Second Life’s Third Party Dev’s News Week 28

The Second Life™ Third Party Viewer Developers meeting was yesterday (7/10). It was another short meeting, 25± minutes. There is a bit of news, but not anything really exciting. There is a bit about when the next Firestorm Release will arrive.

The first 4 minutes are so were spent talking with the Lindens about when they were going to release the Viewer Managed Marketplace (VMM). The release is problematic for Firestorm’s team. They want to include VMM in the next FS release and release as close as possible to the Linden’s release of VMM. But, the Lindens have to be done and stop making changes to VMM before the FS Team can finalize their work. 

Once the Lab releases, finalizes their code, then the Firestorm team can merge the code with Firestorm’s. Once merged there is three weeks of testing. If testing goes well they can release a new version of FS.

It took more meeting time to get to a place where some of the fog on what the Lab is going to do cleared and we could get a better idea of when the next Firestorm Viewer version is likely to release. More on that as we go along.

Initially Oz reviewed the viewers they have in the RC cue. All of these have recently updated and added in the Experience Tools feature.

  • Second Life Big Bird Viewer version – Attachment fixes – BUG-7761Phantom scripted attachments after teleport, is NOT fixed.*
  • Second Life Importer Viewer version – They think this one will be the final
  • Second Life Maintenance Viewer version – Large collection of fixes
  • Second Life VMM Viewer version – the newest version

Oz wouldn’t say/predict which would be the next release. Jessica explained that the next release of Firestorm is dependent on what the Lab does with VMM, so it is important they know… or more so that the order of release be known. For Firestorm VMM and Big Bird need to be the next releases. Otherwise, it is likely to throw their plan off track and delay the FS release.

The Lindens weren’t being particularly helpful and certainly not agreeing to plan. But, as Grumpity says, they cannot promise which one will release next as it depends on crash rates. Nor is it reasonable to have the Lab slow or delay a release for a third party viewer, even Firestorm.

VMM  may be delayed as something has happened and some of the VMM viewer’s XML files are malformed. The Lindens are working on fixing it. I think they have them reformed correctly, but they aren’t sure the content is correct. The problem does suggest that VMM will not be the next release, which is a pain for the FS Team.

The best scenario for FS is if the Lab can release Big Bird and then VMM in that order or together. Oz says fixing VMM and releasing it will likely take 3 weeks in a best case scenario. Add in Firestorm’s 3 weeks of testing after the Linden release and the Firestorm release is at least 6 weeks away.

The last viewer in the RC list is:

  • Second Life Obsolete Platforms Viewer version – For old computers

But, this will never be a main release viewer. This viewer should be in a different location as it is more of a legacy viewer than an RC. I have no idea how someone coming to SL with an old computer is supposed to find this version, which sort of makes its existence pointless. But, may be there is something in the SL web sites that detects what type computer is being used and redirects new users to the correct viewer… maybe…

Addition pages, links below… 

4 thoughts on “Second Life’s Third Party Dev’s News Week 28

  1. “Nor is it reasonable to have the Lab slow or delay a release for a third party viewer, even Firestorm.”

    I. Sure. Hope. So.

  2. ‘Third Party Dev’s think parts of the interest list are broken. The interest list tells the viewer what to download and render. It has a priority system so that the things nearest you and in your field of view download and render first. That has not been working so well in recent releases.’

    I’m afraid the said ‘third parties developers’ did not quite understand how the interest list works, then… In fact the server now sends the *full* list of objects present in a sim to the viewer regardless of the current avatar position and camera field of view (the server therefore doesn’t ‘tell’ anymore anything to the viewer about what should be rendered or not, even if it does prioritize the sent objects data based on the avatar position and draw distance), and it’s on the viewer side that the actual decision is made to display a specific object or not, with the ability (which is quite a change with what happened in former viewers) to dynamically load-into/unload-from memory each object (re-loading happening from the viewer objects cache) depending on the field of view and on the distance of each object from the camera. While the latter algorithm indeed seems to suffer from bugs, they are viewer-side bugs, not server-side ones…

    ‘ [the Lab is] not seeing the problem tells us something about their use of Second Life.’

    Indeed !… I can only *strongly* second that point, which is one of the major issues we got since LL exists (but perhaps in the very first months, when only Philip and a few Lindens were responsible for coding: I was not yet there in these blessed days, by lack of free accounts and a Linux viewer, so I can’t swear on it, but that’s a reasonable guess).

    Lindens shall be *forced* to use SL as a ‘lambda’ user at least 8 hours a week, for RPing, exploring, building, do whatever they fancy in SL, but *not* program (or only in LSL). THEN, and only THEN, would they be able to get the slightest grasp about how some changes they so far forced down our throat are totally, irremediably, broken for our use cases !
    Perhaps, then, would LL’s official viewer recover the first place in the SLers’ viewer choice that it long lost and, perhaps, the SL users base would grow again…

    • You forgot one thing.

      There is Firestorm. As long as there is a Viewer that has so many features that no featurelist of this world can count them all, as long as there is a Viewer that caters to everyone no matter how potato his hardware is, as long as there is a Viewer that will always promise you to be faster, better, more stable than all the others there will be no logical reason to use the default Viewer. I mean, logically they are right: Why taking the default Viewer if you can take a Viewer that has a lot more features, promises to run better and for everyone? Logically seen i would never use a Viewer that offers less. I’m guilty of this too, i would never play an unmodded Skyrim if i get the choice between one and a modded one with lots of additional content, changes, features and better graphics. In Second Life though, this has become a negative impact on Second Life itself. I’m pretty sure that Firestorm had an impact on LL’s decision several times already, most of them negative and for personal gains.

      I have a suspicion that as long as a Viewer like Firestorm exists, may it be the current version or any potential forks of it (if the original didn’t exist anymore) there will never be a reason for most users to use the official Viewer and this results in much less reason for LL to do anything regarding their Viewer.

      • I can’t fault your reasoning. But, as to the Lab having no reason to improve their viewer, the empirical evidence says you’re wrong.

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