There is currently a shift in mesh development. To understand the shift you need to understand how viewer versions are made. You probably know programmers write a program that becomes the viewer. The nuance in that process is the language programmers write in is not the language computers speak. So, at some point a translation has to happen. That ‘translation’ is called a compile. The compiler tool being targeted for use is Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010. Much of the last week’s work and probably this week’s and next week’s will be toward getting the new mesh-viewer code compiling using VS2010.
What you may not realize is why the change to VS2010 is important for the Mesh Project. The main SL Viewer has been worked over to get it to compile in VS2010. See: Second Life 2.6.3-225584 VS2010 Review This moves the code and the viewer abilities to a new level of optimization for newer computer hardware. If you follow KirstenLee’s viewer development, you know it too has moved to VS2010. So, most viewers on the SL grid are going to be optimized to a 2010 era, at least for those on Windows systems.
The change of the mesh viewer to VS2010 will allow the mesh viewer to be tested in the same environment as the Snowstorm viewers. Once the mesh viewer works well with the VS2010 compiler and the main SL grid (AGNI) the mesh code can be combined with the main viewer, which is a huge step closer to mesh release. At that point it will become part of the main viewer and probably appear as a Beta viewer version. So, I see this as a big step indicating we are close to mesh release on the main grid. I’m still thinking late May early June.
This part of the development is about making the mesh viewer as stable as possible with the SL main grid. Getting the code into a Beta on the main grid will shake out lots of bugs pre-mesh-release.
The current mesh viewer has regressive problems, which is normal. So, there will need to be lots of regression testing. If you don’t know, regressing is about a bug/problem that was found and fixed and is now back. This is usually caused by a fix in one version not making it into another newer version of the progam. Occasionally an old bug comes back when something else is changed and then conflicts with or otherwise misses up a previous fix.
For instance, the LSL Script Editor in the Snowstorm viewers was messed up. As one edited a script the cursor would be lost in the text. Where the cursor was and where new typing appeared were different places. That was fixed. But, in the Mesh Project viewers it remains broken making the new mesh viewers useless for script writing. The problem is a regression back to when the editor problem was first found.
New Problem: You may not have thought of it yet, but we are going to see a new problem on the main grid when mesh is released. If you look at the picture below you will see mesh as rendered by a viewer that does not support mesh. They look like some 2D triangles stuck together.
Now consider that new avatars based on mesh will be coming to the main grid. Someone wearing a mesh avatar is going to look like some stuck together triangles.
So, I expect the use of 1.23 version viewers and even SL 2.6 version viewers, including Third Party Viewers (TPV), will be moved off the grid when Mesh is released. I expect lots of viewer changes to come with the release of mesh. The holdouts that have stayed with 1.23 are nearing the point where they will have to give up the old viewers and move on.
Mesh Costs: This is still pending and will likely be in flux even after mesh comes to the main grid. The Lab is trying to do mesh costs the right way rather than the quick way. So, we are not going to have final numbers for some time. The major effort in this regard is getting the server and viewer to consistently calculate the values. Then as people bring mesh onto the grid they will work out cost based on server, client, and streaming loads.
So, while mesh costs are still inaccurate, new tools for mesh cost are appearing in Top Menu->Develop (Shift-Alt-Q)->Show Info->Show Render Info. You won’t see much new stuff if you look at this information now. More improvements are coming.
Avatar Bone Scaling: This is a requested feature. It now has a JIRA entry. See: CTS-550 If you want the feature, remember to select WATCH, as voting is depreciated.
This meeting was short. So, if you have been thinking of asking a question at one of the meetings, get it on the agenda. See: Second Life Mesh