SL projects update week 40 (1): server releases, group ban list, interest list

Server Deployments – Week 40

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

Second Life Server (Main Channel)

There have been no updates to the Main channel.

Second Life RC BlueSteel, RC Magnum, and RC LeTigre – Wednesday October 2nd

All three RCs should receive the same maintenance package comprising:

  • A fix for a bug affecting group notice delivery to large groups whereby the notice randomly fails to reach some group members
  • Interest list preparatory work for more correct sort order during scene load
  • New JSON_DELETE option to llJsonSetValue(), for deleting elements in JSON strings. Usage: ‘string output_json = llJsonSetValue(string input_json, [list location, JSON_DELETE)’ will delete the element specified by the location argument

Release notes: BlueSteel, LeTigre and Magnum.

Simulator UG meeting, October 1st, 2013
Simulator UG meeting, October 1st, 2013

Region Crossing Issue Update

Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday October 1st, Andrew Linden reported that both he and Maestro had been looking into the recent problems with region crossings which have been hard to pin down to a specific cause. However, Andrew was confident one cause had now been identified, saying:

It appears that there is a bug when vehicles cross region boundaries on parcels with autoreturn. “In particular, if the vehicle has been on the parcel long enough to trigger autoreturn, it won’t actually get autoreturned because someone is sitting on it. But when it tries to cross the region boundary with the rider things fall apart.

Simon Linden indicated he had a proposed fix for the issue, which he wanted to discuss with Andrew outside of the meeting, but hopes that the fix will be in a position to be deployed in week 41 (commencing Monday October 7th).

Group Ban List

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

Following-on from the update given on his behalf at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday September  27th, Baker Linden appeared at the Simulator User Group meeting to provide a rapid-fire update on his latest state-of-play with the group ban list work (see JIRA VWR-29337):

Today I’ll be working on merging the viewer code with what’s in release, and I’ll be working on getting up some actual builds to deploy to a grid for internal testing (it is not Aditi yet). so by the end of the day, I should have all the components deployed and ready for internal testing, and depending on how well that goes, it’ll be ready for Aditi soon!

In terms of the viewer code becoming visible, Baker believes his project viewer repository will become visible soon, most likely around the time of the next TPV developer meeting, when he is due to explain the new functionality.

In the meantime there’s still some further work required on the code, as he explained. “There are still a few small bugs and issues I have to work on in the code — I’ll be working on those while internal testing is happening. There’s a major refactor in llpanelgroupinvite, which is what I’m trying to hand-merge today.”

Interest List Work and Video

Andrew Linden has been finishing-up on some additional interest list work, and is now looking to produce a video showing the “before” and “after” scene loading within a region. The “before” part of the filming is already in the can, but the region he used is now “long gone”, and so he picked-up a few suggestions from the Simulator group on regions which may offer go locations for shooting the “after” segment of the film. Essentially he’s looking for regions with lots of objects be which are not ridiculously overloaded with textures.

Other Bits

Render Weights and Calculations

Work has been going on around the issue of render weights and how they are calculated. The current Maintenance viewer has code for a new “automatic avatar render limit and feedback system”.

Que Niangao raised concern at the meeting and on the SLU forum that a constant forming a part of this system – OBJECT_RENDER_WEIGHT, which requires feedback from the viewer, and so might be used for grefing people; such as through a viewer tweaked to return highly inflated numbers for others in a region, thus allowing it to become a tool for griefing.

Responding to Que’s enquiry, Simon Linden said, “Yes … OBJECT_RENDER_WEIGHT needs to be used carefully. First, the way that is calculated is likely to change … I’m going to be working on it today, in fact.”

He went on to indicate that he’s been gathering data on avatar weightings (samples from about 500 avatars) which he’ll be using to make the changes, although he may be seeking further assistance. The changes he’s looking to make are on the server, but he was a little circumspect on details out of concern that going too deeply into how things work on the server as do so could make it easier for the unscrupulous to game the system.

One area where the new system will hopefully have an impact is in preventing the use of worn sim laggers impacting a region as can currently be the case.

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Patterns: of web updates, livestreams and more

Update, October 9th, 2014: Linden Lab announced that development work on Patterns has been discontinued.

It’s been a while since I last looked in detail at Patterns, Linden Lab’s desktop sandbox environment for the PC and Mac. Since that time, the game has come on in leaps and bounds, adding many new features and capabilities, including multiple worlds, multi-player options, creatures, new playing modes and more.

