make, so that they can start to build up reputation along the same lines as we are talking about regarding this developer registry.

Tenshi (text): Are you going to demand they give you real life info to back that registration up? IMHO if you can file a DMCA you need to back it up with legit info as well

Blondin: Tenshi is your question a followup to the previous one?

Marty: We haven't decided but yes probably.

Blondin: moving on to the next question: What is your stance with regard to "features" that provide an easy access path for violating people's privacy?

Marty: Well if it's violating community standards then it would be a violation of the terms of service. Without talking about specifics I don't know exactly what you mean. If there's functionality in a viewer that allows a third party to capture your sign on or any other personal information than that would be a violation and certainly that would keep a viewer off the registry. Did you mean something more about violating people's privacy than that?

Jeska: Who asked that?

Blondin: Tenshi did

Angela: Actually I asked that about displaying online and offline indicator as a default so that if you do a search for somebody so that if you do a search it has an online indicator that grossly violates people's privacy that aren't on your friend's list. That's the example that I gave.

Jessica: May I comment on that? There's freebie scripts available all over the place that allow you to type in somebody's name and pull up their online status, and it works with lindens as well. If it were to be forced to be pulled out of the viewer than Linden Lab should prevent that from working script wise.

Angela: I absolutely and completely agree and have spoken to them on several occasions about that and I'm aware of the freebie script and as a script writer I know how to write them.

Jessica: It's a very simple script.

Angela: The thing is it does no good to have the check "don't let anyone see my online status" that's meaningless if anyone can get a script or a viewer, the viewer takes it another step. I can search for a script or write it whereas if the viewer has it as a default when I pull up somebody's profile it shows an online indicator that's not the same as having to go find a script or writing one myself. It brings it to another level and that's my concern.

Marty: And just so we're clear, it allows people who you may not want to know that you are in Secondlife to know that you are in second life.

Angela: Yeah like stalkers you know, if you have someone who's harassing you, you can mute them or whatever, but basically not have them find you. I know that I have this concern because when I first came in I encountered someone who was an ex-con and every time I came on he would start IMing me and I asked how he knew I was online because I had it checked only friends and he said "there's ways" and then I investigated and found the scripts that did that and now that I can script I can write it. So I have brought this up with linden lab and I think it's going to be a problem as this place grows. I think it needs to be tied down at at server. Until that point a viewer that automatically shows a person's online status is far above and beyond somebody who actively goes and looks for a script or writes their own. This gives it to the wide range of people who use that. and I think that's a real problem

Blondin: We can move on to the next issue: The hot issue seems to be content theft. Why are you focusing on clients rather than examining your DB for illegal copies?

Marty: Will you say that one again I'm not sure I understand the question.

Blondin: <repeats question> So I believe what he's asking and chris you can correct me if I'm wrong but you are asking "why aren't we examining our database for stolen content rather than focusing on the individuals who have stolen it"?

Blondin: Apparently not.

Blondin: He writes: Chris Tuchs: Why focus on clients? The problem is, for example, I make a texture. Chris Tuchs: LGG steals my texture and sells it. (He never would!!!) Chris Tuchs: Your db now has my texture, with his name as the creator. Chris Tuchs: If I had registered my texture first, you could find all illegal copies of it.

Marty: I think I've got enough of the jist of the question to respond. And you're getting at the complication. So cyn did a blog post back in the summer called "our content management roadmap" and one of the paragraphs in that talked about the tools were developing to aid in our takedown process. As most of you know right now it's a very manual process and if you aren't able to tell us where a potentially infringing object is and we can't find it, we can't do anything about it. We don't have the staff to look ... it's not possible to go look at every place it might exist in world because many of them are ephermeral and many of them might not be there when we go to look. You are right it should be possible to do something in the database and we are working on tools to do that and it's one of the highest priorities in the company right now but we aren't ready to launch them yet and because of the many ways that cotnent can come in and out of second life you can't just say you're going to take it all down by content creator or asset ID. The tools are very sophisticated it's one of the hardest project we've ever taken on and we are working on it as quick as we can. That's probably an unsatisfying answer but I'll tell you it's one of our top priorities. We are going to do our best to launch something in Q4 at least partially. We're not going to have the full suite of tools ready by then but we are trying to get the thing launched as quickly as possible.

