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Gadget Portal

Phasing out v1.x/2.x viewers?

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There's been a lot of talk about improving the grid for the coming of Steam, but I haven't seen anything about modernizing the technology.

Currently the viewers lack support for multi core CPUs and SLI/CrossFire, there's no support for DirectX 9, let alone DX11. And more.

A lot of Steam users will be expecting these things- they've practically become standards in 3D online environments.

Wouldn't now be a good time to be phasing out this technology from 2006 and modernizing a little?

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Gadget Portal wrote:

There's been a lot of talk about improving the grid for the coming of Steam, but I haven't seen anything about modernizing the technology.

 

Currently the viewers lack support for multi core CPUs and SLI/CrossFire, there's no support for DirectX 9, let alone DX11. And more.

 

A lot of Steam users will be expecting these things- they've practically become standards in 3D online environments.

 

Wouldn't now be a good time to be phasing out this technology from 2006 and modernizing a little?

Given the ever declining SL concurrency, kicking out most of the SL users around this time should not make much difference. SL should be the place for all the hackers who have the latest and greatest. Besides, this would be completely in line with Rodvik and his illustrious team of programmer, and what they want, given the attitudes they have expressed..

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JohnMiddlefield wrote:

Given the ever declining SL concurrency, kicking out most of the SL users around this time should not make much difference. SL should be the place for all the hackers who have the latest and greatest. Besides, this would be completely in line with Rodvik and his illustrious team of programmer, and what they want, given the attitudes they have expressed..


 

Exactly. If he's gonna go, he might as well go full tilt.

 


Nalates Urriah wrote:

You should probably look through
and my
blogs and catch up on what has been happening.

The only mention I see there of Steam is with a new login option. A new popup, stop the presses, THEY'VE REVOLUTIONIZED THE INTARWEBS!

But seriously. There's nothing in that blog about DirectX or SLI or CrossFire. So... Awesome job plugging some non-offical blog?

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That's twice you've mentioned DirectX in this thread.  Maybe you should read a little bit about DirectX.  You'll find that is basically proprietory to Microsoft.  That means it does not work or Macs or Linux machines.

There's a very good reason DirectX is not considered by LL for Second Life.  It's Windows only.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX

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Gadget Portal wrote:


JohnMiddlefield wrote:

Given the ever declining SL concurrency, kicking out most of the SL users around this time should not make much difference. SL should be the place for all the hackers who have the latest and greatest. Besides, this would be completely in line with Rodvik and his illustrious team of programmer, and what they want, given the attitudes they have expressed..


Exactly. If he's gonna go, he might as well go full tilt.

 

Nawwww, going full tilt would just upset the venture capitalists, because they are hoping that SL will come back to the way it was making big bucks.

 

 

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"Phasing Out" the older viewers would also phase out a good number of SL residents who cannot, for a number of various reasons, afford to upgrade their computers at this point when the economy is so bad.  I know from some of your previous posts on another thread that you don't care about this, but these people are generally older residents who have been around for a while and spend money in SL and own a lot of public venues.  Since we can't see who runs what viewer now you can't know for sure how many there are.  However if you count all those people that still run Phoenix and other TPV based on snowglobe, I'm willing to be its about a third of established residents.  The SL economy can't afford to lose these people right now and LL would be foolish to force the issue at this point.

Don't get me wrong, I have a multi core running at 64bits myself and would love to see support for that; but I also own a couple businesses in SL and have a lot of friends using TPV and I am not willing to see new tech offered at the expense of the people still using snowglobe based TPV and not sure its necessary

 I am not convinced that being connected to Steam is going to have a long term beneficial effect on SL.  They may come, but will they stay in the long term and contribute in a positive way to SL?  LL is wise to prepare to assure they do, but dumping the customers they have would be a huge mistake.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

That's twice you've mentioned DirectX in this thread.  Maybe you should read a little bit about DirectX.  You'll find that is basically proprietory to Microsoft.  That means it does not work or Macs or Linux machines.

There's a very good reason DirectX is not considered by LL for Second Life.  It's Windows only.


That's a lazy excuse.

A) There's plenty of games developed with support for DX11 and Macs. I can think of two right off the top of my head.

B) Software can have the option for both DirectX and OpenGL. Some even let the user choose which they want to use.

C) http://www.winehq.org/

There's absolutely no reason for SL not to have DirectX support outside of "We're too lazy or stupid."

