The server updates seem to have gone pretty well. There are some good things and some bad things.
Region crossings are way better. A couple of sailors and pilots have commented in the Deploys thread about how much better things are.[youtube t8IUxCMyElU]
With this rollout the problem of some items simply not rendering has gotten worse. If one clicks on them they show up. So, the server has told the viewer they are there. But, for some reason the viewer is not rendering them. It seems the problem is showing up in Linden and third party viewers.
It looks like the Chat Hub User Interface (CHUI) has made it to the main viewer release. This is very good news. That project was holding up other projects. So, we should start seeing things moving.
See: A Shiny New Communicat
The CHUI is a major rewrite of the SL chat system on the viewer side. Of less note is the work done with the inventory system as part of the CHUI package. You may have noticed that if you searched inventory you sometimes got no results, even if you there were items that should have shown up.
The current main viewer version is: Second Life 3.5.0 (273444) Apr 3 2013. I think this viewer was more rushed than it should have been. I’m running into a lot of problems. But, I haven’t taken time to see if it is me or the viewer.
The Beta version is: Second Life 3.5.0 (273174) Mar 29 2013. This version does have CHUI. There are six versions of this beta. The list of fixes and additions is in the Release Notes. There are a couple hundred fixes and changes to the CHUI. This version does not have syntax highlighting for the new AO related functions like: llSetAnimationOverride(). Also, there is no support for SSA or the new particles.
I am also seeing some PING spikes and mini-freezes. Every little while, the viewer drops in frame rate and ping spikes up to 2,000 or 3,000 milliseconds. I have not yet tracked down whether it is me or the viewer or a server update problem.
This version also has the long delay/freeze when opening the Preferences Panel.
I’ve also seen some problems opening profiles. And some problems with doors opening but not appearing to open.
The current development viewer, as of this morning, (4/5) is: Second Life 3.5.1 (273529) Apr 4 2013. This version has CHUI, of course, but with more fixes. There are no published release notes as yet. It is far too difficult to dig through the code repository threads to figure what is special about this release. Since Server Side Appearance (baking) is next in the cue I would expect this version to have code for that feature.
I’m having lots of problems with the Development Viewer. I’m still sorting those out. It started with the install having failures. I’m not yet sure if it is me or the viewer.
Listening to Oz Linden at the open Source meeting I would say that we will see a development viewer or project viewer with the Materials System implemented soon. I would not be surprised to see one next week. There is apparently such a viewer in QA now.
Oz also says there is significant internal pressure to get Materials out. But, until they are sure it will not mess up SL or be so buggy it gives the project a black-eye, they will hold it back.
We can speculate on the “pressure”. All Oz has said is that there is pressure from management and internal projects that need the capabilities. Internal pressure in the past, that we’ve become aware of, has usually meant other projects within the Lab need the feature. Oz’s comments suggest that is the case again. I wonder what those could be?