Blondin: OK we can move on . We have about 20 minutes left. The next question was: is one of the putposes of the registry to advertise third party viewers?

Jeska: I consider the term "shine light on" preferable. I think there's a lot of people doing a lot of good work here and anything that we can do to help people make good choices and make it more discoverable. If that's advertising then that's advertising. I think that shining light on good work that resdents are doing has always been one of linden's priorities as well.

Blondin: OK We have another question: my question would be about licensing: Is correct licensing a mandatory requirement to be added to the registry?

Marty: By licensing do you mean compliance with the GPL or something else? The answer to the question is yes but I'd like to know exactly what licensing you are talking about.

Male: Yes that's what he means marty.

Marty: GPL compliance, Yes it is.

Blondin: We have a question: What's the best way to make this easier for you guys (Lindens)? What can residents do to help YOU? (tenshi)

Marty: You're doing it by coming to this brown bag to help us. none of us has done this before. As we said in the blog post that announced it we are feeling our way along, and when we launch it it won't be as good as it will be 6 months later because we're going to learn hopefully and make it better over time. But the thing you can do is tell us when you see things you think aren't right because your feedback really does help us. That's my opinion about what you can do, there may be others.

Jeska: I think also to marty's point, we'll be looking for feedback after we launch the initial version of the registry and hopefully we'll iterate on it. Really looking for feedback now but even more so once we launch it in terms of what is and isn't working, completing the feedback loop.

Blondin: Some of you participated in the forum discussion as well after the blog. It did expand to be a quite lenghty one but I did go through all the pages and comments and all of the feedback in there was tremendously helpful. That's just one small way of participating. It's a good way to get those who don't normally participate involved as well.

Jeska: We'll keep listening as long as you guys keep talking, Keep talking.

Blondin: We have another question: What is the Labs position on extensions to the client that themselves are open-source, but draw upon 3rd-party server functions that are proprietary (fee-based)?

Marty: That's also a hard question to answer in a vacuum. I am about getting into the vageries of the GPL which I'm certainly not an expert on. Can you give me an example of what third party server functions?

Valiant?: If we were to extend the viewer and build into that viewer for instance calls to data that existed on a third party server as well as existed or was mirrored locally in the client that allowed for interaction with in world functions. The idea there is that there would be a for-profit motive the functions within the viewre would be avable to anyone complying with the license, but those functions would be useless for anyone who was not subscribed to the server side component that supported them.

Marty: Rather than give a wrong or incomplete answer I really don't know the answer, I think you're probably going to have to consult with your own lawyer or whoever was doing the development project would need to consult with the lawyer whether that could possibly comply with the GPL and I'll retreat to my earlier answer that compliance with the GPL is definitely going to be a requirement to be in the registry.

Blondin: Next question: How will LL verify that a viewer is good? And if a viewer is on the registry, can it be removed if it becomes bad later? How will LL know if it has become bad? (Keep in mind that users could make false accusations to try to get a good viewer removed, as a form of griefing.)

Marty: OK let me take those in the order: How will we verify that a viewer is good? We'll have some kind of vetting process for the viewers to get into the registry. We're working on how to do that because it's going to be a continuing piece of work for someone. If it's on the registry can it be removed if it becomes bad later? If by bad you mean doesn't comply with the requirements to be on the registry in the first place, then yes it will be removed. We'll know if hopefully someone will help us by telling us that it's bad if we don't figure it out first. As to whether someone would make a false accusation, if they did hopefully our process would be thorough enough to figure that out. To the earlier question about how you can help us: Tell us when you see things that don't comply with the guidelines.

Female: I think you shjould implement some sort of program so that if someone files a false complaint then they get some sort of consequence as well. That would reduce the amount of false complaints I think.

Marty: OK, thanks for that suggestion, we'll take that along with the rest. One of the problems is determining intent because someone might actually think that it really is a legitimate claim but again that would be something we'd have to figure out how to do in an accurate and timely way.

Blondin: Great thanks marty. Moving on to the next qyestion: how will this effect 3rd party viewers that are not distro'd? as in, used only as a private viewer

Marty: I didn't know there are any but if there are I guess I don't know, we haven't thought about that. If you've created a viewer for your own use and you're the only person that's using it and you aren't using it to violate the terms of service then OK.

Jessica: Would I be forced to register my viewer.

Marty: No

Jessica: Would it be better for me to register it?

Marty: I don't know the answer ot that question. If at some point we decide that only viewers that are registered can be used to access second life then yes it would be good for you to register if you wanted to use it. But we haven't made that decision.

Jessica: Thank you

Blondin, Marty, How about viewers that act as a bot registry? Or that can double as bot programs. Would that be in the same field?

Marty: I don't know the answer to that one either. I mean...

Valiant: Text: "Will there be any type of "check" for registered viewers? Can a land owner ban all non-registered viewers?" Voice: I think it may be helpful, we've been talking about viewers, but it may be helpful to have a registered client nomenclature rather than registered viewer, and that then encompasses bots as well which are simply another form of client.

Jeska: Seems to me and marty can correct me that it would be treated the same. It would be .. the same requirements to be listed.

Marty: Yes

Jeska: blondin are there any more questions?

Blondin: Not in the queue does anyone have any follow up questions?

Female: I do. OK So the registry I would imagine the registry, I'd imagine you'd have someone going through the source code of the viewers that are submitted to the registry looking for exploits or things like that. What would stop someone from sending you the source code with no exploits but actually using a different compiled version of that source code? In other words a person could easily make two versions of their source code and submit one version yet use another.

Marty: If we found out about it they certainly wouldn't be on the registry anymore.

Female: That's my question how would you find out or have you figured that out yet?

Marty: We haven't figured that out yet.

Blondin: We have a question: I am curious where the lindens "vetting" will draw the line on content import and export.

Marty: That would be in the establishment of the guidelines. What we have said in the past is that you can't export things you aren't the creator of or use functionality in one of these viewers or elsewhere to do an end run around the permissions system. You can bet that will be in the guidelines. People with intent are going to do whatever their skill level allows them to do and we're going to do our best to make it hard but I can't tell you that anything we do is going to be 100% effective and I think you all know that. What we want to do is what I said a few minutes ago is allow people to build up reputation in world as being respectful of third party intellectual property rights. Over time the permissions system will grow to be more robust and you'll be able to tell by looking whether someone's stolen content. We aren't there yet. I'm not sure if that answers your question but that's as far as we've gotten.

Male: I'm just curious that before you draw the line and say that you must preserve the creator integrity and provide creators the way to preserve creator integrity. Right now we have nothing. The name is what you uploaded as. We can do everything we can but you don't provide us any methods.

Jessica?: That goes to what I was saying earlier. I think that's a quetsion that possibly only soft can answer.

Angela?: I'm of the contention that they will have to modify something on the server side and until then it is up to the client developers to abide by the spirit and not download things that they didn't create and not upload things that they didn't create and if I heard marty correctly that sounds like exactly what they are saying.

Marty: No that's right, the permission system is limited by what you know it's limited to. A more robust licensing scheme will in our future but we don't have it now. That's what you are asking isn't it?

Male: That except I would think that your permissions system change should happen before you put restrictions on what a client can do else it's just not even feasible. There are many times when breaking the creator name is absolutely necessary and so before you restrict that completely you should allow a way to do it legally as well.

Blondin: Ok we have about 5 minutes so we're probably going to start wrapping it up. Were there any final comments concerns questions that anyone wanted to ask?

Blondin: Going once, going twice.

Blondin: and sold, OK we'll start wrapping it up and call it a night. Thank you everyone for coming and providing such awesome feedback. The plan for now the next steps. Torley and I will probably get the audio posted on the wiki as quickly as possible. I'll post it on the original blog so that everyone can find it. Other than that I think we can call it a night.

Jeska: I wanted to thank everybody again.

Angela: Thanks for inviting.

Marty: Thanks for coming.