 


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

"Phasing Out" the older viewers would also phase out a good number of SL residents who cannot, for a number of various reasons, afford to upgrade their computers at this point when the economy is so bad.  I know from some of your previous posts on another thread that you don't care about this, but these people are generally older residents who have been around for a while and spend money in SL and own a lot of public venues.  Since we can't see who runs what viewer now you can't know for sure how many there are.  However if you count all those people that still run Phoenix and other TPV based on snowglobe, I'm willing to be its about a third of established residents.  The SL economy can't afford to lose these people right now and LL would be foolish to force the issue at this point.

Don't get me wrong, I have a multi core running at 64bits myself and would love to see support for that; but I also own a couple businesses in SL and have a lot of friends using TPV and I am not willing to see new tech offered at the expense of the people still using snowglobe based TPV and not sure its necessary

That's a fair point. But on the other hand, I'm not the only that's said to have a hobby, you should have the right equipment for that hobby.

While I'm sure some people would leave, I think most people would find ways to upgrade their typewriters. Upgrading a computer doesn't cost thousands of dollars anymore.

If you're smart about it, you can get your hands on decent computers for next to nothing.

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"...

There's absolutely no reason for SL not to have DirectX support outside of "We're too lazy or stupid."

---------------------------------------------

Too lazy or stupid?  Well the lazy way would have been for Philip Rosedale to go with DirectX back in 2001.  It might have even been a smarter way to go to tap into the Microsoft bandwagon and made SL a Windows only platform.........he didn't go the "lazy" way though.  Going DirectX has a whole new set of problems due using a proprietory graphics rendering engine.  Do you remember Blue Mars of a few years ago?  You know that SL killer that was suppose to set the world on fire?  Where is Blue Mars now?  The went DirectX and limited their users to Windows only..........that persented tons of problems for the creators since everyone had to deal with proprietory software.  It also stiffled creativity in such things as animations.

As for using both DirectX and OpenGL on the same platform.  Yeah that can be done.......with duplicate grids.  The SL servers operate using OpenGL and that same set of servers cannot also operate using DirectX.  A game that is housed on the users computer can choose one or the other (just install the one for your system).  But SL is not housed on your computer (only the viewer is).  You would have to have two separate grids.......and those grids could not mingle.  So, who's being stupid here?

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

"...

There's absolutely no reason for SL not to have DirectX support outside of "We're too lazy or stupid."

---------------------------------------------

Too lazy or stupid?  Well the lazy way would have been for Philip Rosedale to go with DirectX back in 2001.  It might have even been a smarter way to go to tap into the Microsoft bandwagon and made SL a Windows only platform.........he didn't go the "lazy" way though.  Going DirectX has a whole new set of problems due using a proprietory graphics rendering engine.  Do you remember Blue Mars of a few years ago?  You know that SL killer that was suppose to set the world on fire?  Where is Blue Mars now?  The went DirectX and limited their users to Windows only..........that persented tons of problems for the creators since everyone had to deal with proprietory software.  It also stiffled creativity in such things as animations.

As for using both DirectX and OpenGL on the same platform.  Yeah that can be done.......with duplicate grids.  The SL servers operate using OpenGL and that same set of servers cannot also operate using DirectX.  A game that is housed on the users computer can choose one or the other (just install the one for your system).  But SL is not housed on your computer (only the viewer is).  You would have to have two separate grids.......and those grids could not mingle.  So, who's being stupid here?

Where do you get that you'd need two grids?

There are MMO's that support both Mac and Windows, OpenGL and DirectX, and don't need separate grids. I can fire up WoW and group with someone on a Mac and someone on Linux while I'm on Windows, and all three of us see the same content on the same server.

The SL servers shouldn't have to render anything for us. Hell, they shouldn't even need GPUs. They store the information. It's our machines that do the 3D rendering.

Seems to me like you're taking it personally that I called the Lindens lazy. Or stupid. Or both.

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"...

The SL servers shouldn't have to render anything for us. Hell, they shouldn't even need GPUs. They store the information. It's our machines that do the 3D rendering.

..."

-------------------------------------------

No the servers do not have to render anything (that's up to the users machine).  The servers don't have GPU's.  The servers deliver requested information to the users' viewers.  The graphic information has to be coded to OpenGL or DirectX standards.  All the information is coded........that's called the server software.  The software determines which graphics rendering protocol is used (OpenGL or DirectX).  In order to have both OpenGL and DirectX there would need to be two different software packages (one for OpenGL and one for DirectX)........two different software packages cannot exist on the same server.  So you would have to have two separate grids (and neither would recognize the other).  One grid with server code using OpenGL and one grid with server code using DirectX.  It's not that complicated really. 

