SL projects update, September 26th

Update 28th September: Please also refer to an update post on some of the projects / news given here.

SL Viewer Status Updates

Linden Lab have been working hard on a range of viewer-related issues, notably crash rates and memory leaks, which have slowed the viewer update a release process up over the last few weeks. In terms of memory leaks, tcmalloc has been identified as the culprit, with Linden Lab deciding that dropping it is “probably a good idea”, according to Oz (tcmalloc has previously been implicated in crashes linked to the use of things like Microsoft’s Skydrive). There have also been an issues with LL’s statistics system which have meant that the viewer hasn’t necessarily been accurately tracked in terms of crash rates, etc.

Beta Releases

As it stands, LL hope to have the blocks on the various code merges removed during this week, which should see a rapid series of beta releases coming down the pipe. This work commenced with an initial 3.4.1 beta release ( emerging on September 24th. It will be followed by around three or so additional and rapid 3.4.1 build iterations aimed at confirming the viewer’s stability and at replacing various fixes which had previously been removed from the viewer code while trying to identify the causes for the viewer crashing / suffering memory leaks. It is expected that each of these iterations will be on the beta release build channel for a couple of days, prior to being replaced. Following these there will be a series of project updates, the first of which gatekeeper compliance project, which is also targeted for a 3.4.1 release build.

Project-related Releases

Once the stability of the beta viewer has been confirmed, it is anticipated that project-related code will be merged into the viewer, most likely starting with 3.4.2 builds. Among the releases planned for 3.4.2 is Monty Linden’s HTTP Library Services and Baker Linden’s Group Services code. These are currently targeted to reach the beta build channel in week 40 (week commencing Monday October 5th).

These releases will at some point include the Steam updates currently in a Development branch as well, which might in turn mean that Second Life could be ready to appear on Steam in the very near future, once these updates have reached a release version of the viewer.

Account creation prompt: heading for the beta viewer

Group Services Project

The Group Services project is an attempt to improve the management and editing of large SL groups by replacing the current UDP-based service (which has capacity issues with the size of group lists it can comfortably handle) with a new HTTP-based service. The project viewer for this is already available (for Windows, Linux and OSX.), however, as mentioned above, the current plan is to get this into the 3.4.2 build stream alongside the HTTP textures project, possibly in week 40.

Originally, the server code for this project was due to have been rolled to the RC channels during week 38, (week commencing September 17th), but the channel deploys were postponed after QA issues were found. As a consequence, the roll-out was due to take place on Wednesday 26th September, but has again been postponed.

There has been some confusion as to the aim of this project, with some people believing it is focused on fixing group chat issues such as  lag and chat failing to start. This is not the case at all; as stated above, the project is aimed at improving the management and editing of large groups (10K+) through the use of a new HTTP service.

HTTP Library Services

As indicated above, the first phase of this work, covering a new texture fetch service, should be appearing in a 3.4.2 beta release of the viewer in the near future.

HTTP Libraries project viewer: improved texture loading and rezzing

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