SL viewer mini-update

There have been a few end-of week updates to the SL viewer release channel.

  • As noted in part 2 of my week projects update, the Hotfix RC viewer was updated to version 3.7.4.288138 on March 18th
  • Two new RC viewers entered the channel during the week in the form of:
    • The latest iteration of the Google Breakpad RC, version 3.7.4.288045, on March 17th
    • The StatTest RC, version  3.7.4.288282, on March 20th
  • Neither of the latter two include functional changes compared to the current release version of the viewer (3.7.3.287491).

Because the arrival of the Google Breakpad viewer and the StatTest viewer pushed the total number of RCs in the release channel to seven, the Project Interesting RC viewer (3.7.3.287127), the SL Voice RC viewer (3.7.3.287288) and the Sunshine / AIS v3 RC viewer (3.7.3.287158) have been temporarily withdrawn from the release channel (all were incidentally due a rebuild anyway).

Both of the latter two RCs will be returning to the release channel, most likely in updated versions, once the total number of RCs currently in the channel has been reduced.

Related Links

Patterns to get new “cleaner” UI

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

With recent focus being on the axing of three of LL’s initial new product offerings – and particularly Versu – it is easy to forget that the longest-running of LL’s moves to diversify is still out there, and actually has yet to officially launch in a release mode.

I’m of course talking about Patterns, LL’s PC / Mac game / content building sandbox application. This first appeared in September 2012, although there had been clues as to its name, if not what it would be about, as far back as July 2012, when Rocky Constantine spotted what appeared to have been a slight boo-boo.

I’ve not followed Patterns as closely as perhaps I could, but I have tried to provide periodic updates under my Patterns tag (menu: News-Updates-Opinion > Linden Lab > LL Products > Patterns), including recent notes on it gaining the ability for users to edit and create their substances, followed by support for materials.

The original Patterns UI
The original Patterns UI

While still in its “Genesis” form, Patterns has built-up a small but strong following in the gaming community and via the likes of Desura and Steam. Many of those who have purchased Patterns have provided feedback and input to the game’s development over the last 18 months, which have seen new capabilities added, functionality improved and a number of enhancements to the UI.

The Patterns UI as seen during a Liverstream event with members of the Patterns team (lower right)
The Patterns UI as seen during a Livestream event with members of the Patterns team (lower right)

On March 18th, 2014, the Patterns team revealed that as part of the run-up to release (which had originally been indicated as being “late 2013” when the Genesis version first appeared, but has yet to have a date firmly pinned to it), the UI will shortly be getting potentially its most radical overhaul yet, aimed at “optimizing the play space by cleaning up the real estate”, and which will see the move of the tools, substances, and shapes into “one clean area at the bottom of the screen, where you’ll be able to quickly toggle between each of these different toolbars with ease by hitting the Q or E buttons on your keyboard.”

Patterns: extensive UI overhaul coming soon
Patterns: extensive UI overhaul coming soon

There’s currently no ETA on when the new UI will appear in Patterns, but the team are promising more sneak peeks in the future as work continues. Also coming in the future, I assume under a separate cover, is the Patterns scripting capability, which should further enhance the application’s creative capabilities.

I’ll endeavour to update as further releases are made for those of you still following Patterns.

SL projects updates 12/2: Group chat

Server Deployments: week 12 – recap

Short and to the point: there weren’t any.

Upcoming Release Items

There are a couple of things server-side making their way towards a release:

  • Fix for login issues of agents with number display names – this is a fix an issue where users with display names made-up of numbers are unable to log-in. “It was a subtle change in a low-level library that started treating those as numbers and not strings,” Simon Linden said of the issue’s origins.
  • Fix for llTakeControls() issues with multiple scripts with mixed parameters in same prim

These fixes are liable to testing on Aditi prior to moving to an RC.

SL Viewer

On Wednesday March 18th, the Hotfix viewer was updated to version 3.7.4.288138. This now lists three core issues as being addressed:

  • Crash fix (MAINT-3703)
  • Update FmodEx library to 4.44.31
  • Additional work for MAINT-2718 (Linux viewer was using logging version of library)
A typical Server Beta meeting
A typical Server Beta meeting

Group Chat

As indicated in part 1 of this week’s report, there is work underway to try to improve group chat. A small-scale test with a dozen people  was carried out with some of the initial improvements during the Sever Beta meeting on Thursday March 20th.  “This is really a test that shows it doesn’t fall over with minor load,” Simon Linden said of it.

During the test, those present were asked to send lots of short messages at speed to two test groups while moving around and between various regions (walking, flying, teleporting).  Few issues appeared to be noted, at least none that Simon indicted he was interested in (e.g. messages showing delay between being sent and appearing), but as noted, it was a small group. In terms of what has been done with the code and plans for the future, Simon went on:

Basically I dug into the code and found some inefficient parts and cleaned them up.  I also added more metrics, so I’m hoping it can show an improvement.  I’m pretty sure it will be better, but it’s really hard to guess how much better. I’m hoping to test it on the main grid soon.  It would get put on a server and then it would affect a fraction of the groups.  I can pick one group to target and make sure it covers that group.

As chat is handled back dedicated back-end servers, no simulator or viewer change will be required to take advantage of this work as it progresses. If the logs from this initial test show nothing unpleasant or unexpected, and providing LL’s QA are happy, testing on the main grid could start in a week’s time.