SL project news week 7 (1): Server deploys, viewer updates

Server Deployments for Week 7

On Tuesday February 12th, the Main channel (Second Life Server / SLS) received the maint-server package focused on crashes fixes which was  deployed in week 6 to LeTigre – release notes.

On Wednesday February 13th the three RC channels are scheduled to receive the following packages:

  • Bluesteel: retains the materials processing project code  – please see the SL Viewer section below for information regarding the current status of viewer development work for thi project – and should receive the same fixes and updates being deployed to the SLS channel (above) – release notes
  • Magnum: retains the interest list project code and should receive the same fixes and updates being deployed to the SLS channel (above) – release notes
  • LeTigre should receive a new maintenance server update to fix miscellaneous crash modes – release notes. This deployment also includes the following:
    • An improvement to the rolling restart notifications so that they appear in an alert format (as with manual region restarts) rather than an easily missed notification. This change will only be apparent in restarts following the code deployment restart (as per JIRA SVC-7759)
    • An avatar banned from a parcel can now select an object located in that parcel if they have ‘Return’ powers over that object (see JIRA SVC-496)
    • Instant messages are now truncated to 1024 bytes to prevent certain types of delivery failure. Currently, the IM database supports larger messages than the delivery system can handle. This change will enforce a limit of 1024 bytes when processing messages coming into the database as well as those being sent out.

As always, a forum thread has been created for discussions / feedback on the deployments.

SL viewer Updates

Beta Viewer

While the current beta release of the 3.4.5 code remains stable, problems are being reported in merging various project code updates with the 3.4.5 code base, some TPV developers are reporting issues attempting to merge the 3.4.5 code into their viewer builds, notably with Linux 64-bit and Windows, although the same issue does not appear to be occurring with Mac OSx.

In the meantime, one more 3.4.5 beta release of the SL viewer is anticipated during week 7.


As noted in part 3 of the week 6 report, the CHUI project viewer is now largely on a par with the development viewer, although it has yet to be actually merged with the main viewer-dev code trunk. This is due to happen very soon. In week 6, Oz Linden commented that it is anticipated that CHUI will be the first of the upcoming projects to merge with the beta viewer code, and would then be in for a (quot) “Good long run” in beta. This week, it has been hinted that CHUI could actually have a lengthy run in both the development viewer and the beta viewer as final priorities are sorted out.

Server-side Baking Project Viewer

Problems remain in merging the SSB code with viewers using RLVa, although good progress is being made in addressing them, although they have yet to be merged-up to a TPV which supports RLVa and have a version under development using the SSB code.

In the meantime, the latest updates to the viewer code from the Lab were pushed to the project repositories on Monday 11th February, and a new version of the Sunshine project viewer for Windows emerged on Tuesday February 12th – Sunshine, with Mac and Linux builds to follow.

Materials Viewer

Problems remain with the materials processing viewer-side code. Precise details are not clear, but the latest private (LL and project members only) Windows builds are being reported as being, “Conspicuously more unstable than the Mac builds”, in that they tend to crash when connecting to a materials-enabled server. Investigations into the problems (notably by TPV developers engaged in the project) are ongoing to try to locate the underpinning cause.

Materials processing: viewer issues still being resolved, so no public project viewer as yet
Materials processing: viewer issues still being resolved, so no public project viewer as yet

There are a couple more features to go into the materials viewer as well prior to it reaching a public project viewer status, but these are apparently being held-off until the current server interaction problems are resolved.

Experience Permissions

July saw the launch of the first phase of the Advanced Creation Tools, also referred to as experience tools. Following problems with an initial deployment of the tools in June, which resulted them being exploited as a means of griefing, the “first phase” of the release saw the tools implemented with existing permissions system in place, with the intention of updating the permissions system to allow the tools to be more fully used “in the future”. Since then, it has been something of a waiting game to see if / when the promised new experience permissions would be deployed, and my own last report on the general status of the permissions system being in December 2012.

Questions are still being asked at various LL meetings, he most recent being tabled at the Content Creation User Group on Monday 11th February. In reply, Nyx Linden indicated he would attempt to get an update from Falcon Linden, who is leading this project.

Object Inventory Issues

Some people may have encountered problems when trying to transfer a number of inventory items into a box (prim rezzed in-world) or similar. There are two known issues with this:

  • The first is (non-publicly viewable) JIRA BUG-383: “When HTTP Inventory is disabled, mass selecting a bunch of inventory items and attempting to add to an objects contents will fail”. This will apparently happen if the HTTP inventory setting in a viewer is changed without cache also being cleared
  • The second is (non-publicly viewable) JIRA SEC-1041, which is apparently (according to Kelly Linden) related to “An internal TCP error between sim and dataserver.” The problem manifests with the in-world error-message “Inventory creation on in-world object failed” on trying to transfer a large number of items (e.g. 50+) from inventory into the contents of a prim in one go.

As the JIRA on both of these issues are non-viewable, their status isn’t clear, other than the problems described in them can be reproduced. SEC-1041 is the more serious of the two problems and might result in a crash, although it will not result in physical damage to a person’s inventory.

Firestorm Q and A: 13:00 on the 13th

firestorm-logoJessica Lyon, project lead for the Firestorm team, has announced that there will be a limited capacity meeting on Wednesday 13th February at 13:00 SLT, to discuss the Firestorm project. The core part of the announcement reads:

Every once in a while, and probably not often enough, we host a Question and Answer session in Second Life for the Second Life community. The purpose is to give us the opportunity to update you all with what we are doing and give you the opportunity to have a say, ask questions you may have to the team, voice complaints, make requests and in general communicate with us directly. This Q&A will not be quite like our office hours. It will not be as formal, it will be far less structured, and it will not be streamed live.

Seating is limited to 70 avatars and is first come first serve. We will, however, try to record it and offer the recording for folks who couldn’t make it.

All are invited, fans and haters alike, people who use our viewers and those who don’t… everyone.
All questions are welcome, we only ask that language be kept PG and folks be civil to each other.

Again, note that the meeting will not be streamed live. The venue for the meeting is the Firestorm Office Hours meeting place on the Phoenix Firestorm support region.

Another PrimPossibility – a bathroom on a prim*

*Update 13th February: Ample has contacted me to inform me he has now released both a single-prim version of the bathroom (which includes the mirror, rug, drains, and toilet water) and a 3-prim version (which allows items to be re-positioned). Both of these feature updated animations and add tremenous flexibility to the bathroom suite. This review has been updated to reflect the new releases.

I’ve been following Ample Clarity’s development of his remarkable PrimPossible range for a good while now. Back in September 2012, I visited his updated showroom and took a peek at some upcoming products.

One of these latter items was Ample’s bathroom suite, which was formally launched in January 2013.

Originally a 2-prim set, the bathroom is now available in either a 1-prim or a 3-prim version (the latter allowing the furnishings to be individually placed). As with all of Ample’s work, the suite uses sculpted prims and packs in a heck of a lot.

The PrimPossible 2-prim bathroom suite
The PrimPossible 2-prim bathroom suite

The basic set comprises a prim which rezzes the loo, hand basin and bath, and a second which rezzes into a bath mat, plugs holes for the bath and basin and water for the loo basin. Touching any part of the suite brings up a menu which allows you to change the style of the between one of two options, change the colour scheme and shine applied to the furnishings, and rez other optional items, comprising a shower head (shown above), a hairbrush, toothbrush, loo roll (toilet paper), soap and, for the smokers out there, a cigarette. The toilet paper, toothbrush and hairbrush can be placed in world as required, or the toothbrush and hairbrush can be worn (no default animations with these, but see below).

The menu will also supply a set of instructions, and a special bonus gift of 1-prim curtains / drapes which can be used almost anywhere in a house and which open / close on touching.

The shower head, once rezzed can be placed over the bath and when touched, will deliver water.

The PrimPossible bathroom suite showing the alternate bath style, and alternative mirror style and with colour / shine applied to furnishings
The PrimPossible bathroom suite showing the alternate bath style, and alternative mirror style and with colour / shine applied to furnishings

Touching the mirror will similarly bring up a menu allowing the style of the mirror to be switched between one of five options.

Right-clicking the bath and selecting sit opens up a pose menu, offering a range of bath, shower, loo, hand basin and “misc” options – the latter including one for brushing your teeth when wearing the toothbrush, while one of the “misc” option will allow you to brush your hair using the supplied brush. Poses are divided between “singles”, “couples” and “XXX”, with some further split between male and female. The bath poses include options for relaxing and washing, and when in the tub, the water will appear.

This is another nice addition to the PrimPossible range which again brings Ample’s considerable skill to bear on providing feature-rich solutions with a low prim count / land impact. For those working on a prim budget, you really can’t do better than paying a visit to the PrimPossible store, either in-world or on the Marketplace.


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Tripping out in Second Life

It isn’t every day that one enters an art installation comes with a health warning. Yet that’s exactly what you get with Thoth Jantzen’s Mediamorphosis, the notecard for which opens:

Seriously, If you suffer from epilepsy or are otherwise adversely affected by flashing lights and colours, do NOT play media here.  You won’t get the proper experience, but you may just survive!

"My God, it's full of stars!" - a Bowman-like start to Mediamorphosis
“My God, it’s full of stars!” – a Bowman-like start to Mediamorphosis

This is a fully immersive multimedia presentation which features a mix of music, particle effects, set-pieces, art and a touch of interaction. There’s an extensive backstory to the piece, which forms a narrative and helps points the way towards explorations, but as Thoth points out, there are many ways through the piece (and several points where you can sit back and enjoy the show). Equally, while there is a certain depth and purpose to the piece, it’s not intended to be meaning-of-life deep.


The key thing with this piece is to make sure you have streaming media on and set to play all (if using a media filter) and use the local windlight (or set your viewer to midnight) and – explore.

When you arrive, you’ll find yourself in a white room with a single exit – the wormhole. Walk through – you’ll find the 2001 motifs clear – and the teleport to the exhibit proper in the form of one of the set pieces, the Hopper Cafe. Read the notecard offered and then follow the road. Along the way you’ll find pods you can jump into and enjoy a trippy little ride or two mixing particle effects, art and the various set-pieces, into an immersive show.


You can also spend time inside the Hopper Cafe and witness some of the show projected onto the windows, or you teleport to the other builds which make up the installation, where there are additional opportunities to sit and watch the light / image show. Just be aware that wherever you go – you have yourself become a part of the show for anyone else watching!

Metamorphosis is a piece which is hard to quantify. As the artist himself says in explanation of it, “Huh?  What..?” … It is a piece which should, by its nature, be experienced rather than described – although it’s certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Or coffee, for that matter.


Ican only say enjoyed my time exploring and trying out the first-person pods and seats in which you hand over control of your camera to the scripts controlling the exhibit itself, leaving you with nothing to do but just enjoy (and the show is great with the lights out in the room!). Everything is looped, so “rides” take only a few minutes, although it is worth running through things a couple of times to enjoy the complete magical mystery tour.

If I have any complaint at all, it is that there should perhaps be more choice in the music – a loop of just three tracks which can be heard throughout one’s visit to the installation can start to get one’s teeth grinding by the time the fourth or fifth loop is reached…

However, this is just a niggle. Overall, Mediamorphosis is immersive, engaging, unusual and, well, trippy.

Go see for yourself.


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