SL project updates: week 11 (2): Server, SSB testing and HTTP news

Update Match 18th: The “mesh only” HTTP test regions, referred to as “coming soon” in the HTTP section of this report are now online on Aditi, and are called MeshTest2 (DRTSIM-203), MeshTest2A (DRTSIM-203A) and MeshTest2H (DRTSIM-203H), respectively. In addition, the sandbox areas (unrestricted access) are also now available as Sandbox HTTP (DRTSIM-203), Sandbox HTTP A (DRTSIM-203A) and Sandbox HTTP H (DRTSIM-203H).

Server Deployments

The planned deployments for the week went ahead as scheduled. Namely:

  • On Tuesday March 12th, the Second Life Server (SLS) Main channel received Baker Linden’s large (as in complex) object rezzing project, designed to improve region performance when rezzing large objects – release notes
  • On Wednesday March 13th, the BlueSteel and LeTigre Release Candidate (RC) channels received a server maintenance package, intended to fix a common crash mode – release notes
  • Also on Wednesday March 13th, the Magnum RC channel received an update to the server maintenance package deployed in week 10, with further improvements / fixes. These included the removal of the fix for VWR-786, which rather than correctly fixing the known issue (IMs to friends not respecting their privacy settings) resulted in all IMs to non friends returning the “User is not online” message, regardless as to whether the recipient was online or not. Release notes for the package are on the SL wiki. The Lab, according to Maestro Linden, is going to have to, “Go back to the drawing board,” to resolve this problem.

As I’ve mentioned in past reports, the aim of this “large object” rezzing project from Baker Linden is to improve how complex objects (those which have a lot of scripts and / or a large file size), with the focus of the work moving the parsing of object files onto a background thread in order to prevent the simulator being choked and performance spiking when such objects are rezzed. As such, the work applies to both in-world objects and attachments, with mesh potentially being a primary beneficiary of the changes. The thought is that the new code may also help frustrate griefers, as the simulator FPS should be better when multiple scripted objects are being rezzed.

SL Viewer

The SL beta and development viewer were both updated on March 14th. The beta viewer moved to release, with updates primarily aimed at CHUI, as anticipated. The development viewer moved to release, and remains broadly in sync with the beta version of the viewer.

Vivox  Updates

Alongside the FMODex (sound system) updates which will be forthcoming after the formal release of CHUI as mentioned in part 1 of this report, Vivox (the SL Voice service) is also due to be updated to version 4.5. Like FMODex, this is unlikely to happen until after CHUI has reached a formal release., but once implemented, this should result in an improvement in Voice quality.

Mesh Deformer

There is still no news on this. Both the issues relating to avatar shapes and weighting are still awaiting internal resources at LL. As such, there is no timeline as to when any movement might be seen on this project.

Interest List – Issues and Further Updates

More interest list updates on Aditi and likely heading for a Release Candidate channel in week 12.
More interest list updates on Aditi and likely heading for a Release Candidate channel in week 12.

The following fixes, related to the interest list code, should be in an RC deployment in week 12 (week commencing Monday March 18th):

  • A fix issue where you ‘lose track’ of a vehicle after a region crossing
  • A fix for BUG-1795 (“Agent appears in incorrect position to other agents after being moved by a sim teleporter”), which should see an end to avatars still appearing in view after they have used a teleport system
  • A fix for the issue where object moving off-camera would suddenly ‘snap’ into place when you turned your camera so they were in your field-of-view. Whereas up until now, the new interest list code has not sent any updates for such objects, the fix to be deployed in week 12 will once again allow updates to be sent to the viewer, but at a much lower rate than before the interest list code was originally deployed.

The code with these updates is currently available for testing on two regions on Aditi: Solariam (rated: Adult) and Tischeriidae (rated: Moderate). This code also includes updates to improve object rendering (particularly with the viewer set to low bandwidths) and to object cacheing as well, as noted in the first part of this report, and those wishing to do so are encouraged to do so, although testing any improvements to vehicle regions crossings might be contingent upon being Adult verified.

Server-side Baking (SSB) Pile-on / Load Test

The second SSB pile-on load test took place on Aditi on Thursday March 14th, immediately following the Server Beta User Group meeting. The test was undertaken using the latest version of the Sunshine project viewer and appeared to be broadly satisfactory, involving both users and a fair few LL personnel – Nyx (x2, as he had his alt there), Simon, Maestro, Monty, Dan, Don, Log, and others. As with the original test, this took place on two regions – one running the current baking system, the other running the new service. Participants were asked to change outfits using the current service, so that the project team could get some baseline / comparison stats, before everyone moved over to the “new” service on the adjoining region.

Continue reading “SL project updates: week 11 (2): Server, SSB testing and HTTP news”