Kokua offers .DAE exports

kokua-logoKokua have released a further update in the form of version 3.6.3.29169 (August 23rd). With it comes some important notes, and the addition of the .DAE (Collada) object export capability.

Installation Notes

This is the first release from Kokua to use the auto update mechanism from Linden Lab, which was incorporated into the viewer with release 3.6.2. However, for Windows users, there are two important points to note:

  • If you are a Windows user and have a pre-3.6.2 version of Kokua installed on your PC, you should first try to run the viewer and allow the auto-update process to fetch and install the latest release. This should work OK with versions of Kokua at least back as far as version 3.6.1.28998 (June 28th 2013).
  • Because all Windows versions from 3.6.2 onwards are installed into a folder called Kokua (rather than Kokua Viewer). So if you have a version older than 3.6.2 already installed on your PC, note that the new version will be installed alongside it, rather than over it. If you then subsequently remove the older version using the uninstaller, your settings (located in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Kokua) will be lost – so make sure you back-up / move this folder before removing any old versions of the viewer & then restore it afterwards.

Those on older versions of Kokua (pre-3.5.1? I’m not entirely clear on this from the blog post) may find that the updater will direct them to install the official SL viewer from the Lab. As Nicky points-out, this is not some conspiracy to force people into using the SL viewer. Should it happen, quit out of the installer and use the Kokua download links (and take note of the 2nd bullet point above).

Collada Export

The major update for Kokua 3.6.3 is the inclusion of the Collada .DAE export capability which was recently added to Singularity, together with the ability to export objects in Wavefront .OBJ format. As the Singularity team made the export options available under a LGPL licence,  Jessica Wabbit has extracted the.DAE export capability and contributed to Kokua.

The export option works in exactly the same manner as with Singularity: it respects object permissions, and you can only export those objects for which you are the creator and owner.

To export an item which fit the criteria, simply right-click on it and:

  • If you are using context menus, select EXPORT > COLLADA DAE
  • If you are using the pie menu, select MORE > MORE > EXPORT COLLADA DAE

Either option will open a window allowing you to save the object to your hard drive. Once exported, the object can be used into applications which support the editing of .DAE files and / or imported as mesh to other virtual environments.

The DAE expoert options in Kokua's context and pie menus. If you're not the creator & owner of the item you're trying to export, they won't be available to you
The DAE export options in Kokua’s context and pie menus. If you’re not the creator & owner of the item you’re trying to export, they won’t be available to you

Note that if you do not have the requisite permissions to export the item, the export option will be unavailable on both menus.

Currently, the system only exports naked prims / sculpts (no textures), but this may be changing in the future – keep and eye on the Singularity team for news.

Commenting on the export capability, Kokua’s Nicky Perrian has said that if there is sufficient interest, the option to export to .OBJ may also be added to the viewer.

Additional Updates

This release sees Kokua use the Lab’s viewer 3.6.3 code base, and the following updates / additions:

  • The upcoming OpenSim Community Conference grid on OS Grid has been added to the grid drop-down list
  • Some tuning of the auto-update feature
  • Addition of a plain text chat history option in the chat preferences tab
  • Addition of new “Permissions” sub-menu for friends on the People floater for setting the usual options of whether friends can see when you’re on-line, etc. Enabled options display the requisite icon alongside the avatar’s name
  • Addition of group and role UUIDs at the end of the group’s General and Roles panels.
(l) Setting permissions for friends can now be done via a sub-menu int he people folder; (r) the UUID for a group can now be obtained from the group's general tab (role UUID can also be obtained from the Roles tab)
(l) Setting permissions for friends can now be done via a sub-menu int he people folder; (r) the UUID for a group can now be obtained from the group’s General tab (role UUID can also be obtained from the Roles tab)

Feedback

Another, small, tidy update with Kokua which adds what is likely to be a popular feature, given the excitement which followed Singularity’s release with the export options. Using Kokua 3.6.3 myself (although again very briefly due to RL commitments), I found it to be fast, stable and smooth – pretty much as with 3.6.2.

As I already had 3.6.2 installed, I allowed the auto-updater to upgrade me. This actually took a few seconds to acknowledge that an update was available (the delay seemed to be longer than the official viewer, which often has the update pop-up appear as soon as the splash screen has loaded). This tiny point aside, update was smooth and returned me to the log-in splash screen when finished, with 3.6.3 ready to go.

