SL projects update 18 (3): more on the viewer

Viewer Release Process

Following-on from the announcement of a new process for viewer releases Oz Linden provided more information on the process as it will operate going forward during the Open-Dev meeting on Wednesday May 2nd, and gave a clarification on my original post after I’d mistakenly referred to individual viewer “release candidate channels”, rather than more correctly, “release candidates”. His comment in full reads:

Oz Linden
Oz Linden

The release candidates will be updates in the regular release channel, not separate candidate channels. The candidates will be in a named “cohort” within the channel, but the cohort name is not built into the viewer the way a channel name is, which means we will be able to move a candidate from its named cohort to the default without rebuilding it – the build we test will be exactly what we release. Candidates will be indistinguishable from the default release viewer (the one on the main download page) except for the version number and the new features.

The new process also means that officially, individual viewers will no longer be referred to by specific project channel names (such as CHUI, Materials Processing, etc.). Instead, they’ll be referred to by their full 4-part number (i.e. 3.5.1.274847 rather than the “Materials project viewer”).  This also means there is likely to be at least one update to the Bug Tracker so that the Environment box in the form will no longer allow a report to be submitted until viewer channel and version number have been recorded.

As a result of these changes, Oz indicated that the development viewer channel has already been depreciated, and that the beta channel, as mentioned in my original piece will be depreciated as the Lab switches over to the new system.  When a candidate viewer is ready for public consumption, it will appear on the  Alternate Viewers wiki page where it can be downloaded.

I’ll be making changes to my Viewer Round-up Page to match the new system as it comes into play.

Current SL Viewer Status Update

In the meantime, and in the lead-up to the new release process, there is expected to be a further beta viewer release (3.5.2 code), which will include the FMOD Ex updates in it, and for which Oz extended thanks to the Singularity team for their work.

The Mac Cocoa project is a little stalled. This is because, to quote Oz, “We’ve been stealing people [TPV devs] from Cocoa to get Materials done. The good news is that it’s working, we’re really knocking down bugs at a steady clip.”

The mesh deformer also remains stalled. This is again due to manpower issues but this time internal to LL. However, Oz again wanted to reassure people, stating of the deformer, “There are things I’ve given up on at this job, but that isn’t one of them.” Sadly, his plate is also full with the Materials project at the moment, together with things like the new viewer release process.

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Keisei: the returning

Back in September last year, I visited Keisei, Daddio Dow’s fabulous region, and was captivated. To my shame, I admit I’ve not had any real opportunity to get back since, despite the region being so evocative.

However, when a personal invitation arrives from Daddio, asking me whether I’d like to pay a visit and see what is new following some work he’s carried out, I was grabbing my camera and heading straight on over.

Keisei
Keisei

“I’ve done a bit of remodelling,” Daddio told me, “but what I think you and your readers will really get a kick out of is not so much the sim, but the trees I’ve found by Mitsuko Kytori of Hayabusa Designs. These trees and plants are marvels and deserve to be recognized, photographed and admired.” I have to admit that having seen them, I can only agree.

The changes made to the region are both subtle and widespread, and definitely make Keisei a place to visit once more. I’m just irritated that due to the “ERROR: LLDrawable::destroy: Illegal deletion of LLDrawable!” crash when using the snapshot floater, and which seems to be prevalent in SSB/A-enabled v3 viewers, I’m restricted grabbing screen caps a lot of the time on regions which are either busy or (as in this case) use a sim surround. This tends to make for a Growly Me.

Keisei
Keisei

Among the changes made are a number of new private residences – so please take care should you explore; the majority of the region is open to visitors, but some of the houses are equipped with security systems, and all visitors are asked to respect residents’ privacy.

Other changes within Keisei include a relocation for the bath house, which comes down from the sky while the tree house spa now sits up at 1,000m. The arrival point has been beautifully re-worked, and elements of the coastline remodelled; all of which adds up to a lot to see and enjoy.

Keisei
Keisei

The region remains a photographer’s delight, and I really do urge anyone into SL photography who has not visited Keisei to do so; there are so many opportunities here for some stunning images – and the entire region naturally lends itself to a host of windlight settings.

I have to confess that I’d actually missed the place as I nosed around and snapped away. This is a region which really is worth the time to visit. And if you’re looking for an oriental-themed home, there are a couple of parcels available for rent as I write!

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