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Will Linden Lab ever make an app for Second Life?


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On 3/19/2020 at 2:29 AM, bigmoe Whitfield said:

They are currently working on a mobile viewer,  it will be for ios first before android,  it will be text only with other features planned.

That project is for all practical purposes shelved. 

The need to man up to make a proper Mac viewer and what they learning from that project, they can easily use make an iOS version. Going the other way is a lot harder. 

That code will in reality be completely useless for making an Android version because of very significant differences in – just about everything. 

Edited by Gavin Hird
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7 hours ago, Gavin Hird said:

That project is for all practical purposes shelved. 

The need to man up to make a proper Mac viewer and what they learning from that project, they can easily use make an iOS version. Going the other way is a lot harder. 

That code will in reality be completely useless for making an Android version because of very significant differences in – just about everything. 

watch the dates on that, you quoted me from 2 years ago.

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9 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

watch the dates on that, you quoted me from 2 years ago.

It is still shelved... 😀  and no real work has been done on the Mac viewer to make it survive the day Apple close OpenGL. 

Edited by Gavin Hird
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The best option atm would be Shadow Cloud PC $30 a month subscription.
I have been using it for a couple months to run Secondlife on my iphone/tv/desktop…

I hope the official SL viewer comes somewhere close to the experience Shadow offers, time will tell, i been here since 2008 so no rush… 

💾

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3 hours ago, Gavin Hird said:

It is still shelved...  😀   and no real work has been done on the Mac viewer to make it survive the day Apple close OpenGL. 

 

Currently nobody is even working on anything to do with a viewer that runs outside of OpenGL,  and if it does come to past,  windows will be the first ones to get it, it's their main footprint.

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7 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

 

Currently nobody is even working on anything to do with a viewer that runs outside of OpenGL,  and if it does come to past,  windows will be the first ones to get it, it's their main footprint.

Sure, sounds like a smart idea given according to LL estimates 25% of their content creators use Macs. I bet the 15% Mac users are more or less all premium customers too. 

Most likely OpenGL will be removed from macOS this fall, after which no new machines can run SecondLife (or Opensim)

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2 hours ago, Gavin Hird said:

Sure, sounds like a smart idea given according to LL estimates 25% of their content creators use Macs. I bet the 15% Mac users are more or less all premium customers too. 

Most likely OpenGL will be removed from macOS this fall, after which no new machines can run SecondLife (or Opensim)

then dont update, that's pretty simple,  you have a viable machine until time comes where there is a replacement,  even us windows users know, like with windows 11,  unless you can support it dont do it.   I'm not updating to 11,  I'm sitting on 10.

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14 hours ago, Gavin Hird said:

It is still shelved... 😀  and no real work has been done on the Mac viewer to make it survive the day Apple close OpenGL. 

i read on Inara Pey's blog in one of the user group meeting summaries (which one exactly I can't remember now) that one of the options that Linden was exploring for Apple Mac was a OpenGL-like wrapper for Metal as a higher-level API.  Is a number of projects already going down this path. Like MoltenGL for example

would make some kind of sense this, at least to think about

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9 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

then dont update, that's pretty simple,  you have a viable machine until time comes where there is a replacement,  even us windows users know, like with windows 11,  unless you can support it dont do it.   I'm not updating to 11,  I'm sitting on 10.

That is not the issue. The issue, from a business perspective – and Linden Labs is a business selling the product Secondlife, is that recruitment of new customers from a segment of the market that are usually willing and able to pay, stops. 

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9 hours ago, Mollymews said:

i read on Inara Pey's blog in one of the user group meeting summaries (which one exactly I can't remember now) that one of the options that Linden was exploring for Apple Mac was a OpenGL-like wrapper for Metal as a higher-level API.  Is a number of projects already going down this path. Like MoltenGL for example

would make some kind of sense this, at least to think about

MoltenVK is a subset of the functionality in Vulkan, and is neither supported by Apple or Khronos Group. Apple has no desire or strategy to support anything but Metal on their processors, and they can easily completely block MoltenVK by refusing to sign the drivers.

In addition Apple does not provide any kind of developer documentation at all for their GPUs. 

Traditionally Apple only allowed the GPU hardware vendors to write a HAL (hardware abstraction layer), then wrote their own drivers and OpenGL implementation on top of that. 

It might be possible in the short term to make "something" work on MoltenVK, but without support from Apple it could break at any system update. It is also hopeless from a business perspective both because you are completely on your own with the implementation, but it could also thwart your business plan and make your investment in the development effort worthless overnight if it no longer works and nobody will support you. 

