2020 Simulator User Group week #8 summary

Mimmo, December 2019 – click any image for full size

The following notes were taken at the Simulator User Group meeting held on Tuesday, February 18th.

Simulator Deployments

As always, please refer to the week’s deployment thread for updates.

  • The SLS (main) channel servers were updated with simulator update 2020-02-05T22:16:31.536040, providing support for the upcoming Name Changes feature.
  • At the time of writing, the deployment thread indicates there is no RC deployment scheduled for Wednesday, February 19th, however according to Simon Linden speaking at the SUG meeting, there will be an RC update. so again, check the deployment thread for updates.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing, the official viewer pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #7:

  • Current Release version 6.3.6.535003, formerly the Xanté Maintenance RC, dated January 22, promoted January 27 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.536347, February 11.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.3.7.536179, February 10.
    • Yorsh Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.3.7.535996, February 7.
    • Camera Presets RC viewer, version 6.3.6.535138, January 24.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

Brief Notes

  • Script running: concerns continue to be expressed over recent changes to script behaviour designed to improve script performance within a region may be affecting the ability of scripts to run in a timely fashion when their object is rezzed. Up to a 2-second delay has been observed, although this is by no means constant for any given object. This is a known issue with the Lab, who are continuing to work to improve the situation.

A revisit to Otter Lake in Second Life

Otter Lake, February 2020

Otter Lake is one of the most alluring homestead regions we have recently visited. The work of Sharon Hinterland, this is a truly remarkable region in terms of the amount of space the region exudes, the beauty of the design, and the richness of detail. So much so that it is actually hard to believe it is only an Homestead region and thus capped with a land capacity of 5K.

I wrote those words back in June 2019 following our first visit to Otter Lake. We recently made a return to the region after receiving an invitation to do so from Sharon, who noted she’d made a number of changes to her design, and hoped we’d be able to take a look.

Otter Lake, February 2020 – click any image for full size

Now, to be honest, given the region really did captivate and offer a stunningly realistic design, hearing that it may have changed did cause something of a surge of anxiety: would the charm be retained? Would there still be the same sense of of depth, the same natural beauty?  Might something have changed to cause the magic of the region to evaporate, even if only in part?

Well, the answer to all of these concerns proved to be an emphatic “no”: Otter Lake remains as captivating and enticing as ever, the additional elements offering further depth and opportunities for photography and for simply appreciating Sharon’s work as a landscape artist.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Retaining the lake and home that gave the region its name, fed from on high by waterfalls dropping from a hilltop pool, the region offers a pleasing mix of the familiar and the new that combine into a further natural setting ready for exploration.

Perhaps the most obvious new element in the region is the fishing wharf that now forms the landing point. It’s an interesting focal point on its own: while this retains the warehouses of old and has a salmon trawler tied up alongside, fishing no longer gives the wharf’s purpose. The tallest of the warehouses has been converted into a home, the smaller into a cosy café, while what might have once have been fishmonger’s stores are now boutique shops.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Across the region from the wharf, a lighthouse raises its light over the trees, perhaps causing those who have visited the region in the past to recall another lighthouse that once stood there, albeit one without a tower. Other touches of the former design also await discovery: the humpbacked bridge, the broken delivery truck and much more besides.

As a firm fan of Alex Bader’s landscaping kits, I admit to particularly like the use of his stream building kits and specifically Sharon’s clever integration of elements from the Studio Skye Zen Garden Building Set. The later are to be found throughout the region and offer subtle accents throughout the landscaping.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Also among the newer elements are further buildings snuggled among the trees and paths, as well as some of the paths and trails themselves. Between them, the latter of take visitors on a marvellous trek through the region, one that again gives the feeling of walking through a space much, much bigger that the usual 65,535 square metres supplied by a region, without ever giving the impression that the space is in any way limited or feeling of walking in circles.

Sharon confessed to me that she wishes she has the land capacity to use “better trees”. However, while they my be low LI, the rich mix of trees that are provided across Otter Lake make for a rich – and quite natural – mix that varies by altitude, adding further depth to the region.

Otter Lake, February 2020

Filled with colour and natural sounds that change throughout the day – a day, by the way, enriched with a custom windlight -, with numerous places to sit in the open under boughs of trees, along river banks and paths and with much to see that doesn’t unduly impact viewer performance, Otter Lake remains one of the most alluring an natural settings it has been our pleasure to visit.

SLurl Details

Fantasy Faire 2020: calling DJs, hosts and – world builders!

via Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire, the largest fantasy-related event to take place in Second Life, will take place in 2020 from Thursday, April 23rd, through Sunday May 10th, 2020 inclusive, with the scheduled activities programme running between April 23rd and Monday, May 4th.

Exhibitor applications opened on February 12th, as I noted in Fantasy Faire 2020: dates announced and merchant applications open, and on February 16th, DJ and Host applications opened for submissions, while on February 18th, and for the first time in the event’s history, Fantasy Faire issued an invitation to region designers to be a part of this year’s event.

Calling World Builders

It has long been the tradition at the Faire that those designing the regions that make up the Fairelands are directly asked to do so by the the Faire’s organisers. However, this year, the organisers are inviting all who might be interested to either design a full region for the event, or who might like to try their hand at becoming a Worldling designer.

The invitation reads:

For the first time, Fantasy Faire is throwing open its doors and welcoming builders throughout the length and breadth of Second Life the opportunity to share in creating the Fairelands.

Do you dream of worlds? Do you want the chance to bring those dreams to life? If you, or someone you know, might be interested in creating a region for this year’s Faire, please take a moment or two to fill out the form.

