After we made the initial open source release of the viewer, we found ourselves in a quandary. Community members were sending patches in, but we didn’t have enough resources to keep up! Fortunately, over the past month, we’ve hired some great developers who are keenly interested in maintaining a vibrant open source community, and we’ve gone on a tear through backlogged patches.
Here are just a few highlights of work from the open source community that we’ve integrated recently. We’ve applied over 80 Resident-contributed changes to the viewer in the past month alone, so I can’t cover all of them. (You can be sure that we appreciate every one, though.)
Nicholaz Beresford has made a huge effort to find and plug a number of viewer memory leaks. Some of them were minor, while others were severe. As a side effect of working through the large number of patches he sent in, we discovered a number of other leaks internally, and have plugged those. Not content with stabilizing the viewer’s memory footprint, Nicholaz also squashed several crashing bugs as he went. Nicholaz also has a great viewer development blog.
Alissa Sabre contributed a number of changes that help us with the input and display of non-English languages. Coupled with some improvements we’ve made internally, Residents outside of the United States should now have a much better experience communicating in their native languages.
Open source contributors have made many user interface improvements. Tharax Ferraris added a date tooltip, to help residents on the other side of the International Date Line. Fremont Cunningham added a dialog that asks if you really meant to quit, for those of us who accidentally mash the wrong keys. Dale Glass made it possible to visually distinguish objects that are talking only to you from objects that can be heard by everyone in range.
Able Whitman made the “give money” dialog stand out visually from other dialogs, so residents will be less likely to click on it by accident. Thraxis Epsilon added time and date stamps to chat logs. Peekay Semyorka added the ability to upload textures in PNG format (they’re still converted to JPEG-2000, but you no longer need to do this by hand before uploading them).
Thanks also to the other residents whose patches we’ve had time to apply: Argent Stonecutter, Benja Kepler, Blakar Ogre, blino Nakamura, bushing Spatula, Drewan Keats, Duckless Vandyke, Dylan Haskell, Dzonatas Sol, Eddy Stryker, Gigs Taggart, Ginko Bayliss, Hikkoshi Sakai, Hiro Sommambulist, Iskar Ariantho, Jacek Antonelli, Joannah Cramer, Joghert LeSabre, Kage Pixel, Kunnis Basiat, Paul Churchill, Paula Innis, Ryozu Kojima, SignpostMarv Martin, Simon Nolan, SpacedOut Frye, Stevex Janus, Still Defiant, Strife Onizuka, tenebrous pau, TBBle Kurosawa, Zi Ree, and Zipherius Turas. If you’ve submitted a patch and you’re not on this list yet, don’t worry: we’ll get to your work as soon as we can!
I hope that our redoubled efforts to apply patches shows our appreciation for the work of everyone in the open source community, and our commitment to letting every Resident have a hand in improving the Second Life experience for all.
We intend to improve on this new pace of collaboration with the open source community over the coming months. As part of this effort, I’ll be posting periodic updates here, to let the Resident community at large know about the great work of our open source developers.
If you would like to contribute to the Second Life open source community, we welcome your participation. For more information, visit the Open Source Portal on the Second Life wiki. Thanks!