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 2164 – release 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 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.
The beta viewer gained a further release (126.96.36.1994558) 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 (188.8.131.52469) which also gained public availability on April 24th.
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.”
Quite when this will happen on an official level is unclear. For one thing, the Lab never discusses time lines for projects; for another, this would appear to be a major undertaking, as indicated by Peter Gray’s reply. Finally, the Oculus Rift headset itself is still under ongoing development, so it is likely that the Lab will want to place the project over time, and allow at least the development of the headset and its code to reach a point of stability and uptake before they start committing major resources to the work. Even then, it’s unlikely that much will appear on an official level until the headset its is commercially available as a headset.
However, as Hamlet goes on to report, the Lab has apparently not stopped staff from starting to poke at the Rift in an unofficial capacity, and commenting at the Server Beta meeting, Maestro Linden admitted he is, “Looking forward to trying out the Rift.”
Even so, the task would appear to be huge – how will the headset, for example, be smoothly integrated with tasks such as text chat (not everyone is a touch typist) and building, which can require frequent keyboard inputs when sizing, rotating and torturing prims (and using the increase / decrease buttons in the build floater isn’t always convenient). Nevertheless, that the Lab are set to look at the headset sooner rather than later has been warmly welcomed.
Network Lag: there are increased reports of chat lag and general network lag appearing on the SL forums and elsewhere – enough for the question of chat lag issues to be raised by Maestro Linden at the Server Beta meeting, particularly in reference to people outside the USA, with some reporting recent issues of chat being delayed for up to 15 seconds (local chat, not group chat). The extent of the problem isn’t clear, although insofar as the chat lag is concerned, the hope is that the matter has been cleared up. Those who are experiencing other network issues such as high ping times might wish to test their connect as far as possible and file a JIRA with any relevant stats.
Missing Prims: the primary cause for this is still awaiting a viewer-side fix, although Andrew Linden may still be looking at the interest list code which appears to have exacerbated the issue of late. There are currently no time lines for any complete resolution for the issue. It has been reported that the issue can also affect HUDs as well as in-world objects, so if you find you are having issues with a HUD, try detaching it (either directly or via a right-click in inventory if the whole thing vanishes) and then re-attaching.
Script issues: there are reports of scripts behaving oddly. In particular, scripts which interact with another script in the same object are failing to execute correctly when the object is first rezzed, as the associated script doesn’t appear to have been loaded (a similar issue to that reported in SCR-98). Other reported issues include scripts needing to be recompiled in order to run correctly or some scripts checked as Mono because unchecked. How widespread an issue this might be is again unclear; if you do encounter reproducible issues yourself, please file a bug report.