Mesh deformer: moving ahead in InWorldz, but will it affect LL?

At the weekend, Tranquility Dexler, the CTO of InWorldz,  Tweeted about the work Qarl Fizz (Karl Stiefvater) has been undertaking in order to implement the deformer for InWorldz, and the fact that Qarl has a patch which should enable TPVs to integrate the”fast deformer” into their code.

Tranquility Dexler's Tweet from July 6th
Tranquility Dexler’s Tweet from July 6th

The link in the Tweet leads to a post on Qarl’s blog which gives further information on the project:

The team over at InWorldz recently asked if i could help them integrate the clothing deformer into their new mesh viewer. which is nice, I think, because people really want to fit their clothing. and so far they can’t.

But the InWorldz guys took it a step further – they asked if there was anything I could do to improve the code. and I said yes, it could be made faster. and they put-up a bit of money to make it happen.

Attached is a patch to the deformer code which (by my quick estimates) makes the deformation process 21 times faster. many thanks to David and McCabe for making this possible.

Qarl: working ti integrate the deformer code into the InWorldz viewer
Qarl: working ti integrate the deformer code into the InWorldz viewer

This has led to some speculation as to what impact the patch might have on the Lab’s work with the deformer.

I would hazard a guess and say, “Initially, not a lot.”

I say this not to denigrate LL or to suggest that LL have no interest in implementing the deformer.

Rather, I say it simply because the Lab will likely proceed at their own pace as and when the resources are available to focus on the work they have – as a result of the many and varied robust discussions held on STORM-1716  – determined as needing to be carried out before they move the deformer to a released status.

This does, however, leave TPVs with a dilemma. Do they push ahead and adopt the code, and risk issues down the road when LL start to update the deformer themselves while opting to ignore Qarl’s latest work? Or do they play safe and wait to see what the Lab opts to do?

There is some speculation that were TPVs to incorporate the code into alpha / experimental versions of their viewers, it might tip the balance towards the Lab renewing work on the deformer (and / or adopting them code) sooner rather than later. However, there is a question mark over this.

While TPVs can produce “experimental” viewers utilising code which “breaks” the “shared experience”, it has always been intimated by the Lab that they can do so only as long as such viewers don’t enter into widespread use. While it isn’t easy to determine how LL would police this in practice (block a given viewer string? Issue a warning notice? Something else?), it might deter some TPVs with larger communities from making the code available except under very controlled conditions. If so, this might serve to dramatically reduce the visibility of a “working” deformer and possibly leave the Lab free to sail its own course.

Another option for TPVs – at least those who support OpenSim – is to integrate the code into their OpenSim versions. If nothing else, adoption of the code into OpenSim versions of various viewers might in turn see a more widespread use of mesh clothing on OpenSim, something entirely in keep with the initial goals of the project.

Posting on STORM-1716, Henri Beauchamp has already indicated he’ll be taking both routes: all three branches of his Cool VL viewer will incorporate the new code but only the experimental branch will use it when connected to SL; his legacy and stable branches of the viewer will only use the code when connected to OpenSim.

In the meantime – and again, absolutely no slight towards Linden Lab – kudos to the folk over at InWorldz for moving to adopt the deformer.

Related Links

My thanks to Tranquility Dexler for the Tweet, which alerted me to the work, and to Shug Maitland, for poking me to blog about it.

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Viewer release summary 2013: week 27

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, 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 adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.

Updates for the week ending: July 7th, 2013

SL Viewer

SL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

Additional TPV Resources

Depreciated / Discontinued Viewers

  • SL Development viewer – depreciated as of version 3.5.2.274629 April 24, 2013
  • Zen Viewer – discontinued by developer and no longer available, January 27th, 2013
  • Phoenix viewer – development and support ended on December 31st, 2012

Related Links