Kokua issues AIS test viewers

kokua-logoAs regular readers here will know from my weekly SL project reports, Linden Lab is (among other things) working on the final clean-up of the Server-side Appearance (SSA) code. A large part of this work is directly linked to inventory handling, and is being referred to as the Advanced Inventory Service version 3 updates (AIS v3).

The primary aims aim of these updates is to address a series of inventory issues outstanding from the implementation of SSA, and to aggregate some operations that are currently multiple things into a smaller set of more powerful APIs. As noted in my last update covering AIS, the viewer-side code has reached a point where the Lab is both keen to progress with further testing. This being the case, the Lab has asked TPVs if they could incorporate the updates into experimental versions of their viewers so that they might assist with the testing.

Integrating the AIS v3 code isn’t as straightforward for those viewers which support both OpenSim and SL as it is for those that are focused solely on SL, as the AIS updates have been combined with a removal of the old client-side baking code from the viewer, as this is no longer required by the Lab. So in order to ensure avatar baking continues to work when users log-in to an OpenSim environment, those TPVs supporting both environments with a single viewer are having to ensure the client-side code is not lost when incorporating the new SSA / AIS updates.

On November 6th, Nicky Perian reported that Kokua has now done this, and has a test viewer for Windows available in the former version 3.6.9.30799, which is available in both 32-bit and 64.bit flavours.This viewer both includes the AIS updates and retains the client-side avatar baking code.

As the AIS code is still under development, it is not recommended that either version of this test viewer is used as the primary viewer for logging into Second Life. The primary reasons for making the viewer available are to:

  • Allow SL users to test inventory transactions, including changing avatar body parts and body part parameters (for example, eye colors) using the dedicated test regions which have been established on the SL Beta test grid Aditi (sunshinesls, sunshinesls1, sunshinetest, sunshinetest1)
  • Allow OpenSim users to also test inventory transactions and avatar baking on an OpenSim, and check for any unexpected changes to expected behaviour when compared to the latest release viewer.

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New England in the fall

{Noble} New England
{Noble} New England

In April 2013, I visited the Isle of Myrth, a full region which is both home to the Noble Family and which is also generously open to the public for visits and photography.

At the time of my first visit, the Noble Family were celebrating the works of Beatrix Potter, and the isle contained many touches that reflected her writings. Now the seasons have moved on, winter is sitting on our shoulders in the northern hemisphere, and the Isle of Myrth has been reworked to represent scenes from New England in the autumn (or should I say fall?).

{Noble} New England
{Noble} New England

The change in look and feel couldn’t be more apparent, although there are familiar touches for anyone who visited the region back in April. The lighthouse is still there, for example, acting as both the arrival point and (I think) the gallery for a photo contest, of which more shortly.

Step outside of the lighthouse, and you’ll find yourself on a small promontory, the island before you, covered in what might best be described as coastal mist which tends to hide more than it reveals, and which – to me at least – undersells the beauty of the island to the newly arrived.

In this, I admit to being biased. Autumn in New England has for me always conjured-up images  of crisp autumn days where trees are burdened with leaves Irish Setter red, ready to flutter down and blanket the ground under crystal blue skies, or where the lowering clouds tint the horizon and a soft rain makes us think of the colder days to come, and recall the warmer days that have passed.

{Noble} New England
{Noble} New England

However, windlight issues can be quickly rectified to suit one’s taste, and certainly aren’t an impediment to the willing explorer. And once taken care of, the island offers more than enough to compensate for spending a few minutes fiddling with your viewer while switching between windlight options. As with all of the Noble Family’s work, there is mush here that is worth taking the time to explore and more than enough to keep happy snappers snapping.

From the lighthouse, you can stroll across a golden beach, then follow a stream inland to a small land-locked lake, complete with boathouse, an old parish church sitting across the water, long converted into a place to shelter from the fall rain and sit and chat with friends.

{Noble} New England
{Noble} New England

Paths and wooden walkways wind through, over and around the isle, offering the visitor many different routes by which it can be explored. Whether you opt to follow the paths up and around the old church and over assorted bridges and crossing to reach the hilltop playground, or take the steeper climb up to the old barn, or decide follow another meandering stream back to the coast and from there up to the old race track, is entirely up to you. Whichever way you roam, you’re likely going to want to keep your eyes peeled and camera ready.

While exploring, do please be aware that as mentioned above, although the region is open to the public, it is also home to the members of the Noble Family, with their house and gardens located towards the north-west corner. So do please respect their privacy when wandering close to the house.

The photo contest kicks-off on November 15th and runs through until 12:00 noon SLT on November 30th. Details are actually scant, but I assume entries are to be made via the Noble Flickr Group, and winning entries will be displayed in-world at the Noble lighthouse.

All told, this is another delightful re-working of a region which has rightly had a long line of fans and visitors. If you’ve not visited Isle of Myrth in a while – or never at all – I can only urge you to don your coat and grab a hat and go enjoy New England scenes in the fall. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. And having managed to include a line for a song I like in the body of this article, I’ll leave you to enjoy the song in full.

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