Expect a Project Viewer version with Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) this year and maybe this month, probably in October. Webkit is being replaced with Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF). This is a major change in viewer technology for Second Life™. It will catch the viewer up with the new tech being used in phones and across the web.
CEF is sort of the engine that makes video and animation possible in the web browsers. It used to be that Adobe’s Flash was the only way to add reliable video and animation to a web page. But, Adobe didn’t respond to Steve Job’s requests to support the iPhone, this was pre-iPhone release days. So, Apple moved ahead without Adobe. Now CEF type tech is replacing Flash in an HTML5 world.
Second Life TV’s and movie projectors will change. But, the change is much farther reaching than our media display. That is BIG, but this affects many of the panels we see in the viewer. The viewer’s internal web browser is currently Webkit based. That will change to CEF.
A number of other panels like Search and Profiles depend on the viewer’s Webkit browser. Those will change. Probably not appearance-wise. But, the technology that renders the page will.
Another significant possibility is a revival of HTML based HUD’s. This is a feature first talked about by Kelly Linden in 2011. We saw few using the new feature. In 2012 Darien Caldwell was building HTML HUD’s and filing bug reports. (See: Second Life HTML HUD’s) But, in general it didn’t catch on.
We have some HUD’s now that drive the viewer into Texture Thrashing. Plus prim HUD’s need extensive scripting. The use of HTML and particularly HTML5 that CEF can bring to the matter can reduce the scripting load. Whether HTML HUD’s will catch on now… well they didn’t last time, but the possibility is there and CEF is going to offer a lot more possibilities.
Oz is expecting to have a Project Viewer with the CEF feature out soon, week 40… maybe. Whenever it arrives the viewer is going to remain in Project status for some time. Oz is hoping those working with media products in SL will take it and test it for their use. If you have media products in SL this will be the time to get things fixed or changed so they work for you. If you miss this opportunity, changes requested later are likely to take a really long time to get implemented, if ever. Get it done now.