Cinder Roxley continues with her promise to maintain and improve the Radegast lightweight client for Second Life and OpenSim, and on July 15th she released version 2.24, which sees a range of improvements, both visible and under-the-hood.
Triggering gestures directly from nearby chat, just as you would from any viewer (e.g. by whatever trigger is set for the gesture – such as “/hey”).
The wearing of multiple system layers (multiple pants, shirt, jacket, tattoo, layers), again as has been the case with the viewer for the last several years.
An audible “pop” sound when blue notifications open, to assist the visually impaired when notifications are received.
Under the hood are even more changes, with Cinder continuing to refactor and improve the code – notable focusing on the plug-ins manager, and a new tarball for Linux installation. In the case of the latter, Cinder notes you need to have a recent (4.6.x or later) version of mono installed, together with the latest patch set.
The tarball could potentially be used with Mac OSX, although Cinder also states, “it will run if you put a lot of effort into configuring Mono and Xquartz to properly handle WinForms … but WinForms is poorly supported on MacOS.” She goes on to say she’s still working on getting the client more readily installable on Mac OSX.
The Linux installation has not be thoroughly tested, so if you are a Linux user and would like to help Cinder, please download and install 2.24, and record any issues you encounter on the new Radegast issue tracker.
If you are a coder / developer, and would like to assist in maintaining Radegast, please contact Cinder Roxley.
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 Current Viewer Releases 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. This page 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
By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
July is a celebratory month for the US space programme. I’ve already written about July 4th marking the 20th anniversary of America – and the world – having had a continuous robotic presence on or around Mars for 20 years. This week, July 16th and July 20th mark the anniversaries of perhaps the two most momentous days in human space flight – the Lift-off of the Apollo 11 mission to land men on the lunar surface and, on July 20th, the actual landing of the Lunar Excursion Module Eagle on the Sea of Tranquillity. Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin spent 21.5 hours there, while their colleague Michael Collins (the “forgotten third man” of Apollo 11) orbited the Moon aboard the Command and Service Module Columbia, carrying out a range of science work as he awaited his compatriots’ ascent back to orbit.
The Apollo programme, although ultimately dedicated to meeting John F. Kennedy’s 1961 goal of “putting a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”, actually had its roots in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration, when it was seen as a logical progression from America’s single-seat Mercury programme to a vehicle capable of carrying a crew of three on a range of mission types, including ferrying crews to a space station, performing circumlunar flights, and eventually forming part of manned lunar landings.
Apollo was a bold venture, particularly when you consider Kennedy’s directive that America commit itself to achieving a manned landing on the Moon before the end of the 1960s, given in a stirring address before Congress on May 25, 1961 came just twenty days after NASA had finally managed to pump a man – Alan Shephard – into space on a sub-orbital flight, while their first orbital success with John Glenn was still nine months in the future. It was a programme which was politically motivated to be sure, but which nevertheless yielded scientific and technological results which helped shape both our understanding of the solar system and helped improve ours lives on many levels. It raised the potential of human space exploration high in the public consciousness, and was illuminated by tremendous successes whilst also and shadowed by moments of tragedy and near-tragedy.
As well as the missions themselves and the hardware required to carry them out – the Command and Service Module, the Lunar Excursion Module, the Saturn family of rockets (including the mighty Saturn V), Apollo perhaps did more than any over programme to shape NASA. It gave rise to the massive launch infrastructure at Merritt Island, Florida – now known as the Kennedy Space Centre – including the historic launch pads of Launch Complex 39, used by both Apollo and the shuttle, and now used by SpaceX and (soon) by NASA’s massive Space Launch System rockets; the Vehicle Assembly Building (then called the Vertical Assembly Building), where the Saturn rockets were assembled ready for launch, the still-used Launch Control Complex, and more. At the same time, Apollo gave NASA its operational heart for human space missions – the Manned Spaceflight Centre (now called the Johnston Spaceflight Centre) on land just outside Houston, Texas, donated to NASA by Rice University.
The entire history of the programme is a fascinating read – the politics, both in Washington (Kennedy’s own s science advisor, Jerome Wiesner, was quite vociferous in opposing the idea of sending men to the Moon) and in NASA (where a fierce difference of opinion was apparent in how the mission should be carried out. It’s a story I may some day plumb in a Space Sunday “special”, but for now I’ll simply say that all things considered, Apollo was a success, albeit one very self-contained. Six missions to the surface of the Moon, nine missions to and around the Moon, and the opportunity to increase our understanding of Earth’s natural satellite both by a human presence there and afterwards, thanks to the equipment left behind.
New Horizons Pluto Flyby
July 14th marked the second anniversary of the New Horizons spacecraft’s flyby of Pluto and Charon – a high-speed dash between the two lasting mere hours, after a nine-and-a-half year flight simply to reach them. Brief though the encounter might have been, the spacecraft returned such a wealth of data and images that our view of Pluto and its companion has been forever changed, with Pluto in particular – as I’ve often referenced in these Space Sunday pieces – revealing itself to be an enigma wrapped in a puzzle, determined to shatter our understanding of small planetary bodies in the solar system.
Such is the wealth of data gathered by the probe, coupled with the distances involved and the rate at which it could transmit data back to Earth, it took 16 months of all of the information stored aboard New Horizons to be returned to scientists here on Earth.
To mark the second anniversary of New Horizons’ flyby, NASA released a new video using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and Charon, to offer a unique flight across Pluto.
The movie starts over the highlands to the south-west of “Sputnik Planum’s” great nitrogen ice sheet (visible to the right as the movie progresses), with the track of the film passing directly over the chaotic cratered and mountain terrain of “Cthulhu Macula”. moving northwards, the flight passes over the fractured highlands of “Voyager Terra” then back southwards over Pioneer Terra, distinguished by pitting, before concluding over the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere.