LL seek to model Desura open-source client after SL viewer model

Desura's former Terms of Service included language similar to that found in LL's ToSUpdate: Linden Lab sold Desura to Bad Juju Games on November 5th, 2014.

In 2011, Desura announced that their client-side software would be released under the GNU GPL v3, allowing it to be developed and enhanced by the open-source community, with the server-side of the service remaining proprietary. The code itself was released on January 21st, 2012 under the project title Desurium.

A small community formed around the project, focusing on the development of the Linux client, with release candidates appearing from November 2012 through until around May 2013 (RC 0.8.0 RC10 for Linux 32 and 64-bit). Since then, things have been relatively quiet, no doubt in part because of Desura being acquired by Linden Lab in July 2013, although commits have continued to the project’s repository on Github.

Now that looks like it may be changing.

On September 24th, Oz Linden published a statement of intent on the Desurium community pages outlining how the Lab proposes to carry the Desurium project forward.

desurium

Essentially, the Lab will be continuing the project, but under a structure that mirrors the current arrangements for open-source development of the Second Life viewer. Part of this is a proposal to change the licensing for the client from the General Public Licence v3 to LGPL version 2.1, which is currently used with the SL viewer. The company is also proposing introducing a Contribution Agreement “substantially similar” to the Contribution Agreement used with the Second Life Viewer.

The Lab believes the licence change will “help to clarify that game developers can incorporate Desura client technology in their products however those products are licensed, and remove the need to drive software design in order to insulate non-open source games from the viral aspects of the GPL.” It is noted that all work submitted to the project prior to the licence change will remain under the GPL v3 licence, and the change, once implemented, will only apply to the project and contributions from that point forward.

Rather than seeking to make an arbitrary change to the licence, the Lab is looking to do so collaboratively, with the announcement noting:

Changing the license will require that we initiate discussions with past contributors. If some contributors are uncomfortable with this new structure, we may need to evaluate the impact that could have and whether we may need to make any adjustments. Contributors should each expect to hear from us soon.

The announcement also highlights that the Lab wishes to see client development move forward on the Windows and Mac platforms as well. It also carries strong indicators of their commitment to Desura, noting that they are in the process of recruiting additional personnel to undertake Desura / Desurium related work in terms of client development and project management, with a strong emphasis on coordination between development work undertaken in-house and development work undertaken by open-source developers.

Response to the announcement has been muted but favourable from the Desurim community.

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Farewell to a garden at the end of the world

World's End Garden, circa November 2011
Worlds End Garden, circa November 2011

I first introduced to Worlds End Garden back in 2011, when I was taken there by Himitu Twine. After that visit, it became a regular haunt until one day the region it was on was under new management, and I thought the garden had been closed. In fact, Lucia Genesis, the garden’s creator, had relocated it to her own homestead region, and I’d missed any / all notices about the move prior to it happening.

However, in perusing Flickr, I came across an image by Lucia which carried a short announcement that Worlds End Garden will be closing on October 18th 2013, and that while her store on Kowloon and her SL Marketplace presence will remain, she is apparently ending her creative work in Second Life.

Worlds End Garden, October 2013
Worlds End Garden, October 2013

There are and will be many who find this news to be sad. While some are ill-at-ease with the various religious motifs found within the garden, many – myself included – have always found it a place of tranquility, where the heart can be put at ease and the mind can contemplate the imagery present in the region or simply float free.

The garden has gone through small updates and changes during its time in SL; but the central themes and motifs – the aforementioned religious motifs, the use of water, light, and sound (do have ambient sound on should you visit) – have remained constant.

Worlds End Garden, October 2013
Worlds End Garden, October 2013

There are now only two island vignettes remaining, and although the sky scene is still present, the teleport system appears to have been unlinked. Whether this is all part of gentle preparations for the forthcoming departure, I’ve no idea. However, for all of those who have enjoyed Worlds End Garden and haven’t visited for a while, the clock is now sadly ticking. For those who haven’t yet visited, I’ll leave you with some images of the garden, past and present and remind you that it will be available to see through until October 18th.

