There are no scheduled simulator deployments this week to either the Main or RC channels, and so no associated rolling restarted expected.
The Interest List RC finally made it to the de facto release viewer with its promotion on Tuesday May 5th (version 184.108.40.2069461). This leaves just three RC viewer in the release channel at present: SL Share 2 project viewer version 220.127.116.119497; Sunshine / AIS v3 RC version 18.104.22.1689441; and the Maintenance RC viewer version 22.214.171.1249405. Please refer to my Current Viewer Release page for up-to-date information on all viewer releases.
Simon Linden’s optimisation work for group chat was deployed across all of the back-end chat servers on Monday May 5th. while these should see some improvements in group chat (particularly in sending / receiving chat and moving between regions), Simon does warn that these optimisations are not expected to “fix” all of group chat. However, he will continue to work on further improvements as well.
New Starter Avatars
During his appearance at the VWBPE conference in mid-April, Ebbe Altberg appeared using one of the new starter avatars. At the time he did, it was hinted that the new avatars would be appearing relatively imminently. However, almost a month on and they have yet to officially appear, although there is some speculation they’ll do so in May.
these new avatars are said to take advantage of some of the latest features in SL, which is being taken to mean that some / all are full or partial mesh. This has in turn raised questions as to whether it is wise giving new starters full mesh avatars, given they may not work with freebie items often offered to or picked-up by new starters.
LSL Functions for Materials
While there is no confirmation any work is being carried out on this (except, as Simon quipped, “perhaps in a parallel universe or something”), the Lab is still sounding out how and where such calls would likely be used, and the frequency with which such calls would be made.
The option of having scripted control of materials has been debated often, and still remains a desired item among builders and scripters. However, some of the concerns still remain – notably, have such capabilities might end up causing performance issues, deliberately or otherwise. Much has already been written on how rapid map flipping on multiple objects could deliberately impact performance and potentially result in viewer crashes, plus there are already animated mesh elements available which can also have a significant impact on viewer performance (some types of animated mesh tail can reportedly overload a viewer on a 32-bit system with out-of-memory errors in a matter of seconds), so there are also concerns that were this to be combined with the ability to change textures via script, they could (even unintentionally) have further dramatic impacts on performance.
One way around this would be to throttle the rate at which material maps can be changed via scripted command. What is interesting for the moment is that the Lab appears to have not completely closed the door on scripted control of materials, but is considering options and informally seeking feedback on potential use cases.