SSA is now live
Earlier in the week we notified you all that server side appearance (SSA) was rolling out to the entire grid between Tuesday the 20th and Wednesday the 21st. This rollout was the completion of just one phase of this improvement, and I am happy to say, aside from a few glitches it has been mostly a success. Congratulations Linden Lab, job very well done! It isn’t perfect though, as there are still some users who are having appearance troubles but so far these seem to have common and fixable causes. For more info on these and other SSA problems please visit the blog links at the bottom of this post.
Now this was just the first iteration of this work, and as of Friday afternoon Nyx Linden stated that they have plenty more viewer code yet to be tested and released which contains more fixes, improvements and cleanup for SSA. When this code becomes available we intend to merge it into ours and have it available with our next Firestorm release. For those interested you can listen to Nyx speak about the SSA rollout at Friday’s Third Party Viewer Meeting starting at 4 minutes and 50 seconds on the following video recording. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrHlYMlZhZk
Faster avatar rendering!
By now most of you have probably noticed improvements in the speed at which you and other avatars render your worn clothing: that’s one of the things SSA is designed to do. But please note SSA doesn’t address rendering of objects, sculpts or mesh, worn or otherwise. SSA deals specifically with your avatar skin and clothing layer textures only.
To the complainers…
I have seen plenty of folks complaining about LL “once again fixing things that aren’t broken instead of dealing with important things… ” Let me just tell you straight up, right now! Avatar appearance has been in the Top Five list of broken things that have needed to be fixed for many, many years, maybe even the top issue. Not just that, but this fix has taken over a year to do and truly was a monumental task for LL as it required nearly a full rewrite of incredibly complicated code. The fact that LL was able to roll this out without the grid exploding on first attempt is impressive enough, but they also proved me wrong! I predicted it would take three attempts before it would stick; they did it on the first. While it isn’t perfect, and there may still be issues for some people rendering, it is important to remember a few things…
1st. This is just the beginning. LL will be working for some time now to polish up this new rendering system and improve its reliability. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so be patient.
2nd. Let’s give LL some credit for going after a very expensive and challenging set of bugs in order to fix bake fail across the grid while also speeding up render times to improve our user experience. This is one of those times LL has fixed something very important to us.
Temporary textures no longer work
Many of you have noticed that temporary texture uploads no longer work… this is because temp textures worked by piggybacking on the avatar appearance data. Because this data has now drastically changed, temp textures no longer work and cannot be fixed. The alternative is to use the local texture picker. Info can be found here: http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/texture_picker#local .
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc
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