This is going to be controversial and upset a lot of people. What it is, is a two hour and 45 minute video of a Firestorm meeting that showed up on YouTube. I didn’t see any announcement of the meeting. I do watch for such announcements. Some get past me. Whatever, there is some hot news in the video. If your in a hurry to see what is going to upset people, look for the red text (hint: page 2).
The video below is from a Firestorm-in-development viewer. It shows Materials in Firestorm. This version has not yet been released it is coming. It is not the video of the meeting.[youtube gAdKIvbnQtA]
I doubt many will have time for watching the whole three hours of video of the August 10th Q & A meeting. I have a link to it at the end of the article. I decided to index it while I worked my way through it. It would be great if it were an MP3. I could play at 1.5x speed.
I am paraphrasing the whole video index I’ve made. My biases and prejudices can color what I hear. So, if something tics you off, watch the video then start your rant.
This is a Firestorm Q&A meeting where Jessica Lyon gets into some hard to swallow news. This is the end of the Phoenix Viewer.
0:05:00 First item up is CHUI – Chat HUB User Interface. This is a feature the Lab has spent over a year on. Listening to users the Lab decided to improve the user interface. Jessica says if the Linden team had only worked on the UI, the FS Team could have ignored it and likely never added it to their viewer. FS has a nice chat interface that works for FS users.
But the Linden team changed lots of other stuff too. This other stuff includes infrastructure stuff that is needed by all viewers connecting to Second Life™. This is making lots of problems for the Firestorm Team as the Linden UI conflicts with the FS UI and other problems. It may be 2 or 3 months before the FS Team can get all of the CHUI branch of changes integrated into FS.
The merge of this new code with Firestorm has proved a nightmare. It has held FS far behind where they want to be. But, a new release will be out soon. Not all of the changes the FS Team wants to make will be included. The things that are important for good operation with SL will be included in this coming release.
There are probably going to be some interface changes, some things may look different to FS users. The same will be true of the next release when all the CHUI stuff, or at least most of it, is included. Once the FS Team is caught up with CHUI additions they will start working on getting the UI in a shape that FS users like.
See 0:54:00 in the video for more on how extensive the CHUI changes are.
0:09:00 The Materials System comes up. When is Firestorm going to get materials? No one is certain. But, you saw the test viewer above. The problem is CHUI is in the way. CHUI stuff has to be integrated first. Otherwise, things turn into an even bigger problem.
0:10:00 In this section Jessica is explaining what the Materials Project is. Note: this is the first large cooperative effort between third party developers and the Lab.
If you have not seen Materials, get the SL Viewer, enable ALM, and go to a region named Hippo Hollow. You’ll see a chessboard like arrangement of Materials test objects.
Firestorm does not currently support Materials. It will, pretty soon now.
0:13:20 SSA – Server Side Appearance (Baking). Jessica points out the extreme complication of implementing SSA. She also points out the risk the Lindens took implementing it. The change required extensive changes to huge amounts of the core code in the system. If they had messed it up, it would not be a small thing. If mesh had been messed up, you just wouldn’t see mesh. If SSA had been messed up you would not be able to use Second Life. This doesn’t mean you would just see grey people. It means SL would not work… system down.
SSA is a massive change to the SL system. It is the biggest change that Jessica can remember. For that big a change it has gone amazingly well, far better than Jessica expected.
0:17:00 Jessica is pointing out that SSA is not yet completed. So, the FS Team does not have the code. The Lab is still working on the code. I’ve covered these points in other recent articles.
Next release of Firestorm will have; CHUI, Materials polishing code FMODEX – audio (not voice), Vivox (voice) (BTW: SL Voice is not run by Linden Lab)… and I got confused as to what is and is not going to be in the coming release.
0:21:12 SSA may roll out week 34. I’ve written about this in my SL News.
0:21:35 Texture reloading issue. Not part of SSA. – This is a problem where you see a texture render clearly, go blurry, apparently download again, and re-render. The process repeats indefinitely. FS Team hopes to have that fixed in their next release. But this problem is not unique to FS. Ed Merryman says people turning off Windows compatibility mode for the viewer and/or disabling HTTP Get Texture have been able to stop the problem. There are also some HUD’s that can be detached, such as the Tiny Empires HUD.
0:25:00 Getting Double Click Teleport in FS working. Ctrl-Shift-D enables and disables it.
0:26:00 Next release of FS will be a major release. Jessica is expecting problems with it. But, Jessica is using the release now and it is working well. The new release has not gone to QA yet. Jessica hopes that release will come out this weekend (32-33).