Archive for September, 2009

Imprudence 1.2 beta Released

We’re super stoked to announce the release of the Imprudence 1.2 beta. This new version has tons of great stuff that we know you guys will love!

  • The Object Backup feature allows content creators to import and export objects they’ve created to their hard drive. You can save backup copies for safekeeping, or even migrate your products to another grid! Woot! Thanks to the folks at the Meerkat Viewer for developing this great feature!
  • The Grid Manager allows you to customize the list of grids you can connect to, plus it comes pre-loaded with a variety of popular grids already. This is just the first step in our ongoing commitment to enhanced interoperability with OpenSim grids. Thanks to the Hippo Viewer and Meerkat folks for developing this.
  • Optional Restrained Life support allows Imprudence to work with a variety of BDSM items and scripted gadgets. Our gratitude to Kitty Barnett for her excellent work on RLVa.
  • The new Minimap Radar shows you a list of all the nearby avatars within a customizable range. Try selecting a name on the list to make their minimap icon big and red!
  • A selection of great Emerald Viewer features: Phantom mode, search inventory by creator name, double-click someplace to teleport there, and a bunch more!
  • The Windlight toolbar tab gives you easy access to to your sky settings, including a built-in selection of presets from Ana Lutetia, CodeBastard Redgrave, and Torley (thanks, guys!). Plus, click the arrow to expand it and adjust your draw distance on the fly!
  • Tons and tons and tons of other cool features, fixes, and improvements! Check out the release notes for all the juicy details.

This is a beta release, though, so expect to see some bugs. We’ve got a list of issues we already know about; in particular, you should probably avoid using the Logout feature until we fix a peculiar bug related to that. If you encounter any other issues, please post about them in the forums so we can make sure to fix them!

Now for the goodies:

Enjoy!

Compiling Imprudence on Windows

With the 1.2 beta coming up, I’ve updated our How To Compile page. The Windows build instructions should be a bit more straightforward, and I’ve added some missing links, as well as instructions for building with Visual C++ 2005 Express Edition, Microsoft’s free C++ compiler, which is now supported in develop.py (would love to know if Visual Studio 2008 works; anyone want to test and/or submit patches?). The downloads page is also up to date with links to the latest source.

As some of you might have noticed, there were a few annoyances when compiling Imprudence 1.1 on Windows. These should all be fixed in 1.2 (if not, lemme know on the forums, or better yet submit a patch to fix it). Cheers.

ImpDev September 22 Recap

The end of September draws near, so we’re starting to wrap up the development cycle for Imprudence 1.2. The emphasis now is on testing and polishing everything to make sure it’s done right.

Unfortunately, the improved user account manager feature will not be part of 1.2, as it was not on track to be ready in time. Instead, we’ll ship 1.2 with a polished version of Meerkat’s grid manager (which works fine, but is not as nice to use as we would like), then include the user account manager in 1.3.

But there’s good news: we’re planning to put out a 1.2 release candidate this week. That will give you, our kind, loving, and beautiful users, a chance to try things out and give us feedback on anything that’s not working right (which hopefully won’t be much). Then we’ll fix up what we can, and have the 1.2 final released next Wednesday!

Now, I had better get back to work!

ImpDev September 15 Recap

A quick recap from this past Tuesday’s ImpDev meetup:

  • Jacek has been focusing on the login manager feature. She hit a mental block for a while, but has gotten past it and is making good progress. Still, she expects it to keep her busy until the end of the month, and possibly a bit longer. If it’s not ready in time, we’ll ship 1.2 with Meerkat’s grid manager interface as a temporary solution, but won’t delay the 1.2 release.
  • McCabe has been making enhancements and fixing bugs in many areas, including the new Windlight quick-access toolbar tab and avatar scanner, as well as an improved layout for avatar profiles and other cool stuff!
  • Things still seem on track for releasing 1.2 by the end of the month!

Full transcript on the wiki, as usual.

Submitting patches to Imprudence

Want to change something?

In looking over our How You Can Contribute page, it occurred to me that we’ve never formalized our patch submission guidelines. To rectify this, I created a new page on the wiki for submitting patches.

There are three ways to submit a patch to Imprudence:

  1. (preferred!) Clone Imprudence on GitHub.com and push a branch containing your patch, then let us know about it either on the ImpDev mailing list or on the forums. This allows other developers to cherry pick your change and include it faster (see git tutorial).
  2. Attach your patch in our forums. If you’re solving a bug or implementing a feature, attach it to the appropriate post. Letting us know on ImpDev it exists will also help get it applied faster.
  3. Submit your patch directly to the ImpDev mailing list.

