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If you’ve been around Second Life for a while, you’ll probably know the name Karl Stiefvater (who was once known as Qarl Linden).

Stiefvater was behind a number of popular Second Life features, but was laid off from Linden Lab after the Lab responded to public calls from its customers to stop focusing on features and instead to work on platform stability and bug-fixes. With new feature-development halted, Stiefvater’s particular genius was no longer required.

Now, however, there is a perceived deficiency in how mesh-clothing functions; requiring avatars to be altered to fit clothing, rather than allowing the clothing to fit the avatar. In an unprecedented move, Second Life users are raising funds to fund Stiefvater to fix that.

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I say ‘incomplete.’ Even though the word implies that it falls short of an intended goal, I’ve no idea if the intended goal was to actually… well, mesh with Second Life as it is used. Second Life mesh clothing does not.

Couldbe Yue has a great consumer’s guide to mesh clothing – well worth your time, since there’s a whole bunch of caveats and gotchas.

For my money, chief among the issues is that the clothing can’t be made to fit the avatar. The avatar must be made to fit the clothing.

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In trying to quantify the impact of a new content type on the Second Life grid, it’s necessary to look at both the statistical data, as well as getting an impression of things ‘on the ground’, in-world.

It’s now four weeks since Second Life’s Mesh features went live with Viewer 3, and while it would be good to get a few more months’ worth of data, it appears that the new Mesh content type has had less impact on the Second Life grid than any other new content type that I can recall. In fact, it seems statistically insignificant.

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Well, that was quick. Just this-afternoon – in the wake of the rolling-restarts bringing mesh server-side support to Second Life, earlier today – Second Life viewer 3 has gone into production as the default Second Life viewer.

A number of people asked me today when I thought Viewer 3 would make that transition, and I said that I expected by the end of this week, or no later than next Wednesday; a prediction greeted mostly with scepticism. Here it is, even sooner.

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