The Kokua team made an announcement. They will be spitting development of their viewer, forking in geek speak. They will make a viewer for OpenSim and one for SL.
Pathfinding and various other things work only on one grid or the other. Now that Linden Lab is going to a CDN system the incompatibilities between is such that OpenSim servers and hosting system will have to change. This is going to be significant incompatibility. The OpenSim host will have to think about how they will handle it. Will OpenSim grids move to CDN? I have never looked into the cost of CDN service, but it is a cost. In the low income realm of OpenSim any additional cost is a problem.
So, as of Kokua Viewer 188.8.131.52024 the Kokua team will be putting out an SL and an OpenSim version of the viewer. This latest one is for OpenSim.
There was a duel use viewer released, I think, as 3.7.12. But, it was having problems on some grids. The numbering indicates a bit of a regression for the OpenSim versions.
It isn’t surprising that viewer developers are splitting their viewers into multiple single use viewers. It reduces the work and time it takes to get updates out. Some no doubt will continue to make duel use viewers. But, with SL2 coming a third type of viewer is going to come into existence. The open source third party developers are getting spread pretty thin.
For a time there will be no third party SL2 viewers. But, I suspect some developers will start reverse engineering a viewer. That time will come out of time for SL1 viewer work.
The Firestorm team has said they’ll try to release a viewer about every third month (other month? I forget and I’m too tired to stop and look it up). The Lab was releasing a viewer every other week. But, the Lab doesn’t have to make changes and test against a second grid. I suspect the workload on volunteers is a major factor in the FS release schedule.
I’ve speculated that third party developers would have a hard timekeeping up. But, developers like amazing Henri Beauchamp make it look easy and do amazing work (Cool VL Viewer). But, others have dropped production of viewers and joined larger teams to lighten the work load.
The Firestorm team is an odd mix of behind and ahead of the Lab’s developments. In some areas the FS team lags behind the Lab. For instance the FS Viewer does not have the newer AISv3 code for handling inventory. That is a good and bad thing. Bad that the viewer doesn’t use the new processes and server calls. Good that the team is fixing stuff for more reliable performance before distributing it in their viewer.
But, the work load seems to keep increasing. Right now the Lindens are rebuilding their tools for building/compiling the viewer and its support software. Once that is done, the Lab will be recompiling all their viewer code.
This gives the third party developers time to catch up. But, then they will have to deal with all the code changes and compile processes that change. For them it is probably a smaller task than for the Lab. Many of the libraries the Lab will compile are used by third party developers. But, they use the Linden compiled versions and can avoid compiling their own.
Still the workload is changing the face of the third party development world in the SL community.