I use IW3 for all my stuff so the subject is a bit over the top to me. I don't have any problems at all with chat, although the very first thing I always do in all viewers is to enable the chat history window (Ctrl-H) and pop the chat window out into it's own from Conversations. So the chat bar is integrated in that window, doesn't flash, doesn't grab focus, etc.
That said, I know chat input is one of the key fixes in the long-overdue update, because it's a problem for those who don't use it the way I do. It's known, as far as I know it's fixed.
It's been long overdue for a whole bunch of reasons, pretty much equally split:
- partly because InWorldz can't really afford full-time viewer devs so it's some work contracted out from time to time, combined with some volunteer work and a whole bunch of open-source project team work by the Alchemy team.
- partly because LL has been fairly active in the last 6-12 months creating major changes and all of that needs to be merged into the viewer codebase and that has occupied a large chunk of that team's development time.
- partly because they need a list of things to change and someone at InWorldz to coordinate and champion that and I think there was some confusion between Tranq and I on that because I don't have the authority to pay contractors for work but everyone seemed to be waiting for a list of work items to be done (from me since I started the IW 3.0.2 thread). We corrected that about a week or so ago and a list of possible changes was given to our viewer developer.
- most of the work has been in just keeping the codebase up-to-date, with new versions of OSes (especially OS X) and new versions of code from LL, updated/fixed versions of third-party libraries, etc.
So this list is being reviewed with time estimates for work to add to the upstream LL viewer code changes and the other platform-dependent work. Hopefully we'll finalize that soon and get an updated IW viewer into your hands (we should probably call it 4.x since everyone else with the same code base has done that).
With apologies to whoever the IW3 viewer dev is - but why not just rebrand Firestorm and be done with it? The SL3 viewer is bad enough - why repeat the same mistakes?
Because that would be repeating the same mistakes. That's the mistake we made with IW2 and why we could not produce another update there. Firestorm is the kitchen sink of viewers. It is the dumping pot for every. damn. feature. known. to. mankind. As a result, it's very difficult to merge in updates from LL and even more difficult to keep the places we diverge in sync on updates. We could repeat that same mistake and not be able to build the viewer anymore like we did in IW2 (which was Firestorm with IW-specific changes). The IW3 work is more targeted and heavily managed changes from a common third-party base (Alchemy). That viewer is a bit too close to the SL viewer for many IW/OpenSim folks so we've had some changes made to make it more consistent with historical IW viewers. It's much closer and the viewer folks can whip up a new build in about a day or two of work. So we learned from that mistake and didn't repeat it by just going with Firestorm again. The delays less technical now and more in the area of not having a project manager who is driving a schedule with specific feature changes. About a week ago, I stepped in to fill that void with what was essentially Benski's list, looking for time/work estimates on each point. We want to include some of the items regardless of the cost (chat, area search, export/import, etc) so that will mostly be the determining factors for any new schedule. But they will get it done, rebuild the viewer (because unlike IW2, they still can), and deliver it for us. I'll provide some more info when we've gotten feedback on the list and have a rough idea of schedule and items.