We are getting closer. In Oz’s office hours meeting Gez Linden, the project owner, explained the next steps for moving forward on Group Chat. Soon a Group Chat Project Viewer will be out. Code will be available. An in-world group will be started for the project. The first testing will be on the ADITI (Preview) Grid in a couple of weeks.
Some ADITI sim’s are already using XMPP group chat. Once the Project Viewer is out the next level of testing can begin. The first release will be trying to achieve parity with existing chat. Once the new chat is doing everything the current chat can, the code can be rolled to the grid. We should see a big reduction in chat lag. Plus, the new XMPP chat will be separate from the SL SIM servers. So, we should see less region lag too. With the base code in place and viewers changed over to the new system, enhancements and new features can more easily be added. For some time the current chat and the new XMPP chat will be bridged. The bridge will allow those using older series 1 viewers to chat with those using viewers with the new XMPP chat. At some point that will change and the older legacy chat system will stop working. Another nail in the SLV1 and Snowglobe 1.4 & 1.5 viewer coffins. Over the next couple of weeks the plan is:
- Get the project viewer out.
- Publish the transition plan.
- Get the Lab’s team working with TPV Dev’s on the code and how it works.
- Get the User Group up for testing and checking for needed features.
For now none of this change affects local chat. That change will come later. If you don’t already know, the current local chat has problems when one is above 1,000m. The new style group chat will probably make chat rooms available and a number of new features. I suspect it will be a couple of months before we see the new chat make it to the main grid. We will see the Project Viewer this or next week. Then depending on how the tests go, we’ll see it in the release channel. Once it reaches the RC, it is only weeks from the main grid, provided there are no major failures.