Parametric deformer: Linden Lab formally engages

It’s taken a little while – understandably, as wheels have to be set properly in motion – but the parametric deformer project has its first official update today, in which Max Graf gives an overview of what is happening:

“Karl [Qarl Fizz, aka Qarl Linden as was] has begun working on the code and was contacted by LL in order to facilitate development of this feature. He will be working directly with LL from this point forward to supply them with code as the project moves forward, allowing them to check the feature with compatibility for the official LL releases as he progresses so that when it is done it can quickly and easily be included without weekes of additional testing. They contacted him directly to expedite the process and work together from the start of this, which means it will be working correctly and will make it a lot easier for TPVs and other grids to implement once it is done!

“This is great news and in addition to the comment Charlar made about further development with open source features is indicative of some serious new possibilities for development. Kudos to LL and Karl for being able to come to the table together for the good of the SL community. This is a best case scenario for this project, and indicates a strong willingness on LL’s part to adopt and implement this new feature that we have wanted since July.”

Kudos indeed to Linden Lab!

As Max says, this is a best case scenario for the project, and will do much to ensure the completed deformer can be smoothly integrated into the Snowstorm code. This is turn should make the code easily more adaptable by those TPV developers who maintain V3.x-based Viewers, although older V1.x Viewer developers may still have a little work on their hands. Once again this is a win-win-win scenario for all: Second Life, Linden Lab and OpenSim (which faces similar issues when it comes to mesh clothing).

Estimates put the work of code development at around four weeks or so; given that LL are now going to help ensure the code can be integrated into the Viewer code more readily, the development cycle may well stretch a little – but the end result will be more than worth it.

It’s great to see the Lab respond so positively and openly with a user-based project in this way, and again demonstrates that the Lab is willing to engage and work cooperatively with the community as a whole.

It’ll be interesting to see whether this project yet proves to be a new building block in the way the Viewer is developed and enhanced in the future.

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5 thoughts on “Parametric deformer: Linden Lab formally engages

  1. I give Linden Lab partial kudos for this. The decision was more about saving face than doing the right thing, as I had said before. In that Linden Lab originally proposed a “solution” involving Havok, which would have immediately negated the adoption across OpenSim, says that they eventually came to their senses only because they were digging a PR Hole they didn’t want to climb out of later.

    Mesh is their “big reveal” and after quite some time in the works, it baffles me that they would let it out of the lab with a fundamental flaw which severely restricts the content creator’s ability to implement and use it. It baffles me that Linden Lab would knowingly mark a JIRA of that high importance (which also included a proposed solution for all) as “Someday/Maybe” indicating they had “more important things” to give their attention to than the biggest addition to their product in years, and it baffles me that they would have allowed it to get to the point where their own community superseded them and independently raised the money to hire an ex-linden to do what the current Lindens were refusing to do.

    It baffles me that given all of this, they would knowingly propose a solution themselves which would immediately negate the possibility of anyone other than Linden Lab implementing it, making it an obvious “non-solution”, with the intention of knowing full well that the community wouldn’t accept it (and thus meaning Linden Lab wasn’t really serious).

    During the course of these proceedings, Linden Lab had plenty of opportunity to jump in and fix their mistake (internally and externally), but chose every step of the way to fight it or ignore it until such time as it had become blatantly apparent that the community was willing to do Linden Lab’s job when Linden Lab was clearly not willing.

    Working with Qarl at this point is really a “better late than never” sort of accomplishment, but only because Linden Lab was under the widespread threat of realizing that literally every system *except* their own was on board with the solution already under way. It would have looked very bad (and already does) if Linden Lab had continued to ignore this – As it stands, they released a fundamentally broken Mesh system, which their community pointed out not only a solution for, but filed a JIRA which Linden Lab dismissed flippantly, to which the community raised the money themselves to hire an ex-Linden Lab employee to work on – in itself being a PR disgrace for Linden Lab, followed by a half-hearted ‘non-solution” proposal from Linden Lab when they knew full well it wasn’t something OpenSim would implement when there was a fully open solution in the works. Only *after* the money was raised by their own community and an ex-employee of Linden Lab was hired to do the job that existing Lindens weren’t willing to do in order to fix their own product for the benefit of their main revenue stream (the community itself and content creators), did Linden Lab suddenly say “We’d like to work with you on this.”

    They should have saved face much earlier than this. I still give them kudos for not being entirely braindead over at Linden Lab, but honestly, I’m not patting them on the back for doing the blatantly obvious thing only after the fact.

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