Radegast 2.24

Radegast Rebranded

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.

In terms of user-visible changes, Radegast2.24 allows:

  • 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.

Related Links

Advertisements

CasperTech cease Metabolt client development

Metabolt, the 3rd-party text-based client appears to have ceased development, this time possibly permanently.

Rumours that development work on the client had ceased first arose in late 2013, after an extended period which had seen no updates or releases. However, in February 2014, news circulated that CasperTech were set to take over the curation of the project and continue it in the spirit in which it had been started.

The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen from February 2014, the first indication that Metabolt would be continuing after several months of what appeared to be suspended development.
The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen from February 2014 gave the first indication that Metabolt would be continuing after several months of what appeared to be suspended development.

The announcement was followed in June 2014 with an update to the client – version 0.9.71.0. However, since then, there haven’t been any further releases, which had again left some wondering if the client was still being actively developed.

It now appears the reason for the more recent lack of releases may in part be due to a dispute between CasperTech and the original developer of Metabolt over the use of the client’s name. A dispute which has resulted CasperTech withdrawing from active development of the client, as a recent terse announcement on the Metabolt web page makes clear:

The recent CasperTech announcement

Obviously, whatever arrangement (if any) had originally been reached between CasperTech and the original developer on how the client might be continued under its original branding is a matter for the two parties concerned, and not something for idle speculation. However, given a disagreement has now arisen on the matter, then as the CasperTech announcement states, this would appear to be the end of the line for the client in its current form at this point in time.

As can be seen from the notice, CasperTech are intending to issue an alternative client in the near future, although no time frames appear to be available at the time of writing this article. I’ll of course provide a review of any new client from them once it does appear.

METAbolt updates to 0.9.71.0

Metabolt-logoMETAbolt 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.

However, as I reported in February, this was not the case, but rather CasperTech were stepping-in to take over the project, as was announced on the METAbolt website at the time.

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 updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen highlighting the fact CasperTech are now maintaining it (Feb 2014)
The updated METAbolt log-in / splash screen highlighting the fact CasperTech are now maintaining it (Feb 2014)

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.

The latest releases mostly contain under-the-hood updates and bug fixes. However a major code refactor for METAbolt is underway
The latest releases mostly contain under-the-hood updates and bug fixes. However a major code refactor for METAbolt is underway

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.

Related links

Metabolt set to live on

Metabolt-logoThere have been concerns and rumours circulating about Metabolt, the text-based client for Second Life and OpenSim. The last update occurred in August 2013; the long delay coupled with the recent unavailability of the Metabolt website, fuelled rumours that the client was being discontinued.

However, this is not the case; CasperTech are stepping-in to take over curating the project, as an announcement on the Metabolt website reveals:

Same Viewer. New Opportunities

It was recently announced that the METAbolt project was being discontinued. We are very happy to announce that this has not happened, and instead CasperTech have stepped in to curate and maintain the project.

CasperTech is a leading provider of solutions for content creators within Second Life. We believe that METAbolt will benefit from our strong legacy and foundations.

It is not our intention to commercialise the project, and we will maintain it in the same spirit of open source community collaboration. We do intend, however, to rejuvenate the METAbolt community with active development, support and new innovation. We are very excited by this opportunity, and we hope you are, too!

Please bear with us while we complete the transitional period – we’re working on a new website and will be making our first release of METAbolt soon.

– Casper Warden, CasperTech Ltd.

While the new Metabolt site is being set-up, a link to the download page / source code for the current release of the client is included below the message.

Metabolt: set to continue thanks to CasperTech
Metabolt: set to continue thanks to CasperTech

Metabolt is popular text-based client for users of various types of bot in SL (such as the Pandora Bot), which can be used for a variety of role, such as greeters, automated assistants, etc. As such, the news that the client looks set to continue should be warmly received.

Related Links