During the Third-Party Developer (TPVD) meeting on Friday, April 24th, Oz Linden put out a request for assistance from members of the SL Linux community in order to ensure that the Linux version of the SL viewer continues to be developed.
His comments came as a part of a discussion on media work within the viewer in general, and can be heard in the video of the meeting provided by Chakat Northspring, starting at the 9:10 mark.
For ease for reference, I’ve extracted the comments into an audio file (with a little clean-up to remove repetition), which is embedded below, any timestamps in this article refer to this audio.
Essentially, given the “extremely low” number of users running the Linux flavour of the viewer, and because the Lab wishes to focus on some “really cool things” for Second Life (no details on what these are), a decision has been made to remove Linux from any major focus of the Lab’s attention. Therefore, the Lab is looking to the TPV and open-source community to help ensure the Linux version of the viewer is maintained and moves forward. In making the request, Oz said in part [00:38]:
I just don’t have the time to put people on doing a lot of Linux work. I just don’t. So, if there’s going to be a working Linux viewer, the Linux user community is going to need to pitch-in and help get it done, because frankly, if it doesn’t work, I can’t afford to fix it.
I have not been getting Linux contributions. What I get is occasional complaints that this or that thing doesn’t work in Linux … and the ethos there is that the community is what makes it work, and what I’m saying to the Second Life Linux community is, if you want it to work, you’re going to have to help.
The Lab will integrate and provide build services for Linux, and publish the results, but the Lab is no longer going to pursue development of the viewer on Linux, which means that if things are not working in the Linux flavour of the viewer, and there is no inwards support to fix them, then they’re unlikely to be fixed.
This shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the Lab is trying to “kill off” Linux support; it is a matter of focusing resources to serve the community as a whole. In this respect Oz added [01:55]:
And I hope that having said this, I will get a bunch of people step-up and start doing things and give me a lot of integration work to do. That’s my fondest hope. So next time you hear someone complaining about things not working on Linux, tell them i invited them to help.