SL projects update week 28 (1): servers, SSB/A, viewer, snapshots

Update Wednesday July 10th: In checking the forum deployment thread for this week’s roll-outs, I see that KarenMichelle Lane has provided a list of regions on LeTigre where SSB/A will be enabled once they have restarted. Again, you’ll need to have an SSB/A-enabled viewer to avoid issues with avatar rendering on these regions. If you find that once the restarts have completed you are encountering issues with avatar rendering (for example, you are using an SSB/A viewer and find you avatar fails to render for yourself or others), or other issues which appear to be linked to SSB/A, please consider raising a bug report detailing the problem, how to reproduce it, and including your environment information (Help > About (Viewer Name) > Copy to Clipboard), which references Project Sunshine.

Server Deployments – Week 28

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

Second Life Server (SLS Main) Channel

On Tuesday 9th July, the SLS Main channel received the server maintenance package previously deployed to all three RC channels in week 26. This comprised:

  • A fix for ‘llApplyImpulse now works only in the root prim’ (SVC-8227)
  • Crash mode fixes
  • New LSL function: string llXorBase64(string str1, string str2)
    • Returns a string that is a Base64 XOR of Base64-formatted input strings, str1 and str2.
    • Addresses the cases from SCR-35 “llXorBase64StringsCorrect returns wrong result when the 2nd string contains nulls”
    • Aside from those cases, this function behaves identically to llXorBase64StringsCorrect()
  • Added max_materials_per_transaction to /simulator/features cap
    • This number returns the maximum number of materials that can be sent to the “RenderMaterials” capability in a single request.

     

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday July 10th, the three main Release Candidate channels should each receive individual updates, as follows:

  • LeTigre should see the Server-side Baking / Appearance code enabled. See my mini-update here
  • BlueSteel should receive a further package of under-the-hood changes related to the experience tools
  • Magnum should receive a server maintenance project intended to fix a couple of pathfinding issues:

Viewer Updates and Release Process

  • The Second Life Beta viewer updated to release 3.6.2.278133 on July 2nd – see the release notes for change details.
  • The Materials Project viewer was also updated on July 2nd, to release 3.6.2.278221.

Speaking at the Opensource UG meeting on Monday 8th July, Oz indicated that he hoped the new viewer release process would go live on Tuesday July 9th. If this has in fact happened, the first viewer to pass through the new process is likely to be a project (or beta viewer) with further third-party code contributions to the SL viewer.

However, as both the SSB/A deployment and the new viewer release process both require an update to the login code, it is possible the new viewer release process will not go live until Wednesday 10th July.

The login change for the viewer release change is to update the automatic check which is carried out to see if a mandatory upgrade is required (see my week 20 report). To prepare for the new release process, is check has been updated. , the login change for SSB/A is described by Oz Linden as, “a very minor change to ensure that inventory is correct” .

Group Ban List

Baker Linden and his new harido
Baker Linden and his new harido

Baker Linden continues to work on the new group ban list functionality (JIRA VWR-29337). Speaking at the Simulator User Group on Tuesday July 8th, he said:

For my update: I’m making really good progress on group bans. I’m doing a bit of a refactoring because I changed the way the backend works slightly. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be finishing up the backend code.

There’s currently no date as to when the viewer-side changes might see the light-of-day, but given Baker is currently working on the back-end, this is hardly surprising. He’s also indicated that while it won’t be available when the new functionality goes live, he is considering adding scripting functions to group bans. He also confirmed that group bans would have their own moderation capability, rather than being tied to estate ban moderation.

Particle System Updates

Particle Blocking

As previously reported in these updates, the new “right-click on particles to block and emitter” (MAINT-2268) code for the viewer has been released in the SL Beta Maintenance Viewer. As well as allowing people to click on particles to prevent the viewer generating any more particles in someone’s world-view, the code also has a FPS limit on particles and will stop generating new particles when frame rates drop to 4 FPS.

Those who have tested the capability report it works well and it is very easy to right-click on particles and block them. A slight bug has been reported whereby when unblocking a particle generator / person owning a particle generator, the viewer will not resume generating the particles until the user changes their group tag.

New Particle Capabilities

First reported on in these pages back in week 12, the new particle capabilities – glow, ribbon and blending optionshave had server-side support for some time. The Beta Maintenance viewer mentioned above now has the first part of the viewer code, and speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday July 8th, Simon Linden said, ” Once that one is out, we’ll get the next one going,” so expect these capabilities to be becoming more radily available in the near future.

