SL projects report week 17 (3): server, group bans and Oculus Rift

Server Deployments – Week 17

The scheduled server channel deployments took place as planned this week.

The SLS Main channel

As previously reported, this received the update package deployed to the three Release Candidate channels in week 16, primarily comprising the new server-side LSL Animation Override capabilities, complete with a fix for BUG 2164release notes

BlueSteel and LeTigre

Both of these channels received the first part of a new experience tools project – referred to as the “Experience Keys project” in the release notes.

Interestingly, the release notes refer to BlueSteel and LeTigre receiving server release 13.04.19.274370; however, the viewer reports both of the channels running 13.04.05.273550. I contacted Maestro on this, who replied, “There was an error during the roll, so a slightly older version (which doesn’t include the changes from this week’s main channel update) was deployed.”

Not too much is known about the new Experience Keys project, although the emphasis on “new” indicates this is more than just a deployment of the outstanding permissions system for the current advanced creation / experience tools, and speculation has been running high. At the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday 23rd April, Simon Linden indicated he was unsure as to what he could / could not say on the matter (particularly as it appeared the documentation was still being written-up).

Commenting on the Bluesteel / LeTigre deployment at the Server Beta meeting on Thursday 25th April, Maestro Linden was also somewhat circumspect on the matter, commenting, “The team doesn’t want to announce the features yet, so I can’t give many details … some other parts need to be released for the new features to be usable. So ideally, nothing visible should change there.”

The reference to “some other parts” which need to be released for these new features may include a viewer update. Whether such an update will appear ahead of or behind the materials capabilities (still currently in a project viewer) is unclear at this point in time.

Magnum

Magnum received additional LSL support for new HTTP contents types, as document in the release notes. It also received a change to how certain message types are handled by the server, which Maestro described thus:

There’s a change to make the server smarter about how it throttles certain messaging types to prevent certain types of ‘DoS’ attacks, where a ‘bad’ object could prevent your avatar from getting llDialog notifications from other objects. All objects owned by UserA share the same throttle for sending llDialog() messages to UserB, but objects owned by anybody else would have a separate throttle pool.

This should hopefully reduce the incidences of iiDialog being used in spamming attacks which can result in the viewer either being severely slowed down or crashing altogether.

SL Viewer

The beta viewer gained a further release (3.5.1.274558) which reached public availability on April 24th, containing further CHUI and SSB/A dixes and updates, as detailed in the release notes. The development viewer also received a further release (3.5.2.27469) which also gained public availability on April 24th.

Group Bans

Baker Linden: Group Ban work coming, just not quite yet
Baker Linden: Group Ban work coming, just not quite yet

Baker Linden has started working on an update to the code for managing groups which will allow group owners / moderators to ban users who create problems (e.g. those who spam groups, people who are persistently abusive in group chat, etc.). This work is in response to JIRA VWR-29337. In my last report on this, Baker has written-up the documentation for the work and was having some other Lindens cast an eye over it.

Attending the Server Beta meeting on Thursday April 25th, Baker provided an update on his activities. “I’m still working on group bans, but I decided to fix a couple small bugs first. They both relate to searching people using the choose resident floater. They’re in the system where I’ll be adding group ban stuff, and now that I can test the changes, I can get them pushed to an RC. However, he did go on to say, “It’s going to be a while before Group ban stuff is ready.”

Second Life and Oculus Rift

There has been considerable interest in the Oculus Rift headset and its potential for use within Second Life, as reported back in week 14 and more recently. Jon Brouchoud in particular blogged on why SL would be a “killer app” for the headset, and a video I featured back in week 16 has also appeared on numerous SL blogs (hardly surprising, given it has pretty much gone viral where the Oculus Rift is concerned 🙂 ).

On Wednesday April 24th, Hamlet Au covered the fact that the Lab is already looking to integrate the headset into Second Life, and have given official confirmation, with company spokesman Peter Gray (Pete Linden) quoted as saying, “We plan to strongly support Oculus Rift. That means code, client, and server-side, to make the Oculus Rift experience excellent in Second Life.”

Continue reading “SL projects report week 17 (3): server, group bans and Oculus Rift”

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Fantasy Faire: through Fairelands to Ravenshard

Southward I travelled from the great palace and gardens of Magnificat, into the deep summer woods of Fairelands. Here the trees grow tall, and streams and rivers of clear blue water flowed; but no elves dwell among the branches and boughs, for these woods are a hallowed place, where deep in its heart lay a small cliff over which waters tumbles into a clear pool, and into the face of which have many niches been cut, each one containing a candle lit in memory of those loved and lost.

It was to this place I came first, and sat through an evening, watching the candles and remembering, as night drew close around me and I curled myself into my blankets to sleep.

Fantasy Faire - Fairelands: don't forget the Silent Auction
Fantasy Faire – Fairelands Junction: don’t forget the Silent Auction

From here my path turned east, the road easy to follow under the leafy boughs through which sunlight flickered and played. At length I came to the long wall and the place of Silent Auction. How many, I wondered had passed this way before me, pausing to add their bids to the great cause?

Fairelands woods are as wide and deep as those of Evensong, yet even so, it seemed scarcely had I entered them, following path through glade and across stream and river, than I was leaving them behind and entering the strange place people call Ravenshard.

It is not easy for me to find the words to describe such a strange and wondrous place as Ravenshard, for in truth you must witness it yourself to truly understand! Here the Lord of Whimsy and the Lady of Fancy would seem to hold court, and the houses, though made of wood, otherwise defy description such that when you look at some you question which way might be up!

