It looked like most of the development was there. The meeting was in voice. Questions were asked in local chat. Jessica Lyon was facilitating. She worked through the chat to answer most of the questions. Team members were also answering chat questions.
I think most of the audience was Firestorm (FS) fans. The meeting was civil and moved quickly without snide remarks or cheap shots, a nice thing for the team. It went well and was well done, I think.
Jessica took 15 to 20 minutes to start the meeting with news of coming things and to provide a warning.
As you might expect, the team is getting lots of questions about Server Side Avatar Baking (SSAB). The FS viewer will support it, eventually. For now FS is not yet merging the Lab’s SSAB code with the FS main build channel. Internally the team has merged to the Lab’s version 3.4.5. Jessica tells us that the internal version of FS is pretty bad off. It crashes often. The current release is far better than the current internal builds.
So, all those wanting a new release to fix their current crashing problems would likely be very disappointed. Consider. The FS crash rate is an average from all users. So, while you may personally experience a high crash rate a lot other people are not crashing. For instance Ed Merryman, one of the FS Team only crashes 1 or 2 times per month on the main FS release. The main release’s crash rate is 8%+ now. With the internal builds Ed is crashing a couple times an hour… or something like that.
All of the problems they are having now are before they even attempt to merge in the SSAB code. So, Jessica is expecting even more problems when they make that merge.
Jessica tells us that the Lindens are seriously concerned whether Third Party Viewer (TPV) Dev’s can get SSAB code working in their viewers in time for the planned LL release. On the TPV side RLVa is holding things back, among other things. The SSAB code has a big impact on RLVa functionality.
Some of the current hold up is that only a couple of test regions are available for SSAB in the Beta grid. Scripts are disabled in the regions so RLVa cannot be tested. Jessica has just put in a request for the scripting to be enabled. That is likely going to happen as the Lindens want SSAB working ASAP and are helping wherever they can.
Jessica tells us the TPV developers are being pushed to meet the Lab’s release date. She feels the FS team can make a release available when they have to, but it is not going to be pretty and will likely have a higher crash rate. She hopes that since the Lab has to resolve issues they have with their viewer and server code, it will give the FS Team time to fix the problems they have.
Those testing SSAB have provided an image of how things will look in viewers that cannot support SSAB.
Some of the problems integrating SSAB are from the way the FS Team has done things, some are from how LL has done them and bugs that both have created. So, the rollout of SSAB may be delayed… probably delayed. Later discussion revealed Jessica is thinking the roll date is already behind schedule. So, I suspect we may see the rollout slide from the end of February to the end of March. But, that is speculation on my part.
Chat Hub User Interface (CHUI) must merge into FS also. The interface changes are mixed in with a load of refactoring. That makes it hard for the FS Team to integrate the code to the FS code. While the FS team wants to add it, it means they have to merge in over 1,000 changes. There is little doubt that will break FS and the team has to fix all the merge problems. Then testing the viewer after a massive change is always a big deal. This is devastating for the FS Team, a load of work.
Also, the Materials System is coming. That code has to be merged in also. Jessica thinks that won’t be too bad, but it still has to be done.