So, if you have designed a region in full or in part, have a hunger to design a fantasy setting that might form a part of Second Life’s largest annual fantasy event and help raise money for Relay For Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society, why not volunteer your skills?

Fantasy Faire 2019

Additional Links

2020 viewer release summaries week #7

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 16th

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 6.3.6.535003 and dated January 22nd, promoted January 27th, formerly the Xanté RC viewer, – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • The EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.536347 on February 11th
    • Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.3.7.536179 on February 10th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Art and quantum states in Second Life

Milena Carbone: Agape in Pace

Having opened at the Itakos Project, curated by Akim Alonzo, on Sunday, February 16th, Milena Carbone’s Agape in Pace is a fascinating exploration of art, love, hate, religion, politics  – all of which might be summed up as the human condition; together with reflections on quantum field theory – specifically the quantum vacuum state and the Casimir effect.

Spread over two floors of the gallery space, the exhibit presents a mix of images and text panels, which together present a layered, nuanced story.

Initially, the exhibition was inspired by the strangeness of the quantum vacuum: a vacuum that was the result of interactions of matter, antimatter and quantum fields that cancel each other out. The image of the Agape and Lilith twins represented the course of matter and antimatter that arises and rejoins almost simultaneously to disappear in the peace of emptiness.

As my work progressed, I drifted towards the two parallel stories: of Agape, oriented towards love and the search for peace; and of Lilith, oriented towards hatred of the other and the search for destruction. These are two postures towards the world. Not just the world of humans, but of all forms of life and the mystery of our existence. The two stories inevitably unite in death and forgiveness.

– Milena Carbone, describing Agape in Pace

Milena Carbone: Agape in Pace

The stories of Agape and Lilith are told on the lower floor of the exhibition, Agape to the left and Lilith to the right as you face the hall. Each can be followed individually, while each acts as a reflection of the other. Neither can actually exist without the other, yet should they ever meet, they will mutually annihilate one another violently and completely. But while they stay apart each might continue indefinitely, as symbolised by the mirror-like triptych at the end of the hall.

Further nuance is added through the examination quantum field theory. The popular idiom life doesn’t exist in a vacuum tells us that everything is in relation to it’s context; thus, neither Agape nor Lilith exist alone; they are intertwined – love and hate, light and dark – each giving life to the other; neither occupies a vacuum, and together, whilst never touching, they operate as an example of the Casimir Effect: their very existence as individuals means that between them, they generate a non-zero energy that effects the space (or others) around them.

Milena Carbone: Agape in Pace

On the upper level, the exhibition, Milena both continues her examination of the human condition whilst offering her own examination of Agape in Pace. In doing so, she offers insight into her creative process and her use of layering in her art as a part of her storytelling. Here as well, there are nuances and reflections on the nature of life and existence, religion, and an understanding of our place in the universe – indeed, the idea that life itself is a reflection of the physical forces at work throughout the cosmos.

Provocative in stimulating the grey matter, attractive in its art presentation, and ending on a pointed commentary on both the small-mindedness we are all too often witnessing in modern politics, and the reality of our tiny presence in a cosmos that small-mindedness presumes we own, Agape in Pace is a captivating exhibition.

Milena Carbone: Agape in Pace

SLurl Details

 

The serpentine beauty of Lake NumB in Second Life

Lake NumB, February 2020 – click and image for full size

Surrounded by tall green mountains and with fir trees in places lining its shore, Lake NumB sits hidden from the rest of the world, its waters a colour suggestive of great depth. It lies within with the hills uninterrupted save for a single, sinuous island that appears to be swimming through the blue waters from east to west, the narrow stripe of a stream running through it from end-to-end along its green back.

Designed by Num Bing, this homestead setting is stunning in its simplicity and beauty, and offered to visitors because – to use Num’s words:

I wanted to create a little spot… a stream banked with nature… with photo & relaxation spots… so here we are… wander & enjoy…

Lake NumB, February 2020

The landing point is on a wooden bridge spanning the stream towards its western end. To the south of this, a carpet of grass sits between water’s edge and stream to provide a access to two greenhouses. The first, and nearer of these, is a near-pristine structure tucked into a grove of fir trees and offering a quiet retreat – one of several throughout this meandering isle.

The second greenhouse sits further east, where the land rises very slightly between curtains of rock. It is older than the first, its frame now without glass but with net curtains hanging on one side. It offers a large tub of water as an escape for one our two people, the water warmed by copper coils absorbing the heat from a naked fire sitting alongside it. Nearby, grassy steps lead down to a deck sitting over the waters of the north shore, while to the south a second bridge offers way back to the path that runs between it and the landing point.

Lake NumB, February 2020

Beyond this, the island continues east, the land lined with trees, shrubs and flowers and grass paths encourage explorers forward to discover all the hidden delights to be found. And these delights are many: places to sit, decks over the water, little glades, and an out-thrust of land that offers a formal garden with checker board pebbles, trimmed hedgerows and topiary.

Extending out into the lake, the garden looks to have been artificially added to the island, and is home to another frame – for either a greenhouse or shed – that sits unfinished and provides home for an setting ready for afternoon tea complete. Entertainment is waiting to be provided by the most charming clavicytherium that came as a particular delight to me, as I had no idea one was available in SL (so kudos to Jake Vordun, its creator!).

Lake NumB, February 2020

Beautifully designed and presented, Lake NumB does precisely what Num Bing intended of it: presents a natural setting rich in places to relax and opportunities for photography (images can be submitted to the region’s Flickr group, if desired); it’s a place that works under multiple windlight options and encourages visitor to stay a while and that shouldn’t be missed.

Our thanks to Annie Brightstar for the tip.

Lake NumB, February 2020

SLurl Details