Thursday, April 08, 2010

Joe Linden is Listening

cc image courtesy hryckowian

NOTE: See the April 9th update at the bottom of this post.

For those of you with an interest in the recently released Policy on Third Party Viewers and associated Directory for Second Life, Joe Linden is holding office hours over the next couple of weeks to address your questions.

Details are in the email Joe sent to the [opensource-dev] mailing list today:
Hello, all.  I've been reading the ongoing commentary here, on various blogs, irc, and in-world groups about the recently introduced Third Party Viewer Policy and Directory and I'd like to host an "office hour" or informal brown bag to make the conversation a little more synchronous for those who are interested.  I plan to hold three of these over the next couple of weeks, at times that might be friendlier for some than others, but the first one will happen next Tuesday, 4/13 at noon PDT.  I'd like to address questions about the intent of the policy, how we will be using the Directory going forward, and see if I can gather the specific concerns that have been raised by the community over the past several weeks.  It'll be an informal Q&A session, held in voice, at this location:

No RSVP needed, and feel free to rebroadcast the invite to others you think would benefit from open dialog around the subject.

I hope to see many of you there next week.
If you have questions, I hope you can join Joe et al at his office hours and if not, post them here and I will try to get them passed along.

April 9th 2010 UPDATE:   I felt compelled to post an update and help set expectations for people that are not intimately involved with the open-source developer community, or third party viewers or even contracts in general.  I am still encouraging everyone with an interest attend, but please come prepared.

Communication Channels
It's not clear how the communications at Joe's office hours will be held - via text, voice, or both.  This matters quite a bit to Residents for a variety of reasons, especially considering our global community and the lengths at which non-native English speakers go to participate.

Voice only channels makes it nearly impossible to follow along if English is not your primary spoken language. However, Linden Lab has often relied on voice as the primary vehicle. What can you do to help?

Translate the conversation to text
In voice-only conversations, it does help if people translate the on-going spoken conversation to text.  This can be arduous and often distracting if you are trying to participate in the conversation and help those that need text, but it can make the conversation more inclusive.

Set up a web chat bridge
This provides a text-based means by which allows those that cannot be in world (or prefer not to by default accept the new Terms of Service) to participate.  This is obviously less effective if the conversation is held via voice only.

Record,  transcribe and post
In the past, Residents have helped by recording the voice conversation, capturing any chat logs, transcribing the recorded conversation and posting it online.  This is a highly appreciated but time-consuming process; unfortunately it does not help those that are there participate, but is immensely helpful for those that cannot make the meetings in person.  The Second Life wiki has a set of voice recording guides if you are interested.

Know what to expect
First, Joe is a developer and the office hours were announced on the open-source development community list, so you can expect there to be a balance of technically inclined people. There is ongoing expressed tension within development community regarding the latest Terms of Service and Policy on Third party Viewers and the conversation can become heated and pointed.  If you plan to attend, it's best to wear a Kevlar skin, bring an open mind and don't take too much personally.  If you want to see a sample of this type of exchange, you can peruse the Opensource-Dev list archives.

Second, learn: IANAL which means "I am not a lawyer." and understand what that means.  I am not a lawyer and most likely you aren't either, and neither is Joe Linden. Few, if any, of us are "disinterested parties" which means this is not a place to draw legal conclusions, it's a place to have a dialog, understand perspectives and concerns. Get your legal advice elsewhere, as in from someone who can say "IAAL".

Share Some Grace:

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