It’s great to see Kokua rolling along like this.

Related Links

Advertisements

SL projects update week 34 (3): SSA update and z-offset update

Update August 27th: In reference to the “z-offset” notes at the end of this report. Marine Kelley has issued an important fix for her implementation of the capability for the Restrained Love Viewer (2.8.5.5). If you’re already using 2.8.5.3 as originally referenced in this article, you’ll need to update. I’ve revised the piece to point to 2.8.5.5’s release notes (download will also go to 2.8.5.5).

Week 34 saw Server-side Appearance go grid-wide in Second Life. Overall, the deployment went smoothly for the majority of people, although some have encountered issues, of which more below.

Commenting on the deployment in general terms, Nyx Linden said:

The roll-out this week went really well and seems to be performing well. We definitely have enough ovens to do the baking with, and there have only been a handful of users with issues, as far as I’m aware currently.

Issues

Where problems have occurred, there appear to be a mix of known issues and issues which appear to be related to the user’s connectivity between their viewer and the SL servers.

SUN-99

In the case of known issues, there have been further reports of issues arising with people having multiple versions of the Current Outfit Folder in their inventory (SUN-99).

Multiple instances of the COF (images courtesy of Cinder Roxley)
Multiple instances of the COF (images courtesy of Cinder Roxley)

Nyx reports that the Lab has been analysing the issue, and as a result has a list of accounts likely to be affected by it. They are currently putting in place a system by which these accounts will be flagged and automatically fixed when they next log-in. If all goes well, this new system should be coming into play in week 35, or at least in the not-too-distant future.

The Lab is reasonably confident that this work will eliminate the SUN-99 issue; however, Nyx has requested that if people continue to see multiple instances of their Current Outfit Folder appearing, to please raise a JIRA, including the viewer (and version) being used, so that it can be investigated for other possible causes.

Nyx also indicated that there has been one report of a user who was able to move their duplicate COF folders to their trash and then flush them, although this shouldn’t be possible. So if you do encounter the problem, it might be worth a try.

Until the new automated fix solution is implemented, instructions have been passed to LL’s support team, and they generally will try to provide a manual fix when contacted, and will do so for both Premium and Basic members. It has been suggested that the best way to gain support’s assistance is to file a ticket under Account Issues and then clearly marking it as being a BUG-99 / Current Outfit Folder problem.

High Bandwidth and Draw Distance

Issues relating to a poor connection between the viewer and the SL servers are resulting in people having either fully grey avatars or one of the three skin layers (head, upper body, lower body) remaining grey. The Firestorm support team in particular have had reports on this. Commenting on it at the TPV Developer meeting, Lead Support for Firestorm, Ed Merryman, said:

For the most part, in my personal experience, it’s been people with bandwidth and draw distance settings that were, let’s say, “extreme”. Normally, if we get them to drop their bandwidth and draw distance to a reasonable setting, they’re fixed.

The Firestorm team have a wiki item about checking and setting the viewer’s network bandwidth which is useful as a rule of thumb for all viewers.

HTTP Textures

Ed also reported that some users who found a part or all of their avatar grey were seeing the problem resolved if they disabled HTTP textures from within the viewer.

Whether this was due to a poor connection with the SL servers or a hardware issue is unclear. However, the thinking is that it is most likely due to something in the network path between the viewer and the SL servers getting hit with too many HTTP connections (which now include avatar baking). Disabling HTTP textures in the viewer forces regular texture downloads to shift back to the UDP service, thus reducing the number of HTTP connections, allowing avatar textures to load.

Issues when Connecting to SL via a Cell Phone

Problems have also been reported for those using a connection via their cell phone (non-public JIRA BUG-3323). This appears to be down to a issue whereby the size of the packet that the viewer is expecting from the SSA servers doesn’t align with the amount of data actually in the packet. The Lab is currently investigating this, but the issue does seem to be constrained to only a few users.

