METAbolt is a lightweight text-based client for Second Life and OpenSim offering a range of features and capabilities. At the start of the year, there had been concerns that due to the long delay between updates (the last being August 2013), work on the client had stopped.
While it has taken a while for things to move forward since then, the initial interim updates from CasperTech have now started to appear.
The first of these was to update METAbolt from release 0.9.69.0 (Beta) to version 0.9.70.0 (release notes) on June 13th. As an interim update, this release did not bring with it new features or capabilities, but focused more on bug fixes and under-the-hood updates:
- Bug fixes from CasperTech and contributed by users – for which CasperTach pass on thanks
- The removal of x64 support – the viewer is now 32-bit focused and installs into C:\Program Files (x86) by default. The reason given for this is, “If METAbolt uses over 4gb of memory, it’s really not doing its job as a lightweight text client. Let’s use faster 32-bit pointers instead!”
- Initial work on providing Mono support for Linux and Mac compatibility, although as the release notes state, it will be a while yet before this is complete
As this release resulted in an issue with METAbolt plugins, June 14th saw the release of version 0.9.71.0 (release notes) which, as well as fixing the plugins problem, also added a digital signature to the installer to prevent any security warnings from popping up on download.
Both of the releases present METAbolt as an installer .EXE, rather than packaging them as a ZIP file containing the installer and support files, as with previous versions. A little more work is required on cleaning-up some elements, as the installer does still refer to “METAbolt (64 bit)” and defaults to naming the installation folder “METAbolt (64 bit)” under Program Files (x86). However, this is purely a cosmetic thing, and not something that interferes with using the client.
Given the focus with these updates is on under-the-hood changes, the look and feel ofMETAbolt remains largely unchanged from earlier recent releases, other than the revised log-in / splash screen. Which is not to say additional work isn’t already underway.Tom Mettam, now leading the METAbolt project indicates that there is a major code refactor underway; as a part of this, CasperTech apparently plan to offer “bounties” for people willing to assist with the work. Those interested are advised to keep and eye on the Issues section of the METAbolt GitHub tracker for more information.
While I have not covered every release of METAbolt through this blog, those unfamiliar with the client may want to read my initial review, mush of which still appears to be relevant, and check the METAbolt category of this blog for those updates I do have.