SL project updates week 14 (2): Server releases; deformer

Deployments for Week 14

SLS Main Channel

On Tuesday April 2nd, the Second Life Server (SLS or Main) channel received the interest list update which has been running on the Magnum RC channel for weeks 12-13. This includes:

  • More correct sorting when streaming objects to viewer
  • More objects are categorised as cacheable by the server (improves scene loading speed when revisiting regions)
  • Packed full ObjectUpdate data recycled for multiple viewers (optimisation of how UDP packets are built)

Additionally, the package includes fixes for the following issues:

  • BUG-1779 – Updates for objects that are out of view are delayed for a maximum of 5 seconds, at which point they will be sent
  • BUG-1795 – “Agent appears in incorrect position to other agents after being moved by a sim teleporter”
  • BUG-1814 – “No object updates from vehicles after some region crossings” – yes, the vehicle region crossing bug fix reaches the Main channel (and should be on BlueSteel and LeTigre following the RC deployments on Wednesday 3rd April).

As always, there are release notes for the deployment.

Following deployment, there have been assorted reports that:

  • Region crossings in vehicles are generally a lot better – although the BUG-1814 fix will not reach the entire grid until after the RC deployments for Wednesday 3rd April (see below). However, feedback is pretty much in line with my own Magnum tests in my Mark XI Spitfire
  • There are reports that the fix for BUG-1779 is not working in all cases – Whirly Fizzle reports that her Meeroos are still suffering the same update issue as prior to the roll-out
  • There are also reports of increased issues with prims / parts of linksets failing to rez until right-clicked upon – although there is some speculation that this might be worse for some TPVs as they may not have recent code updates from the Lab.
Prims failing to rez until right-clicked: issue more prevalent?
Prims failing to rez until right-clicked: issue more prevalent?

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday April 3rd, the Release Candidate (RC) channels should receive the following updates:

  • BlueSteel and LeTigre should receive the same package as week 13, which includes the new Animation Override LSL capabilities. In addition they also should receive:
    • The changes deployed to the Main channel on Tuesday April 2nd
    • A fix for BUG-2134 – “Avatar pre-jump is sporadic”
    • Release notes are available (BlueSteel link)
  • Magnum should receive Monty Linden’s new server-side HTTP updates (see below) – release notes.

SL Viewer

The Mesh Deformer project viewer was finally updated on Tuesday March 2nd with the release of version 3.5.1.273384. There are no changes to the deformer with the release – which does see the deformer code now merged with the CHUI codebase.

HTTP Updates

Monty Linden's HTTP updates should arrive on the Magnum RC on Wednesday 3rd April, assuming no last-minute hitches
Monty Linden’s HTTP updates should arrive on the Magnum RC on Wednesday 3rd April, assuming no last-minute hitches

The next stage in Monty Linden’s HTTP project should reach the Magnum RC channel on Wednesday April 2nd. these updates can be briefly summarised as:

  • More complete and more correct headers on texture and mesh fetches – these should ensure the viewer is better able to handle objects as they are downloaded to it
  • Keepalive connections for some HTTP-based services

Notes on the latter point explain that:

The behavioral change for HTTP connections marks the beginning of support for persistent (keepalive) connections. Services transiting the capabilities router, at ports 12043 and 12046, may honour a request for keepalives and keep a connection open after request completion. These services may include such activities as texture and mesh fetching, event delivery to viewer, HTTP-In for LSL scripts, asset uploads and inventory operations. Benefits from keepalives include immediate and future throughput increases and less TCP connection churn (which often disrupts consumer-grade networking equipment). The exact set of services that will see this is expected to change over time.

In other words, connectivity between the viewer and the server should be somewhat more robust and, in the case of older router models, less taxing.

Server-side Baking Avatar Z-offset

I missed the Monday Content Creation meeting on April 1st due to family commitments. However, I understand from information received that the question of avatar height offsets. The solution, as currently offered by LL, is considered to be less than optimal for all situations. In replying to the question, Nyx Linden apparently indicated that the Lab do not consider the matter fix in light of further examples having been given, and that further work in correcting matters is in-hand. Whether these further fixes address all concerns remains to be seen.

