SL projects update week 41 / 1

Server Deploys

The main channel today received the same maintenance release made last week to BlueSteel (and which was used to help fix the LeTigre problems). speaking at the Server / Simulator User Group, Simon Linden described the deployment as, “A very minor change … from one of the RCs. It’s really not any functional change but was needed to go grid-wide before another one goes into RC.”

Following week 40’s issues with LeTigre, the three primary Release Candidate channels will be getting updated as follows:

  • Magnum, which has code to help sims run better on new hardware,  will be getting the same change that went to the main channel
  • BlueSteel and LeTigre will get the same update, which is described as “pretty minor but important”, being a back-end query optimisation designed to assist with database loads.

Currently, the prim accounting issue is still being worked on, which affecting scheduling what will be available in deployments. Passing comment on how deployment packages are put together, Simon explained that, as a rule, bug fixes tend to be put together as far as possible, prior to going to QA and then to an RC channel. He went on to say that what goes into other releases can be variable, “There’s a judgement call on how much gets bundled together, and a bunch of things go into the decision, like how overloaded the QA guys are, how many other things are trying to get to RC, risks of one part blocking it (like now), stuff like that”. In the meantime, LL are actively looking at ways to both prevent a recurrence of this problem and to improve the RC channel deployments as a whole.

SL Viewer

The promised new beta release (3.4.1.265642) reached the release point on Monday October 8th. This release sees tcmalloc disabled once more,  but otherwise appears to be the same code as the previous beta. It is intended to be a further stability testing / confirmation release, and as such will remain available for the next couple of days as Linden Lab gather data on its performance.Tcmalloc has been disabled, rather than removed, as it has apparently been useful in helping to trace issues within the viewer code, and LL wished to retain the ability to re-enable it in case they needed to re-enable it to help identify problems within the viewer in future.

Assuming this release proves stable, and assuming that plans outlined by Oz Linden have not undergone significant change, it should clear the way for the unblocking of various code merges that have been awaiting the stability / memory leak issue to be resolved. As previously reported, the precise order in which code merges will be made / released is unclear, but Linden Lab have a significant amount of updates waiting in the wings, including Steam support changes, Monty Linden’s HTTP library updates, Baker Linden’s Group Services project code, Apple OSX Mountain Lion support (including gatekeeper compatibility), and more.

Steam updates – one of the viewer merges waiting to be released

Under the original plans for the beta viewer, project viewer code was to start merging into the viewer with the 3.4.2 release code. As there was no OpenDev meeting on Monday 8th October, it is assumed this is still the case, however, the precise order of the merges is due for discussion this week within the Lab, and a clearer indication of the order may be available by the Thursday OpenDev meeting, and will be given in part 2 of this report, if that is the case.

Group Services Project

Due to the problems experienced with the leTigre deployment in week 40, Baker Linden’s Group Services code did not receive a proper deployment to a Release Channel. It is not due to be released this week, but should be in an RC deployment aimed at week 42, although as it has been bundled with the LeTigre deployment which had problems, this may be delayed further while the prim accounting error is looked into.

It is currently unclear as to whether the delay with the RC roll-out will influence when the Group Service viewer code (currently available in a dedicated project viewer) will be merged into the development  / beta branches of the SL viewer code; again more should be known on this following Thursday’s OpenDev meeting.

Materials Processing

Continues to progress, with little to report at this time. The feature set for the initial release still has yet to be published, and the wiki page for materials processing is due for further update. Concerns were raised over one statement relating to the use of colour, to whit:

Color a solid color for the surface; not used if a Texture is also specified.”

The concern was that whereas it is currently possible to specify both a texture and a colour for a given object or object face, the wiki implies that under material processing, it will become either / or. However, this appears to be an error in the wiki, and both options will remain available.

Linkability Bug

As reported in my last update, and while not strictly a project, the bug which is currently allowing prims to be linked over distances greater than 54m has been investigated, and a fix is expected to be rolled-out to the RC channels for this in week 42.