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Abner Ibbetson

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About Abner Ibbetson

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  1. I really do not understand the people who pooh-pooh the idea of a new graphics engine in SL. We have all put a lot of effort into our avatars and/or builds and we would therefore all benefit tremendously from an engine upgrade in SL. The current engine offers some nice functionality but is it is hopelessly outdated at its core. LL has kept up as best they can by adding new things like shadows and meshes but the very result shows how old and cranky the old beast now is. For exemple, on my computer, if I turn on shadows, I lose shininess almost completely! Other people are exeperiencing other glitches but it is always the same story. Each time something new is added, something else breaks down. That is what happens when you keep on tweaking an old piece of software that is way past its prime. One of the biggest problem with the current engine is that it is based on OpenGL instead of DirectX. Way back in the early 2000s it seemed like a good choice (more portable, they said). But now, OpenGL is almost no longer used for games anymore and, as a result, the quality of support offered for it by graphics card makers has decreased dramatically. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to run SL at a decent frame rate on an ATI card. The OpenGL driver offered by ATI is so crappy that the FPS goes down to 10 or less as soon as there is any complexity in the scene, even on a 200$ card. So far, NVidia is still offering decent OpennGL support for their cards but how long will it last? There are also many signs showing that the very concepts on which any graphics engine is based (shaders, materials mapping, etc ...) are completely obsolete in the case of the SL engine. No amount of tweaking will change that. Many new concepts have been introduced and hardwired into 3D chips in the past 10 years. There is just no way SL is going to be able to leverage them efficiently if LL sticks to the old engine. So I am asking you Lindens: when is that major engine overhaul coming ?
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