Tag Archives: Metabolt

CasperTech cease Metabolt client development

Metabolt, the 3rd-party text-based client appears to have ceased development, this time possibly permanently.

Rumours that development work on the client had ceased first arose in late 2013, after an extended period which had seen no updates or releases. However, in February 2014, news circulated that CasperTech were set to take over the curation of the project and continue it in the spirit in which it had been started.

The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen from February 2014, the first indication that Metabolt would be continuing after several months of what appeared to be suspended development.

The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen from February 2014 gave the first indication that Metabolt would be continuing after several months of what appeared to be suspended development.

The announcement was followed in June 2014 with an update to the client – version However, since then, there haven’t been any further releases, which had again left some wondering if the client was still being actively developed.

It now appears the reason for the more recent lack of releases may in part be due to a dispute between CasperTech and the original developer of Metabolt over the use of the client’s name. A dispute which has resulted CasperTech withdrawing from active development of the client, as a recent terse announcement on the Metabolt web page makes clear:

The recent CasperTech announcement

Obviously, whatever arrangement (if any) had originally been reached between CasperTech and the original developer on how the client might be continued under its original branding is a matter for the two parties concerned, and not something for idle speculation. However, given a disagreement has now arisen on the matter, then as the CasperTech announcement states, this would appear to be the end of the line for the client in its current form at this point in time.

As can be seen from the notice, CasperTech are intending to issue an alternative client in the near future, although no time frames appear to be available at the time of writing this article. I’ll of course provide a review of any new client from them once it does appear.

METAbolt updates to

Metabolt-logoMETAbolt is a lightweight text-based client for Second Life and OpenSim offering a range of features and capabilities. At the start of the year, there had been concerns that due to the long delay between updates (the last being August 2013), work on the client had stopped.

However, as I reported in February, this was not the case, but rather CasperTech were stepping-in to take over the project, as was announced on the METAbolt website at the time.

While it has taken a while for things to move forward since then, the initial interim updates from CasperTech have now started to appear.

The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen highlighting the fact CasperTech are now maintaining it (Feb 2014)

The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen highlighting the fact CasperTech are now maintaining it (Feb 2014)

The first of these was to update METAbolt from release (Beta) to version (release notes) on June 13th. As an interim update, this release did not bring with it new features or capabilities, but focused more on bug fixes and under-the-hood updates:

  • Bug fixes from CasperTech and contributed by users – for which CasperTach pass on thanks
  • The removal of x64 support – the viewer is now 32-bit focused and installs into C:\Program Files (x86) by default. The reason given for this is, “If METAbolt uses over 4gb of memory, it’s really not doing its job as a lightweight text client. Let’s use faster 32-bit pointers instead!”
  • Initial work on providing Mono support for Linux and Mac compatibility, although as the release notes state, it will be a while yet before this is complete

As this release resulted in an issue with METAbolt plugins, June 14th saw the release of version (release notes) which, as well as fixing the plugins problem, also added a digital signature to the installer to prevent any security warnings from popping up on download.

Both of the releases present METAbolt as an installer .EXE, rather than packaging them as a ZIP file containing the installer and support files, as with previous versions. A little more work is required on cleaning-up some elements, as the installer does still refer to “METAbolt (64 bit)” and defaults to naming the installation folder “METAbolt (64 bit)” under Program Files (x86). However, this is purely a cosmetic thing, and not something that interferes with using the client.

The latest releases mostly contain under-the-hood updates and bug fixes. However a major code refactor for METAbolt is underway

The latest releases mostly contain under-the-hood updates and bug fixes. However a major code refactor for METAbolt is underway

Given the focus with these updates is on under-the-hood changes, the look and feel ofMETAbolt remains largely unchanged from earlier recent releases, other than the revised log-in / splash screen. Which is not to say additional work isn’t already underway.Tom Mettam, now leading the METAbolt project indicates that there is a major code refactor underway; as a part of this, CasperTech apparently plan to offer “bounties” for people willing to assist with the work. Those interested are advised to keep and eye on the Issues section of the METAbolt GitHub tracker for more information.