Writing a Metal renderer, costly as it will be, on the other hand makes it possible to make a viewer that both runs on Mac, iOS and iPadOS devices, expanding the potential customer base by about a 1 billion users. 

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31 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

MoltenGL 

https://moltengl.com/

 

 

No, MoltenVK.

 https://moltengl.com/moltenvk/

MoltenGL is if you have OpenGL ES apps that you might want to try get running on iOS. 

OpenGL ES has been gone from the iOS platform for at least 5 years. I don't know if OpenGL ES on macOS even was a thing. In any case, this is even more dead in the water than MoltenVK.

Also, the viewer does not contain any OpenGL ES code at all, so for this discussion it is a pointless solution. 

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22 minutes ago, Gavin Hird said:

No, MoltenVK.

 https://moltengl.com/moltenvk/

MoltenGL is if you have OpenGL ES apps that you might want to try get running on iOS. 

OpenGL ES has been gone from the iOS platform for at least 5 years. I don't know if OpenGL ES on macOS even was a thing. In any case, this is even more dead in the water than MoltenVK.

Also, the viewer does not contain any OpenGL ES code at all, so for this discussion it is a pointless solution. 

i said "one of the options that Linden was exploring for Apple Mac was a OpenGL-like wrapper for Metal as a higher-level API.  Is a number of projects already going down this path. Like MoltenGL for example"

then you said MoltenVK

so I say again. a OpenGL-like wrapper for Metal as a higher-level API. Referencing MoltenGL as an example of a project going down the path of an OpenGL-like wrapper

APIs that interface between a application code base and multiple OSes is a pretty standard industry practice. Another example of this is the Lazarus Pascal project. Develop your program in the Lazarus IDE, coding it up in Pascal language . Pick the target OS - Android, Linux, FreeBSD,  macOS, iOS or Windows. Press Compile and done

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36 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

i said "one of the options that Linden was exploring for Apple Mac was a OpenGL-like wrapper for Metal as a higher-level API.  Is a number of projects already going down this path. Like MoltenGL for example"

then you said MoltenVK

so I say again. a OpenGL-like wrapper for Metal as a higher-level API. Referencing MoltenGL as an example of a project going down the path of an OpenGL-like wrapper

APIs that interface between a application code base and multiple OSes is a pretty standard industry practice. Another example of this is the Lazarus Pascal project. Develop your program in the Lazarus IDE, coding it up in Pascal language . Pick the target OS - Android, Linux, FreeBSD,  macOS, iOS or Windows. Press Compile and done

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Do you even understand what you are writing?

MoltenGL is for OpenGL ES, and there is not a single line of OpenGL ES in the viewer, so NO, LL does not investigate it.

What they have been investigating MoltenVK. Which is a dead end. 

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from Inara Pey's summary of the 2021 CCUG meeting week #46.  https://modemworld.me/2021/11/19/2021-ccug-meeting-week-46-summary-graphics-work/

Quote

Whilst on the back burner at present, it is hoped that Vulkan, if / when adopted, could solve a lot of texture batching and draw call issues on the Windows platform, as it has a “fundamentally different” way of handling the latter. However, any shift in graphics API is held depending the current clean-up of the rendering code. On October 30th, Runitai described the options under consideration as:

  • Using Vulkan (Windows) and Metal (Apple).
  • Running Vulkan extraction layers on top of G3D on Windows (and MoltenGL for Apple?)
  • Implementing an off-the-shelf multi-API extraction layer.
  • Home-brew a dedicated extraction layer.
  • Stick with OpenGL for Windows and use MoltenGL for Apple (as noted above).
  • Initially supporting Vulkan + OpenGL for Windows and then retiring OpenGL and running Vulkan extraction layers on top of G3D (no word on Apple solutions in this scenario).

edit: just add some more about what Linden are thinking. From the 2022 TPVD Week #11 meeting

Quote

[Video: 16:31-27:45 and 28:58-42:30] A broad-ranging discussion on the viewer build process and tool chain, moving to more recent graphics APIs (the likes of Vulkan and Metals are under consideration), resource utilisation within the Lab, future work on improving the viewer’s threading capabilities, etc.

  • Outside of the ongoing (/periodic) tool chain updates and graphics API investigations, none of discussion points are subject to any immediate / near-term project.
  • It was again pointed out that a issue in considering replacements for / alternatives to OpenGL is that a lot of users run older PC harder which is incapable of running more recent APIs like Vulkan.

so the big issue about Vulkan for Linden isn't so much just about Apple. Is also about Windows and lots of residents who are still using Potato brand PCs

Edited by Mollymews
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