Other Items

Griefing

Griefing was once again a subject of discussion at the Simulator User Group meeting on the 2nd April. As with the last time the recent increase in mainland griefing was raised, LL are not willing to discuss specifics in terms of what they’re aiming to do. However, Simon Linden did provide more general feedback in response to questions.

Nothing new to report about griefing tools … but it is on our radar and definitely a concern … When looking at griefing problems the most serious issues and the ones that get the fastest attention is anything that can crash a region or viewer. After that there’s a broad spectrum mostly based on the level of pain and if there are things that can or can’t be done about it already. The fight has been going on since long before I joined the Lab.

During the discussion, Simon was at pains to again point out that those Lindens attending the User Group meetings are not responsible for dealing directly with griefing accounts – that is the role of the Governance team. However, he also made it clear that there are internal LL meetings where griefing is discussed, saying:

The Lindens that come here like Andrew, Kelly and myself are server developers, so we focus on features there that can help. Dealing with accounts is outside our area and the Governance people handle that … We do regularly meet and discuss what’s going on … everyone is aware of the recent increase in griefing … It’s gotten a lot worse recently. Not due to technical failures and it becoming easier, but from more griefers.

Simon also indicated that the bug which allowed objects to get stuck in limbo at the edge of a region, where they could be exploited by griefers, now has a fix in the BlueSteel and LeTigre RC channels, and that measures to help combat particle spamming are “in the pipeline”, with the hope that a project viewer will be featuring these will be available soon.

SCR-19 – Script function to return objects remains a popular choice of handling griefing objects, and Simon – purely as a brainstorming exercise asked for feedback on region controls which could be turned off / options which could help make land more “griefer-proof”. Some of the responses included:

  • Having particles require group permissions
  • Banning individuals based on their group membership. This raised questions over privacy and usefulness / effectiveness. The former as it would require a means to discover someone’s groups, even if hidden; the latter points because it would only otherwise work on a person’s active group, it would be relatively easy to circumvent (by leaving the group, if necessary)
  • Blocking object rezzing based on the creator’s name
  • Turning off public script operation over explicit banned/no access parcels, making the return time for public rezzed objects over explicit banned/no access parcels 1 minute.

Again, none of this should be taken as an indication that any of the above will be explicitly developed by LL; rather they are likely to be added to the melting-pot at the Lab and help LL better understand where user concerns lay and what directions they should consider for further technical responses to griefing issues.

Mesh Object Physics Shape

There has been a (possibly long-standing) problem with the physics shape for some mesh objects being changed unexpectedly. Lares Carter, speaking at the Simulator User Group, described it thus:

The physics shape type for mesh objects gets changed from Prim to Convex and doesn’t change back until the object is right-clicked. This only happens for linksets that contain a prim with a target omega property. Things that can trigger the change: movement changes and rezzing the object. There also seem to be other factors as it can happen for static objects too.

The issue has been reported in BUG-2147, and differs from the problem wherein some objects / parts of builds (such as floors, walls, etc.) fail to rez until clicked upon (but can be walked on, etc.), in that the mesh object can be seen and can collided with – but the physics shape is incorrect. There are reports that analysing the physics model in the mesh uploader can be used by content creators to mitigate the issue. However, this issue is now on the Lab’s radar in terms of further investigation.

 

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8 thoughts on “SL project updates week 14 (2): Server releases; deformer

      1. Knowing the last Firestorm Release was in December, and knowing it has a couple of glitches which have been fixed in other viewers, I really wasn’t sure where it was Viewer or Server. Maestro gave clear instructions in response, various other people ran with that, and all of us together seem to have got somewhere pretty fast.

        It’ll take what feels like far too long to get anywhere, but at least the problem has a JIRA entry now. I don’t know if the usual JIRA system would have been as effective in getting the problem tested. We might have been lucky not to trigger an outbreak of drama. But the collaboration worked: it was a combination of several factors, and perhaps what Maestro did was the most important part.

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  1. I’ve been talking to Maestro on the Jira about the missing prims issue, the forum post really is useful and so are Maestro’s explanations as to why the issue can be intermittent.

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