Archive for January, 2012

Results Of All Hands Meeting

This last weekend we had our all hands meeting where we discussed the fate and direction of the project going forward. I’m pleased to say that the meeting was well attended not only by team members but the public as well. A few of us even met for the first time as not everyone is able to make the regular meeting due to scheduling conflicts. You’ll find a full transcript of the meeting on our wiki but I’ve included a summary of what was decided for convenience.

We’re going to continue to develop Third Party viewers with a focus on cross supporting Second Life and OpenSim/Aurora. However we’re going to focus on Kokua in the future, the ultimate fate of Imprudence is still undecided though as we may push for a final 1.4 release but nothing that takes up too much of our time. Kokua will use Second Life v3.2 as a base, we feel the LL code for v3.2 has matured greatly beyond v2 and v3 and we’ll of course make our own modifications to it to make it more “purple” in flavor. It is also our intent to finalize the name change from Imprudence to Kokua, Imprudence and Kokua are separate viewers and the project has historically been called the Imprudence project. The intent was to switch from Imprudence to Kokua as the next generation client was released but it has been dragged out for quite a while now and caused confusion, so we’re going to finish the change over to Kokua.

It’s also our intent to give a fresh face to our web presence, to update the look and feel of the blog and forum, and possibly eliminate some section like the rarely used Q&A sub-site. Our hope is that this will make it easier for users to navigate our online infrastructure and find the information or support they need. This may include the addition of a few simple tutorials about how to use the client and how to connect to grids besides Second Life proper.

Windows 32bit, Linux 32bit and Linux 64bit will be the three platforms we focus on primarily. We’ll make an effort to get out a Windows 64bit and Mac client down the line, but right now we need to focus on getting things rolling and these best fit our users demographics. We’re supporting two flavors of Linux because our devs use both Linux 32bit and Linux 64bit, plus it’s a big PITA run the 32bit client on Linux 64bit so we’ll continue to make a Linux 64bit client available. Regarding Windows, at first we’ll only provide a 32bit client (With SSE optimizations) as we have been doing already, the necessity of a 64bit client on Windows is questionable as the client can’t quite make use of all that ram (Yet, but that can change), plus Windows 64bit OSes can easily run 32bit programs. Still we would like to release a Windows 64bit version at some point to try to see if it makes a difference. Unfortunately we still don’t have a Mac developer and thus can not support the platform, we’d like this to change but it is the state of things for now.

There are other matters besides these that were discussed at the meeting, I encourage you to read the meeting transcript on the wiki if your curious.

 

A Little Taste

This weekend we’ll be having our all hands meeting to discuss the future of the project as mentioned in our last update. Many of you have replied with your thoughts and suggestions on the last blog post and even attended our weekly meeting to lend your thoughts. We’re very pleased to see such interest in the project, and a lot of your thoughts are in line with our own. So it’s good to know we got the right idea. Here is a highlight in no particular order of some (But not all) of the ideas that were suggested by you…

  • Focus on the next generation Kokua client rather than Kokua & Imprudence
  • Continue to support Linux 64 bit
  • Keep it easy to explore alternative grids (ie not Second Life proper)
  • Mesh support in Second Life and OpenSim
  • Support older hardware
  • Experimental builds

I think my favorite comment was from Chaniyth, simply because it made me laugh out loud, literally. Here’s what Chaniyth had to say (Emphasis mine)…

First and foremost, please don’t be asses [...] listen to your end users, do the respectable thing and listen to what your end users want and need, and in a timely fashion [Experimental Builds]!

That would make a great company slogan wouldn’t it? “Please don’t be asses”, perhaps even better than Google’s “Don’t be evil”. Could we live up to it I wonder? Haha

It brings up a good point though, in that it’s important to listen to what your users want. Granted sometimes there are things we just don’t have the manpower to do. Ideally we’d love to make a viewer every month with a completely revamped UI that is fully customizable and adjusts to a users tastes (Are you a builder or a shopper, a dancer or a socialite, a machinima maker or a sailor etc). Unfortunately there are limits to what we or any developer can do, but  we’ll try to work out what’s best and try things from time to time. Experimental builds are a great step along this line, as suggested be several people, as it allows the public to test out new viewers before they’re really “ready” and give us feedback, allowing us the opportunity to make changes to things before we put too much time into them and it’s too hard to change course.

And so we’re going to try to release more test viewers, starting today. We’ve set up a special page on the wiki were we will post test viewers as we can, they may or may not be announced here on the blog. Please understand that these are not Beta viewers but Alpha viewers and are generally only tested internally. We’re going to make an effort to put more of them up on the blog though. They may not be available for every platform (ie it may be only Linux 64 or Windows 32 and nothing else). But if you want to see what’s “brewin in the pot” this is one way you can do it, just be sure to read the instructions on the page and take whatever necessary precautions are recommended (This is the knife’s edge folks, you have been warned).

On The Wiki – Kokua: Experimental

 

What’s Next..?

Here at Imprudence we’ve been juggling several issues, trying to develop two different clients at the same time (Imprudence and Kokua) for three different platforms in 32bit and 64bit flavors. not to mention supporting not only the Second Life grid but all the various OpenSim grids as best we can. We think we’ve made some pretty awesome viewers but lately we’re also become stagnant as we’ve been weighted down by trying to juggle all these various things. It seems we may have over extended ourselves a bit and to fix that we need to refocus and simplify. Thus in the coming weeks we will be holding an all-hands team meeting for all Imprudence/Kokua team members, be they Dev or Support, where we will discuss what’s working and what isn’t and what we plan to do about it (Details have already been sent to all team members).

But we’d like to hear your input as well, as we make these viewers for you our users after all. Tell us what makes Imprudence special for you, what draws you to this particular Third Party Viewer over others and what you would like to see going forward.  How do you use Imprudence, and how do you use other viewers even the official one? What do you like about them, what don’t you like, and how is that similar or different from Imprudence. Do you use OpenSim, Aurora or any other alternative grids, even your own local grid? Is there anything you think that Third Party Viewers are missing that would make them easier or more productive for people? What about the site itself, this blog, the forum, the wiki and etc, how can we improve it?

While we can’t make any promises about addressing every issue, we will try to discuss any points made here in the comments.