I’m just getting around to looking at last Friday’s (1/16) Third Party Developer’s meeting. See the video here.
The viewers in the RC pipeline are; VMM, Maintenance, and Experience Tools.
The Experience Tools Viewer is somewhat held up by backend issues, which are being worked on now. So, there are no changes to this RC Viewer.
Viewer Managed Marketplace – nothing new in this RC Viewer.
Hover RC Viewer – (download) Vir Linden was telling the group 1/16 this new Project Viewer was in QA. Vir was thinking it would be ready in week 4 and the RC test version of the server side did make it to a main grid RC channel in week 4. Due to Wiki changes and fixes the RC downloads page does not yet have this viewer available for download. Inara in her coverage has a link in: SL project updates 2015 week 4/1: Avatar Hover Height along with examples of the features and instructions for using it.
You must be in a region that supports the feature for it to work. For now that is only Blue Steel regions. If the region does not support the feature the controls will be grayed out.
New Server Feature
The new hover feature brings up a problem that has been part of Second Life forever. When new features come to the grid not all regions support them. If they involve settings then moving in and out of supporting regions can cause the setting to be lost. This happens because the non-supportive region doesn’t know what to do with the setting and drops the value.
Regions are being changed so they can handle information and settings they do not understand. So, settings they do not understand will not be lost. Hover is first test of this server backside feature.
It should make testing new feature roll outs much easier.
The Lindens are still changing chat and looking for what causes chat server lockups. While the Lindens are happy with performance, they continue to make changes to improve chat and are working on avoiding chat server lockups.
During the Christmas holidays chat was a mess as a number of the servers locked up apparently taking down a number of groups. The Lindens are looking for causes, which will then let them build fixes.
Vivox, the SL voice chat software, is being updated (week 3). Vivox has been and is fixing quality and disconnect problems. This update will add those fixes to the SL Viewer. Also, more data collection is being added for Vivox debugging.
This auto-build tool is what is used to build the viewers. The Lindens have been updating this tool for months. It is now working for Windows and Mac, Linux is nearly working. It is using VS2013 and OS XCode 6.
If all goes well in testing, new viewers built with the tool will likely arrive in RC about the end of January. This will also mean that people working on updating the tool and its dependent libraries will be available to work on new features and viewer fixes. So, we should see a pickup in feature and fix releases.
This is always a topic in the Third Party Dev meetings. A 64-bit viewer is not the priority for the Lab. Oz is focusing on adding features and fixing things current users want. Only the techie crowd asks for a 64-bit viewer.
When the Lindens fix or add something in the viewer they fix or add in a way that will make building a 64-bit viewer easier when they do decide to build a 64-bit viewer. But, there is not an actual 64-bit viewer project. There are third party 64-bit viewers.
Firestorm has recently come current with the SL Viewer (3.7.24 I think) as of 1/16/15. Jessica said there numerous problems introduced by the new Linden code they added to their viewer. They are working to fix the problems.
As of 1/16 RLVa is behind Kelly’s RLV by more than a couple of versions. We saw Kokua switch to get caught up. I expect the Firestorm team to spend some time on their RLVa to maintain compatibility. But, may be not as much as we might hope since they see lots of problems with the new Linden code they just integrated. There is no word on which parts of the Firestorm viewer they will be focusing on for their next release.
Cinder is working on them in Alchemy Viewer. Those fixes will spread to other viewers.
The slow typing problem is not so much a viewer problem as it is an Apple OS problem. Update to the latest OS and it apparently goes away.