SL projects update week 25 (1): server, SSB/A, viewer

Server Deployments – Week 25

As always, please refer to the week’s forum deployment thread for news, updates and feedback.

Second Life Server (Main) Channel

On Tuesday June 18th, the SLS main channel received the interest list improvement project which have been previously deployed to Magnum (week 22) and BlueSteel and LeTigre (week 24). This includes:

  • A fix for excessive AvatarAppearance packets being sent to the viewer [in which the simulator would send many unnecessary AvatarAppearance messages to the viewer]
  • A final fix for the “meeroo problem” whereby animations on Meeroos and other animals fail to update correctly when camming around.

Release Candidate (RC) Channels

On Wednesday 19th June, all three RC channels (Magnum, BlueSteel and LeTigre) should receive the server maintenance package briefly deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre in week 24. to fix a number of crash modes, addresses an issue with neighbouring region visibility, and adds new LSL pathfinding capabilities and object return capabilities:

  • The new pathfinding property CHARACTER_STAY_WITHIN_PARCEL, which can be used with llCreateCharacter() and llUpdateCharacter(), and is intended to help with keeping characters within parcel boundaries – see my week 19 report for details
  • The new object return functions I reported on in week 23, namely llReturnObjectsByOwner and llReturnObjectsByID, are intended to provide an automated means of returning objects to their owners – see my full update on these functions for details.

This package also includes the following:

  • An update to llReturnObjectsByID() to prevent it from returning other objects which are owned by the parcel owner or estate owner/manager
  • A fix for an issue in which LSL HTTP-in scripts would sometimes see the incorrect URL (BUG-2833)
  • A fix for Bug 2850 (Cannot rez objects in Bluesteel and LeTigre parcels which disallow object entry) – which caused this deployment to be replaced by the Magnum RC package in week 24.

SSB/A Pile-on Test Update

Nyx Linden (stock)
Nyx Linden (stock)

On Friday June 14th, a Server-side Baking / Appearance pile-on test was conducted on the main grid (see my report on events). The Lab is still going over the results of the test and all JIRA filed and log files submitted. Giving a preliminary summary of the test at the Content Creation User Group meeting on Monday June 17th, Nyx Linden said:

We actually just recently got through looking at the bug reports that were filed. Things are looking good, if you know anyone who saw anything major during the pile-on test please encourage them to file a bug ASAP if they have not already done so.

The system seemed to work quite well for most people, and we’re looking closely at the people who were having trouble resolving to try to figure out exactly what happened. The baking service was doing fine, there were some other services that weren’t used to that many people changing their outfits that close together (hence some attachments had difficulty resolving, etc). If anyone knows of failure cases for SSA (aside from those reported if you log in with very old viewers), please let us know asap.

The test did not include a minor update intended for the viewer-end of things, or the code change to help avoid SUN-74. However, as mentioned in my last SSB/A update, the former isn’t required prior to SSB/A starting its deployment across the grid, while the safest way to avoid encountering problems with non-maintained viewers  / viewer without the necessary SSB/A updates is to upgrade your viewer. Now.

Viewer News

Materials Processing

The final beta release ( performed well over the weekend, with a crash rate “comfortably under” 9%. The code has been merged with the release viewer and is in its final QA testing ready for deployment. Providing nothing unexpected happens, it should appear on the viewer download page as the release viewer very soon.

Viewer Release Process

Work is continuing on the new viewer release process, which may go live later in week 25 or early in week 26. In the meantime, and as reported in week 24, a viewer source repositories page has been produced on the wiki. There is also a further wiki page explaining the release process, although it is still under development. You can find it listed as the Viewer Integration and Release Processes.

The new viewer integration and release process – click to enlarge (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Note that the new process does not mean there will be multiple versions of the release viewer available for download (although there will potentially be multiple project / beta / release candidate versions available for download).

Should two projects reach a point of being ready to go to a release status at the same time (such as with “project 1” and “project 2” in the diagram above), a decision will be made by the Lab as to which should go first. That viewer then changes status to release, with the code pulled back to the viewer-release repository. The second viewer awaiting release will then merge with the changes and put out a further release candidate, and will then move to a release status from there.

For ease of reference, the viewer download page and the Alternate Viewers wiki page remain the default places for most users to obtain versions of the SL viewer.

Other Bits

Object Contents Loading

We’re all familiar with using prims as storage for other items (e.g. “boxed” items sold through the Marketplace or using a prim to store items in inventory we don’t frequently use). when a prim has a large number of items in it, there can be a noticeable delay in seeing the contents listed in the Contents tab of the Build floater. In addition, adding objects can be prone to a slow response as well – and can cause problems such as the loss of No Copy items when dropping more objecting into the Contents tab while the system is already copying / adding items to a prim’s contents. I

n terms of the slow loading issue, some have reported times of 30-40 seconds when trying to list the contents of a prim with 100 or so items, and a question was asked at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 18th on whether there was any particular reason for this.

Replying to the question, Andrew Linden started with a cautionary note, “Sure, people can create that many items in contents, but I wouldn’t rank it as a good idea.” He then went on, “I don’t know the exact nature of the bottleneck there, but 30 seconds sounds too long. I’m pretty sure it could be sped up, but I’d have to dig around to see why it is slow.”

Kelly Linden then added: “Object inventory transfer from server to viewer uses one of the oldest legacy methods in Second Life. Updating that is probably a good idea but would require a joint viewer and server version change, or some acrobatics on managing compatibility.”

While agreeing this might be the case, Andrew went on, “The UDP protocol should be able to transmit 300 items in much less than 30 seconds. I’ll try to look around to see what is limiting that. However, I should note… I won’t be attending next week. I’ll be on vacation.”

So, there may be further updates on this in the future.

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