Viewer release summary 2012: week 34

The following is summary of changes to SL viewers / clients (official and TPV) which have taken place in the past week. It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, which provides a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as being in adherence with the TPV Policy.

This summary is published every Monday, and by its nature will always be in arrears. Therefore, for the most up-to-date information on viewers and clients, please see my Viewer Round-up Page, which is updated as soon as I’m aware of any changes, and which includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., for Viewers and clients as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.  

Updates for the week ending: 26 August, 2012

  • SL Viewer updates:
    • Beta version rolled to 3.4.0.263727 on August 20 – release notes
    • Development: rolled to 3.4.1.263920 on August 16
    • Mesh Deformer updated to 3.3.1.264008 on August 24
  • Cool Viewer: Stable branch rolled to 1.26.4.27  and Experimental to 1.26.5.6, both on August 26 – release notes for both
  • Singularity release version 1.7.1.2888 on August 22 – release notes
  • Lumiya updated to 2.2.2 on August 20 – release notes

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7 thoughts on “Viewer release summary 2012: week 34

  1. There was a bit of a flap, Monday. Firestorm 4.2.1 was released, and hastily withdrawn because of a bug. The bug was in Linden Code, affecting what was seen when an object rotated. The release did include Parhfinding functions, and I had trouble with a navmesh warning message which kept coming up when I entered a new region. Taking focus is OK most of the time, but not when you’re flying a ‘plane. I was told it “didn’t appear in my viewer”, maybe it’s a Skin-specific glitch.
    On the whole, I think Pathfinding code needs some careful testing, and careful choice of defaults. I don’t see much need of it the way I use SL, and found it very intrusive.

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    1. Yup. I held off releasing my 4.2.1 review due to the problem. Sadly, bed called before the 4.2.2 release made it out (it was in QA when Mr. Sandman called me to bed). The review will be out shortly, once I’ve double-checked everything.

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  2. And now Firefly 4.2.2 is out, with the problem fixed.
    All the viewers are likely to confuse people when they get Pathfinding code with new warning messages.

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  3. We are being used when all these path finding thing should have been done on beta servers!
    As they did that i wonder in fact what is the concept of testing on beta servers and if is even worth doing that!
    Besides i start to dout seriously about the technical knowledge of Lind Lab workers, as i saw some of the replies to known reported bugs!
    No wonder that users are leaving, why be on some place where nothing works anymore?

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    1. Pathfinding was put through beta – and comprehensively so, and to suggest it wasn’t is somewhat inaccurate.

      It was extensively tested on the Aditi grid, then it was moved to the main grid and region owners were invited to join-in with extensive testing (I reported on the call for volunteers from LL at least twice in this blog). The code was then rolled out via the RCs, to assess likely impact. That things went wrong is unfortunate, but unavoidable – Second Life is incredibly complex, so no matter how things are tested some issues will slip through – and LL are working to resolve those issues.

      Furthermore, many issues reported related to the “incorrect” use of llvolumedetect, inasmuch as the function was being used by content creators well removed from its intended use. While it has provided a workaround for problems, it is still something the function was never intended to do – so to say LL staffers lack technical knowledge is again unfair. It’s fair more accurate to say they when the issue was raised, they had not encountered the circumstances in which the function was liable to be used as a workaround, and had to educate themselves – which again, from the JIRA like PATHBUG-69, they actually did with some speed.

      To my eyes, where LL have failed with pathfinding is not in the release of the server-side code, but a) the fact they released it before they had the viewer tools ready for use within the official viewer; b) they didn’t at least give TPVs an opportunity to get the core tools into their offerings; c) before the pathfinding documentation was brought up-to-date.

      This is a far worse error, simply because it lead to a lot of misinformation circulating about pathfinding, leading to further confusion and upset which could have been avoided had LL actively sought to make sure as much as possible of both sides of pathfinding were released, and were given full and proper coverage and explanation via the SL blog and forums. It has in turn lead to some LL staff having to “fire-fight” the misinformation, which is never a good thing to have to do.

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  4. Well, if only for the fact that LL didn’t make path finding disabled by default can only lead to 1 conclusion, new havoc is going to screw a lot more features all are used to and LL is not going to stop!
    So they are just saying, stay or leave but we don’t care!
    Guess you know already by other blogs what is going on, more and more find that leaving can be the best option after all.
    And be sure it was the last hing i wish to see, was SL being replaced by another grid or platform, we all love it to much to wish so, despite feeling that the ones that hate it are LL bosses, mainly Rod Humble, that forgot or never realized that there is no AI behind avatars, but real ppl, real minds, with all the hassle but also all the joy that means!

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    1. People come, people go. It’s down to personal choice. While people repeatedly look at anything Linden Lab does as signalling “the end” of Second Life, they’ve all repeatedly been proven wrong. It’s managed to survive dire predictions of its demise since 2004.

      Which is not to say there aren’t problems which need to be addressed. Again, I’ve raised thee before, and will do so again. Communications (or the lack thereof) is a major contributor to people feeling disaffected with LL. Tier is also a problem – although one that is much hard at this point on time for Linden Lab to solve, simply because so much of their revenue stream is dependent upon it, and as I’ve commented before “lowering tier” isn’t the magic bullet that will automatically make everything bright and rosy in the SL garden once more.

      Which is not to say that, given the right circumstances, LL can’t at some point in the not-to-distant future move to lower tier, particularly if they have revenue streams which exist independently of SL – which is where Rod Humble has hit the nail squarely on the head in trying to get the company to diversify its product range. Indeed, it’s ironic that many SL users bemoan him doing even this, claiming (wrongly) that it is “taking away” technical attention from Second Life (it is doing nothing of the sort). Without diversification, there would be very little LL could do as regards tier without the potential to massive hurt its ability to generate profit from the tier revenue inflow.

      Pathfinding is a risk, certainly; as I’ve said before, I’m not convinced it will achieve anything close to whatever LL hope of it. But in terms of its “negative” impact, your claims are, with respect, over-exaggerated. Most people are currently blissfully unaware of pathfinding (although this will change as more and more TPVs adopt the viewer tools and will have to make a stab at explaining them in lieu of LL giving any clear-cut explanations. At the end of the day, pathfinding may not even be widely used on the grid (again, without know what else is coming down the line, it cannot be judged on its own), but that’s not enough to label it as another nail in the SL coffin, not when the majority of users can simply ignore it.

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