Saturday, 21 April 2012

Teapot Test Viewer 1.5 For Opensim Release

Today Armin Weatherwax released test viewer 1.5 which is based on LL viewer 3.3 code and, although this is Armin's personal viewer, he is testing new features that squarely benefit Opensim. In particular the grid manager is being re-worked to dynamically update as new grids come on line and it is hoped eventually the list will be searchable too with some kind of filtering to pull up the grids of interest to you quickly.

Here is the list for changes, features and fixes in this release as published in Armin's release notes...

The coordinates are now shown after the region name which is a feature that will be helpful to Opensim users when deciding where to locate their sims when they connect to a larger grid like OSgrid.


Changes
Armin has added SoaS for Sim on a Stick users at the top
Show the actual grid name in the grid combo (that is the "old" one). Entries now look like "My Wonderful Grid (my.wonderfulgrid.net)", so that you know where you are going to connect to. Sim On A Stick now has an entry in the grid combo. Obviously this will only work if SOAS is up and running :) the whisper/mumble voice module is rebased on mumble 1.2.3 now, which gives better voice quality (but only if all participants are using it) and even less latency. However the Linux versions may not work on any other distro than *buntu 10.04/Debian Squeeze (especially newer ones). I'm working on it (see Upcoming). In the worldmap clicking "copy slurl" on Linux now copies the slurl also to the primary selection, so you can middle-mouse-button-paste it.

Features
Option to show region coordinates in units of regions in the world map. There is a checkbox on the bottom of the map floater to toggle it on and of. However it does't show the coordinates if they are not are not known (returned by the siminfo). Support of the gatekeeper url of the get_grid_info service of a grid. If present teleports to a different grid are performed as hypegrid jump rather than a relog. Note: This needs support on OpenSim side which is still under development, please be prepared that details may change. The UI preview now has a date column, though the formatting of the date is not ideal yet. However it already helps to find recently changed entries faster.

Fixes
Huge memleak in the "About Teapot" floater, which made the viewer crash if the region doesn't have the "ServerReleaseNotesUrl" capability. The Linux 64bit viewer crashed trying to upload some meshes (e.g. the "Seymour.dae" example file of the colladadom library). Note these meshes (collada 1.5) are not supported, just the viewer doesn't crash trying to upload them.
   
Linden Labs TPV Policy

One particular clause in the latest TPV policy statement seems to be saying third party viewer developers must choose between working on Second Life only features or Opensim. This would probably also include grid list and further support for hypergrid and Aurora sim. In view of this, which is by no means certain yet, developers might be force to do one of perhaps three things...

1. Develop for Second Life alone.
2. Develop for Opensim alone.
3. Develop a new two-mode viewer that can switch between both so that each is masked from the other.

Whatever happens Opensim dose need features that support where it's going and the days of following what Linden Lab rolls out for Second Life are probably coming to an end. Personally, I think that might be a good thing but I can see it wont be an easy transition for a lot of people who currently enjoy switching grids on the same viewer. The mode button might turn out a good solution but it will be a lot of work no doubt and Linden Labs may still say no to it. Let's face it they are a big business with huge profits at stake and this Opensim is getting too big for its boots. They have something here they can do to stop it progressing so why wouldn't they use it?

But, ultimately, will it do them any good?

If Opensim has to have it's own viewer then the work Armin is doing on Teapot can't come a moment too soon.

Download Teapot 1.5 here

28th April 2012: UPDATE NOW AVAILABLE. Find Teapot 1.6 on link above.

11 comments:

  1. Gaga --

    Thanks for this! I downloaded it and tried it out and it's nice. I like the v3 style (I finally got used to the layout), and the grid selector -- and especially the media-on-a-prim.

    And you say it supports Whisper/Mumble, as well?

    That's good to hear -- although with Vivox now available everywhere, it comes too late to make much of an impact in OpenSim.

    -- Maria

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    1. Hi Maria

      Yes, Teapot is actually very good and improved a lot from 1.4. I did crash with 1.4 a few times but not this time. I am generally an Imp and Astra user and I wont be giving those up but I like what Armin is doing - I have wanted this for a long time!

      I am expecting these features to be ported to Kokua eventually since Armin is an Imprudence developer. Well anyway, this my first time using a v3 viewer and I am warming to it. Grid list and search are the incentives.

      Gaga

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    2. I've been using it more extensively lately, and it's been having problems uploading image files. Clicking on Upload-Image or Upload-Bulk -- causes the viewer to hang and crash. Maybe it's just me, but if not, needs to be fixed.

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    3. Probably me ... the SL official viewer just gave me the same problems, which went away when I ran it as administrator. Stupid Windows 7.

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  2. "One particular clause in the latest TPV policy statement seems to be saying third party viewer developers must choose between working on Second Life only features or Opensim. "

    Actually, what it's saying is that you must do that only if you sub-license the Havok code. That said, if LL decides to add more Havok features to the viewer and makes Havok sub-licensing mandatory (on grounds of "shared user experience") then they pretty much will put such a divide on viewer development.

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    1. Hi Zauber

      Thanks for the insight. I don't have a great legal mind so your comment is appreciated.

      BTW, I was at InWorldz a few nights ago checking out Steampunk regions and I came across one of yours. I will be sure to mention it when I do a Steampunk across the Metaverse article I have been wanting to write.

      Gaga

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  3. I've downloaded it and took a quick look. Been having some other issues with changes to my system's layouts, so I've not taken a close enough look. I like the changes to the grid selector. People like things that are easy :-)

    For me, the two biggest things is being able to import/export linksets and being able to set the Build axis on the root prim. I'm truly surprised how useful that feature is.

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    1. About the build axis I think I can port it from Firestorm. Import/Export is more difficult, it needs a reimplementation for not running into licensing issues (and for better code quality, just to say it), and coordinating with other V3 based projects for not getting (again) a mess of incompatible formats. Afaik Firestorm is already working on it, I'd say patience is your friend here.

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  4. I wonder if Armin would be willing to take a look at the RealXtend Naali Viewer part of the Tundra package and see if it can be adapted for OpenSim use ?

    IMHO, making TPV's for OpenSim based on LL's viewer is now a futile exercise (see Havok sublicensing as a beginning to what they have in mind) and we need to be looking at Naali or Radegast as a base for OpenSim viewers going forward.

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    1. Currently I'm not that concerned about the Havok sublicensing program. Havok is at the time being only used in some part of the mesh upload process, and there is a well working Opensource replacement for it. To me that sounds - right now - like "you can use my car, but then you have to drive on my road", not like "your car isn't allowed on my road if it can drive on others". And honestly, if the Lab was in such a bad condition that their last chance to survive was to lock out clients that are able to connect to other virtual worlds, I'd rather be concerned about if the existing opensim grids are able to cope with hundreds of thousands suddenly homeless residents (which I don't see happen in the next several years).

      But apart from that, yeah, I absolutely think it would be a prudent goal for opensim to have active support for a viewer project that is (as) independent (as possible) from SL roots. I'm not into the code of Naali at all, but from what I just see it looks like that would be a good candidate to get there.

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