The two big JIRA items relating to the Second Life avatar are STORM-1716 and STORM-1800. 1716 was the Mesh Deformer. It is considered closed with the release of Fitted Mesh. 1800 is the item that deals with the avatar weighting and mesh layout, which many of us still consider a problem.
You can see the partial fix discussed in 1800 in the Singularity Viewer. It uses the adjusted weights recommended as an improvement to the existing avatar we see in the SL Viewer. I’ve added the weight to a couple of versions of the SL Viewer. It helps. But, the patch only affects what I see not others. You can add the fix to your viewer using the file found in the JIRA.
Recently a few people started to use the 1800 item for discussion of avatar weighting. That is the behavior that got the JIRA closed. Oz complained and the discussion has moved to the SL Forum: STORM-1800 avatar vertex weight discussion.
There is some interesting bits of history and some explanation regarding why the Lab may have decided to go with Fitted Mesh over the Mesh Deformer. The reading is a bit geeky but interesting.
One line of thought in the discussion is that Fitted Mesh is not working and designers should stick with standard mesh and the standard sizes. I doubt that will be the accepted solution.
Another line of thought is that we should be allowed to make our own morphs, which is what the appearance sliders use to affect shape changes. I sort of agree with this idea. But, I would rather know what the morphs are, how they are weighted, and to which bones. Then I could weight my items to match the morphs being used by the viewer/avatar. Then my clothes should behave just as the avatar skin does.
To affect my idea we need information about the morphs and the import feature of the would viewer need to change to allow us to import the additional morph weighting. It seems like that is all that would need to change. But, I doubt that is going to happen.
As it is now, things we make and the avatar don’t work that well together. Since designers make the sexy clothes people want, this is going to remain a problem. I doubt the software engineers understand the fashion problem.
Whatever the case and wherever the Lab is going with the avatar, you can add your two cents to the discussion.