Metabolt set to live on

Metabolt-logoThere have been concerns and rumours circulating about Metabolt, the text-based client for Second Life and OpenSim. The last update occurred in August 2013; the long delay coupled with the recent unavailability of the Metabolt website, fuelled rumours that the client was being discontinued.

However, this is not the case; CasperTech are stepping-in to take over curating the project, as an announcement on the Metabolt website reveals:

Same Viewer. New Opportunities

It was recently announced that the METAbolt project was being discontinued. We are very happy to announce that this has not happened, and instead CasperTech have stepped in to curate and maintain the project.

CasperTech is a leading provider of solutions for content creators within Second Life. We believe that METAbolt will benefit from our strong legacy and foundations.

It is not our intention to commercialise the project, and we will maintain it in the same spirit of open source community collaboration. We do intend, however, to rejuvenate the METAbolt community with active development, support and new innovation. We are very excited by this opportunity, and we hope you are, too!

Please bear with us while we complete the transitional period – we’re working on a new website and will be making our first release of METAbolt soon.

– Casper Warden, CasperTech Ltd.

While the new Metabolt site is being set-up, a link to the download page / source code for the current release of the client is included below the message.

Metabolt: set to continue thanks to CasperTech
Metabolt: set to continue thanks to CasperTech

Metabolt is popular text-based client for users of various types of bot in SL (such as the Pandora Bot), which can be used for a variety of role, such as greeters, automated assistants, etc. As such, the news that the client looks set to continue should be warmly received.

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Viewer release summaries 2014: week 7

Updates for the week ending: February 16th, 2014

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.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version: updated to 3.7.0.286015 on February 10th (Fitted Mesh viewer), then to version 3.7.1.286557 (Facebook hotfix)  on February 14th (release notes)
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • HTTP RC updated on February 13th to version 3.7.1.286567 – core updates: DNS look ups changed; improvements to mesh uploads / downloads (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Sunshine / AIS v3 project viewer updated to version 3.7.1.286565 on February 13th – core updates: removal of old viewer-side baking code, stability and performance improvements (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.3.9.4 on February 16th – core updates: merge with LL HTTP updates, rendering improvements, UI updates (release notes)
  • CtrlAltStudio Alpha version for Oculus Rift  updated to 1.1.8.34412 Alpha 8 on February 10th – core updates: et display output to 120Hz for stereoscopic 3D; slider to control speed at which turning head in Riftlook turns avatar; variable avatar walk / fly speed for SpaceNavigator (release notes)
  • UKanDo updated to version 3.7.0.27930 on February 14th – core updates: merge with LL 3.7.0 code base; merge with RLV 2.8.5.9; Options added for MUpose and OOC Brackets (also working with RLV disabled) (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Stable version updated to 1.26.10.11; Experimental version to 1.26.11.11 and Legacy version to 1.26.8.48 all on February 15th – core updates: Fitted Mesh support; backport of LL’s “Show on Map” feature in the inventory context menu for landmarks; backport of merchant outbox fixes; fixes and a speed optimization to render debug features from Singularity; FmodEx updates; code clean-up (all); fix to a materials rendering glitch from Singularity (1.26.10.11 / 1.26.11.11), crash bug fixes to the new object caching code from LL’s viewer-interesting (1.26.11.11) – release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Mobile Grid Client updated to version 1.21.1207 and then to 1.21.1212 (February 16th) – core updates: connectivity issue fix for new (Z10) BlackBerry devices; fix for crash when using a mouse

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Feb 15th Firestorm Q&A video and transcript: next release and news

firestorm-logoOn Saturday February 15th 2014, the Firestorm team hosted a meeting to cover news on the upcoming release of Firestorm, projects they’re working on, and to answer audience questions.

While the meeting was recorded, the Firestorm team are aware that many of their users have hearing difficulties, and / or prefer to read text, so this transcript has been supplied on their behalf.

When reading, please remember:

  • This is not a word-for-word transcript of the entire meeting. While all quotes given are as they are spoken in the video, to assist in readability and maintain the flow of conversation, not all asides, jokes, interruptions, etc., have been included in the text presented here
  • If there are any sizeable gaps in comments from a speaker which resulted from asides, repetition, questions to others etc,, these are indicated by the use of “…”
  • Timestamps are provided as guidance should anyone wish to hear the comments in full from any speaker on the video
  • Questions /comments were made in chat while speakers were talking. This inevitably meant that replies to questions would lag well behind when they were originally asked. To provide context between questions and answers, questions in the transcript are given (in italics) at the point at which each is addressed by a member of the Firestorm team, either in voice or via chat.

Please note: This transcript is provided for informational purposes only. I am not an official member of the Firestorm team, and technical or support issues relating to Firestorm cannot easily be addressed through these pages. Such requests for assistance should be made through the in-world Firestorm Support groups or at the Firestorm support region.

The TL;DR Summary

Items here are presented in the order in which they are likely to be of interest to users, rather than chronologically. Timestamps in braces refer to times in the video where the relevant commentary can be heard. All sections are expanded upon in the main transcript – click on the timestamp to go to them.

  • [0:51:07] The next release of Firestorm will be out around March 9th – possibly a little before, possibly after. Some of what should be in it includes:
    • From LL: Fitted Mesh, HTTP (hopefully – see HTTP discussion), SLShare (Facebook support), Request teleport, New region restart warnings
    • RLVa 1.4.9, Animation Explorer, Area Search updates, revised Contacts Sets, Mmany mini-map updates (from Exodus), avatar shape XML import, group list .CSF export, materials support in object exporter, Phototools updates, anti-spam updates, and more
    • Major and minor bug fixes
  • [0:17:57] Firestorm Download Server: Firestorm have been forced to discontinue using Google cloud as their viewer download service due to reasons of costs following to changes to Google’s service. As a result, after looking at options for offering viewer downloads, the team has opted to invest in a dedicated download server of their own. This may lead to issues being experienced when downloading future releases of Firestorm. Details in the section Firestorm Download Server
  • [0:07:54] Cinder Roxley, one of the core Firestorm developers and open-source code contributors to the Lab, has departed Second Life, leaving something of a large hole in the Firestorm team
  • [0:07:54] Leap Motion: work is underway, now to be led by David Rowe (Strachan Ofarrell in SL), who develops CtrlAltStudio, who is partnering with Firestorm to carry the project forward. Work has started on camera manipulation, object manipulation and avatar movement. However, there is still a major amount of work to be done, at least some of which is contingent upon Leap Motion producing an releasing an update for the device itself. It is therefore unlikely any work on Leap Motion will be appearing in the near future, and certainly on in the next Firestorm release
  • [0:27:55] Voice issues: Vivox has offered to assist the Lab in dealing with at least some of the issues with SL voice. A new SDK (SLvoice plugin) is due to be released soon. If it arrives in time, it may be incorporated into the upcoming Firestorm release
  • [1:13:34] Mac issues: and update on matters for Mac users.
  • [0:41:02] HTTP: Tankmaster Finesmith has been merging the Lab’s HTTP updates into his own Firestorm repository. Depending on what happens the Lab’s HTTP viewer updates, Tank’s work may be merged into the upcoming Firestorm release and form a part of it
  • [1:09:40] mini Q&A session.

With thanks, as always, to North for the video.

Continue reading “Feb 15th Firestorm Q&A video and transcript: next release and news”