The best laid plans of mice, men and Linden Lab gang aft a-gley…
Back in my week 12 update, I reported on the Lab’s hoped-for deployments, viewer-wise in the upcoming weeks, noting that if all went well, CHUI would reach the release viewer late in week 13, and open the door for Server-side Baking to move to the Beta viewer at the start of week 14 – possibly even on April 1st (and no, that wasn’t an early April Fool’s joke from Oz!).
However, a couple of things have come up which are tweaking things slightly.
Communications Hub User Interface
There are a number of unresolved issues with CHUI, not all of which might necessarily prevent the code moving to the release channel, but some of which do have significant performance / useability impacts, such as:
- CHUIBUG-132 – Frequent performance issues on recent CHUI builds – fast timers show problem is in “URL Complete”
- CHUIBUG-183 – cancelling an inventory search before the search is complete results in blank inventory contents (issue thought to be the result of a refactoring of the inventory code which is included with the CHUI code)
It had been hoped that the viewer code for SSB would move to the beta channel once CHUI had moved to the release channel. As CHUI is now remaining in beta for a while longer, the move with SSB has been delayed.
In terms of SSB’s viewer beta run, LL are re-assessing the time frame. Again, on March 22nd, Oz Linden suggested that the beta run would be between two and four weeks and liable to sway towards the latter – with the caveat that a lot depends on issues / bugs which are found during the beta run. The current thinking at LL appears to be more pragmatically focused on seeing what occurs during the beta run, rather than pinning matters to a firm timescale – as such, SSB is liable to be in beta for around two weeks, possibly longer.
However, in terms of the server code, the plan remains to cut-over to the new server code capability after the SSB code has reached the release channel of the SL viewer – although again, it is possible some initial testing regions may be running on Agni prior to the SSB code appearing in the release viewer. Until now, LL have indicated that the server-side deployment will be gradual, again as indicated in my week 12 notes linked-to above; however, exact plans still have to be confirmed within the Lab, so this may well also be subject to change in the future.
One issue with the SSB server-side code is that crossing from an SSB-enabled region to a non-SSB region triggers the need for a manual rebake (going from a non-SSB region to an SSB-enabled region will trigger and automatic rebake), and some concern has been raised that this might cause some upset as the SSB code is deployed. However, and as Oz Linden points out, manual rebakes are currently a fact-of-life on SL, and as such, this is unlikely to be seen as a reason for an immediate deployment of SSB right across the grid; nor does it warrant time being spent on ensuring rebakes are handled automatically during such region crossings as once server-side deployment does commence, the issue is liable to be relatively short-lived.
Oculus Rift and Leap Motion
The Oculus Rift headset has been garnering a lot of interest. While still very much under development, the headset has already gained considerable support from the likes of Valve Software and other game-makers. This has inevitably lead to some asking whether LL have their eye on the technology.
Whether they have or not is unclear. What is clear, and while not quite the same, is that there has been some informal experiments with the Leap Motion system, courtesy of Simon Linden, as reported on in the SL blog and also in these pages.
Commenting on the Leap Motion work which chairing the Open-source Dev meeting on monday April 1st, Oz Linden said, “If an open source dev wanted to pick up what Simon started, that would be great. That was a side project of his, and right now we don’t have time to do much more with it internally.”
The code for the work Simon has completed was also made available when his experiments were made public – so if anyone is up for the challenge, the links are still live!