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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 11:10AM Pyrii said

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Money always sways a company... not usually in the right direction.

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 11:28AM (Unverified) said

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Great... another also ran technology... Does anyone else share my desire for a SL that features the same "commercial-grade" usability and reliability found in software like Word, Excel, Photoshop and Firefox!?

I would like to see the SL client built with an application infrastructure that does updates in the background, has five nines (99.999) of reliability and integrates directly with other applications for things like cut & paste, data sharing, etc! This is the type of client that will make mainstream businesses willing to consider using SL for "real" / production work, like collaboration and prototyping.

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 12:33PM (Unverified) said

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Valient - there's absolutly nothing wrong with WebKit, it's the underlying engine used by both Safari and Chrome - and Konqueror is considerably more stable than either Word or Excel. Good solid choice there on LL's part.

Incidentally you've been swallowing the kool-aid about 5 nines reliability. It's a term bandied about by marketing drones (usually when they offer you money back on downtime) but if you do the maths five nines allows you 52 minutes downtime every 10 years. No tech company on earth really offers that

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 1:04PM (Unverified) said

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When we looked at a bunch of companies that offered five nines service what it really meant was: "we have failover and we warn you before we drop service." So what it really meant was 99.999% of the time we'll tell you before we fail or recover from failure, or your money back. In terms of real drop proof fail proof service the best any could do was about 95% uptime - but they always tried to sneak their maintenance downtime into sunday witching hour blocks.

The truth is business doesn't usually understand precisely what they need. If they did, we'd be using more of these "also-ran" technologies because they're fit for purpose, rather than basing technology decisions on incomplete information which has been shaped by marketers.
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Posted: Jan 18th 2009 1:22PM (Unverified) said

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Webkit is a fine technology, and certainly not an also-ran. I understand that it can also run very lean. This is important for one scenario that may not be immediately obvioius.

When you are running a tabbed browser you may have many windows open, but you only see several at a time - particularly the ones you wish to see. Within a 3d world however, many browsers may be present in the one environment. They had better be extremely lightweight and snappy or they'll start stealing framerate from the important 3d stuff going on.

In my a:b comparisons of a webkit browser versus firefox (even firefox mobile) on a nokia internet tablet I found the webkit browser to be more responsive and happier than even the optimized firefox product.

In a 3d world where one might possibly be in an environment with literally hundreds of browseable objects, the ability to scale down each instance elegantly is very important.


Posted: Jan 18th 2009 1:15PM (Unverified) said

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For those that are complaining for some unknown reason, know that webkit is generally known to be more efficient and clean than the Gecko rendering engine.

It won't affect anything except maybe be a lighter (resource wise) browser within SL.

As long as sites are designed according to web standards, they should work in Firefox, Safari, Opera, and maybe IE 8 if we are all lucky.

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 1:15PM (Unverified) said

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OK.. I'll admit, five nines (99.999) of reliability is likely unattainable. However, the pursuit of an always-on platform is vital to the future success of any SAAS (Software As A Service) environment that wants to be taken seriously as a business tool.

Regarding "...Konqueror is considerably more stable than either Word or Excel...," To be clear, I wasn't making a comparison about Konqueror's stability, but rather the stability of the SL client as a whole.

My "also ran technology" comment comes from my frustration with things like SL not using .jpg as a default graphics format. A decision that may make sense from a "Open Source" (religious) / licensing standpoint, but makes absolutely no sense from a user experience perspective.

Posted: Jan 25th 2009 7:29PM (Unverified) said

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You REALLY have to stop throwing marketing terms around, what does SaaS have to do with anything? Do you know what it means?
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Posted: Jan 25th 2009 9:19PM (Unverified) said

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SaaS may be a "Marketing Term" and the application of it as it applies to Second Life's architecture may not be the best description. What is the correct "technical term/phrase" for bloated, slow Java clients communicating with a cobbled together, unstable Open Source "cluster" of servers," "client server?"

The point is SL's current architecture FAILS to deliver any measure of reliability. The type of reliability that running a businesses on it requires!
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Posted: Jan 18th 2009 2:28PM (Unverified) said

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So this means the media browser will run Flash? How does it affect web textures?

Posted: Jan 19th 2009 5:50AM (Unverified) said

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Valient - sorry to keep correcting you but standard jpg would be completely the wrong choice because a) it's always lossy, b) natively it doesn't allow transparency and c) is highly prone to resolution artifacts . In fact internally SL does use a jpg varient - but the jpg2000 format which addresses all these issues and several other ones too (such as multiresolution decompression)

Posted: Jan 24th 2009 7:20AM (Unverified) said

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Tag a technology with the "Apple" brand, and 90% of the comments will be "oh no" :) just because it's hard to admit that technology developed by Apple is actually *good*.

OS wars besides, WebKit definitely is far better than the Gecko engine in terms of raw performance, small footprint, and has ACID3 compliance (some WebKit browsers, like Chrome and a few versions of Safari, don't score 100%) — which basically means that no HTML out there will be unrendered, so long as it minimally conforms to the standards.

When people talk about the Gecko vs. the WebKit engines, they usually think of comparing Firefox and its myriad of plugins with Safari (which has very few). That comparison is obviously not relevant for embedding an HTML browser inside SL. Pavig's comments are totally on the point: WebKit is far better than any other current rendering engine for being embedded inside a virtual world because of its small need for resources and blindingly fast rendering. Opera's old claim of "the fastest browser on the planet" has long been made obsolete: Opera might still be marginally faster than Gecko-based browsers or the IE series, but it has lagged behind WebKit for several years now — and it consumes more memory too...

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