SL projects updates 17/3: TPV developer meeting

A TPV developer meeting took place on Friday April 25th. The core items discussed in the meeting are reported below, with timestamps in the relevant paragraphs indicating the point at they are discussed in the video embedded here. My thanks as always to North for the latter.

Release Candidate Status

Interest List, Sunshine and Maintenance RC Viewers

[01:02] All of these RC viewers have been rebuilt during the week to use the current release viewer code base (version 3.7.6.289164, formerly the VoiceMO RC), and all look to be performing reasonably well. However, none have been in the release channel for long enough for significant stats to be gathered.

SL Share 2

[01:26] The SL Share 2 viewer was issued as a release candidate viewer on Friday April 25th, version 3.7.7.289497 (download and release notes). This viewer provides options to upload Tweets and snapshots to Twitter and / or snapshots to Flickr, and includes optional post-process filter capabilities which can be applied to snaps being uploaded to Flickr, Twitter and / or Facebook. See my review of the project viewer for further details.

Snowstorm Viewer

[02:30] The next Snowstorm viewer, featuring third-party code contributions from the open-source community (including Ima Mechanic’s BUG-1831 LSL syntax highlighting work, developed with the help of Cinder Roxley and Oz Linden), is now with LL’s QA team, and it is hoped this will be appearing as a project viewer in week 18 (week commencing Monday April 28th), assuming no issues are uncovered during the QA process.

Oculus Rift Viewer

[04:05] Other than bug fixes, the  current Oculus Rift closed beta viewer is not expected to go through any significant updates for the time being. However, it is anticipated that there will be further work on the viewer once the Lab has access to the new Rift SDK, and that this may well be “very significant”.

Zipper Project Viewer

[04:30] It is anticipated that the faster installation “zipper” viewer (currently version 3.7.5.288507 – download and release notes – dated March 28th) will become a release candidate viewer “very soon”.

Mac / Cocoa Update

[06:48] There is still no single project at the Lab which is focused on Mac Cocoa issues. However, fixes are being developed and are starting to appear as a part of overall viewer development and release process.

The current release viewer (version 3.7.6.289164), includes a Vivox update to the 4.6.x libraries, and so should resolve Mavericks-related voice issues (among other voice issues). Also, the Maintenance RC (version 3.7.7.289405) has a number of Mac / Cocoa fixes, including: MAINT-3135 “Cocoa Viewer: Mac Maximizing the viewer leaves garbage on the screen”; MAINT-3288 “MAC – Fullscreen mode issue in Viewer 3.6.7 (281793)”; MAINT-3506:  “Copy & Paste on mac viewer often generate undesired special characters at the end of the pasted line sometimes leading to crash “; and MAINT-3642 “Mac viewer can no longer export textures to TGA format”. However, as there is no over-arching project for Mac / Cocoa fixes, it is a case of checking the release notes for new RC and project viewers as they appear.

The infamous ALT-camera Cocoa bug (see FIRE-12241 (MAINT-3171) is an issue the lab has been looking at but have so far been unable to work out  why it is happening. Oz Linden invited TPV developers to consider poking at it and contributing code if they felt it is something they might be able to resolve.

Webkit Update

[12:01] Webkit is a third-party library used within the viewer for a number of tasks. For example,  it powers the built-in web browser, and is used to display profiles (unless you’re using a viewer supporting legacy profiles). It is also used with Media on a Prim (MOAP) and many in-world televisions.

There have been an increasing number of issues with webkit. The libraries used within SL are out-of-date, for example, something which has caused the Lab and TPVs a considerable amount of pain (see BUG-4763 and FIRE-12642, and FIRE-11057). Given these problems, Monty Linden has been focusing on trying to improve matters, notably by creating a new lqtwebkit library repo, which he describes as “extremely experimental”.

Firestorm have re-worked webkit for themselves, updating to version 5..2.1 for Windows, which seems to be resolving issues. They’re working to do the same with Linux and Mac, although there is a problem with the latter where buttons embedded in a Flash video will not work.

As reported last time, a further problem here is that the qtwebkit (on which lqtwebkit is based) has been deprecated by QT, so the Lab is faced with a decision as to what to do going forward. One option may be to go with CEF, but which direction the Lab will take has yet to be decided.