I understand not everyone’s keen on mailing lists, but posting on ImpDev is the best way to bring your patch to our attention (bonus points for having a git repository we can follow!). I’ve also included some guidelines for what we like to see in patches, mainly UI-related things.

If you’ve never generated a patch before, that’s okay. There’s a section on that, and I’m always available inworld to help, even if it’s just a one line xml fix.

We’ve got a bunch of cool stuff coming up in the next version of Imprudence. I hope to see some of your names in our release notes!

ImpDev September 8 Meetup Recap

Here’s a quicky status update. As usual, full summary and transcript from our weekly meetup are available on the wiki.

  • Jacek has imported RLVa and Meerkat’s object backup feature. Still some polishing left to do. Login manager is next on the list after that.
  • McCabe has imported (or will soon be importing) several Emerald features: Double click inworld to TP; Asset (texture) browser; Animation list; Fetch inventory at startup; Phantom avatar; Sit anywhere; Show object’s previous owner; New prim presets in the create tab; Set chat channel; Draw distance slider.
  • (We’ll be borrowing other Emerald features later, but we don’t want to get carried away and miss our deadline!)
  • Everything is on track to have Imprudence 1.2 ready before the end of September! \o/

A Year of Imprudence

It was one year ago today that McCabe and I launched the Imprudence Viewer project with the goal of greatly improving the usability of the viewer through a more open, pro-change, community-driven development process.

A great deal has happened since then; some good, some bad. There have been unexpected developments, and surprising changes in the viewer landscape. We’ve made a good deal of progress, but perhaps not as much as we wanted to.

The first few months of Imprudence went fairly smoothly. We established the project online, started discussion, generated interest, and pushed out the first release candidate version by mid-November, and the first full release version, Imprudence 1.0, just a month later. It worked fairly well, but it was missing some major features: sound, streaming music and video, and voice chat.

Linden Lab uses properietary software for those features, which meant that we would have to replace them with open source software. Unfortunately, the struggle to do that — and to get it to work across all platforms — took over 4 long, grueling, frustrating months, and thoroughly burnt us both out. Then to make matters worst, when we were nearly recovered and ready to start again, I was loaded down with a stressful and never-ending project at work, which very nearly burnt me out all over again!

So, although Imprudence has been around for a year, only the first four were spent at a healthy pace of development. The past eight months have, rather unfortunately, resulted in very little visible progress on Imprudence.

In the meantime, new viewers have come to the foreground. Emerald appeared on the scene this past spring, and has introduced a great many useful new features. Meerkat, although founded around the same time as Imprudence, finally established itself this summer with new releases boasting an object backup tool and enhanced inter-grid support. And of course, Linden Lab launched its Snowglobe project, attempting to alleviate many of the same development problems that prompted us to start Imprudence in the first place.

Naturally, with Imprudence’s lack of visible progress, the attention of most third-party viewer users and developers shifted to these other viewers. Speaking candidly, Imprudence has become mostly irrelevant.

This sobering thought raises the question: “So, what are you going to do about it?”

Our answer is simple: We’re gonna kick it up a fuckin’ notch, that’s what!

The first order of business is to “catch up” and become active again. We’re aiming to release Imprudence 1.2 by the end of September. The key features of that release will be:

  • Object import/export support, borrowed from Meerkat.
  • Account/grid manager. Also borrowed from Meerkat, but we’ll be giving it a major usability overhaul.
  • RestrainedLife API support via Kitty Barnett’s RLVa.
  • Many smaller features from Emerald (avatar scanner, phantom mode, sit anywhere, double-click to teleport, and perhaps others).
  • Rebased to SL 1.22 source. In the interest of getting Imprudence 1.2 released ASAP, we’re putting off updating to SL 1.23 until Imprudence 1.3.

Also, we’re welcoming Armin Weatherwax as a full-fledged Imprudence team member, joining McCabe and myself. Armin has been a great help over the past year, contributing many patches and porting over features from other viewers and from JIRA patches. Indeed, Armin has already ported several of the main features that will be in 1.2, as well as many smaller enhancements. So, it’s about time that we officially recognized his efforts! Thank you, Armin, and welcome aboard!

Imprudence’s future after 1.2 is still being charted, but it’s safe to assume that we’ll soon be contributing new features, fixes, and usability enhancements to the third party viewer ecosystem again. We’re meeting every week to discuss and plan Imprudence’s development, and we’ll continue to post regular updates here on the blog, as well as transcripts on the wiki.

So, happy birthday Imprudence, and cheers for the year to come!