Status Update (April 18)

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.

Forum Restructuring

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):

Kokua preview screenshot

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. :improck:

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!

11 Responses to “Status Update (April 18)”

  1. Timo Gufler

    Thanks for the update! It’s so good to know, that your Kokua branch is progressing too. :)

  2. Stryker Jenkins

    Great work team!… I am looking forward to things to come. Thanks for the sneak preview on the Kokua viewer too. VERY Glad to see you got rid (moved) the sidebar!!!

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Burnman Bedlam

    It’s been a while since I’ve commented here, but I figured I would dust off my keyboard and pipe up.

    I am glad to see 1.4 getting some love, it is still my viewer of choice and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. It’s still the most stable, responsive, and efficient browser I’ve used to date. Even on my “not optimized for Second Life” laptop, Imprudence wins while others fail.

    As much as I hate V2 and all of the current offshoots of it, I do plan to test Kokua. I truly wish to see Kokua become what V2 should have been out of the gates. My top 3 concerns are…

    1) User Interface
    2) Stability
    3) System Load

    I choose UI as #1 because I hate the V2 interface that much. If the viewer had a logical UI, I would forgive some instability. Stability is obvious, who wants their viewer to crap out? System load is important to me because I have found myself using my laptop for SL more and more often as my real life brings me out of my home office more and more often. As a content creator, I need to be able to access a SL/OS grid on the move if need be.

    I look forward to seeing what comes down the pike, you guys do amazing work! Thank you for all you guys do! :)

  4. Blaze Rumble

    I have been trying out some of the V2 viewers and some things I really like about it others not so much but I am a creature of habit as most people are anyway I really look forward to trying the Kokua viewer.

    Imprudence is my viewer of choice and I just want to say you all are amazingly talented.

    Thank you for all the hard work on the terrific viewer!!

  5. stephen Venkman

    This is still my go to viewer. Looking forward to Kokua’s release as well.

  6. Maria Korolov

    Imprudence is my go-to viewer as well these days.

    Any word on when the 4096 bug will be fixed, so we can teleport more than 4096 regions away? There’s also a problem with teleporting from one region to another that has the same grid coordinates — this comes up a lot with hypergridding, since the default location for standalones is 1000,1000.

    — Maria

  7. armin

    Maria I loved to have that bug fixed since … I don’t even remember how long… but it’s not understood how it happens. Maybe the only way to fix it is to close in a couple of viewer devs and another couple of simulator devs in one room with enough of computers and internet bandwidth, and only to open the door to give them some food and such … until they fixed it …

  8. Jamey

    Good news to hear! Sounds like things are once more starting to pop! It would be nice to find you another Mac dev, though, to bounce things off of.

  9. coldFuSion

    /agree with the comments about Imprudence which is IMO the best v1 TPV hands down.

    Having personally tried Kokua I am very impressed with it and the progress being made. It has the v2 UI with many great modifications and improvements. It is the only v2 viewer I can actually say I like.
    *whispers* no fracking web profiles \O/
    The purple UI is quite nice :improck:

  10. LaeMing

    Armin: That is why you feed captive programmers pizza – slides right under the door. :-P

  11. Cully

    I love Imprudence. I use it on a Mac PowerBook. So excited to see all the lovely improvements and fixes. Y’all are great!!!