The last significant update to the game itself was in May 2013; however, work developing both the game and the supporting websites is continuing – including the creation of a nascent Patterns wiki.

The updates Patterns website
The updates Patterns website

The forums have also had a much-needed overhaul in terms of appearance, although active participation remains small. They do see a reasonable amount of developer activity, particularly where features and updates are concerned – which is hardly surprising given the game is still in its Genesis mode until the end of the year – although responses to questions are perhaps a little slow. It’s been over a month since an “Ask the Devs” thread requested questions on the platform from users, and despite only four questions being asked, replies have yet to be posted.

The Linden Lab team responsible for Patterns recently held a live stream event in September, which they promised would be “the first”, run in association with Twitch TV. How many more there are liable to be is open to question, but it’s an interesting way of reaching out to the Patterns community and gaining feedback. It appears to have garnered a lot of interest.

The Patterns team at the Lab recently held an informal livestream event via Twitch
The Patterns team at the Lab recently held an informal livestream event via Twitch

The stream offered users the chance to see the devs, learn about features and ask questions – such as whether or not the game will gain a character editing mode (the team revealed that while discussions on the subject have been held, and the idea considered, no definite decision either way has been made), together with other questions on the possible future directions for the platform.

At just over an hour in length, the recording has some interesting tidbits for those who are enjoying Patterns. Unfortunately, WordPress.com refuses to let me embed the video, even via Gigya, so all I can do is provide a link.

A ram-like creature from Patterns (l) and a more malevolent monster (r)
A ram-like creature from Patterns (l) and a more malevolent monster (r)

If the Lab are keeping to their original roadmap for Patterns, the formal release of version one should come around the end of the year.

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Alki: a creative venue for music and more

Alki: the Z&A Coffeehouse and Art Gallery
Alki: the Z&A Coffeehouse and Art Gallery

I stumbled upon Alki by chance as I nosed through the Nature and Parks section of the Destination Guide. I’m attracted to places which offer a good teaser photo and an enticing description, and Alki’s entry does both, the description in particular reading:

 Alki is a living, evolving project inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Fun activities and scenic spots to play and hang with friends. Wander the peaceful forest path, take in an amazing sunset at the beach. Home to Z&A Coffeehouse & Art Studio.

Alki
Alki

It’s a charming place to explore, and offers those looking for a venue where they can listen to good music, dance and have fun exploring, swimming, playing games or sailing.

Surrounded by tall mountains, the region is sort-of divided into two. The north side of the island comprises a rocky plateau, on which sits the Z&A Coffeehouse, and beside it the Z&A Gallery. The former is a two-storey structure, the coffeehouse occupying the lower, complete with dance floor, bar, alcove seating and so on, while upstairs is what is probably best described as an indoor garden under a curving glass roof.

Alki
Alki

The art gallery is smaller than the coffeehouse, and fronts onto a circular outdoor dance floor. There are four ways off of the plateau: the path initially used to reach it after arriving in the region; a teleporter to a space station music venue out in deep space; a wooden stairway leading down to another music stage nestled under the shadow of the plateau; and a rope slide which takes you right across the region to the south side.

The southern part of the region is given over to open countryside. Here paths wind through a varied landscape of rugged terrain, open stretches of water, trees, and even to a small beach, all of which is laid out in a way which makes full use of the available land area in a very natural way. Nor does it end there. Follow the paths down to the south-east side of the island and you’ll come across a little campsite, with a water slide nearby, and just beyond it, a barge offering individual and group games, or you can take a little sailboat out on the water (do be sure to keep well inside the buoys out on the water if you do!) or go for a swim.

Alki
Alki

There are other imaginative uses of the available space which make Alki a joy to explore. Take one wooden stairway down from the coffeehouse for example, and you’ll come to the Dragonfly Inn, sitting on its own little outcrop overlooking the water below. Further down the rocky face of the plateau, wooden cabins cling to its face, limpet-like. There are even a couple of houses sitting on stilts out in the bay. Whether these are intended as private residencies or not, I’ve no idea; both are currently unfurnished (one appears as if it might still be under construction). Also, keep your eyes open for the local birds as they flit around, particularly down by the waters of the region.

Music is offered every Tuesday and Friday at the Z&A Coffeehouse  between 19:00-21:00 SLT, with a rotating choice of new indie, Goth rock, indie / alternative rock and pure punk through the Tuesdays of each month, and electro-darkwave every Friday.

Alki has been very creatively put together and offer much to see and do; if you’re looking for a place that offers a good mix of things to do, you might want to check it out.

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