I think you can comprehend the fact that you have one computer.  Your computer has an operating system.  The operating system determines what graphics your computer can utililize (if you have a Windows machine then your computer can utililze both OpenGL and DirectX.  If you have a Mac or Linux machine you cannot utilize DirectX because it's proprietory to Microsoft).  Your Mac or Linux machine cannot use DirectX because the software package that runs your machine can't see DirectX.......and there's no way to make it use DirectX (not legally anyway).  That's because of the software that runs your machine......just like the servers for SL.

It appears you don't know how SL is built or you would not even try to compare MMO's to SL.  Everything you see and experience in SL is coming from the LL servers.  All those pretty textures, fantastic builds, birds, boats, cars, planes, butterfies, animations, particles.......everything........come to your computer from the servers.  Nothing resides on your computer except your viewer code, caches and chat logs.  MMO's, on the other hand, reside on your hard drive......only positional information is sent to you.  All the textures, avatars, buildings, animations, birds, boats, cars, planes butterfies are right there on your hard...........the downloaded game you chose when you installed your MMO is coded for graphics using either OpenGL or DirectX (it's one or the other, not both).  That's why you can have "both"........but only one at a time and only what your computer can utililize (you can't install a Mac or Linux version on your Windows machine, or vice versa).

I'm not taking anything personally when you say LL is lazy or stupid or both...........but I do see some stupidity being placed here.  And it's not LL.

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Oh, this is getting good.


Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

I'm not taking anything personally when you say LL is lazy or stupid or both...........but I do see some stupidity being placed here.  And it's not LL.

Insult the person you're talking to. Way to make yourself seem more credible there. At this point you could tell me the sky is blue, and I'd say "Maybe it is, but I won't take your word for it, **bleep**."

Clearly you are taking it personally.

 


Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

Your Mac or Linux machine cannot use DirectX because the software package that runs your machine can't see DirectX.......and there's no way to make it use DirectX (not legally anyway).

...

you can't install a Mac or Linux version on your Windows machine, or vice versa

Hmm. Again... http://www.winehq.org/

 


Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

The software determines which graphics rendering protocol is used (OpenGL or DirectX). In order to have both OpenGL and DirectX there would need to be two different software packages (one for OpenGL and one for DirectX)........two different software packages cannot exist on the same server. So you would have to have two separate grids (and neither would recognize the other). One grid with server code using OpenGL and one grid with server code using DirectX. It's not that complicated really.

The servers shouldn't be using either API. The client should be. The servers should be storing the data the same way an MMO stores positional data. It might be more data, but the concept is the same. The viewer should be deciding which API to use to render it. If you're right and LL coded the servers to deal with the graphics information, then yes, LL really is stupid.

 

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Wine eats performance. Using WineLib to run Windows stuff on anything other than Windows is a workaround.

Btw, there's no good reason to use DirectX. There's very little, if anything, that OpenGL cannot do that DirectX can. Might be a good loonytunes argument to say "We're supporting DirectX 11!!1!one!eleven". Case in point? Run Unigine Heaven in both DX and OGL. No difference.

Beyond that ditzy sentiment, yeah the client does support multicores (poorly, but it does). SLI/Crossfire? I'd be happy if even just the current crop of Windows games consistently supported it. Some support SLI. Some Crossfire. Depending on who their sponsor is, I guess.

In case you missed it: They're adding features and improvements to the graphics engine all the time. Every time they do, people scream bloody murder. Windlight, sculpts, mesh, materials support... every single time people proclaimed they'll boycott it to the bitter end. ~shrugs~

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Modernizing seems like a good idea, but Dx11 and SLI is really just shouting buzzwords. We want better graphics indeed, and improvements do seem to be happening, but while necessary, SL needs a lot more.

SL has never catered to gamers or been particulary interesting to them. Over the years I have brought about 2 dozen gamer friends to SL. Want to guess how many stayed? Zero.
There wasn't anything to do for them. Some tried themselves at building for a few days, and then went right back to whatever MMO was being played at that time.

Most people in SL are here either for creative, social or RP reasons and most likely not for it's gaming capabilities. So even if Dx11 and SLI/crossfire were introduced, there still wouldn't be anything to do for people that own the hardware to run it.


