SL projects updates 21/2: grid issues, server updates, viewer

Server Deployments week 21 – Recap

On Tuesday May 20th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package deployed to Magnum in week 20.This includes a bug fix for a networking-related issue that sometimes affects busy sims. Issues encountered during the deployment, but unrelated to it (see below) meant it had to be curtailed.

As a result, the Main channel deployment resumed on Wednesday May 21st, with the result that the deployments scheduled for the 21st in fact took place on Thursday May 22nd, as follows:

  • The BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs remained on the Sunshine / AIS v3 server-side code, and received the networking-related bug fix deployed to the Main channel
  • The Magnum RC received a new project, which includes changes related to the ‘Experience Tools’ project.

More on the Log-in and Grid Issues, Tuesday May 20th

Simon Linden identified the issue which caused log-in issues on Tuesday May 20th
Simon Linden identified the issue which caused log-in issues on Tuesday May 20th

During the Server Beta meeting on Thursday May 22nd, Simon Linden, who identified the problem, gave a further explanation of Tuesday’s grid issues, which prevented people from logging-in to SL.

Essentially, the log-in server was failing to give the viewer the correct token for it to connect to a region, so people actually got through the log-in phase when starting their viewer, but never connected to a region. “The conversation between the login server, your viewer and the region didn’t work any more,” Simon said.

Maestro then added, “After logins were restored, there was a period where the inventory servers got pretty ‘heated up’, probably from people logging in after hours of downtime, so inventory was bad for an hour or two.” It was apparently at this point that the decision was taken to suspend the Main channel server deployment and resume the work on Wednesday May 21st, pushing the RC updates into Thursday.

It is not anticipated that the problem will recur now it has been identified and rectified.

As a result, the scheduled maintenance that had been planned for Thursday May 22nd was cancelled. This work has yet to be rescheduled, and is apparently to be focusing on the database hardware. “Sims should have slightly faster access after the maintenance,” Maestro said of the work, “though I wouldn’t promise anything major.”

The Grid Status page will carry the revised date and time of the work once it has been rescheduled.

SL Viewer

As noted in these pages, The Lab released its Oculus Rift project viewer to the public on Wednesday May 21st, with an announcement in the main blog. The viewer, version, is aimed at getting people started on using the Oculus Rift in Second Life, rather than at providing a finished product with UI optimisations, and appears to be aimed towards encouraging early adopter of the Oculus Rift to try-out Second Life.

Also on Wednesday May 21st:

  • The Zipper viewer for faster installation was promoted from project viewer status to release candidate status with the arrival of the Zipper RC viewer, version in the release channel
  • The Sunshine / AIS v3 RC viewer returned to the release channel in the form of version, referred to as “Sunshine v2”.

These two viewer updates see the total number of release candidate viewers in the release channel rise to four once more. As also, details of updates in my Current Viewer Releases page.

Group Ban list

One of the required central updates for the group ban updates was deployed to Agni on Wednesday May 21st. A further update is needed before a server RC with the group ban code gets deployed, however. These updates are related to the central service to manage group bans.

 Other Items

LSL Functions for Materials

Not a lot to add here. As mentioned in part one of this report, Simon is now actively working on this functionality. He didn’t have too much to add during the Server Beta meeting, other than Maestro Linden has also been looking at the work Simon has done and has fixed a few issues. There’s still no date when the work might become visible for people to poke at.

LSL Functions for Projected Lights

Talk of LSL functions for materials saw talk of LSL functions for lighting projectors resurface (see SCR-163), prompting Simon to ask, “Does anyone have ideas how people might cause trouble with the projector LSL functions? I wondering how it might cause problems, other than lots of updates … and if it would be any different from rezzing stuff?” Nothing of any serious impact could be identified, although it’s not clear whether the Lab will poke at that or not once the materials LSL functions have been sorted.

Hiding Objects from View and Parcel Privacy

BUG-5671 is actually a feature request, and concerns the provision of a check box in the viewer’s Parcel Properties so that all objects outside that parcel would be not be rendered for anyone within the parcel boundaries. The request appears to be for a server-side function, and the JIRA has seen some heated debate on the matter.

Simon Linden revealed that while working on the parcel privacy option (which hides avatars inside a parcel, and blocks their chat from those outside of the parcel (and vice-versa), he looked at also blocking object views, “and even played with a prototype,” he said. “It’s pretty ugly because you end up with nothing there … at least in my simple code. “Then you walk onto the parcel and all the trees and house and stuff pops up … it was odd.”

However, he revealed the request has been imported by the Lab, so there might be some interest in doing something with it. Part of the debate around the idea on the JIRA has been on whether the setting should be enforced server-side or just within the viewer (so the user retains the choice as to what they see outside a parcel). Commenting on this, Simon said, “server-side would be better so you wouldn’t get updates for things you can’t see, but a cosmetic viewer-side option might be possible.”

So that’s another one to watch out for.