SL projects update 25/1: server, viewer, pathfinding and surprise guest

The Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th was busy even before the unannounced guest dropped in (see below)
The Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th was getting busy even before the unannounced guest dropped in (see below)

Server Deploys, Week 24

As usual, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information.

Main (SLS) Channel

On Tuesday June 17th, the Main channel was updated with the Group Ban project, which was previously on the LeTigre RC.  As the name implies, this project adds the ability to ban users from groups (see also SL Viewer Updates, below) – release notes.

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday June 18th the three RC channels should be updated as follows:

  • LeTigre should receive a new server maintenance project this week, which comprises an anti-griefing measure – release notes
  • BlueSteel should remain on the Sunshine / AIS v3 project, the viewer for which was promoted to the de facto release viewer (version 3.7.9.290582) on Monday June 16th. In addition, BlueSteel should receive the Main channel update with the Group Ban project and the anti-griefing update deployed to LeTigre – release notes
  • Magnum should remain on the Experience Tools project. In addition, Magnum should will receive the Main channel update with the Group Ban project and the anti-griefing update deployed to LeTigre – release notes.

SL Viewer Updates

Release Viewer

On Monday June 16th, the MemShine release candidate viewer, (version 3.7.9.290582, was promoted to the de facto release viewer. This viewer includes the final Sunshine AIS v3 updates (promoting the Lab to issue a blog post announcing the long-running project Shining is now complete), and also a series of memory leak fixes to help stabilise the viewer and hopefully reduce the number of memory related crashes.

Group Ban project Viewer

As noted above server-side support for the Group Ban project is being deployed to the main grid. To coincide with this, the Lab issued the Group Ban project viewer (version 3.7.8.290887) on Tuesday June 17th, which provides the necessary viewer-side support for accessing group ban functions. Initial instructions for using the viewer can be found in the release notes, and I’ve provided an overview as well.

Group Chat

Simon Linden recently completed an initial amount of work on group chat, implementing some small-scale optimisations which, while not expected to have “fixed” group chat, should have improved some aspects of using it, reliability-wise. He’s more recently had to work on what have been viewed higher priority items, but is hoping to make a return to group chat in the very near future and dig into it some more. “I learned a lot on the first pass,” he said on the matter during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th, “we got a lot more information on where the load is.  Thus I have hopes the next round will be better.”

Other Items

Pathfinding and Terrain Editing

BUG-772 “Simulator refusing to rez objects after 10 hour timeframe” was raised at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th. This is an issue where if you are carrying out terraforming work on a region with pathfinding enabled, and are also making frequent Pathfinding navmesh updates, your region will rapidly run out of memory. the way to avoid this is to complete the terraforming activity, then rebake the navmesh and restart the region.

LSL Enhancements

Ideas were tossed around the Simulator User Group meeting on the limitations of LSL, many of which may only be resolved through a complete re-build of LSL, something which is unlikely to happen, as Simon Linden indicated in the meeting, “I don’t think we’re going to touch the internal design of LSL if we can help it.” Which doesn’t mean there will not continue to be enhancements to LSL functions etc.

One suggestion made to get around some of the issues was for the development of a viewer-side scripting language which might handle certain local functions and abilities. Responding to this, Simon would only say, “That would be a wonderfully big project :).”

Camera Control Options

The SL camera (both its default position and its control mechanism) frequently come up for criticism / discussion. Feature request BUG-6325 lists a series of additional parameters for managing the camera via LSL, the idea being to add functionality for more immersive activities in Second Life.

Commenting on the list of parameters, Simon Linden said, “I think there are some interesting ideas in there but we’ll have to sort through it,” with Kelly Linden adding, “I don’t know a lot about the LSL camera system internals, so can’t really comment too much on that one. It is an old system and I don’t know how extensible it really is.”

Currently the request has been imported by the Lab and added to their list of suggestions to be looked at.

Surprise Guest

The Simulator User Group meeting featured a surprise guest – Ebbe Linden. The Lab’s CEO popped in mid-way through the meeting and took a very impromptu and light Q&A from those attending at the end of proceedings.

Ebbe Linden drops in on the Simulator User Group meeting
Ebbe Linden drops in on the Simulator User Group meeting

Despite a recent update, the new start avatars still have some drawbacks and issues. Given Ebbe tends to use one, they inevitably came up for discussion, with Ebbe acknowledging some of the limitations, and indicating the Lab were poking at them.  “Face is not doing anything with the new avatars…bummer…,” he said, continuing, “we’re looking at that to see if we can get eyes and mouths cranking again… I agree face is critical and having a stone face like my current avatar is not cool… a couple of steps forward and a step backwards.”

Experience Tools were also raised, as in when they might be appearing, to which Ebbe replied, “Experience tools are getting closer…Simon may know better how close….we just did a big test of them earlier today…but I’m not sure when they’ll be ready for prime time…soon I hope…” Sadly, as he’s not directly involved in the work readying that project for deployment, Simon could add little more to Ebbe’s statement.

The possible return of avatar last names was also raised, with Ebbe giving a similar response to Rod Humble’s eventual feedback on the matter a couple of years ago, “Last names…it just seems to be a bigger project than one would think.” He then continued, somewhat intriguingly, “and keeps getting bumped by higher priorities…” Which suggests the Lab may actually still have it on a list, somewhere …

3 thoughts on “SL projects update 25/1: server, viewer, pathfinding and surprise guest

  1. I wonder why LL shelved the almost completed integration of C# scripting developed by Babbage Linden some years ago, considering that even the Lindens in the dev department were supportive of it. Maybe Ebbe should look into that and consider resuming that project.

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    1. I can see many things go wrong if the Lab lets such a powerful language in the ends of the users. We’ve all seen what they can do with just LSL, imagine with a whole language… That being said, with the proper sandboxing or limitations, it could be extremely useful. We could even make vehicles that behaves a lot better, hopefully.

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