Catznip R9 beta testing to commence; faster release cycles coming

catznip logoTrinity Dejavu of the Catznip viewer team provided me with a brief update on things relating to the viewer. The team have been working on the next release of Catznip (R9), and are already starting to look beyond it to future versions.

“We’re starting our beta test programme for R9 and beyond,” she told me on Thursday April 3rd, “And we’re going to move to a release often and early policy rather than a HUGE update once a blue moon.”

Catznip R9 has been in development for some time and is approaching a point where it will be released in the near future. With R8 having been released in July 2013, the news of a more rapid release cycle is going to be good news for Catznip users.

Catznip runs both alpha and beta testing programmes, and details of both can be found on the  Catznip wiki. However, in short:

  • The alpha group is to test very early versions of the viewer, and membership is by invitation only
  • The beta programme is not designed as an early means of gaining access to the viewer. Like alpha versions of the viewer, betas of Catznip are also liable to be incomplete, may have stability issues and will not be suitable for use as a primary viewer.

Those wishing to join the beta programme must be willing to comply with the following:

  • Use Catznip as their primary viewer
  • Be willing to undertake extensive (and repeated testing) of the viewer and viewer features
  • Have an account on the Catznip JIRA and be able submit reports
  • Be willing to allow the viewer to submit detailed crash reports to Catznip (see the team’s privacy policy)
  • Be willing to accept forced updates and have personal settings wiped
  • Preferably have a dual-boot Windows / Linux system and know what GDB is.

Instructions on how to sign-up as a Catznip beta tester can also be found on the Catznip wiki.

In reference to the next release (R9), the Catnip wiki states:

Catznip R9 is mostly feature complete, there are a couple of little bits we really want to get in if we can … The OSX version may be slightly delayed … cross your fingers.

Catznip R9 will have materials, new particles and fitted mesh from Linden Lab.

The major delay in getting the release prepped and out has been down to CHUI (LL’s Communications Hub User Interface), which had a number of unexpected impacts on viewer performance. As a result, Catznip have implemented a new chat interface, which they describe as:

Using a mixture of R8 and the best CHUI elements. The new chat interface is fast and tight with all the bells and whistles you expect (and maybe .. a few brand new ones).

There is currently no release date for the R9 version, but I’ll hopefully carry a review when it is launched.