Greetings, Kokua/Imprudence fans! Things have been a bit quiet on the blog, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes. I’d like to take a minute to give you all an update about what we’ve been working on.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been working on defining, clarifying, and streamlining the Kokua/Imprudence Project’s “communication policy”, i.e. the way we use various communication channels like the blog, issue tracker, mailing lists, and forums. My goals have been to reduce the redundancy/overlap of communication channels, define guidelines for which channels shou be used for which purpose, and to publicly document this policy. Most of my work has been writing and organizing wiki pages, for example the Communication Channels, Reporting a bug, Proposing a feature, and Support pages.
My focus now is on restructuring the forums and tweaking their purpose so they don’t overlap as much with other communication channels. Before we do that, we would like to get more feedback from people who use the forums regularly. Please check out the “Forum Restructuring” topic in the forums to read more about the proposed restructuring and let us know what you think.
Imprudence 1.4 Beta
McCabe has been on an Imprudence coding frenzy lately, hammering out tons of bug fixes and UI tweaks, and applying patches from other viewers. There are too many to list them all right now, but Imprudence will finally have a more detailed radar in its own window (to complement the one in the minimap), and the grid manager can store a login name and/or password for each grid (alas, it’s not the best possible solution, but it’s better than no solution at all).
We’re aiming to release one more Imprudence 1.4 Experimental, probably within the next few days. After that, Imprudence 1.4 will (at long last!) enter beta development, bringing it one step closer to final release. I’m anticipating about 2 beta versions, then 1 or 2 release candidates, then the final release. Barring any major unexpected problems, Imprudence 1.4 should be complete before the end of May. Then, we can finally focus fully on Kokua!
But, while I’m on the topic of Imprudence 1.4: I know Mac users have been wondering about the lack of audio stream support. That issue has lingered much longer than it should have, so you guys deserve an explanation of what’s going on.
It isn’t really a technical issue, but rather a mental/motivational block. Currently, I’m the only one on the team who can work on Mac stuff. (Elektra, who has handled Mac development in the past, is still officially on the team, but she has been busy with RL work for so long that she is, for practical purposes, retired from Imprudence.) But, McCabe and I have had so much trouble and frustration with the media system in the past, that my mind associates it with strong negative emotions. It takes a real effort for me to focus my mind on the media system, and there have been many other tasks for me to deal with lately, so I have subconsciously neglected/avoided addressing Mac audio stream support.
So, that’s why it has taken so long. But, you can rest assured that — one way or another — Imprudence 1.4 will have working Mac audio stream support before we reach the release candidate stage.
Kokua Test Builds
Meanwhile, Armin has been leading the Kokua development effort, so that we can soon begin to release test builds. The purpose of these builds will be to start getting bug reports and preliminary feedback from the community. The Kokua development process will involve a lot of iteration and experimentation: make a change, get feeback from the community, repeat. Some of the experiments will be flops, but those can be improved or reverted. Over time, the viewer will evolve and change, with your feedback as a selective pressure.
We’re hoping to release the first test build within the next week or two. At this point, Kokua still looks and feels quite a bit like the Second Life Viewer 2.4
Here’s a little teaser Armin posted recently, showing some of his recent experiments with the UI (click for a larger view):
A few things to note are the re-integrated camera controls (the window in the top left); the Inventory button, which toggles a non-Sidebar inventory window; and the Sidebar button, which toggles a small window with buttons to navigate the sidebar). And, of course, be sure to note the purple UI.
So, that’s the status! Watch for a new Imprudence 1.4 Experimental very soon, and a Kokua test build shortly after that. And don’t forget to give us your thoughts about the forum restructuring!