Second Life News 2014-23 #3

We did get some news from the Third Party Viewer meeting.

RC & Main Viewers

The Memshine RC Viewer is the one the Lindens are hoping they can promote next. But, of the four current RC Viewers it is a tossup as to which will actually be promoted. By next week they will have enough data to decide which viewer can be promoted.

Classic Starting Avatars - 3rd of 3 sets

If the Memshine RC can be promoted that will open three RC slots as the Memory, Sunshine, and Memshine would all be considered as complete.

As of this morning (Saturday) the 3.7.8 version is still the main stable release. 

Project Viewers

The Zipper Project has disappeared.

The Project OculusRift Viewer version has appeared. This means the source code is available to third party developers.

This viewer will NOT promote to an RC Viewer until after the DK2 is shipping (July?). The Lindens will update the project to the latest viewer code when they can. They will try not to let it fall too far behind before updating.

Oz is urging third party developers not to release Oculus Viewers as the Lab expects to make significant changes after DK2 is out. Also, the Lab plans to support other Head Mounted Displays (HMD). The Lab has no time line for adding the support. Of course there are no time lines from the HMD developers. So, everyone is guessing.

Group Ban Viewer

This viewer is waiting in the wings until the server side support makes it to the main channel.


This is the viewer channel the Lab uses for adding third party contributions. A version is in the works. The current RC Viewers are ahead of it in priority. So, the Lab is using the time to tweak that version.

Coming Soon

A viewer with a new login screen is coming. This version will make changes in appearance and display of information. The changes are an attempt to be more ‘new user’ friendly.

A maintenance version of the viewer is in the works. That of course is a collection of problem fixes and minor tweaks. There are Cocoa fixes in the release. So, there is some hope for Apple users. We don’t have a list of those fixes. I suspect we will have to wait for the release notes.

There is discussion about doing something with Grid Status. The idea is to make it more visible. Perhaps something like what Firestorm does and put it on the splash screen. But, this is a more complex problem than most realize. When SL is broken/down it is often not possible to messages out. But, some alert system is being considered.

Apparently the post of Wednesday’s problems and SL’s outage was well received both inside the Lab and by users. This type of reporting is expected to continue.

Monty Linden has been doing work on the viewer libraries. Those are being updated and cleaned up. The particular ones soon going to QA and then eventually RC are: Zlib, freetype, libpng, openssl, ares, libxml2, pcre, fontconfig, curl, boost (155), sdl, colladadom, and gmock.

The QTwebkit remains a problem and Monty is still working with it. Apparently this was a serious mess and there may have been some deliberate effort to break this library. Monty has cleaned up the Linden repo and now has it working with all the correct libraries used by the Lab and it compiles now. There are no fixes or updates to QTwebkit from what Monty is saying. But, this is first pass. Updatse and fixes will be in the next round of work.

That there are no fixes or updates to QTwebkit is not as stark as it sounds. Having a library that works means things not working in the viewer now and features not used will work and other improvements can be adopted.

Updates to newer QTwebkit and its follow-on’s are being consider and there will be a follow up project. There are no decisions on which way the Lab will go with that project. An obvious path is to replace QTwebkit with CEF (Chrome Embedded Framework). But, changing to CEF is a large project requiring significant changes to the SL system. So the decision is complex and the project will take significant time and effort… meaning we won’t see the end result for some time.

Restart Notification

We do have an impossible to miss notification that a region is restarting. Users are describing it as an earthquake. See the thread: Rolling Restart EARTHQUAKES!??!?! This has been in place for some months now. But, many have yet to see it.

AFAIK, there is no option to turn off the shaking in the SL Viewer. Firestorm has an option for that. I suspect some other TPV’s do too.

The shaking feature apparently started as a joke within the Lab. Some users have recognized the alerting feature as an example of the Lab’s humor. Others are going to complain no matter what. So, I expect this feature to stay around. There are more people in thread that like it than not. That is a really small sample. So, I won’t project it on to the overall user base and say we know it is generally liked, but my personal experience is people like it better than getting logged off.

The most important question in forum thread is: Does it make boobies shake? Alas, Oz Linden tells us no. They only shake the camera, not the world.

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