It seems some viewer problems are holding up the Pathfinding Project’s formal release into Second Life™. Along with that are some server side problems too. But, the viewer is the main hang up.
If you have been using the LL Development Viewer, you know it is horrible. Of course it is the job of a development version to reveal problems and it certainly is doing that. The problems are not really related to Pathfinding or the Pathfinding tools. But, a decision to allow the PF Tools and a number of other viewer changes to be rolled together means they are now stuck going through QA together. It seems we are past the point of no-return for that ship.
Stinson Linden said, “Additionally, our crash reporter is not working well in the current beta release, so we are getting very little useful information from the crashes that we are seeing.” This means it is taking the Lindens longer than one would expect to fix the problems because they can’t see the problem… well… the cause of the problem.
Tankmaster Finesmith of the Firestorm/Phoenix team discussed some of the problems they had adding Pathfinding to the current 4.2.2 release of Firestorm. To get Pathfinding working they had to back out most of the 3.4 code and go with the 3.3.3 code and just tack on the Pathfinding stuff. This pretty well indicates it is not the PF code that is the problem. It is all the other stuff.
Since we have no ‘viewer’ team to talk with, we have no clear understanding of what is happening with the viewer. Third Party Viewer development teams are under NDA’s and they can’t say too much. So, we are left with bits and piece to try and assemble into some rational picture of what may be happening in the viewer.
Tankmaster is having problems with the 3.3.4 and 3.4.0 code versions. But the PF Tools are in the Firestorm 4.2.2 release of Firestorm and the viewer’s crash rate is really low. So, the PF linkset and character tools are pretty much OK. Firestorm does not have the Havok Library and therefore the Navmesh View/Test feature, which is dependent on it, does not work.
There are problems with the Havok Library for Navmesh rendering. The TPV Dev’s are just shying away from it until it works better. For them it is a black box. If it doesn’t work as advertised all they can do is send it back for the Lab to revise.
The result of all this is Pathfinding is off track and hung in a sort of Viewer limbo. Eventually the problems will be resolved and things will move forward again. With the next viewer release, we should get the official release of Pathfinding.
In the mean time, the Lindens are updating the Wiki’s Best Practices for Pathfinding. Lorca Linden says we can expect some videos and tutorials. We should see those in the next couple of weeks if things go well.