Ribbon particles – one of the new particle capabilites

Other Bits

Snapshot Fixes

The SL Beta Maintenance veiwer includes further snapshot fixes (MAINT-2152) which are designed to overcome the problem of black rectangles  / borders appearing in very high resolution snapshots. These fixes are in addition to the “tiling” fix issued last year.

However, Whirly Fizzle reports that if very high-res snapshots are captured with the Beta Maintenance viewer and post-processed, the tiling artefact tends to return.

Post-processing high-res images captured using the additional snapshot updates (as found in the current SL Beta Maintenance viewer) can result in tiling artefacts reappearing (image, originally in PNG format, courtesy of Whirly Fizzle.
Post-processing high-res images captured using the additional snapshot updates (as found in the current SL Beta Maintenance viewer) can result in tiling artefacts reappearing (image, originally in PNG format, courtesy of Whirly Fizzle.

Simon Linden reports that a further update to these fixes is about to be released, although it is not known at this time if it will fix this issue, or a reported issue of GPU crashes when using the Beta Maintenance viewer for snapshots.

Your Skin – In the Sky

The issue of avatar skins appearing in the sky at very high altitudes (see JIRA VWR-28962) came up for discussion at the Simulator User Group. First reported in 2012, there is some speculation whether SSB/A will impact the frequency with which the issued manifests; it appears to be linked to the local bake process, and so may only occur in the future when people at high altitudes are editing their appearance.

The "face-in-sky" issue (image courtesy of Eku Zhong)
The “face-in-sky” issue (image courtesy of Eku Zhong)

In the meantime, if you are up high and encounter this phenomenon, try toggling the Advanced Lighting Model option in Preferences > Graphics off / on.

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9 thoughts on “SL projects update week 28 (1): servers, SSB/A, viewer, snapshots

    1. It looks to me like a horrible internet connection, very low connect speeds affecting everything. It’s better now, but still not good. Why the current situation–all servers using the same code–should be worse, I’m not at all sure. When the RC channel rollouts happen later, everything is going to change.

      This is a big one: server code, viewer code, all having to work, and a set of Linden Servers to do the work. It all has to go right. The tests were on a smaller scale, could have given optimistic results, but if they were generous on server provision, that might not matter Not yet, anyway.

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  1. I was wondering something. Other than the pop up you get when changing sims, is there anyway to tell what release channel (LeTigre, BlueSteel, etc) the sim you are on is in? Perhaps someplace in the viewer I can look?

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  2. At least one of my regions is located on a Le tiger server so ill see what is going to happen, but if lag is really worse after all the roll outs then some was not good for sure and they will need to revert or risk loosing a lot more regular users, now that many more are aware that there are other commercial grids around or even full free ones and lack of content is not really true on those!

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  3. I tried a certain LeTigre region that has always been ridiculously laggy. On a Celeron E3300 with 2GB and no dedicated GPU, things were slow (duh), but not slower than expected. Perhaps a little better. I’ll try again from my regular machine.

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  4. I’m still having connection problems, which lead to messed up sim crossing. I did get the chance to check the SSA process. It does seem more reliable, which is consistent with a bad connection and less data needing to be transmitted. If you wear skirt A, then an outfit without a skirt, and then skirt B, you will briefly see skirt A, rather than the default grey. I suppose that’s a caching effect.

    So I am hopeful. It does seem less affected by network problems.

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  5. So far all so good, we did a few tests (me changing outifts my soulmate watching the changes and reporting via skype, me in europe her in Usa) and she was seing the same changes at the same time!
    It is barely noticiable the improvements and we didnt got lag as we ride a few around Corsica on the sim crossings but the usual behavor of last weeks (Good one finnaly)!
    And as we didnt had the chance to meet with a lot bigger group of users we can only guess that at least it looks like Ssa regions didnt beahve worse or introduced new bugs we are aware of!
    We both used the last released version of Niran’s viewer (not the new Black Dragon), so for now that viewer, no longer being developed im afraid, is working good!
    Didnt tried any other viewer and we both have good conections and hardware, so our experience can not be similar to many!
    Not related, it was a pleasure to sail on Blake Sea, never saw so many enjoying sailing or flying like yesterday around 3 pm, slt, when there where 50.960 users online at the time (checked the number of users on both Sl and Inworldz, metropolis, Osgrid, 3th rock and avination at same time, 50960, 224, 17, 96, 56, 98).

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