Status Update (June 8)

Hark, another Imprudence status update!

Imprudence 1.4 beta 1 is practically complete, but preparing the release notes has taken a lot longer than anticipated. The scope of these release notes is simply huge, covering all the changes between 1.3 and 1.4. Development on 1.4 started way back in September 2010, so there are about 9 months worth of changes to summarize! I began working on the release notes on May 28, starting with an initial list of over 900 commits to sift through and pick out the most relevant changes. That weekend, I reduced that list to 450 by weeding out trivial changes, bug fixes to new features, things that were already merged into 1.3.1 and 1.3.2, and other generally unnoteworthy commits.

Even so, 450 items is way too many for any release notes, so I’ve spent several hours per day for the past 10 days trimming, condensing, and organizing the list. At the moment, there are about 230 items divided into 11 categories: General, Communication, Content Creation, Login, Map/Radar/Teleport, Media, Network/Browser, OpenSim/Aurora, Preferences, Texture Loading, and Development.

But even 230 items is too many, so I’m trying to cut that down to under 150. I plan to also provide a brief release notes overview, containing 30 or so of the most significant changes. (Yes, we’ve made so many changes since 1.3 that even our summary needs a summary!) I’m hoping to have all that done by this weekend. Otherwise, my brain is at risk of crumbling into dust and pouring out my ears.

I have also been poking at Mac streaming media, and unfortunately I don’t think that will be ready for 1.4 beta 1 after all. I’ve gotten the GStreamer plugin itself to load in SLPlugin, which is good. But, GStreamer also has its own plugins, which it currently cannot find or load. It will take some time to puzzle out the reason and fix it, but I would be very surprised if it wasn’t working in time for beta 2. And, I certainly don’t intend to release 1.4 final without getting Mac streaming media working properly.

Our latest goal for releasing Imprudence 1.4 beta 1 is “sometime this weekend-ish”. But, we’ll see how it goes.

46 Responses to “Status Update (June 8)”

  1. Gavin

    Two comments:

    Why don’t you just release the release notes as it currently is rather than torture yourself with condensing it. You only need to blog the highlights ;-)

    I don’t get this with the Mac and streaming music or sound. Why don’t you use the frameworks build into Mac OS X to do this? It is part of the platform and should not have any implications on your OSS licenses for the rest of the viewer. It would be better productivity for your own sake using things that works and don’t break when the next big thing is shipped (like OS X 10.7 next month.)

  2. livio

    I hope that all the viewers adopt same solution for audio, because Imprudence is the only viewer that play aac streams with all the advantages of this type of stream.

  3. Gavin

    Since AAC is the default audio format in Mac OS X and also QuickTime, there is nothing blocking Imprudence from using this framework to support AAC on OS X.

  4. Kaliope Karas

    *waits with bated breath*

    so will it have multiple attachment points? More than one tat layer?? will it split my epic rp posts for me?

    Gimme now!! pleeeasseeeee…

  5. Kaliope Karas

    who needs NOTES?? *grins and checks again*

  6. Sidney

    Kaliope, I don’t think any V1 based viewer will be getting multiple layers anytime soon. Not sure if it can even be done

    The multi attach points and physics are already in most of the other V1 TPV’s. Hopefully they are in this update of the Imp or I’ll find it hard to justify continuing with it

  7. Rhonda Pennell

    *agrees…I love Imprudence and always go back to it, but the lack of multi-attachments and inventory links is becoming very limiting for those of us in SL…

  8. Ci Sense

    I agree with Gavin.


  9. Kaliope Karas

    I gathered on the layers, I did try kokua but i had a few issues with it, so waiting too, I do miss my multiple attachment points though!

  10. Caerolle

    Just give it to us! I never read release notes anyhow, just go, “Cool, a new version!” and download it. :)

  11. Nalates Urriah

    I echo Gavin,stuff the changes in a text file and send them out with the viewer install. No point holding up the viewer for release notes.

    If you don’t get the viewer out, it will be obsolete on SL before it ships… if it isn’t already.

    Mesh will be appearing in 4 or 5 weeks… is this viewer going to be able to render it? If not…

    Plus OpenSim is changing the mesh format to SL’s format. So, the mesh problem will pop up there too.