Next Steps

Commenting on what is coming up next while at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday August 23rd, Nyx Linden said:

I also have the next round of [viewer-side] changes ready to push from Sunshine internal [LL’s private repository] to Sunshine external [the public repository] … In it, you’ll see what should be all of the new inventory capabilities for the new inventory functionality for getting your Current Outfit Folder set. These changes appear to work on our developers’ machine, but are completely untested as far as you’re concerned. So this code is definitely not ready for merging into a mainline branch but feel free to do a merge into a side dev branch.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 34 (3): SSA update and z-offset update”

SL projects update week 34 (2): Server, viewer, group ban list, HTTP

Note: with the exception of the server deployment review, the majority of this update has been taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday 21st August. A video of the meeting, recorded by panterapolnocy, is available at the end of this article

Server Deployments Week 34

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

  • On Tuesday August 20th the Main channel had Server-side Appearance (SSA) enabled, as per this blog post from the Lab.
  • On Wednesday 21st August, the Magnum RC received a new maintenance package with “under the hood” changes which should be invisible to residents, while BlueSteel and LeTigre received an update to the package deployed to BlueSteel in week 33. This includes a fix for the “grey box” attachment issue which affected multiple avatars riding an object over BlueSteel region crossings. Additionally, these channels also saw SSA enabled, meaning the entire main grid is now running SSA.

SSA Update

For information on the Server-side Appearance deployment, please see my separate report.

SL Viewer Updates

A new release candidate debuted on August 20th with the name “CHUIStorm” (3.6.4.280048). This is a merging of the CHUI and Snowstorm RC viewers with the latest de facto release code base. The reason for merging the two RCs is because the Lab felt there were “too many RCs in flight”, making it difficult to determine which one should be promoted to the release viewer if several appeared ready simultaneously. In future, the Lab hopes to keep the total number of RCs in the channel to around two or three.

Interestingly, the Google Breakpad RC has vanished from the list of RC viewers in the Release channel.

The Materials project viewer was promoted to the Release channel on August 21st (RC 3.6.4.280083), leaving the current total number of RC viewers in the channel at three (CHUIStorm, Cocoa (Mac) and Materials).

Next in the Pipeline

While the order in which they appear or the overall time frame for their release is not clear, there are a number of project viewers which will be appearing in the near future. These include:

  • A further Snowstorm project viewer (third-party developer contributions) – currently with LL’s QA team
  • A new Interest List project viewer (which has had trouble passing QA – see below)
  • A further SSA project viewer – for details see my SSA Update
  • A Group Bans project viewer (see below)
  • An HTTP project viewer (see the HTTP update below)

In addition, Oz Linden hinted that he may have a surprise announcement at the next TPV Developer meeting in two weeks. While he said absolutely nothing further on the subject, the resultant speculation was that he might have been referring to the arrival of an Experience Tools project viewer. Linden Lab accidentally exposed such a viewer a few weeks ago, but quickly moved it back to a private status, so there is an awareness that a viewer is in development. Whether the speculation is right or wrong will be revealed in the fullness of time!

Interest List Update

As noted above, the viewer-side updates to the Interest list project continue to evade a project viewer release, but are expected to appear “soon”. While the code does not contain any mandatory changes TPVs must adopt, there are obviously optimisations within the code which will be beneficial for TPVs to pick-up once the repository is public.

Group Ban List

Baker Linden continues to make good progress with the group ban list project. He is currently working on what he sees as the last major part of the initial work: getting the viewer connected to the server. After that, he reports he has “a lot of security checks, and some minor additions”. There’s still no date for a project viewer, but it would appear that it is not that far from reaching a status of “real soon now”.

HTTP Update

Monty Linden is continuing to work on his HTTP updates, although he has most recently been trying to get the ” bureaucratic details” sorted and getting a QA pass on both the server-side and the viewer side work. He’s also trying to get a DNS fix in as well, which he describes as the “great DNS look-up failures problem” which the Lab has had for a number of years. He thinks he has a fix for the issue, but he’s not 100% certain.

Monty's HTTP work is now focusing on mesh connections
Monty’s HTTP work is now focusing on mesh connections

In terms of the HTTP work, Monty is trying to get a project viewer lined-up, and describes the major feature within it as being the reduction of the number of connections used by mesh so that it will be possible to start using keepalives  with mesh as well.

As I’ve previously reported, Monty has already reduced the number of mesh connections from 32 to 8. Going forward, eight will be the new default (rather than 32), with the aim being to cap the total number of mesh connections used by the viewer, with adaptive throttling and two different re-try schemes. The hope is that this will further improve network utilisation by creating more effective viewer / server connections; it should also help less capable routers.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 34 (2): Server, viewer, group ban list, HTTP”