Reality and Studio 4.5 – Recap
Since I’m spending so much time responding to the same question: “Is Reality working with Studio 4.5RC2?”, I am posting a little recap here about the current situation.
At this date, July 30th 2012, Studio 4.5 is a BETA version. Beta versions of Studio should not be used unless you are OK with broken plugins, possible data loss, and random crashes. That is what a “beta” means. Beta software is not a “sneak peek” at what’s next. Beta software is unreleased software that is still in development and that has all the potential to break, chew on your data and spit it out in a form that you will not like. So, Studio 4.5 is a beta release and you should not use it for production work.
[Update: as I finished writing this DAZ has released Studio 4.5RC3. This version has the potential to be a real Release Candidate. I am downloading it as we speak and I will start testing it soon.]
What is more important is that there is no backward or forward compatibility for plugins written for the current version of Studio, which is 4.0. Forward compatibility means that plug-ins written for 4.0 would run on 4.5. DAZ has clearly stated in the release notes of Studio 4.5 that there is no compatibility with plugins written for Studio 4.0. What that means for you is that Reality 2.2 will not run on Studio 4.5 because of the lack of forward compatibility.
I do have a version of Reality, labelled 2.5, that is compatible with Studio 4.5 and which is ready for release. I cannot release it because Studio 4.5 has no backward compatibility either.
Let me explain.
Most people don’t feel comfortable using beta software so there are many users of Studio 4 who stay with version 4.0 and might upgrade later on, when 4.5 is officially released. If I release Reality 2.5 today, and some users of Studio 4.0 upgrade by mistake, then I will have to ask them to install beta software, Studio 4.5, to run my plugin. That is not something that I am comfortable doing. I’m quite sure that there would be protests from several people, and rightly so.
So, here we are: stuck in update limbo. At this point I need to figure out how to release Reality 2.5 to the adventurous of you who like to use beta versions of Studio while preserving the normal release cycle for tested and certified software. This could have been easily avoided by not releasing beta version of Studio publicly and this is one of the many reasons why I’ve always been against public betas of any software. This is not a criticism against DAZ, they are just following a questionable trend started by others before them. The fact is that public betas produce nothing good and a lot of chaos, as it is happening in this case.
I am currently working around the clock for something really big that I will announce on occasion of the next SIGGRAPH, which starts on August 5th in Los Angeles. Once I return from LA, on August 10th, I will work on figuring out how to resolve this situation. Who knows, maybe for that time DAZ will have the final version of Studio 4.5 and all this will be a thing of the past.
Thank you for your understanding.