SL projects update week 12 (1): server releases, SSB and more

Sever Deployments for Week 12

Second Life Server (SLS)

On Tuesday March 19th, the Main channel received the server maintenance package which had been re-deployed to Magnum in week 11. As with the Magnum re-deploy, it excludes the fix for VWR-786 while LL go “back to the drawing board” to try to correct issues. However, it does include the following two fixes:

  • BUG-1612: region Owners and estate managers finding they are unable to teleport back to their region after disabling direct teleports to the region
  • SVC-8019: region visibility delays following region restarts.

The release notes for the deployment are available on the SL wiki, as usual.

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday March 20th, the Release Candidate channels should receive the following updates:

  • BlueSteel and LeTigre: should receive the same updates as deployed to the SLS channel on Tuesday March 19th, but otherwise retain the same updates received in week 11 – release notes (BlueSteel)
  • Magnum: should receive further updates to Andrew Linden’s interest list work, as per the release notes.  Specific interest list bug fixes included with this update comprise:
    • Updates for objects that are out of view are delayed for a maximum of 5 seconds, at which point they will be sent (mitigates BUG-1779)
    • Fix for “No object updates from vehicles after some region crossings” (BUG-1814)
    • Fix for “Agent appears in incorrect position to other agents after being moved by a sim teleporter” (BUG-1795).

Server-side Baking

As reported in week 11, the second official Server-side Baking pile-on / load test appeared to go well on Thursday March 14th. Speaking at the Content Creator’s User Group meeting, SSB project lead Nyx Linden reported:

Looks like things are going well overall – the back-end services are performing well. There are still some inventory and attachment rezzing issues, but these are believed to not be regressions from current limits.

A few reports of issues, some of which we have fixes for, others we’re investigating, and we’re looking at what it would take to fix up the systems that were falling over … there were a couple of new bug reports we’re investigating.

A further SSB pile-on / load test conducted in Friday 15th March, but exclusively with the Firestorm viewer pre-release with SSB support. Numbers at the Firestorm test were roughly the same as those for the “official” test, and overall, the outcome was the same – much lower reported SSB issues, but similar problems with outfit attachments rezzing from inventory (or rather, failing to), which was common to both parts of the test.

The Firestorm SSB pile-on  / load test, March 15th
Peoiple gather for the Firestorm SSB pile-on / load test, March 15th

The inventory issues have themselves become more of a focus of investigation outside of SSB itself (attachments aren’t affected by the SSB code changes, which  relate directly to the likes of skin, shape and clothing layer changes. While the inventory issues were thought to relate solely to Aditi, Nyx indicated that the problem is likely common to Agni as well. commenting:

We were seeing similar failures in inventory, etc on both the old pipeline and the new pipeline, and in areas that we didn’t change. So if we repeated the test on Agni we think we’d see similar failures. We’re looking at the root causes, but attachment rezzing failures won’t necessarily block our first release … We’re looking at the inventory & attachment issues and where their root causes are.

Expect further updates on the latter issue as they become known.

HTTP Testing

All of the test regions for Monty Linden’s upcoming HTTP updates are now up-and-running on Aditi, and available for public access (allowing for the caps on avatars in the primary test regions). The regions are:

As noted in previous project reports, Monty is keep to have TPVs and scripters test the capabilities in order to gather more comprehensive data on his work.

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Rolling restarts and Whitechapel echoes

Update August 5th, 2013: Wretched Hollow has reloacted to Rainbow Coast.

Rolling Restarts run every Tuesday and Wednesday (well, as a rule). For the uninitiated, and without delving into the deeper intricacies of what goes where and how, Tuesday sees updates to the Second Life Server (“Main”) channel, which accounts for about 70% of the regions on grid, and Wednesday sees the three “Release Candidate” channels (called BlueSteel, Magnum and LeTigre and which account for around 10% of the grid apiece) get their updates. For those wishing to know more on this, info on the various deployments can be found in my SL projects updates.

Wretched Hollow
Wretched Hollow

I mention rolling restarts, because they often mean that when logging-in to Second Life you don’t always get to go where you intended, be it home or anywhere else. At best you end up being diverted to a “location nearby” or to a “safe” hub (some of which seem, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, to have some strange new meaning of the word “safe” we’ve not been previously aware of), at worst you get a message pop-up during the log-in process stating the viewer has been “unable to connect to a simulator”.

Such was the case with me recently. I had planned an excursion to a specific region, but a rolling restart left me delving into the Destination Guide and opting for pot luck after I was left unable to connect to my desired destination.

Wretched Hollow
Wretched Hollow

So it was that I ended up at Wretched Hollow,  which describes itself thus:

A dark, whimsical sim inspired by the love of Gothic Romance and Neo-Victorian things. As one of Second Life’s best-kept secrets, Wretched Hollow is home to the Wretched Dollies store and has several places to explore, including a small town and a fishing inlet with dock.

The first part of the description was enough to have me teleporting over to check things out. What I found was very much a curious mix, possibly sliding more towards the Victorian than the Gothic, but certainly which touches of whimsy, be it with the 18th century ships anchored offshore, or the very much more recent oil drums providing a little warmth for those out on the streets of the township.

Wretched Hallow
Wretched Hallow

The region is roughly split into two parts: a more rural, open setting, with a couple of private residences (one of which appears to belong to region holder Star Fairymeadow) The other part of the region forms an urban setting which provides a home for Star’s Wretched Dollies brand, offering a range of products – clothing, doll accessories, furniture – with a Gothic  / Victorian leaning, as well as Star’s own textures and her range for Petites. For those into the club scene, the town also boasts an underground – literally – club featuring a broad mix of music (although Gothic Rock / Industrial / Darkwave, etc., seems to bt the primary theme).

I was drawn to the town because of its strong Victorian look and feel which, together with the default windlight setting and style of buildings, immediately put me in mind of the East End of London, and specifically the Whitechapel area and going out towards the old London docks of yesteryear. A newspaper billboard passed as I explored the streets heightened this feeling even more.

While Robert Downey Jr didn’t scuttle by me hurriedly swapping one disguise for another as he pursued clues to the mystery of the East End murders, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised had he done.

Wretched Hollow
Wretched Hollow

Like many store-front regions in SL, Wretched Hollow has been put together with a creative skill which is deserving of time spent exploring it, and which lends itself to a lot of playing around with windlight options. The town certainly offers an opportunity for the avid SL photographer to come up with some memorable images and possible vignettes (although just clearing matters of using the region for photography with Star ahead of time would obviously be for the best).

For my part, I enjoyed my little unexpected excursion to the streets of Old London; Wretched Hollow came as a very pleasant surprise in my meanderings and allowed my to focus on a subject and setting a little bit outside the norm for this blog.

Related Links

Wretched Hollow
Wretched Hollow