VR Juggler 2.0 Beta 3 released

Introduction
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As the VR Juggler 2.0 release manager, I am pleased to announce the the long-awaited, long-delayed release of VR Juggler 2.0 Beta 3. This release is the culmination of more than four years of work by a varied group of developers and the results of feedback from countless users who tried out the beta releases and the alpha releases.

VR Juggler 2.0 Beta 3 is primarily a bug-fix release relative to the 2.0 Beta 2 release made in January 2005. We got a fantastic amount of feedback about the 2.0 Beta 2 release and were able to make numerous improvements to the C++ code base as a result. We are hopeful that that trend will continue with this release to ensure that VR Juggler 2.0.0 is stable, robust, and generally fun to use.

The most noticeable changes in VR Juggler 2.0 Beta 3 are in VRJConfig. Most of the last five months have been spent improving the Java code base to fix bugs, to add missing features, and to address VRJConfig interface annoyances. Moreover, the VRJConfig Control Panel received a lot of attention, and it includes two new custom editors to help with the VR Juggler configuration process. The first custom editor is used for presenting users with a high level view of the relationships between input devices, proxies, and proxy aliases. The second custom editor is designed to help with editing a projection-based VR system configuration. A brand new wizard for creating VR system configurations is built on top of this wizard. This wizard helps automate the process of creating a multi-wall VR system configuration--clustered and otherwise--from scratch.

As usual, you can find binaries and source code on SourceForge. It is recommended that you visit the VR Juggler download page on http://www.vrjuggler.org/ for details on new requirements since VR Juggler 1.0:

http://www.vrjuggler/vrjuggler/download-2_0.php

To update to this release from VR Juggler 2.0 Beta 1 or Beta 2, the process is as simple as installing the release and recompiling your applications. To update from 2.0 Alpha 4, the process is the same as explained in the 2.0 Beta 1 release notes. Please read the VR Juggler 2.0 Beta 3 release notes for more details. The release notes can be seen here:

http://sourceforge.net/project/shownotes.php?release_id=333262

Significance of Beta Status
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What does it mean for VR Juggler 2.0 to be in beta release? It means that we feel that the code has reached a point of maturity and stability that it is ready for wide-spread use, but we know that there are still going to be some bugs cropping up. We want people to try out the code and let us know about any problems that are found. Doing so will help ensure that the VR Juggler 2.0.0 release is a success for everyone. Bugs should be reported using the SourceForge tracker:

http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=8041&atid=108041

Reaching beta status also means that the development process is shifting into bug-fixing mode. The user-visible C++ and Java APIs are now frozen and will not change. The configuration files are now also is a frozen state and will not require any updating from now up through the final 2.0.0 release. All of this will make it very easy to update from one beta to the next all the way till 2.0.0 is released. Upgrading will mean simply installing a newer VR Juggler release and recompiling C++ applications against the new version.

VR Juggler 2.0 Release Time Line
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The following is the current time line for the VR Juggler 2.0.0 release:

* VR Juggler 2.0.0: July 5, 2005

Remember that the more bug reports we receive, the better the 2.0.0 release will be. After VR Juggler 2.0.0 is released, development will begin on VR Juggler 2.2, which will include more new features that did not make it into the 2.0 release series. VR Juggler 2.2.0 will be released six months or a year after VR Juggler 2.0.0.

Porting from 1.0
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We have worked to address problems with VR Juggler 1.0, both in the design and in the implementation. We have also taken advantage of advances in C++ compiler technology to make the code faster, simpler, and more robust. To learn about updating VR Juggler 1.0 applications, refer to the porting documentation:

http://www.vrjuggler.org/twiki_public/bin/view/Juggler/MigratingToVrjTwo

This is a Wiki page, so everyone can contribute additional information and/or tips as necessary.

Posted by Patrick Hartling 2005-06-09