SL projects update week 32 (2): server releases, SSA, Oculus Rift

Server Deployments Week 32

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

Second Life Server (SLS Main) Channel

There was no update to the Main channel in week 32. This is primarily because the SSA project is not being further deployed during week 32, and BlueSteel was not updated in week 31 (other than to be brought up to a par with the Main channel), so there is nothing from the RC channels to promote to the Main channel.

Release Candidate Channels – Wednesday August 7th

Magnum and LeTigre remained SSA enabled, and without any further updates.

BlueSteel received a new server maintenance package comprising:

  • A new feature which will see regions block rezzing and entering during the final 60-seconds before a shutdown / restart (see notes below)
  • Code to help fix an exploit whereby a scripted object can surreptitiously obtain permissions from an unsuspecting avatar, allowing the object owner to later use the object against the avatar in s griefing attack (e.g. by tracking camera movements in a deform attack, and so on – see publicly viewable JIRA VWR-13228 and the notes below)
  • A fix for “llListen in linked objects is listening at root instead of linked object local position *after re-rezzing the linkset*.” (non-public JIRA BUG-3291)
  • Fixes for further simulator crash modes.

I covered the region restart capability and the code to help with the animation exploit in part 1 of this week’s report, and refer you to that if you need any more details.

Server Deployments Heads-up for Week 33

Details are still to be finalised, but at present it looks as there will be another light week of deployments in week 33 (week commencing Monday August 12th).

  • The server maintenance package currently on BlueSteel looks set to be promoted to the Main channel on Tuesday August 13th
  • There will likely be a new server maintenance package on BlueSteel, which Simon Linden describes as not having much exciting in it other than a “fix for a performance problem that can occur in very specific situations where you have to have neighbour regions, avatars over on those regions and such, but that will hopefully just be a silent improvement.”
  • SSA will most likely not be enabled elsewhere on the grid (see below).

SL Viewer Updates

The Materials project viewer received an update on Thursday August 8th with the release of version (download & release notes). Otherwise things remain pretty much as they were with part 1 of this report.

Server-side Appearance

There is unlikely to be any further SSA enabling in week 33 (week commencing Monday August 12th). This is because the baking servers themselves will be getting an update, and the Lab wants to see how that goes. Commenting on the update at the Server Beta meeting on Thursday August 8th, Simon Linden said it will be carried out “behind the scenes” with no actual downtime for the SSA service.

Oculus Rift

There has been considerable interest in the state-of-play with this project ever since Rod Humble indicated in an interview with Eric Johnson of All Things D that a viewer supporting the headset might be surfacing in “late summer”. Obviously, the retail version of the headset has yet to ship – and may still be a while before doing so – but the SDK kits are available at $300, and people are purchasing them, so it is not unreasonable to assume the Lab may well have a project viewer with Oculus Rift support available ahead of the consumer version of the product being launched.

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift – artist’s impression

Commenting on the status of the current work with OR at the Lab during the Server Beta meeting, Simon Linden said:

I tried it out on the code in development and it’s pretty cool. It still needs work and there’s no estimates when it will go out, but we’ll have a project viewer at some point. It requires very careful building in SL, however, as it really needs high frame rate … We’re still getting the basics going … some simple things like a menu, UI buttons and clicking in-world are tough to get right in the Rift.

So it is still likely to be a while before any project viewer sees the light of day.

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9 thoughts on “SL projects update week 32 (2): server releases, SSA, Oculus Rift

  1. What Oz said about the Rift:

    We’re still getting the basics going … some simple things like a menu, UI buttons and clicking in-world are tough to get right in the Rift.

    I think this describes things perfectly.


    1. “It requires very careful building in SL” – what did he mean by that? Is that remark towards environment builders? or coders building the Oculus SL UI?


      1. In the context of the comments, I would say he’s referring to (re)building the UI to work with Oculus Rift.


  2. I preffer that LL finaly first fix the UI scaleing bug that a bigge group hit, instead spending time on the oculus rift that only a small group is testing.

    “It requires very careful building in SL”
    Sounds for me like you need to build low prim sims with not to many prims on it. less prims = higher framerate. But that problem you have to with normal viewers, to many textures and objects cluttered togheter impacts framerate.


  3. So next move will be to reduce Li allowed, scripts and size of textures till we will end with empty regions but running at more then 100 fps/sec?


    1. Read more carefully. Oz said that building a UI for the Oculus Rift would be difficult (understandably, because when you wear this contraption you can’t see your input devices – keyboard, mouse, whatever). As for the rest, there’s absolutely nothing pointing to that. But it must be said that, as Penny Patton has pointed out umpteen times, filling a region with 1024×1024 textures (and many of them will go wasted anyway, as, even if you zoom all the way in to some of the objects that have them, the relevant prims won’t ever be more than 128×128 pixels anyway), is stupid and a total waste of bandwidth and GPU resources.


  4. I’m still firmly in the camp of “Fix the stuff that already exists and impacts a majority of the existing (paying) users before going off on techie wet dreams with new devices, UI structures and whiz-bang gizmos.” As a long-term techie myself, I totally understand the energy and dedication to completion that exudes from a developer when given new toys to play with. But professional developers also recognize the need to pay the bills and make the existing system / services operate properly for as many customers as is possible.

    Linden Lab has, for a long time now, suffered from the inability to properly manage and direct their staff, keeping them focused on producing the necessary (but oh so boringly un-fun) stuff that everyone depends on. The Oculus Rift is a perfect opportunity for Rod Humble and his management staff to send a signal to the customers showing them “we DO know how to run a professional organization”. However, I remain pessimistic, expecting instead that they will turn the kids loose and let them go play with the new toys until the newness wears off and the press hype cools down.


  5. i really hope they still are on track with releasing a viewer by the end of the summer as the CEO said. lets hope so. the 3dxchat sucks. and its the only virtual world to work with the rift for the time being!


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