While I have not covered every release of METAbolt through this blog, those unfamiliar with the client may want to read my initial review, mush of which still appears to be relevant, and check the METAbolt category of this blog for those updates I do have.

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Metabolt set to live on

Metabolt-logoThere have been concerns and rumours circulating about Metabolt, the text-based client for Second Life and OpenSim. The last update occurred in August 2013; the long delay coupled with the recent unavailability of the Metabolt website, fuelled rumours that the client was being discontinued.

However, this is not the case; CasperTech are stepping-in to take over curating the project, as an announcement on the Metabolt website reveals:

Same Viewer. New Opportunities

It was recently announced that the METAbolt project was being discontinued. We are very happy to announce that this has not happened, and instead CasperTech have stepped in to curate and maintain the project.

CasperTech is a leading provider of solutions for content creators within Second Life. We believe that METAbolt will benefit from our strong legacy and foundations.

It is not our intention to commercialise the project, and we will maintain it in the same spirit of open source community collaboration. We do intend, however, to rejuvenate the METAbolt community with active development, support and new innovation. We are very excited by this opportunity, and we hope you are, too!

Please bear with us while we complete the transitional period – we’re working on a new website and will be making our first release of METAbolt soon.

– Casper Warden, CasperTech Ltd.

While the new Metabolt site is being set-up, a link to the download page / source code for the current release of the client is included below the message.

Metabolt: set to continue thanks to CasperTech

Metabolt: set to continue thanks to CasperTech

Metabolt is popular text-based client for users of various types of bot in SL (such as the Pandora Bot), which can be used for a variety of role, such as greeters, automated assistants, etc. As such, the news that the client looks set to continue should be warmly received.

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Metabolt Updates

Metabolt-logoMetabolt has recently been through two significant updates – and in doing so, has stolen a march on graphical Viewers. With Phoenix and Firestorm due to get “Contact Sets” for managing Friends lists in the future, Metabolt has the capability to sort and group Friends now.

The 0.9.47 release of 28th August saw a raft of major fixes and the inclusion of new LSL-related Action Commands: Eject from group, Touch, Sit, Stand, Move To (walk, run or fly), Follow, and Send Notice. Additionally, the following enhancements were made:

  • Metabolt upgraded to the latest version of libopenmetaverse
  • New neutral colour scheme throughout
  • LSL API is now activated via the Security tab under Application/Preferences where you need to specify a master avatar and a master object UUID so that commands are only accepted from them. Unchecking the “enforce” option will mean METAbolt will accepts commands from all avatars and objects that pass a valid METAbolt password as it used to be before.
  • Movement controls issues resolved for better avatar movement
  • Received Inventory items are auto accepted in 15 minutes of being received if not dealt with within that time limit and information is printed on the chat screen
  • Deleted inventory items now go into the Trash folder which you will need to empty
  • Viewer 2 Physics Layer supported  (if a physics layer of clothing is worn, movement will render correctly in graphical Viewers).

The 0.9.49 release of 3rd September (which obviously includes the 0.9.47 updates) revises the login splash screen to add two new button that are displayed when OTHER is selected from the Grid drop-down list.

New Grid list button (circled)

The first of these will open the grid list in a suitable editor (e.g. Notepad), allowing you to easily add additional grids to the list. The second button will refresh the list to display any new grids you’ve added.

Once logged in to Metabolt, 0.9.49 allows you to organise your friends list into Groups using two new tabs and a new drop-down list.

New Friend Groups options

  • Creat a Group allows you to create a new group you can categorise your friends by
  • Friend Groups displays a list of groups you’ve created. Clicking on a group will open a box allowing you to drag-and-drop the names of friends from the main list on the left into the Friend Group.
  • Currently Displaying under th you main friends list on the left of the window allows you to display all your friends, or select a specific group you have created via a drop-down list.

These are sure to be welcome additions that further enhance Metabolt.

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