By Avatar JayR Cela
I'm sure a lot of folk's out there in SL Avatar Land will be happy to hear this news. You know when you try to log in and are stuck as a cloud, or are grey, or your Avi's textures keep getting blurry and you are constantly forced to do the Rebake Textures routine. Well some time in mid February the LL server team will be doing a major overhaul on the SL servers. Officially called Project Sun Shine ( or Server Side Baking ) Removing the current burden of having the Viewer do the Bake routine for avatar textures, is being moved Server Side.
In other words, all the heavy lifting burdens that control your avatars textures coming into view will be removed from the SL Viewer, and be placed under the control of the Server Hardware instead. Using tried and true HTTP as opposed to the current unreliable UDP protocol to send the necessary information out to the client. This is a huge change in the Client to Server communication relationship, and I believe
( Hopefully - cross's fingers - Lol ) that after a few initial hiccups, it will make all of our experiences in SL much more enjoyable for everyone.
However it will also entail some major code rewrite's on the Client side of things as well. What does that mean ? Viewer 1.x pretty much will be almost complete history, V1.23.5 if you are still using it simply will cease to work as will the Phoenix viewer, the reason being that neither one of them are no longer being actively developed. But you will have some choice's if you are a died in the wool V1.x user, Henri Beauchamps Cool Viewer, and Siana Gearz of Singularity both of which are V1.x based Client's, should be OK. I say this with about 90% confidence because so far both of them have miraculously somehow managed to back-port just about every V3 feature currently available so far, and they are both very dedicated to the V1.x platform. If for some reason neither chooses to do so, FireStorm has an excellent V1 skin available. If you are a rabid Phoenix user, forget about it ! The Phoenix / FireStorm team is no longer developing for the former any longer.
This also means that all of the current V3 based TPV's will need to comply with the correct updated code, and ingrate it into their current offering's, or they simply will not work any longer. Once the final Server Upgrade hit's the Main Grid full time, you will be forced to update, wither you like it or not !
Now before you panic and scream out Oh Shit ! DON'T !
LL is working very closely with all of the TPV's in order to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. Everyone want's to make this work, especially LL, they simply cannot afford to piss off so many customers still devoted to using V1.x Client Software, as is evident here. This picture was taken yesterday at Nyx Lindens office hours meeting.
I have never seen so many Lindens and TPV - Dev's together in the same place together at once, EVER ! And this was just at the start of the meeting, the place really got packed as the discussion's progressed. Zoom in on the photo and just see how many names you can recognize, all of the Who's Who involved with SL development were there, including Oz Linden.
If you are currently using the stock LL SL Viewer, you have absolutely nothing to be concerned about, all other SL residents really owe it to yourselves to view this recent Phoenix / FireStorm Hour originally broadcast live December 15 by Jessica Lyon, Product Manager of the PH / FS team. She did an excellent job of putting everything into lay-mans terms. You can watch the archive here.
If you are a staunch Phoenix user, please read her prepared explanation as to why the PH project has been terminated as well.
In closing, I would like to add this. No matter what Viewer you consider to be your favorite, join their User Group, sign up on their Blog Post, join their Forums and get actively involved !
JayR Cela :_)