Updates for the week ending: Sunday June 22nd, 2014
This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:
It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information
Official LL Viewers
Current Release version: 188.8.131.520582 June 16th (formerly the MemShine RC – combining the MemPlugs memory leak fixes and sunshine AIS v3
SL Share 2 RC viewer updated to version 184.108.40.2061134 on June 19th – ability to upload Tweets and snapshots to Twitter and / or snapshots to Flickr (download and release notes)
Snowstorm viewer prompted to RC and updated to version 220.127.116.111042 on June 19th – numerous code contributions including STORM-1831 Obtain LSL syntax table from simulator so that it is always up to date; STORM-1966 Block installation on old and unpatched versions of Windows and STORM-68 Allow setting of default permissions on creation of objects, clothing, scripts, notecards, etc. (download and release notes)
Group Ban project viewer version 18.104.22.1680887 released on June 17th – allows certain group members to ban avatar from a group or from joining a group When an existing group member is banned, they are also automatically ejected from the group (download and release notes)
Magnum remained on the Experience Tools project, but also received the group ban server code and the anti-girefing measure – release notes.
BlueSteel remain on the Sunshine / AIS v3 project, and the but also received the group ban server code and the anti-griefing measure, the viewer for which was promoted to the de factorelease viewer on Monday June 16 – release notes.
There has been some interest voiced at both the Simulator UG meeting and the Server Beta UG meeting, in the “anti-griefing measure” deployed to the three RCs this week. Commenting on this at the Server Beta meeting on Thursday June 19th, Maestro Linden said, ” I think I’ll be able to discuss the change next week,” (after it has been deployed to the Main channel as well). ” But right now, some people would unfortunately use the information as a how-to-grief instructional.”
The LSL functions for materials may be set to arrive on an RC in week 25. This depends on how this week’s RCs continue to perform, but assuming the anti-griefing measure on LeTigre is promoted to the Main channel, then that RC would theoretically be available for the LSL functions for materials, assuming no significant bugs are filed against it as a result of Aditi testing.
TPV Developer Meeting
A TPV developer meeting took place on Friday June 20th. The core items discussed in the meeting are reported below, with timestamps in the relevant paragraphs indicating the point at they are discussed in the video embedded here.
As has been noted elsewhere, the meeting was attended by Ebbe Linden, who took an impromptu Q&A session at the end of the meeting. This commences at around the 51:00 mark in the video. While this report does not cover that Q&A session, information on his comments about the Lab’s in-development new virtual world platform can be found in Ebbe confirms: “we’re working on a ‘next generation’ platform” (with audio).
My thanks, as always, to North for the video.
SL Viewer Updates
[0:01:18] The SL Share 2 viewer, providing Flickr and Twitter upload support and the snapshot filtering capabilities for both and for snapshot uploads to Facebook was updated to version 22.214.171.1241134 on Thursday June 19th, bringing it to parity with the current release viewer code base
The Snowstorm viewer, released as a project viewer on June 12th was updated to version 126.96.36.1991042 on June 19th, bringing it to parity with the current release viewer code base, and issued as a release candidate viewer. This has had a significant bug reported against it, which is currently being fixed. As such, it is unlikely that this RC will be in the running for promotion until after it has been refreshed with the fix and the updated version has been in the viewer release channel sufficiently long enough for the Lab to obtain meaningful statistics on its performance.
Avatar System Clothing Layers
[0:4:00] BUG-6258, “Popularity of Mesh Attachments Facilitates Need For More Alpha Layers” is a request to raise the number of alpha layers which can be concurrently worn (at the moment this is 5).
Rather than increasing the number of an individual layer which can be worn (such as alphas), the Lab is considering setting a global limit – so as with attachments, an avatar can wear as many clothing layers in any combination, up to the global limit (with attachments, this is set to 38).
The Lab is still investigating this approach in terms of feasibility and what the upper limit for clothing layers might be for an avatar. Until they do make a final determination on the issue, they have requested TPVs do not arbitrarily add to the existing layer limits, as there is a risk that anything the Lab does do on this front may conflict with alternatives put in place by TPVs.
SL Experience Tools
[0:07:10] The major technical announcement of the TPV meeting was that the long-awaiting Experience Tools will be entering a beta test phase in the very near future. You can catch-up on this in my initial Experience Tools overview.
Z-offset Height Adjustment Proposal
[0:39:06] One of the issues with the introduction of Server-side baking is that it broke the “Z-offset” capability common to many third-party viewers. This allowed the vertical height of an avatar above the ground to be adjusted, such that sits and kneels don’t leave the avatar apparently floating in the air, and which allow those with very tall / giant avatars or very small / petite avatars and those wearing full body mesh to similarly adjust their vertical placement relative to the ground / floor.
In response to the issue being raised as a bug report (see SUN-38, “As users of kneel/lay/sit animations and tiny/giant avatars, we need a way to change the body size in SSB sims”), the Lab, via Nyx Linden, introduced the hover feature, which allows an avatar’s standing height to be adjusted to some degree via an appearance slider.
However, as a solution, it has a number of limitations (your shape has to be modifiable, it won’t work in cases where you are trying to adjust your avatar’s default sitting / kneeling pose height to prevent floating, as the hover option requires the avatar to stand in the default shape edit pose, etc).
In order to try to revisit the problem and possibly gain a more thorough solution, Zi Ree from the Firestorm team has written a proposal document entitled Height offset Proposal.
This clearly explains the issues in not having a more flexible approach to adjusting height offset, and also offers a couple of suggestions on what might be done to improve things. This was presented to the Lab at the TPV Developer meeting, together with a concise demonstration by Jessica Lyon of some of the issues.
Obviously the Lab hasn’t at this point committed itself to tackling the matter, but those from the Lab at the meeting were appreciative that the proposal has been written and the issues / possible approaches clearly laid out. There has been an agreement to look into further, and there might be some feedback at the next TPV Developer meeting (scheduled for July 18).
[0:48:20] The Lab continues to work on the Cocoa issues affecting Mac users and there is some good news from them and Firestorm:
The Lab has a fix for the ALT-cam bug, which is expected to be in the next Maintenance RC viewer
Firestorm has a fix for the issue of severe typing lag when in a location with several other avatars (see: FIRE-12172). If successful, this is likely to be contributed to the Lab, and once in a Firestorm release, may see version 4.4.2 of that viewer blocked.