2013 – Hopes, Wishes And Forthcoming Improvements

Usually at this time of year, someone will post some predictions for the forthcoming year, although that seems to be light on the ground this year, it’s always a bit of fun to see those predictions and see what transpires. However predictions aren’t for me, instead I’ll post some hopes and wishes and look at what may happen.

On The Horizon

On the horizon we have some useful looking improvements coming to us from Linden Lab. Project shining leads the way and is already well under production. This includes server side baking via project sunshine, which will be a pain point for some as older viewers such as Phoenix aren’t coming along for the ride but it should mean improvements to how textures load and improved performance. This is also alongside the new http-Library project which is already being used in the beta viewer.

This comes on the back of Linden Lab improving hardware during 2012, as stated on the blog post about 2012: “in 2012 we made the single largest capital investment in new server hardware upgrades in the history of Linden Lab

So we should see the results of these hardware and software improvements during the coming months. We should also see the emergence of the open source efforts to improve graphics rendering performance such as the use of normal and specular maps during 2013.

Then we should see more work done on the good building practices wiki pages, which is turning into a bloody good resource.

Second Life expanding to Steam is still on the horizon. Changes have been made to the beta viewer, including a create account option, so it seems to be getting closer.

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Project Sunshine – Don’t Panic!

Some dots have started to be joined that are giving some folk the heebie jeebies about their future fun in Second Life. Nalates Urriah has been covering the Phoenix Viewer issues, with Phoenix announcing at an office hour that support for the old Phoenix client will be ended. The viewer will still connect but going forward there will be no further support, meaning eventually it will become obsolete as Linden Lab introduce new features.

One of those new features has been covered by Inara Pey: Avatar Baking: “and the clock has started!”. This is important people! This is a new project, codenamed Project Sunshine-Server Side Appearance, if you want to read a bit about this, there’s a page on the official Second Life Wiki, which you can read here.

Basically this means that more of the work on baking textures when you change outfits will be performed server side, rather than viewer side, which should help improve performance. Here’s an example, I’m changing outfit on a normal region and everything goes a bit blurry:

Changing Outfit Normal

Eventually the outfit is changed:

Normal Textures

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