Of literature and performing art

Wilanow Palace and Gardens,Oceanea

As might be apparent from some of the coverage of events and activities in this this blog, I enjoy literature and the arts. Reading in particular is a passion of mine, and I have a voracious appetite for both non-fiction and fiction across a broad range of subjects and genres. So it’s a little surprising that it has taken me a while to find my way to writing about Luminaux and Oceanea.

Luminaux is home to the Illumination Library, founded by Librarian & Bookmaker, Farzaneh Eel. Here, set within a garden designed by Xinoxi Han, can be found an intriguing collection of in-world interactive books designed and created by Farzaneh, available in a range of languages and covering a wide range of topics – fiction, non-fiction, biographical studies, religious works, and so on.

The Illumination Library, Luminaux

The library is housed in two buildings, both by Xinoxi Han, and both in a somewhat 18th or 19th style. The primary (and, I would guess, older) of the two buildings offers three floors to explore, each of which offers numerous interactive books (and audio books) which can be enjoyed from the comfort of armchairs and sofas. works on offer here focus on the 19th Century, although are by no means exclusive to that time.

The annex building, facing the main library from across the region, has the feel of a more recent style about it.. Featuring three large halls, complete with gallery spaces, it is focused on religious tests, the works of William Blake and those of William Shakespeare, all beautifully bound and presented.

As well as the main library building, the gardens contain the library’s Biblio Shop, where interactive books can be purchased, and the garden gallery, a room offering visitors the chance to enjoy a game of chess or the chance to simply sit and chat.

The Illumination Library, Luminaux
The Illumination Library, Luminaux

Connected to Luminaux via a pair of stone bridges, Oceanea is the home to the Wilanow Palace and Gardens, the Royal Opera House and Ritz Ballroom.

Covering one half the the region, the palace may not be as expansive as somewhere like Angel Manor, but it nevertheless offers period rooms and a former garden for visitors to explore, and welcomes those who wish to do so – complete with opportunities to dance using the Intan systems scattered around the property.

Facing the palace across a further bridge spanning a deep cut in the land, sit the Royal Opera House and the Ritz Ballroom. Both bear the distinctive hallmarks of Kaya Angel (of Angel Manor fame), and have been positioned by Xinoxi Han, who designed the overall setting in which they are located, and who was also one of several contributors to the design of the palace and it gardens, along with Andy Loon, Xen Oller and 1Selene2012.

The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House, Oceanea

The Opera House is intended to “encourage, educate and support the best in classical arts (Music, Dance, Art, Opera, Theatre) throughout Second Life and beyond. To be informed of all the best classical events join Second Life”, and it is certainly a sumptuous building inside, with an imposing exterior which suits its surrounding perfectly. Productions are routinely held here, and those interested in keeping abreast of productions and performances can join the Second Life Opera Society group. The Ballroom, facing the Opera House across a fountained courtyard, presents a venue for live performances and dances.

Both Luminaux and Oceanea offering an interesting change for those who enjoy exploring Second Life, particularly if one has an interest in either literature (Farzaneh Eel’s books really are a delight – I could spend hours looking through her Shakespeare collection) or the performing arts. With the Wilanow Palace and Gardens just across the stream from the Royal Opera House, a visit to see a performance at the later can be enhanced by a wander around the former, particularly if accompanied by a friend.

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SL project updates week 49/3: TPV Developer meeting and VMM

The following notes are drawn from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, December 5th, as shown in the video below. Where relevant, timestamps are included in the article to allow for referencing to the video. My thanks as always to North for the recording.

SL Viewer

[00:30] The Benchmark viewer RC, containing the fix for the crash-on-start-up issue (see BUG-7776, BUG-7783), version, was promoted to the de facto release viewer on Friday, December 5th – release notes.

