What’s Going On With Imprudence?

Things have been quiet on the Imprudence front lately, I’ll admit. So, you might be wondering: What’s going on with Imprudence?


McCabe and I got pretty exhausted working on cross-platform GStreamer and OpenAL support, which has been a long and frustrating campaign, much longer and more stressful than we had anticipated. The end always seemed just a little bit further, so we let it drag on way too long, and it wore us out and used up a lot of time that could have been spent on other improvements.

So, we’ve been on vacation on and off for the past month or two, resting up and recharging. But we’re gearing up again now, and getting back to work. But we won’t be working on sound, music, or video issues anymore, except when critical issues (widespread crashing or freezing) demand it. Fixes for less critical sound/music/video issues will have to come from other community members.

We plan to release 1.1 this weekend, and then move on to 1.2.

Moving Right Along

So, if we’re not going to be hammering on GStreamer and OpenAL, what will we be working on? Fun and interesting (to us) things! UI improvements, new features, and other things that make the viewer generally more awesome. In other words, the stuff we started this project for.

Here are a few things (but not the only things) planned for 1.2 and beyond:

  • Updating to SL 1.22 core. Imprudence has been based on the Second Life Viewer version 1.21 source for nearly all of its history. For Imprudence 1.2, we’ll be changing bases to SL 1.22. (We’ll be changing to 1.23 some time after LL has made a full release of that. But, we’ll probably borrow specific, known-good changes from the 1.23 RCs in the meantime.)
  • Restrained Life support. Imprudence 1.2 will feature support for the Restrained Life API, most popularly used in SL bondage gear, but also in a variety of other useful devices. However, we will not be using the official Restrained Life Viewer patches due to licensing issues. Instead, we will be using Kitty Barnett’s RLVa (Restrained Life Viewer Alternative), which is licensed under the GPL.
  • Account / Grid Management. We’re planning to add better support for third party (OpenSim) grids in Imprudence 1.2. This will be similar in functionality to the Hippo Viewer’s grid manager feature, but with better usability and an added account manager feature, so that you can just select an account from a drop-down list on the login screen.
  • Object Import and Export. This probably won’t be done in time for 1.2, but we’re in planning stages for an object import and export feature, i.e. saving and loading prims to/from your computer. The tool will respect object permissions. You will only be able to export objects you have rights to. We recognize the risk of someone modifying the code to disable permissions checks, but believe that the legitimate uses and benefit to content creators — content backup, transferring to and from offline build tools, migrating content to and from OpenSim, etc. — far outweigh the illegitimate uses and potential harm. There are already numerous tools that allow illegitimate copying of SL content, so content thieves won’t gain much. The lives of builders, on the other hand, will be a great deal easier.

Project Evaluation

It’s hard to believe, but two days ago, June 1, marked the 9-month anniversary of the announcement of the Imprudence Viewer Project. We’ve made some significant steps towards better usability in that time, but there’s still so much further to go.

Over the next few weeks, McCabe and I will be evaluating various aspects of the project itself (policies and workflows and such), seeing what has worked, what hasn’t, and what needs to be improved. Things we’ll be evaluating include stuff like the effectiveness of the forums as a channel for bug reports, whether an active mailing list would be worthwhile, how we should deal with the ChangeLog (manually maintaining it is a significant timesink and flow-breaker), and how to encourage more involvement from other developers and designers in the community. We’ll also be trying to establish design guidelines for the viewer, a general development strategy, and a proper roadmap!

So… that’s what’s going on with Imprudence!

2 Responses to “What’s Going On With Imprudence?”

  1. Gwyneth Llewelyn

    All excellent work, Jacek :) I’m looking forward to the changes, and quite curious to the “Hippo-like” features that you’ll be adding to Imprudence… I hope you also remember implementing some of the HyperGrid features :)

    Adding support for Restrictive Life is a great idea as well! No, I’m not part of the BSDM community either, but the interface to MystiTool and similar devices will make Imprudence a very good choice for many who use alternative viewers to use those things.

    I wonder if you could also take a peek at the curious interface additions on the Emerald GreenLife Viewer. They have probably griefers in mind (very easy way to list all users in a sim, without needing to view them, and kick them out, ban them, and return their objects, even if the sim is ultra-laggy), but some are useful: the avatar radar with the ability to directly IM people — or to move in their vicinity; the curious “double-click on the ground to move here”, which might be a more familiar way of controlling your avatar if you’re used to other platforms (no, it’s not a teleport, the avatar’s walk gets interpolated). Oh well. And I do love the Kirstens’ Viewer inclusion of the new lighting system… :)

    Features, features, features! Anyway :) Have a wonderful weekend and I hope it’ll be very productive to you and McCabe :)

  2. Anonymous

    Can’t wait for the object import-export, I’ll be DLing the source as soon as you release it… But wait, if its open source, I guess anyone can just take those permission checks out, can’t they?