Ravenshard
Ravenshard

Here the paths are grass and the streams and pools are oft of chocolate and not water and folk of all sizes meet and play  – and even the creatures wear hats, and the plants and trees come in hues of every variety while the air is filled with birdsong and laughter.

Wandering the grassy streets and looking into the stores and houses, watching the tall folk and the little folk, I again felt as a child would feel if loosed into a shop filled with candy and toys: everywhere I wanted to touch, taste, try to a play; such is the heady delights of Ravenshard, the last place I would visit before my long journey brought me to my intended destination.

Fairelands Junction designed by Saiyge Lotus and Ravenshard designed by Mayah Parx

Ravenshard sponsored by:  Epic Toy Factory; featuring: F*cking Ninjas; Epic; United InshCon; Bentham Manor; Fae Fantasy Creations; FuubutsuDou!; kisetsu; Simply Fae; and with themed stores: Lupoaica; Almost Wonderland; Grim Bros.; Stuff Xavian Made; Madpea Productions; .:CoLLisions:.; ~SWAN~;  Feyline Fashions; [europa]

Total raised to date: L$5,710,596 (approx: $22,842 USD).

Related Links

You can’t keep a good viewer down – Kirsten’s S19

kirstensThe blog post says it all – “old school” – a simple message with a lot of meaning. Kirstenlee Cinquetti has been twiddling under the hood with the S19 (v1-style) version of Kirsten’s Viewer with the result that an updated version – code-named “Blackbird” (version S19.404 at the time of writing) was released via Google Code on Wednesday 24th April.

This is the second time there has been a surprise update to one of Kirstenlee’s viewers – in September 2012 a couple of updates were made to the v2-style S22 viewer. As with those updates, the new release of S19 does not mean that Kirstenlee is returning to the field of viewer development per se. Nor is this a complete update – although it does incorporate a lot of v3 code and is Server-side Baking ready.  As it stands, the release – as with the S22 releases in September 2012 – is offered “as is” and without support – and there is no time scale or firm commitment where further updates are concerned.

As readers, know, I’m not a fan of the v1-style interface, but I admit there is something pleasing about loading and running this release – quiet possibly because it is one of Kirstenlee’s builds, which, despite the odd hiccup between the viewer and my hardware, I’ve always felt pretty much at home with. Perhaps it’s the green :).

Some of the New Bits

I’m not proposing an in-depth review, but here are some of the main features in the update.

Server-side Baking / Appearance: as mentioned above, this update is “server-side baking / appearance ready – it will render avatars correctly on SSB/A-enabled regions and avatars using the viewer will render correctly to others. However, the new “hover” mode partial z-offset “fix” is not included in the Edit Appearance floater.

SSB/A-OK: O the left - S19 Blackbird rendering my Alt (on the SL SSB/A beta viewer) and I correctly on an SSB/A-enabled region; on the right - I render correctly in my Alt's view
SSB/A-OK: O the left – S19 Blackbird rendering my Alt (on the SL SSB/A beta viewer) and I correctly on an SSB/A-enabled region; on the right – I render correctly in my Alt’s view

Mesh Uploads: Nicky Dasmijn’s mesh uploader is included in this release of S19, again bringing it into line with other viewers and the age of mesh.

Anaglyph [3D] rendering: Kirsten first introduced 3D rendering in the S22 viewer. While still very experimental, with all the interest in Oculus Rift, its inclusion in S19 with this release is perhaps a little pertinent and timely as a means of generating a 3D view in a viewer.

If you have 3D glasses, Kirsten's latest S19 (404+) gives you a 3D world
If you have 3D glasses, Kirsten’s latest S19 (404+) gives you a 3D world

Restrained Love: RLV comes to Kirsten’s viewer with a dedicated preferences panel which includes the ability to set a “profile” against your RLV use – one of “BDSM Persona-Player”, “BDSM Role-player” and “Non-BDSM”. These define how many (and which) RLV controls can be blacklisted (i.e. prevented from operating), so that, for an example, someone using the “Non-BDSM” option can make use of options such as automatic chat redirection, shared folders for changing outfits and “forced” teleports which necessarily having to also have the more restrictive RLV options active.

RLV comes to Kirsten's Viewer - complete with a set of "profiles"
RLV comes to Kirsten’s Viewer – complete with a set of “profiles”

Pathfinding: Kirsten’s Viewer S19 also gains options to display pathfinding information on linksets and characters. These options are on the Tools menu. As S19 supports OpenSim, there is no navmesh visualisation as there is no Havok sub-licence agreement.

Comments

Overall, this is a sudden and interesting update to Kirsten’s original v1-style viewer, incorporating a lot of v3 code which more than makes it capable of running on today’s grid. On the whole I found it to be stable, and with performance levels I’ve tended to get from Klee’s builds (somewhat lower than with other builds for reasons I’ve never fully fathomed). I did encounter an odd issue – while I could run the viewer in deferred mode, when I enabled shadows, my in-world view turned black, and refused to come out of its sulk until I disabled shadows once more. Whether this was due to a problem with the viewer, or simply another of the hiccups which seem to occur between my hardware an Klee’s viewer builds at times, I couldn’t say.

There are a few bits missing from the update as well – no Depth of Field for photographers, for example, (although Dawny Daviau, Kirstenlee’s partner, tells me this might be coming). So don’t expect it to be fully up to S22 / v3 standards in terms of options, etc.

Again, this release is not a return of Kirsten’s viewer per se, although there is an open invitation for those who like the viewer or the v1-approach to give it a go. Just remember, support isn’t given – and it may be a while before a further update arrives.

In the meantime, some more 3D, this time courtesy of a video demonstration from Chantal Harvey, filmed back when the capability first appeared in Kirsten’s Viewer.

Related Links

With thanks to Dawny Daviau.