[21:15] One change that has come from the move away from the GPU table to benchmarking is that GPUs that may have been previously blocked (e.g. because they simply aren’t supported) are no longer blocked. This is because the Lab is no longer attempting to spend time on identifying GPUs that don’t work with SL. Instead, best efforts are made on the basis of the data obtained from testing a system’s GPU and applying the Lab’s own heuristics, but if a card doesn’t work with SL, the view being taken is that – it doesn’t work. A suggestion has been made where this is the case to provide some kind of feedback to the user informing them that their GPU cannot support SL.

[01:10] Data from the HTTP Pipelining RC, version, is still being being studied; however, it may not progress to release status. Whether this means further updates may be made or not prior to the viewer progressing further, isn’t clear.

[01:30] The Attachments RC, version, was withdrawn from the release channel on Wednesday, December 3rd, after being merged with the Maintenance release RC, However, the repository for the viewer which contains just the attachment fixes is being kept open for the time being to allow those TPVDs who wish to cherry-pick the fixes and incorporate them into their viewers.

[02:15] It is anticipated the the Experience Tools project viewer (currently version and the Viewer-managed Marketplace viewer (currently version will both be moving to release candidate  status “soon”.

Tool Chain Update

[13:24] The Lab is now “very close” to being able to build on both Mac (e.g. Xcode 6.1. with clang on Yosemite) and Windows (e.g. Visual Studio 2103) with the new Autobuild process “cleanly and with all the right stuff”.

[16:26] Linux is lagging well behind Windows and Mac in terms of the new tool chain, and the Lab welcomes any help TPV developers are willing to provide to help get it updated. In the meantime, it looks likely that the Windows and Mac versions of the viewer built using the new tools and process will start to be deployed once everything is ready, rather than being held-up while the Linux version of the viewer is brought up to speed.

CDN Update

[02:45] The Lab is continuing to “play with” how the CDN is working, making tweaks and changes, some of which have helped Highwinds make improvements to the service, and monitoring of the service is continuing. Thanks is again expressed to all those users who have helped the Lab pin-down issues.

Viewer-managed Marketplace

If you're a merchant or creator using the SL Marketplace, and haven't already done so, you might want to check-out the Viewer-managed Marketplace beta
If you’re a merchant or creator using the SL Marketplace, and haven’t already done so, you might want to check-out the Viewer-managed Marketplace beta

[03:20] Testing of the new Viewer-managed Marketplace (VMM) functionality is continuing on Aditi.

Various issues have been logged against the project, and the Lab has been addressing them. The testing facilities on Aditi will remain available through the holiday season to January – although, as noted above, the viewer may move from project to RC status in that time.

Beta testing is still very open to anyone with an interest in trying VMM out for themselves – particularly content creators and merchants who use the SL Marketplace, obviously. If you haven’t already availed yourself of the opportunity, the Lab encourages you to do so over the holiday period. Note that you must have the VMM project viewer and be on the VMM regions on Aditi in order to do so – see my VMM beta test and viewer overview.

In-world Meeting

Also, merchants and content creators should note that the Commerce Team is liable to hold a meeting to discuss VMM in the near future. This will mostly likely be held on Aditi, and Brooke Linden is organising it. So please watch for notice of the meeting via the forums, blogs, etc.

Avatar Z-offset Height Adjustment

[11:11] No major news here, other than “work is continuing”.

Other Items

Wiki Editing

[14:27] In October, the SL Wiki was made read-only (editable by LL staff only) while it underwent maintenance, and has remained that way since. However, updates are now being tested, and it is hoped that the wiki will be unlocked to allow users to edit (where applicable) soon.

Viewer Stats and GPU Frame Rates

[17:24] Some stats on viewers are being to be produced for TPVs once more, related to operating systems, and some have been produced (for the SL viewer) by GPU. This led to a request for the Lab to update an old Frame Rates by GPU table (bear in mind the table shown is very old, and doesn’t take into consideration a lot of more recent updates to SL which affect frame rates). This also came up at a recent Open-source development meeting, and Oz has passed a request onwards within the Lab to see if an updated for of the table could be produced.

Firestorm Release

The next Firestorm release is scheduled for 18:00 SLT on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014. This release will, among other things, include the group ban capability. I’ll have my usual review available when the viewer is issued.