  12. Kaliope Karas

    There you go, the general concensus is just… put it out. those that want to wait for the notes can.. and those that dont, dont have to!

  13. Jacek Antonelli

    The release notes are probably the most important piece of documentation for the viewer, and I consider them to be part of the product that we deliver.

    The release notes don’t just list all the changes we have made. They describe how to use new features, where to find new options, and so on. They are carefully crafted to provide the information necessary to use the new version most effectively. This is especially important for big changes, like this release.

    We do expect users to read the release notes. I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone does read them, but they should, for their own benefit.

    The release notes are quite different from the ChangeLog, which records every individual commit, no matter how trivial. The ChangeLog is much longer than the release notes, much harder to read and comprehend, and is missing important information that users should know. Transforming the ChangeLog into concise and useful release notes takes time and effort.

    I could just be lazy and drop the raw ChangeLog on you guys, but you would miss out on a lot of useful functionality, and have a harder time using the viewer. That would go directly against our mission to make the viewer as useful and easy to use as we can.

  14. Dello

    Bummed to hear that–once again–there will be no media fix for OSX. Much as it pains me to say it, I may need to move to a another viewer until this is resolved. I have projects in the pipeline that are dependent upon this capability.

  15. stephen Venkman

    knows your busting your ass to get this out and has been playing with other viewers until you do. my pc works the best with Imprudence and did great with Kokua until a few weeks ago when i received some fatal error when engaging shadows. I know Kokua was not even a beta release so am hoping that’s not an issue down the road.

    Keep up the great work.

  16. Dani

    I do not understand what is the problem with Mac audio.

    If this is so difficult, why do not Phoenix and Singularity have this problem? (and even Imp 1.3 has it!).

    Very confused! :(

  17. Crim Mip

    I wish you well with the 1.4 release. I just hope you then have time to get Kokua whipped into shape before mesh starts becoming widely enough adopted that 1.x viewers are essentially broken.

  18. zoebuggy

    I too happily wish you well for the 1.4 release.

    I must admit without Mac streaming sound and the extra attachment points/inventory links etc and that I much prefer the viewer2 style layout that I no longer use Imp but I am keenly looking forward to a official Kokua release with fixed sound.

  19. zoebuggy

    As always tons of appreciation and awe
    and wish i had useful skills to contribute.

  20. Burnman Bedlam

    Release Notes – Important and willing to wait for them.

    Mac Audio – People still buy Apple products? Sorry if this offends, but I never understood why people would spend the kind of money Apple charges for products with extremely restrictive EULA’s, proprietary hardware, and no better functionality than any other manufacturer (regardless of OS). Apple is a fashion statement, nothing more. Sorry if this isn’t the right place for an Apple rant, but I am so tired of Apple slowing down software development. Just buy a damned PC people… for the money you would save by NOT buying Apple products, you could buy thrice the computing power anyway.

    Impy/Kokua devs, you guys are doing a great job! Can’t wait to see 1.4 wrapped up so you can focus 100% on Kokua. Now that mesh is definitely coming, I think it’s important to see a 3rd party viewer that supports it AND rocks like Impy always has. Keep up the great work!

  21. zoebuggy

    @ Burnham And some crazy fools use windoze…each to their own delusions.
    i have used circa 20 different OS’s and desktops and Mac floats my boat now

  22. Gavin

    @ Burnham

    Yeh, we have seen how Apple has slowed down software development in the mobile sector. :-))

    The problem they are are facing (and this is all the SL viewers) is that the design was Windows centric and they try to shoehorn that design onto Mac OS X where virtually all serious programing these days are done in Objective C and using the extensive frameworks Apple has provided.

    Even if you use a Linux oriented approach to your programming on the Mac you will be stuck with OSS libraries that are out of sync with Apple’s release schedule for their operating system unless you use their Unix libraries.

    It is not that programming to Apple’s interfaces always are smooth sailing, but you tend to get far more mileage for your efforts, things that breaks (if at all) on major revisions of Mac OS X (like the forthcoming 10.7 update) are easily fixed and you have an extensive support network.

    Not taking advantage of the Mac OS X platform is what is slowing you down.
    Yes, I know it means a total rewrite of the UI and a forked code set. I had hoped LInden Lab would have spent that effort upfront for viewer 2 – separating UI and core functionality, something that would have left everyone in a much better position.

