A third part of the Shining upgrade project is how Interest Lists are to be handled. An Interest List is about the viewer sending the servers a list of things it is interested in rendering. The idea is the things you are most interested in will render first. If you are acutely attentive you may have a chance of noticing that doesn’t happen now… like if you login and look at your screen…
That too will change. The Interest List process is being reworked. The server can figure out what you can see and send just those things. However, the server doesn’t know what you have in your cache. A new more efficient information exchange using HTTP will reduce what the server has to send you. Plus it will render the things nearest you first, or at least that is the idea.
Older viewers that are not updated will not be able to take advantage of the new process. Right now, it is thought this change will not necessarily break older viewers. But, they will be slower and place more load on the servers.
The Lindens are not handing out timelines. HTTP is the foundation for many coming changes. So, it will arrive soon. Avatar Baking needs the HTTP for it to work, so it will arrive ‘pretty soon’. Interest List changes depend on HTTP and some other things and will arrive after the other two.
Translating ‘Linden Soons’ into real time, we could see likely see HTTP changes coming in 2 to 4 months. They may show up earlier in ADITI and there will be a project viewer. In this change some significant portion of the time needed will be giving Third Party Viewer Developers time to integrate the new code into their viewers. So, timing is not solely in the hands of the Lab. TPV Dev’s may have an influence on release dates, and certainly on when various UDP services are shutdown.
There will be some level of drama has some scream, whine, and cry about the changes. There will be lots of questions about will my viewer die? Which viewers will die? I think I can answer that question. I think any viewer that is not being upgraded will definitely die and probably before the end of the year.
Some viewer dev’s may choose to stop developing a viewer. Kokua is getting closer to ready, so Imprudence is likely going to end. The Firestorm Team has an excellent viewer out in Firestorm 4.1.1. They said months ago they were going to stop upgrading Phoenix. I expect that to REALLY happen this time. Of course SL Viewer 1.23.x is doomed.
Other viewers Like Cool VL, Singularity, RLV, and others that update regularly are likely to get the needed updates and continue on. Viewers based in V3 code can easily continue.
So, as drastic as some of the claims sound, there will be little impact on the field of viewers or Second Life, other than Second Life will perform better… for those on current viewers. The problems are for those that run older computers with CPU’s that lack SSE2 support. Those computers will have to upgrade or give up Second Life. That is sad, but kittens, as cute as they are, grow up and that is life.