Yesterday, a notecard containing a message from Nyx Linden started doing the rounds. Its subject is, as this post’s title so subtly implies, SSB/A (Server-Side Baking/Appearance). To cut a long story short, we now have a date for when Linden Lab will gradually enable SSB/A: It’s the 9th of July. The message in full is as follows:
Wanted to give everyone a quick update on the status of Server Side Appearance. First of all, thanks to all who helped participate in last week’s pile-on test, and a special thanks to those viewers who are already integrating the RegionHandshakeReply flag posted recently. We’ll likely be doing one more pile-on next week, targeting a smaller set of users (to avoid inventory limits that have caused attachments not to load, etc) next week. Let me know if you’d like to participate.
We currently are not aware of any major release-blocking bugs and are starting to look at scheduling the roll-out process. We have a number of QA passes and tests to run through before we can get the final greenlight to do so, so we are currently targeting July 9th as the earliest date at which we will enable SSA for a significant portion of the grid (a server RC channel). Please note that if we find additional bugs in the meantime, or run into other scheduling difficulties this date could be pushed back. We will not be going to RC before this date however.
Please consider this an official warning that this is imminent – We’ve been saying for a while that we’re getting ready for release. We hope with a solid date in mind, all viewers can start messaging to their users that they will need to update or they will start to see issues. There are a few methods by which we will be messaging to the SL community as a whole about this, but we highly encourage you to use your judgement in the best way to reach out to your users and transition them to SSA-compatible viewers.
As always, if you have any questions, or see any issues that could be worrisome if they are not fixed before release, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and/or file a JIRA. Thanks for all your work in preparing for this release!
As has already been mentioned by Exotix (Inara Pey), whose blog is my go-to resource whenever I need SL-related news in a way that even people that are not 3D graphics experts can understand, when SSB/A is fully deployed, those who insist on using antiquated viewers and hardware that cannot support SL at all will appear as clouds to others and others will appear grey to them. Please note that I’m not buying the “I can’t afford a new graphics card” excuse; pretty decent ones (even pretty decent complete computers, actually) are available second-hand at very reasonable prices. After all, Second Life has never been intended for ultra-low-end hardware.
Update your viewers now. All viewer projects that are maintained by their teams and not abandoned (only Dolphin and Exodus have not incorporated the SSB/A code as I’m writing, but I expect they will get with the programme posthaste) now support SSB/A – regardless of whether they implement a V3-style interface or stick to V1. There’s no excuse for people to not update their viewers. So, at this moment, the options are as follows:
- If you want a V1-style interface: You have CoolVL and Singularity. Take your pick.
- If you prefer the V3 interface: You can install the official SL viewer (obviously), Catznip, Firestorm, Kokua, Niran’s, and RLV.
Also, Lumiya, Metabolt and Radegast are SSB/A-ready.
Oh, and please don’t give me any conspiracy theories about LL and TPV developers “having plotted” to kill your favourite viewer. Either update your viewer(s) or leave SL. After all, SL has never been intended for technophobes.