A TPV developer meeting took place on Friday August 1st, 2014. 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 video.
[00:15] There have been no changes to the RC viewer currently in the release channel or to the project viewers. The limited release log-in viewer which is being used for some unspecified A/B testing is still in the wild as well, although this is not available for manual download via the Alternate Viewers wiki page.
The Zipper viewer (for faster installation), which reappeared as a RC viewer on Wednesday July 30th (version 184.108.40.2062263), is reported as doing “pretty terribly” crash-wise on older operating systems which may not support the archive format used to zip the viewer skins for faster installation. As a result, the Lab is currently unsure as to whether the project will be continued or not. Until a decision has been made, TPV developers have been advised not to port the code.
The Oculus Rift project viewer was updated to the current viewer code base in week 30. However, it is not currently clear when any updates related to the Oculus DK2 kit will start appearing in the viewer.
As indicated in part 1 of this week’s update, the Experience Keys beta project is going well. There are some issues to be addressed, although these are describing as being “nothing major”, and it’s not clear if they are viewer-related or not.
Unsupported Operating System Versions and Windows 8.0
[38:03] A reminder was issued at the TPV Developer meeting that the Lab will no longer be providing assistance with unsupported operating systems. This includes Windows XP and, once the Library Refresh RC viewer reaches a release status, Max OS X 10.6.
[39:05] It was also reiterated that Windows 8.0 users who are experiencing crash issues with the viewer should consider the free upgrade to Windows 8.1, which has a much lower crash rate, with overall improvement in viewer stability being described as a “really big difference”. A blog post on this subject (and viewer crashes in general) was posted by the Lab towards the end of July 2014.
[03:00] Following-on from the discussion about group chat and the initial testing of updates which took place at the Server Beta meeting on Thursday July 31st, Oz said of the work, “we’re continuing with making back-end changes, there’ll be another roll-out of some experiments shortly and we’ll see how they go. Like I’ve said before, we’re not going to generally announce when those happen, because we don’t want to change the experiment by changing people’s perceptions.”
[10:27] Although at the moment the focus is very much on what can be achieved on the back-end services without the need for changes within the viewer itself, Oz gave notice that the Lab may want to talk to TPVs about possible changes to group functionality and viewer behaviour at some point in the future. One of the questions being asked within the Lab is whether or not the members list needs to be displayed for all groups. Some groups, for example have a “no chat” policy and / or are only for the outward flow of information (e.g. product update groups); so are these a category of group for which the updates of people coming on-line or joining / leaving the session are no actually relevant, and could be eliminated or suppressed, thus reducing the volume of update messages?