The long and often crazy debate over how to fit mesh clothing to the avatar (STORM-1716) has reached a turning point. In a post there, in an announcement in the official blog, and in a newly created STORM-1985; Oz Linden makes it official that they are going with what most of us know as “Liquid Mesh” as opposed to the Mesh Deformer created by Qarl. As explained in a new wiki post, LL has added 5 additional collision bones, largely so that your jiggly bits will not poke through.
I have been hoping / expecting some sort of action on this for some time. Although taking this step now probably indicates that they are not yet ready to move to Avatar2, this is a very good interim decision. The key thing is that there is a decision! A direction forward had been mapped, and we can soon expect better fitting mesh clothing from our excellent clothing designers.
This announcement was handled very well by the lab. Thank you OZ for a clear, rumor free announcement.
“Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”Dale Turner
I have been waiting since Tuesday for the other shoe to drop. Nothing! Or nearly nothing at least. Linden Lab and the Third Party Viewer developers are to be congratulated on a job well done. By any reasonable measure Server-side Appearance is a rousing success!
A relatively small number of people have had “issues”:
1- User hardware. Lets get this out of the way first. If your equipment and your connection to the internet do not meet minimum requirement for SL you will have problems! One ray of sunshine – it is back-to-school season and there are lots of sales on computers that will work. If you use a cell phone connection to log in, you should expect problems, especially during high traffic times.
2- Temporary textures and Z offset. These are both gone, at least as we knew them. LL replaced Temp Textures with Local Textures, this actually works better except only you can see them. Kind of suck for collaborative work. Z offset was replaced with Hover which was kind of clunky until Henri Beauchamp (Cool VL Viewer) got his hands on it. I anticipate his fix to work it’s way into Third Party viewers fairly quickly.
3- Sun-99 and the Current Outfit folder. This really is a bug. Some people have ended up with more than one current outfit folder, this messes with SSA since it bases your appearance on that folder. If you have this problem contact LL support, they have a fix.
4- Corrupt skin and/or outfit textures. SSB does not handle this well, any corrupt texture will cause the effected part of your body (head, body, legs) to stay gray. Best advice, try changing stuff on the effected area.
Inara Pey’s excellent summary.
Nalates posts here and here.
Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another ‘unrelated’ part is modified. Murphyism
There was a Questions & Answers meeting with the Firestorm team last week. Inara Pey has a transcript (edited for clarity) on her blog, along with the entire 2 hour 45 minute video.
Some highlights and news:
CHUI– It was last year when the Lab decided to revamp the Communication interface (why they chose to name it after a rather uncommunicative Star Wars character is speculation for another day). While I respect their choice to “do it the right way”, this resulted in complex and deeply embedded changes to the underlying viewer code Firestorm is built from. As of now those changes are not yet finalized. The challenge this set before the Firestorm developers has been huge! They anticipate it will be another 2 or 3 months before they have a new version that has this integration incorporated sufficiently to release a good-enough viewer update. It will not be perfect or even up to their usual quality standards, that will likely take a few months into next year.
Materials– This is the much anticipated feature that will give textures a 3D look. This is almost ready in the Official viewer pipeline but the Firestorm team can only integrate one thing at a time and retain their sanity. It should also be included in the next viewer update.
Version Control– This will probably upset some people, an explanation is in order. The Lindens report that of the 1,800 viewer versions logging in to Second Life, 1,600 are Phoenix/Firestorm! The grid-wide deployment of server-side appearance/baking will break a large number of them. Firestorm will take the opportunity to limit the number of allowed versions to 3 (the current version and the 2 most recent old ones). There will perhaps be a few days of a warning period when there will be 4. This is a huge problem for people limping along with old, outdated equipment! There is a harsh message for those people; Firestorm is a high-end, feature and option rich viewer! It was never intended for use on minimal system hardware! Perhaps the Official viewer, or Singularity will work.
The Firestorm Team deserves high praise for openly communicating with us,their users. They promise more meetings like this in the coming months.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clark
Finally an explanation I can understand of the new release process the Lab is using for LL viewers. Well done Inara!
Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World
Update July 23rd: As release candidate viewers are now available for download on the Alternate Viewers wiki page, I’ve added some notes on manually installing and running multiple release candidates to this article.
The new viewer release process announced by the Lab in May 2013 has officially been implemented.
Officially called the Viewer Integration and Release Process, It is designed to improve how the Lab can put new viewers before users and progress them through to a release status while avoiding bottlenecks such as those witnessed in late 2012, when an issue with the Viewer Beta channel effectively stopped any new viewer releases for around a two-month period.
With the new system, early versions of viewers will still be made available through “dedicated” project and beta viewers, all of which will be available for download via the Official Alternate Viewer wiki page. However, the major change to…
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