Thank you, Lucia, for providing such a haven for so long in Second Life.

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SL projects update week 40 (2): SSA, group ban list, upcoming bug fixes

Server Deployments – Week 40 Recap

As always, please refer to the week’s forum deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

  • There was no Main channel deployment in week 40
  • The three RC channels all received the same update, comprising a fix for a bug affecting group notice delivery to large groups whereby the notice randomly fails to reach some group members; a new JSON_DELETE option for llJsonSetValue(); interest list preparatory work for more correct sort order during scene load – release notes (BlueSteel).
Having fun at the Server Beta Meeting
Having fun at the Server Beta Meeting

Upcoming Bug Fixes

There are a number of upcoming server-side bug fixes due. It is hoped all of these will reach one or more RCs in week 41. However, this depends on them passing QA, etc. The fixes include:

llGetCameraRot() Issue

There has been a series of bug reports from across the grid being raised about problems with camera updates when operating in Mouselook with scripted objects using llGetCameraRot() (HUDS, weapons, etc), and which may also affect scripted objects using llGetCameraRot()  when in 3rd person view. Commenting on the issue at the Server Beta meeting, Maestro Linden had this to say:

There were a few bugs reported today [Thursday October 3rd] about llGetCameraRot() being ‘lazy’ about updates, which we’ve been able to confirm. If you’re aiming in mouselook and make subtle adjustments, the llGetCameraRot() rotation doesn’t change (but should) …

In any case, Andrew took a look at the bug and found the cause; one of the interest list changes affected how often the simulator updates the reported camera rotation value. He had added some hysteresis so that only large changes that would affect your interest list (cone of objects you’re seeing) would cause the value to update, not realizing that it affected llGetCameraRot(). There’s a fix pending, so we should hopefully have that ready for the next rolls.

Group Access to Parcel when “Sell Passes” Set

I reported on this issue in my week 39 updates. Essentially, if a region is set to group access and to “Sell Passes”, Group members ended up unable to enter the parcel at all. The problem was accidentally introduced with the recent parcel access updates, and while not widespread, is still recognised as a pain for those using the option.

Region Crossing Fixes

There are two upcoming fixes for region crossings.

The first is a fix for “‘Ghost’ avatars and vehicles sometimes appear to an observer at the sim border”. This is caused by an avatar or vehicle making a region crossing just at the limit of the observer’s  draw distance, so the simulator that the vehicle / avatar was leaving didn’t send an ObjectDelete message, since it figured the destination region would handle future object updates. However, as the observer’s viewer wasn’t connected to to the destination region, no update would be received, leaving the “ghost” image in view (“touching” it would cause it to vanish).

The second is a fix for “Vehicles which exit a region with a passenger are incorrectly autoreturned and ‘ghosted'”.  This is related to a vehicle being rezzed in a region with auto return set, and then “loitering” in the area before coincidentally trying to cross the region boundary at the time the auto return delay expired. during the crossing process, the vehicle would appear to be unoccupied to the region it was leaving – and thus be returned to the owner. In addition, the vehicle’s collision body would be “left behind” (marked as “pending delete” without actually being deleted) which could then be run into as a “ghosted” object by other vehicles.

Currently, a region restart fixes this issue.

SL Viewer Updates

There has been no promotion of an RC viewer to the de facto release viewer so far in week 40. The Maintenance viewer (support for new particle capabilities; automatic avatar render limit and feedback system) gained a further update on September 30th, with the arrival of version 3.6.7.281793.

Mac OSX 10.6 Viewer roll-back

As reported here, due to the recent Cocoa updates causing regression for users on Mac OSX 10.6, the Lab has opted to roll-back all users on that operating system to version 3.6.4.280048 (August 20th, 2013).

Interest List Viewer

It’s now believed that the Interest List viewer is around two weeks from appearing as either a project viewer or an RC viewer.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 40 (2): SSA, group ban list, upcoming bug fixes”