222 of 365 The Reasons I Use and Trust the Emerald Viewer
A few weeks ago I wrote a post breaking up with my beloved Emerald Viewer. At the time there was an article in The Alphaville Herald saying people associated with Emerald were tracking IP addresses. The article listed names of people who were tracked and my name was on that list.
Now, I have google analytics and so I hate to break it to you but this blog is tracking your IP address too, not that I ever look at that information. I was not the least bit concerned about anyone tracking my IP. I was kind of pissed off that The Herald printed my name though. (Seriously if you are going to write a scandalous bit about privacy invasion maybe next time you could think about keeping the names of innocent people out of it? Just a thought.)
I got nervous about Emerald though and I don't think I was the only one. I began to think maybe I should use a different viewer. Then I did what bloggers do, which is turn my thoughts into blog fodder. I had this idea that a "break up" post would be funny. So I spent about 10 minutes and threw it down. It made me laugh, what can I say. Then a funny thing happened. I started to think about the Emerald "controversy" and I decided I needed to understand why so much crap was swirling about in the blogosphere.
So, I started to use my mad google skills to learn more. I talked to people who are in a position to know about Third Party Viewers. I talked to coders who understand the technical side of things and I read. I read a lot. I tried other viewers, many of which I liked but none of which worked as perfectly for me as Emerald. I got frustrated.
After a couple of weeks I have happily returned to using the Emerald viewer. Here are my reasons.
1) Emerald is GPL compliant. I am not even going to pretend to know what that means in detail. Having said that, I do know GPL is the License open source software developers use that allows people to share work in a way that ensures transparency and accountability. By complying with the GPL Emerald's code is freely accessible to software developers world wide.
2) Emerald is compliant with the Linden Lab Third Party Viewer Policy and is listed in the LL Third Party Viewer Directory. This means that LL has personal information on file about the developers which again ensures transparency and accountability.
3) There are upwards of 85,000 daily users of the Emerald Viewer. With that kind of heavy usage I am pretty sure if there was any credible evidence to suggest the viewer is doing nefarious things I would have found out about it in my hours and hours of research. I found none.
4) Effectively all of the negative writing I have seen was produced by people with personal objections to open source software or personal vendettas against individuals, which makes drawing conclusions about Emerald based on what they say impossible.
5) I ask you, if you made something that was wildly popular would you be thinking "hey how can I use this baby to steal?" or would you be thinking "hey how can I use this baby to make some money and develop a successful business for the long term?" The answer seems pretty clear to me.
It is generally my personal policy to keep this blog positive. I don't talk smack about individuals and I don't name names, even though sometimes it is damn tempting. Anyway, I feel it is necessary to apologize to the Emerald team for speaking negatively about their work. I forgot about the power of words in my search for a clever blog post.
NB: comments are moderated so if your goal is to perpetuate hate here don't bother.