SL projects update week 30 (2): Upcoming server & viewer releases, SSA, HTTP

Server Deployments Week 31 (Week Commencing Monday July 29th)

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

Second Life Server (SLS Main) Channel

On Tuesday July 30th, the SLS Main channel should receive the server maintenance package previously deployed to BlueSteel in week 30. This project fixes some miscellaneous bugs, and also allows viewers to send requests for materials data more rapidly.

On Wednesday July 31st, the three main Release Candidate channels should be updated as follows:

  • BlueSteel should receive a new server maintenance project.  This project fixes some bugs related to LSL scripts in child prims of linksets, and also addresses some server crash modes
  • Magnum and LeTigre remain SSA enabled and both receive the updates deployed to the Main channel.

Server-side Appearance

As noted in the planned deployment summary above, it is currently not anticipated that SSA will be enabled on any additional channels in week 31.

Overall, the Lab think the initial phase of deployment is going well, and recognise the considerable contribution made by TPVs in enabling this to happen. A rough approximation from viewer statistics suggests that around three-quarters of users logging-in to SL are using viewers which are SSA-enabled, and that the overall figure may be higher.

A chart compiled by Kadah Koba showing the percentages of SSA-enabled and non-SSA viewer in use (excluding Firestorm 4.4.0)
A chart compiled by Kadah Coba showing the percentages of SSA-enabled and non-SSA viewer in use (excluding Firestorm 4.4.0)

Commenting on the state of play for the project during the TPV Developer meeting on Friday July 26th, Nyx Linden said:

The system is working pretty much as we expected … and even the scaling of how much load is being generated is pretty much right on par with what we’re expecting. But we want to make sure that a few other things are returning the right things and we’re getting the right statistics that we want before we roll it out to the [entire] grid. We’re trying to be extra-cautious.

Viewer-side Updates

In terms of viewer-side updates, the plan is to try to have one major post-SSA enabling release which should include the planned inventory updates noted in the first part of this report along with any additional viewer-side code tweaks to the viewer arising from SSA being enabled, and a final code clean-up to remove the “old” baking code.

However, this does depend on enabling SSA on the rest of the grid. If there is yet cause to delay this (due to an unexpected issue arising, for example), and the delay continues for a significant amount of time, then it is possible that there will be two viewer releases: one with the currently planned updates and one with the post-deployment code clean-up.

Either way, to assist TPVs prepare for the viewer-side update(s), Nyx plans to periodically push code from the Lab’s private repositories to their public repositories as and when code is in a suitable condition to be pushed.

Issues Update

SUN-98 (Bake fail resulting from partially broken alpha layer): this is thought to be the result of wearing a corrupted clothing layer, and if so is considered to be expected behaviour in order to avoid cases of “accidental nudity” (which might arise from wearing a corrupted clothing later, which the SSA system would ignore and just bake whatever was underneath it  – such as the avatar’s skin). However the matter is still being looked into in case the problem has another cause.

Nyx acknowledged that even if the problem is due to expected behaviour, it would be useful  “at some point in the future” to add some UI elements to actually show the user which clothing asset they’re wearing that is causing the problem. What form these UI elements / warning will take remains to be decided.

SUN-99 (Bakefail on SSA regions only. When entering into SSA region, skin and system clothes fail to bake): this issue only affects a very small number of users and appears to be related to them having multiple copies of the Current Outfit Folder (COF) in their inventories, probably as a result of having moved it  within their inventory (i.e. into another folder) at some point prior to the Lab introducing restrictions to prevent the COF being moved or deleted.

To prevent this happening in the future, the Lab is implementing further back-end restrictions and other improvements on the COF, and Nyx has e-mailed all TPVs with notes on how the COF should be implemented within the viewer in order to comply with these restrictions.

In the meantime it was mentioned at the Server Beta meeting on Thursday July 25th that LL’s support team can now assist users who find they are suffering from this particular issue.

Viewer Updates

Release Candidates

As noted in part one of this report, there are now three RC viewers in the viewer release channel (Beta Maintenance, Google Breakapad and Vivox). All three are performing well, although no decision has been made as to which will be going to release status first.

Beyond these, the Lab is looking at a number of further release candidate cohorts, including the Cocoa updates for the Mac version of the viewer, a series of open-source contributions to the viewer, and a further series of CHUI updates.

Commenting on the current situation with viewer updates at the TPV Developer meeting, Oz Linden said, ” It’s going to be some time before we get to the point where we’ve got the number of simultaneous things happening down to a reasonable number; lots of stuffing was sitting around waiting for the opportunity to get out, and it’s all coming at once now!”

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