    Your comments on restrictive EULA’s and proprietary hardware is pretty much rant when it comes to Mac OS X. Some restrictions apply on iOS devices (which lots of us frankly think is an advantage when we seen the fragmentation and malware on Android.)

  23. Walter Balazic

    All of us over at OSgrid are looking forward to it. We bounce between 1.3.2 and 1.4.0 depending on if we want the media to work, and it’s been mid day there since 04.19.. :)

  24. Marcus Antonelli

    Thank you for the effort. Like the others, the release notes are light reading for lunch. I’ll take the code whenever it’s ready. The notes can catch up later.


  25. Rob Knop

    It really doesn’t make sense to write a Mac version in Objective C that takes full advantage of the Mac stuff… if your goal is to write a cross-platform viewer that you can maintain *as* a cross-platform viewer. That would only make sense in a Mac monoculture. And, sadly, we’re much closer to a different sort of monoculture…. The fraction of people using the Mac viewer is small compared to Windows. As such, I would caution Mac people against making arguments about optimizing for a single platform, as their platform won’t be the one that’s chosen.

    (I’m worse; I’m fully Linux. And, of course, the number of people using Linux is smaller than the number of people using Macs.)

    (I did notice, however, back when I had a Mac, that SL ran faster on my Linux laptop than my Mac laptop, even though the Mac laptop had a better graphics card. And that was even after Apple released the Leopard update that fixed horrible problems in the graphics drivers that made intense 3D applications like SL all but unusable after a while. I know the belief among Mac fans is that Apple is technologically at the forefront of everything, but they aren’t. They’re just at the forefront of creating a prepackaged “experience” that is easiest for most people to pick up. Things “just work” very well on a Mac as long as you’re trying to do something that Apple anticipated you would want to do (and thinks you should do). But when you try to do something outside of that, experience shows me that inevitably it’s harder and doesn’t work as well on the Mac as it does on Windows or Linux. This isn’t just SL; it’s also true of other things I’ve had students use in classes, like GNU R, or wxMaxima, or even something simple and basic like Stellarium.)

  26. Jacek Antonelli

    Let’s not turn this into an OS war. The only reason Mac does not have fully functional streaming media yet is because of our limited resources, and my own mental block related to the media system. There is nothing inherently inferior or superior about Mac OS X’s media support, and it is very unlikely that we would save time or energy by using only Mac native frameworks.

  27. macuser

    @ Burnham

    This is not the place for anti mac rants. Just because you do not use mac os does not make it any less important to those of us that do use mac os as well as linux.

    The EULA doesn’t bother me since I take care of my computer, the hardware is part of the package that makes a mac a mac, and if you think it has no better functionality than anything else at anything, you obviously have never used a mac and thus have no reason to bash something you haven’t used. I’ve used mac os, windows and linux, most mac haters haven’t spent more than 30 minutes in front of a mac. All three operating systems have their strengths and weaknesses.

    Microsoft is mostly a cheapskate statement, nothing more. Its about as accurate a statement as you make about macs being a fashion statement.

    You want to talk about apple slowing down software development? Oh please. Microsoft has retarded software growth in more ways than apple ever will. Just look up netscape navigator and Internet explorer 6 to name just one area of software microsoft ruined.

    “Just buy a damned PC people… for the money you would save by NOT buying Apple products, you could buy thrice the computing power anyway.”

    How about no. I don’t need stupid e-penis boosting specs that don’t matter because the machine is running windows, which automatically makes it slower. I also dont care about price since i am not a cheapskate. 3x more for a mac is an exaggeration unless you build it yourself, and most people (>99%) do not build their own computers. Find me an all-in-one for 399 with the same specs as an imac. Go ahead. You won’t because there isnt one. Even tower pcs are not that cheap for the same specs as an imac (more like 699-799 US, a bit over half the price,) The price thing always comes up, and its really old now, not to mention always whipping out price makes windows users look like cheapskates. Next you’ll be saying macs can’t right click….

    hopefully imprudence 1.4 comes soon though, cant wait to try it out.

  28. Dani

    @ Jacek Antonelli

    Limited resources? Meaning money? (something you need to buy to create the Mac media functions?)

    If that is the situation I am very sure many Mac Imprudence users want to help! Where can we send you some money? L$ to your SL avatar?

