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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A sad story in The Emerald City

Recently, some of the coders on the Open Source third-party viewer for Second Life, called Emerald, put in code to allow it to be used for a Distributed Denial of Service.  Initially Linden Labs took Emerald off the approved list, then gave the Emerald Dev Team a list of demands for changes in Emerald.  One of the demands was that the Dev Team not disclose the contents of the list of demands.

Emerald's trust-credibility was shot by the folks who put in the malicious code.  Linden Labs' was shot by... oh, make your own list.  I don't see that the Emerald team has a choice on this, there is essentially only one market for what they make.  Emerald -has- been transparent, it just happens they can only be transparent on why they can't be transparent on this.

I think the people to demand transparency from are the Labs.  They won't do it, but they're the people to tell.

Blame the idiots who put in the malicious code for the start of all this.  I wonder what happened to that whole "Open Source means so many people see the code so nothing bad can happen" expectation that's supposed to make Open Source work?

And I wonder how the hell the Labs can expect credibility when they won't speak openly about their demands on this.  Or, at least, explain why they won't allow disclosure.  It's bad business all around.  It doesn't need to be made worse.

Emerald is part of why I stay in SL.  If that's gone, I'll be stuck with the second-rate viewer the Labs provide.  Will I quit SL over this?  Doubtful, but I'm already tending that direction anyway.  So we'll see.

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