Joe Miller (AKA Joe Linden) passed away on July 27th after a battle with cancer. Joe was Linden Lab’s VP of Platform and Technology Development between 2006 and 2010. The sad news was reported yesterday by Linden Lab in a blog post : Remembering Joe Miller and a further blog post by Hamlet Au over at New World Notes : RIP Joe Miller, Linden Lab’s Beloved Former Platform VP. Hamlet’s post contains a link to a memorial page about Joe.
Joe joined Linden Lab in 2006 and in a press release from Linden Lab he said :
I’m thrilled to join the team responsible for Second Life, the most interesting interactive platform in existence today. By drawing upon my background in product design and user experience, I look forward to helping make Second Life even more accessible to residents worldwide.
Joe was interviewed by Catherine Smith (AKA Catherine Linden) back in January 2008 regarding the work Linden Lab were doing in Second Life. The interview was part of a podcast series called Inside The Lab and can be listened to here. In the podcast Joe talks about how the Lab were moving away from their downtime procedure. Older residents will remember that the grid used to be taken down for several hours whilst updates were rolled out to the grid. Joe also talked about :
- Sim stability – with the launch of Havok 4.6
- Sim performance – with the introduction of Mono for script compiling
- Viewer stability – by introducing a new crash reporter and graphics card drivers
- Viewer performance – via Windlight and the new Dazzle UI
Whereas this podcast is more than six years old and many improvements have been made during that time, it still makes for interesting listening because it talks of the challenges of a user generated content virtual world and those challenges are still very relevant today.
Joe also worked on one of the large changes to Second Life, the introduction of voice :
For me, Second Life has always been more about human communication, collaboration, and spirit than about technology. When I talk to Residents about their experiences, one of the recurring themes is improving our communication methods. For so many, Second Life is a place to make and meet new friends and collaborate with others, whether that’s in a business, educational or purely social context.
That’s why today I’m pleased to announce our intention to bring integrated voice capabilities to the Grid. This will enable all Residents to speak with each other if they wish, in addition to the existing Instant Messaging and group chat functions.
Many of you know that voice has always been part of the long-term plan for the Grid, and we truly believe voice can be a transformative technology that will lend more immediacy and dynamism to the way Residents communicate.