In what is a rather odd sounding move, Linden Lab have announced that the beta viewer is to be replaced by multiple beta viewers. The idea seems to be akin to how they release new code on the servers where they have a main channel and then other channels such as Le Tigre, Blue Steel and Magnum.
The reason this all sounds a bit odd is that there have long been project viewers for specific projects, so I’m not sure how this is going to drastically change much. In the blog post Linden Lab tell us that the problem with having only one beta channel is:
“In the past, we have used the ‘Second Life Beta Viewer’ channel for this final user validation, but because we had only one Beta channel, some features and fixes have been significantly delayed waiting for their ‘turn’ in the channel. We will now be able to put those Viewers in the regular Release channel to a smaller randomly chosen group, allowing us to test and release new features more quickly.”
Hmm, I’m still struggling to see why this is different from having project viewers, other than the fact that they may get more feedback by getting rid of the main beta viewer and replacing it with multiple ones.