SL project news week 48/1: server and beta, viewer, maps and memory

Server Deployments

After indications from LL that there may not be a Main channel deployment on Tuesday 27th November, restart commenced as the deployment made to the RC channels last week went ahead as per the usual schedule.

Wednesday 28th November should see the three main RC channels updated as follows:

  • BlueSteel and LeTigre: should receive a maint-server project.  There are a few new flags for the LSL function llGetObjectDetails(), but the most important changes are some fixes for physics and mesh-based crash modes – see the server release notes
  • Magnum should receive the say package, with additional stability improvement changes – see the Magnum server release notes.

As usual there is a forum thread for the week’s server deployments.

Viewer News

Release Viewer

The 3.4.2 viewer code finally reached the release (production) version of the LL viewer with the release of on Monday 26th November, which I briefly reviewed here.

Beta Viewer

The beta viewer, now cleared of the crash issue bottleneck, moved rapidly through the 3.4.2 code base prior to Thanksgiving in the US, as previously reported in the news updates, and then reached 3.4.3 with the surprise release of during Thanksgiving week, after it had been indicated there would be no viewer releases during the week due to decreased support staff availability during the long weekend period. As reported last week, this release includes the first phase of Monty Linden’s HTTP texture fetch project, which should see people experiencing significantly faster texture rezzing when in-world.

CHUI Viewer

The CHUI – the Communications Hub User Interface – project viewer is due to go through another couple of iterations before moving towards a development / beta viewer code merge. There has already been one update since the project viewer, which is aimed at improving the capabilities and reliability of in-world text and Voice conversations, first appeared.

CHUI: potentially a couple more iterations to come

While he has not followed the project first-hand, Oz Linden believes CHUI to be nearing a “feature complete” status. The advice is that if you haven’t tried it out and wish to give feedback, now is the time to do so.

Mesh Deformer

Nalates Urriah provides an update on some of the ongoing work around the mesh deformer. In the meantime, speaking at the Open Development User Group meeting on Monday the 26th November, Oz linden responded to a question from White Rabbit as to what garments are still required for testing by saying, “That’s a great question. I’m setting up a meeting with the people responsible for avatars to try to get a proper acceptance test defined for both that and STORM-1800.” STORM-1800 relates to the vertex weights of the default avatar character mesh.

While Oz didn’t specify a date for the meeting, those with a direct interest in either supplying mesh clothing for testing or in the JIRA should be hearing from him in the near future on the meeting details.

Interest List

There is not much to report on this at the moment, other than two things:

  • The bug encountered during a recent demonstration which resulted in prims from people’s HUDs would show up in other people’s viewers has been fixed
  • The performance tests carried out on Ahern on the beta (Aditi) grid are looking good, and Andrew Linden, who is the lead for the project, is confident that the code may pass QA soon, given that the results are at least as good as, if not better than, expected.
HUD prims appearing on other’s screen – an issue discovered during interest list testing, now resolved (image courtesy of Chieron Tenk)

Threaded Region Crossing

Again, no major movement on this project. At least one region is available for testing on the Aditi grid – Bonifacio (server code  DRTSIM-184  – with Simon Linden reporting at the Simulator UG meeting on Tuesday 27th November that, “Threaded region crossings are in QA now with one or two bugs that need to be fixed … basically the same as before Thanksgiving.”

SL Issues

Region Performance Issues

The physics memory issues affecting some (at least one) Homestead regions, which I reported in week 47, are still ongoing, while others may have been fixed with the most recent deployments. The Homestead issue, which sees physics memory rapidly climb to close to the maximum limit of 250 MB, (normally in around 90 minutes of a restart) is most keenly being felt by Rainbow Cove, resulting in the ability to rez objects.

Similar issues have previously been reported with the full sim regions of Jinxies, Lolita Park and Zerango, although it is not entirely clearly whether these are still having problems.

Both this problem, and the strange memory issue also encountered at the last Simulator UG meeting (see the link above) continue to be investigated by Lab staff.

Missing Map Tiles

A couple of weeks ago, I reported on an issue relating to tiles missing from the World Map floater, citing two examples in the form of Sunny Point, which was failing to show up, and regions around Harshap, which tended to vanish on some of the zoom presets of the map, but not others.

Sunny point: visible on the World map once more

A recent change to the way in which the data for the World mao is gathered and processed was thought to have fixed the issue, and regions such as Sunny Point and Harshap did no longer exhibited problems. However, there have been reports of at two areas still failing to appear on the map following the fix. One of these is a strip of map tiles covering the Oak Bluffs area and the other a strip of regions at Korzun, both of which are now subject to further investigation.

Aditi Grid Log-in Issues

There have been increasing issues with accessing and using the beta (Aditi) grid. These perhaps first came to attention some two weeks ago when many of those who attend the Beta User Group meeting held on Aditi on Thursdays found themselves unable to log-in. At the time the problem was put down to a disk having become “full up”, and was thought to have been rectified. However, problems have persisted.

Investigations by LL staff appear to show that the problem lies with the account management database on Aditi being coming overloaded with data, which seems to be down to two things. In the first, too much information is imported into the database when accounts are synched between Agni and Aditi – information which includes data on all inventory assets held within the asset cluster for an account. As some people have several tens of thousands of items in their Agni inventory, this can add up to a lot of data.

The second problem is that over the years, it appears that the Aditi database has never really been purged of outdated information. This has resulted in it  containing a lot of data relating to dead or stale accounts (as in people who have left SL or who never actually log-into Aditi any more / with any great frequency).

There is work being put into the matter at the moment, with scripts being written to purge old accounts from the Aditi database and an initial solution. Discussing this work at the Simulator User Group meeting, Andrew Linden speculated that, as a longer-term solution, it might be possible to tie these scripts to a cron job which will periodically purge Aditi accounts which have not been used for a specified period of time, although the matter is complex and this might not be seen as an ideal solution by some.

A side issue with any purge of the Aditi database is the risk that content created purely on the Aditi grid may be lost as a result of a data purge, as the links to the actually inventory assets will have been lost, even if the creator does log back onto Aditi. While there is an argument to say that if someone hasn’t logged into Aditi for a period of several months or more then any content they have created there cannot be of major import to them, a purge without notification may cause some angst.

In the meantime,Andrew indicated that he would be looking into the matter further and talking to the team investigating the issue, and that he hopes to have more insight into matter to bring the Thursday Server Beta User Group meeting. Therefore, anyone with concerns / problems with accessing Aditi and with the options LL are considering, may wish to consider attending that meeting to learn more. If so, and given there are currently access issues, those thinking of attending may wish to test access to Aditi in advance (I am currently reduced to using my Crash Test Alt for all things Aditi as a result of the problem and you may find you also need to use an alt to successfully log in, if one is available to you).