SL projects update week 33 (2): server releases, group ban list, texture issues

Server Deployments Week 33

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

  • As noted in part 1 of this report, there was no deployment to the Main channel in week 33, as a result of the “grey box” attachment issue appearing in the week 32 BlueSteel deployment
  • The Magnum RC channel remained on SSA, with no other updates
  • The LeTigre RC received a new server maintenance package with “under the hood changes” which should not be visible / perceptible to users. This package saw the removal of SSA from LeTigre – Caleb Linden apologised at the Server Beta meeting for the confusion this caused as the forum thread & release notes did not initially make it clear
  • The BlueSteel RC received further updates to the fixes released in week 32 and the fix for the “grey box” attachment issue

Viewer Updates

The CHUI RC viewer updated to release on August 15th (download & release notes). The Materials project viewer also underwent a further update to release on August 16 (download & release notes).

Server-side Appearance

As noted above, SSA is currently only enabled on Magnum for the time being. A decision will be made on Monday August 19th on server-side updates and deployments, and until then the Lab is keeping quiet as to what may or may not happen in terms of SSA enabling. However, from comments passed in recent discussions and a hint in the forum deployment thread, it would appear that if the data obtained from Magnum during the week remains solid, SSA might be considered ready for “prime time” in week 34.

The removal of SSA from LeTigre did cause some confusion, with at least one JIRA (SUN-109) being raised as a result. Given the JIRA refers to the slowness of avatar rendering, rather than to any overall failures (which shouldn’t happen anyway, given the viewer code is currently backwards compatible with the “old” avatar baking service), this tends to point to the fact that the rapid nature of SSA baking is being appreciated.

Group Ban list

The obligatory Baker Linden shot :)
The obligatory Baker Linden shot 🙂

“Group bans are coming along pretty well,” Baker Linden informed his ‘Thursday after meeting class’.  He went on:

I chose to take the rest of this week to improve the code rather than continue progressing. I really hated copying an entire source file without trying to refactor it … So now it’s refactoring, cleaning up, and after that the viewer will be finished. Well, I need to add the functionality to some other subsystems and have it actually send an HTTP message but that stuff is all stubbed in anyway.

Some of the cleaning up work apparently involves  removing the, umm, colourful metaphors he used when first commenting on the code to highlight those bits he wanted to poke about at. These have apparently been causing a few giggles among those able to peek into the repository!

Given the work is still ongoing, there is no ETA for a project or beta viewer as yet, and this may be delayed a little more while Baker considers the problem of group chat.

Because of the way in which group chat works, anyone who is removed from a group while they have the group chat window open is actually able to continue chatting / spamming within the group until they close the group chat window, unless the group moderator remembers to block them from chat first. This hadn’t been on Baker’s radar, and he’s going to take a look around and see what can / needs to be done to try to make sure the group ban function won’t suffer this weakness, if possible.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 33 (2): server releases, group ban list, texture issues”

Finding peace in a Quiet Wilderness

Quiet Wilderness
Quiet Wilderness

I came across Quiet Wilderness, located on the homestead region of Almourol, entirely by chance. Group owned, the About Land tab describes it as “a quiet and peaceful place to relax, sit by the campfire, walk around or take a canoe ride”, and it is quite simply lovely.

You arrive up on a hill – not at the top, but about half-way up – overlooking lowlands on either side, with a river looping lazily through. There are no houses here – not on the ground, at least – and everything other than a fenced crop of wheat is an open wilderness with tall trees, woodlands, open meadows and a number of trails to be followed.

The hill on which you arrive rises to split the region pretty much in two, and  – in keeping with a number of places I’ve visited of late – is itself split by a deep river gorge, this one spanned by a natural stone bridge.

Quiet Wilderness

The hill also acts as a natural source for the river, with waterfalls on either side of the rocky hillside tumbling down to feed two small lakes which are in turn connected by the river’s meandering.

To the west is a lush, low-lying woodland, bordering the sea, and which has hints of a wetland area. One branch of the river exits to the sea here, and the shadows between the tall tree trunks provide hiding places for some of the region’s resident wildlife. A cobbled paths wanders into the woods from the north-west shoulder of the hill and branches just under their broad canopy, with one arm leading back out over a wooden bridge to the coastal grasslands, the other winding deeper under the trees and it’s worth following it to find a couple more little landmarks.

Wildlife is very much in evidence across the region, with birds, waterfowl, deer and more – although you might have to again keep your eyes open to see all of it. As well as the wildlife, sheep also graze peacefully, watched over by the resident dogs, Dandy and Chi.

Quiet Wilderness
Quiet Wilderness

The park-like, natural ambience of the region is enhanced by the placement of a couple of canoe rezzers. These allow you to explore the island from the river, including travelling through the gorge, which has its own waterfalls splashing down from either wall.

If you have music streaming enabled, one thing to watch out for is that the region is split two, parcel-wise, each with it’s own media streaming. Both streams are actually very listenable and suit the environment; they do, however clash a little as you move between the parcels, and it can be a little disconcerting having Johnny Cash telling you his woes where a split second before you were lost in the gentle sounds of a harp.

Don’t let the misty look of some of my shots fool you, either; the region is far from dim or misty. It’s just that the wide open, natural spaces encourage Windlight fiddling rather a lot, and I played around trying to get shots which might evoke and early morning feel (as well as going for late afternoon shots, which I confess in summer / autumn is my favourite time of day).

Quiet Wilderness
Quiet Wilderness

Once you’re done wandering, there are several places to relax and simply watch the world go by, or the tide ebb and flow. You can float on a raft on one of the lakes, climb up to a tree platform, sit at a campsite or rest at one of several platforms around the hill sides. If the mood takes you, you can sit by the side of the water and play a grand piano. That you’ll be a virtuoso is guaranteed; the piano is from Musical Alchemy, and Persephone Milk includes a superb selection of pieces in her pianos. There are even chairs set out for an appreciative audience…

Whether you travel to Quiet Wilderness on your own or with a friend or two makes no difference, it is a place which can be enjoyed as much shared with others as it can be when on wandering with just your own thoughts for company. And should you want to put the rest of Second Life out of mind for a while and just lose yourself in music and scenery, it could be precisely what the doctor ordered.

Given the nature of the region, rather than simply closing with another photo before the slide show, I’d leave you with a piece by John Schmitt of The Piano Guys, which I think is equally appropriate.

Related Links

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