WindLight First Look Viewer for (Mac OS X Intel only)

Second Life LogoWell, here it is. After two days of getting the open source code from Linden Lab to compile under XCode, I’ve managed to raise up to Zen Linden’s challenge and compiled the WindLight First Look Viewer for my Mac.

Zen Linden hinted that the next version of the WindLight FL will be under development (based on the input from a tremendous number of users who tested it) “for a few weeks”. For those of you that can’t wait until Christmas or 2010 for a new version, I’ve compiled my own from the sources.

Compiling the Linden Lab source code is fun. Obviously, as you might have expected, this is not your regular download-click-on-a-button-it-compiles-fine-yay-install type of software. It’s way too complex for that. Although a whole lot of procedures are (thankfully!) automated, some things really have to be done manually (I’ve added as much documentation as possible on my own “challenge” on the Second Life Open Source Wiki, and I’m pretty sure most of it are basic things. Of course, when it comes into figuring out why the headers for the OpenGL helper modules for Nvidia cards do not compile correctly, I’m at a loss — I just commented out the C++-uncompliant code, and let the compile finish. With God knows how many billion lines the source code has, who knows how many bugs have suddenly popped in because of that 🙂

Reading LL’s source code is a pain, there are almost zero comments, and even with a “grand plan”, it’s hard to figure out what goes where. If you’re an open source code fanatic, used to extremely well documented code, you’ll be very disappointed. More recent bugs that have been figured out are commented here and there. The style, however, is fortunately pretty much consistent across most files, although one can notice a difference in style from the old veterans and the newer generation. It’s like reading the Bible in the original Hebraic/Aramaic, with all pages loose, and trying to figure out who wrote what, or in which sequence the books are supposed to be placed together. And no, you won’t see any comments like “Hey Andrew, found a bug here on Havok, please fix it — Philip, 20020112” or something like that. The younger programmers still leave comments like “HACK — Can’t figure out what parameters to pass on the constructor”. Uh-oh. Now we know why we’re missing items in inventory 😀

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