SL project updates week 34 (1): server releases, SSA, viewer, Oculus Rift

Server Deployments Week 34

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

Second Life Server (SLS Main) Channel – Tuesday August 20th

The Main channel had Server-side Appearance (SSA) enabled, as per this blog post from the Lab. As I’ve previously noted, users will need to run a maintained viewer which incorporates the SSA code in order for other avatars to render correctly in their view. See the release notes for additional information to the above links.

There were no other updates in this deployment.

Release Candidate Channels – Wednesday August 21st

  • Magnum should receive a new maintenance package which “only includes a few internal bug fixes which shouldn’t show any visible changes to the residents”. In describing this at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday August 13th, Simon Linden said, “There’s one performance fix that you might see in the viewer … you shouldn’t get those situations where you see lots of ‘duplicate caps. messages” – this package was deployed to LeTigre in week 33
  • Bluesteel and LeTigre will both be on an update to the package deployed to BlueSteel in week 33, which includes:
    • A fix for the “grey box attachment  issue” (non-public BUG-3547, details below)
    • A (further?) update to for “llListen in linked objects is listening at root instead of linked object local position *after re-rezzing the linkset*”, which was also listed in the BlueSteel release notes for week 32  (non-public JIRA BUG-3291)
    • The code to block avatars entering a region / objects being rezzed in a region during the last 60-seconds before a restart. In addition, restart warning pop-ups will include the region name. This was again in the release notes for week 32, so would appear to be a further update to that code
    • Fixes for further simulator crash modes.

Further, all three RC channels will have Server-side Appearance enabled at the conclusion of the Wednesday August 21st deployments.

SL Viewer Updates

Release Viewer Updated

Tuesday August 20th saw a new update to the de facto release viewer, when the former Maintenance Viewer RC 3.6.3.279564, dated August 12th, was promoted. The full list of updates for this release can be found in the release notes. However, of most interest to many will be the fact that it includes the particle selection capability.

As previously reported in these updates, this capability (MAINT-2268) allows a user to right-click on a particle emitter and mute it, blocking the particle emissions from their viewer. This is liable to be very welcome to those using regions which are frequently the target of particle griefing, as it means that the emitter itself no longer needs to be located and blocked. In addition, the new code has a FPS limit on particles, and will stop generating new particles when frame rates drop to 4 FPS or lower.

Other SL Viewer Updates

The promotion of the Maintenance Viewer RC to release status leaves four remaining release candidate viewers at this time: CHUI, the MAC-focused Cocoa RC viewer, the Google Breakpad RC for better crash / stats reporting and the Snowstorm RC, which contains updates contributed to LL by third-party developers. As is now the practice, these will each be rebuilt using the “new” de facto release viewer code, and so will have updates appearing over the coming days.

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift - UI work progressing at the Lab
Oculus Rift – UI work progressing at the Lab

Work is progressing with integrating Oculus Rift with Second Life. While I’m not overly interested in the Rift myself, one are that does interest me is that of the UI and how it is going to be integrated with the headset – as I’ve commented in the past, while others see it as a potential issue, I don’t necessarily agree, although I’ve felt that a balance would have to be struck in order to avoid the UI completely overwhelming  / spoiling the first-person view.

Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday August 20th, Simon Linden indicated that this is on the Lab’s collective mind as well – and that a potentially clever solution is being tried-out to ensure the UI menus, etc., are usable without interfering with the user’s view of things:

I know recently they were working on how to have the SL UI appear … having menus hanging out in your vision is an interesting design, but you’re not in a “window” anymore … In the Rift it’s projected on a surface around you … so you look up to see the menus and they float there in mid-air … I think they’re experimenting with the shape of that surface too … if it’s flat, the text can look funny as it’s slanting away from you.

This, I have to say, does sound intriguing, and I’d be curious to see it in action; if nothing else, it gets me thinking somewhat of Bruce Branit’s World Builder – although admittedly, the protagonist in that piece is physically “inside” his virtual realm…

If nothing else, that gives me an excuse to post the new HD version of World Builder Bruce posted to his YouTube channel earlier this month (yes, I know it’s not the first time I’ve posted it, but I do love the movie).

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2 thoughts on “SL project updates week 34 (1): server releases, SSA, viewer, Oculus Rift

  1. So far so good, if all went as planned, cross sims seems a lot smoother even if when riding a bike on Satori that i do believe is on Sl main channel! Still need to try more continents, will let Bay city for tomorrow after all deployments being made, to check cross sims there (bay city regions runs all servers so its a great place to test all!)

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  2. And i have to be honest, i can’t understand if the Lab is thinking of creating a new viewer to use with the rift or adapt the actual one that is already so badly designed as with the chui implementation one needs to wonder if LL feels that the only way to be in world is to have small vision of it, surronded by windows and tabs all the way around?

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