What SL really needs is better content creation tools that allow people to build new and interesting experiences and games that will get new users to stick around, even if they don't fall into the above mentioned categories to which SL is currently of interest.

At the same time, assuming for a moment we had all the tools and performance of a modern game engine to actually make games, SL is too expensive for many hobbyists and Indies to get a sim and just doodle on it.
Also, who is going to bring in a serious team of developers and spend months on a project when it is near impossible to monetize whatever you are making. The crowd that the game could be marketed to caps at around 900.000 people. Now compare that to audience that can be reached by releasing the same game on the apple appstore, android market or other gaming sites.

I surely do not know all the answers, but I feel that if SL were interesting to a larger crowd of creatives, it would also spawn more fun content that, in the end, brings in and keeps new users tied to SL. Graphics are just one small piece of the puzzle.

If you put top notch graphics into SL without other improvements you'd be getting gamer reviews like "Awesome graphics, sh*t game."

Being on steam is certainly a good thing, and most likely SL should be listed under creative tools and definately not under 'games'. In it's current shape, SL will only be interesting to a small fraction of the steam users.

Lastly, one should not forget that the SL landscape doesn't exactly change over night. Putting in new technologies may take up to 2 years to change the face of the grid. Creators have to learn and adopt the new tech, content has to be made, it has to be accepted by residents and be placed on the grid by them.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

"Phasing Out" the older viewers would also phase out a good number of SL residents who cannot, for a number of various reasons, afford to upgrade their computers at this point when the economy is so bad.  I know from some of your previous posts on another thread that you don't care about this, but these people are generally older residents who have been around for a while and spend money in SL and own a lot of public venues.

How do these people "spend money in SL" and "own alot of public venues" at 300USD per month for a sim while at same time not being able to afford a halfway decent computer? It's an oxymoron.

A 1000USD gaming computer that is usable for about 4 years costs a whooping 20 dollars per month if you break it down.

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Gadget Portal wrote:

 

Currently the viewers lack support for multi core CPUs and SLI/CrossFire, there's no support for DirectX 9, let alone DX11. And more.

 

A lot of Steam users will be expecting these things- they've practically become standards in 3D online environments.


I found this very interesting reading about OpenGL vs Direct3D (Direct3D being the DirectX graphics component):

http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/01/Why-you-should-use-OpenGL-and-not-DirectX

It seems to me that choosing OpenGL instead of DirectX for SL was a wise choice.

 

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A lot of steam users don't know the first thing about the technologies involved in their games nor should they know or care; most just expect a game to run when they click play. And when a steam gamer loads the SL viewer it'll run on their machines. In fact most of the games on steam make no more use of multi-core CPUs than SL does; the OS has a lot to do with that but it'll "begin" to get better when Windows 8 goes on sale. It's also a mistake to make the argument that "most" gamers on steam have top end, state-of-the-art, very expensive computers when in fact "most" don't. The fact is most steam users are like the average resident in SL and don't have crossfire or SLI machines and are using computers in the mid-range of price and capabilities and/or older machines and play their games on lower graphics settings.

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vw.jpg

 


Gadget Portal wrote:

There's been a lot of talk about improving the grid for the coming of Steam, but I haven't seen anything about modernizing the technology.


Currently the viewers lack support for multi core CPUs and SLI/CrossFire, there's no support for DirectX 9, let alone DX11. And more.


A lot of Steam users will be expecting these things- they've practically become standards in 3D online environments.


Wouldn't now be a good time to be phasing out this technology from 2006 and modernizing a little?

One thing you have to separate out is the difference between the GUI and the Engine.  An apt analogy might be automobiles.  You can buy different models but they will all have the same engine under the hood.

In one sense I don't care what is under the hood.  I'm just interested in getting where I am going in a timely fashion and my body not aching after several hours of sitting in the car.

I think the same holds true for a multitude of residents.  The engine does not matter as much as the GUI.

I have tried many different Viewers.  To me personally the GUI in the Firestorm Beta Viewer was and is the most intuitive after learning it.

No doubt that for some people all the new bells and whistles do cause performance issues.  I am one of those people but my problem is kind of oddball.  But you are right that getting a Chevy Engine into a Volkswagen is no small feat.

 On a final note here, Open GL does continue to improve / get updated.  I think it's a misnomer to refer to it as 'old tech' any more than it would be to refer to Direct X as 'old tech.'



 

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