    Yes, seriously :)

  29. Darkus

    Why are we still waiting?

    IN future, don’t tell us that something is ready to be downloaded but you’re holding it up because of some technicality. You ought to have made the new version available for download by now. With the proviso that that it does not yet have documentation and that documentation will be provided on this web-log shortly and people should come back and read/download the docs then. Instead, like an idiot, I’ve come back here since the 8th (It’s now the 13th) to see if it’s available yet only to be disappointed.

    Make it available already!


  30. zoebuggy

    @ Dani

    I think Imp/Kokua also limited resources in the sense
    of being a small group of dedicated developers doing this
    project in their own free time.

    :) yep amazing ;)

  31. zoebuggy

    @ Darkus

    Demand nothing, the Imprudence team do not owe you their viewer.
    It is a gift, a project they do in their own spare time, for no money!


  32. zoebuggy

    While i happily wait patiently for my preferred viewer, i play with the various other viewers available. Its great to have choice and variety, even in the Viewer2 third party viewers group. All is well, all in good time.

  33. Darkus

    @ zoebuggy

    I’m not complaining that it’s available, I’m complaining that they say it’s ready, but won’t release it. I’ve been coming back here to this site every day since the update announcement. It’s still not available (now the 14th). All I’m saying is, in future, don’t bother to tell us that something is ready until it’s ALL ready and available for download. A week later and no update on status either. grumble, grumble. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m very much looking forward to the new viewer, but I’m frustrated that it’s not available yet… Oh well, onward with the old one until… oh, who knows when it’ll be available for download.

    Darkness be!

  34. zoebuggy

    Peace and respect. :)

    In the past folks I believe requested status updates when it appeared to folks outside the development team that no movement appeared to be happening in the blog/project. To me the updates are very welcome. The danger however is folks like me and i guess you Darkus do get are interests and hopes raised up, like you i visit more than once everyday and crazy me is waiting for kokua :)

  35. stephen Venkman

    Is way waiting for Kokua. Had great pictures before i started getting a an error trying to turn on shadows.

    Hopefully this will all come quickly when the notes are done.. btw.. i barely read the notes. Shame on me I know.

  36. shamus

    cant wait for a new kokua build hopefully on that is fully tpv compliant. was tpv compliance ever verified?is it safe to use kokua on Angie?

  37. Ryou Yiyuan

    I really like Imprudence viewer and I still using it. I hope old computer not SSE2 compatible will be able to use Imprudence in future. I just checked the new SL viewer 2 relesae and can’t run on it.

  38. Gaga

    Personally, I am not much interested in SecondLife any more. I think Aurora sim is moving ahead so quick now I just want Imp/Kokua, my prefered viewer, to keep up with that development. But all good things are worth waiting for – not for ever of course, but the Imp devs have done a great job and deserve our patience.

    Remember, they don’t owe us anything but we DO owe them respect and a lot of gratitude.

    Thank you Jacek and the team for everything.

  39. Darkus

    It’s June 17th… You’d think they’d at least post an update to the June 8th article by now!

  40. Kaliope Karas

    :) *checks again*

  41. Is

    While I understand why the release notes are so important, I am a bit puzzled why the differences between the last experimental and the first beta should not be all anybody needs?

  42. Burnman Bedlam

    I hope all is well over at Imprudence/Kokua HQ :) You guys aren’t getting burned out, are you?

    Patiently waiting, watching, anticipating the impending awesome…

  43. zoebuggy

    Thats my concern/fear too Burnman.

    I hope all is well too.

    while I happily wait, I mess around with
    with other viewers

  44. Darkus

    June 24th and still no update or download.. I wonder what went wrong? I’m hoping it’s nothing serious and this “minor glitch” passes soon and we all get our grubby little hands on the new download with glee written all over our faces!

  45. zoebuggy

    Playing round with firestorm, i went to a in-world firestorm open meeting. Funny enough one of their main Devs said that n the past they used to promise release dates/or it will be out ‘this weekend’ and then everything possible would go wrong, it would fail to get out and the would be many unhappy folks …so the phoenix team no longer promises release dates.

  46. McCabe Maxsted

    Long story short: we work too hard. The changes between 1.3 and 1.4 are really immense…