Lab seek suggestions on improving Second Life

secondlifeLinden Lab has launched a new feedback form, inviting platform users to offer up constructive suggestions on how the Second Life experience might be improved.

The blog post announcing the new form reads in full:

What’s the one thing Linden Lab could do that would have the biggest impact on further improving your Second Life experience?

Many Second Life users have thoughts on this – from different approaches for the way things are done today, to brand new features that could dramatically improve their experiences, to seemingly small things that could have a big impact. Today, we’re launching an easier way to share your ideas with us, a new “Feedback & Suggestions” page on SecondLife.com. You can also find this page by going to Help and finding New Feature Suggestions in the drop down.

Just sign-in with your Second Life account, select the topic or category that’s most appropriate, and describe your suggestion in the text box. Once you submit, you’ll see a confirmation page and receive an automated email as well. We won’t be able to reply individually to each suggestion, but every idea will be routed to the appropriate Lindens and each one will be reviewed and considered.

We’ll of course continue to be on the lookout for ideas as they continue to surface in social media, direct conversations, or via JIRA, but this new page should make it easier than ever for any Second Life Resident to share suggestions directly with us.

The new form is easily accessible via your Second Life web dashboard, or through the support portal page, where it appears as the "Suggestions" link in the lower right corner of the page
The new form is easily accessible via your Second Life web dashboard

Covering a range of topic categories, including the likes of avatars, communications, content creation, groups, inventory, commerce, land, mesh, navigation, performance, scripting, teleports, tools, user interface, viewer, and the all-important “other/unknown”, the new form is simple to complete, and can be accessed directly from your Second Life dashboard and the support portal.

As the form notes, it is not intended for support requests, bug reports, and other inquiries; these should continue to be directed through the Second Life Support Portal and the JIRA.

Also, please do remember that suggestions are being sought – not statements. So, for example, a demand for reducing tier isn’t going to gain much traction. But if you actually have a considered plan for how tier might be lowered in such a way as to not damage the Lab’s ability to generate the revenue it needs to continue operating (and have some good figures to support your case) – now is the time to drop them into the form and let them take a look.

The suggestions form can also be access from the SL support portal via the link in the lower right corner of the portal web page
The suggestions form can also be accessed from the SL support portal via the link in the lower right corner of the portal web page

Obviously, not every suggestion will be acted upon; but this is still nevertheless a good move by the Lab.

Up until now, the most direct route of putting an idea to the Lab has been via a “feature request” submission through the SL JIRA. However, the JIRA has been something a lot of users have preferred to steer clear of, seeing it as confusing and / or intimidating when trying to complete a report. Therefore, the offering of a simple, clean form for people to use is to be welcomed, and kudos given to the Lab for offering it.

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Latest AMD Catalyst™14.12 drivers continue SL rigged mesh woes

Firestorm users: don’t miss my review of the 4.6.9 release.

Update, March 21st: AMD have release a new set of Catalyst™ drivers, version 15.3 beta, which include a potential fix for the rigged mesh issues – see my notes here.

Update, February 28th: Singularity have issued a supplemental update to address mesh rendering issues.

Update, December 13th: Yoho Waco offers a work-around for this problem – see his comment following his article. As an Nvidia user, I cannot test the workaround myself, but feedback indicates it works. I’ve also added Yoho’s workaround with additional information as an article in its own right.

Update: I have been informed (see the comment following this piece from JC de Bes, that this issue also extends to the most recent  Omega drivers release.

Whirly Fizzle dropped me a line concerning the latest AMD Catalyst™ drivers update, 14.12, which is apparently being pushed out by AMD via automatic update.

As those on systems using AMD graphics cards are likely to be aware, there have been ongoing issues with the Catalyst drivers which have impacted Second Life, notably with regards to rigged meshes which, since the deployment of the 14.9.2 drivers by AMD, cause rigged mesh to be invisible unless hardware skinning is disabled (see BUG-7653).

The 14.12 Catalyst™ drivers currently being deployed by AMD do not address this issue; worse, as it is being pushed via automatic update from AMD, it may see an increase in issues being experienced for anyone using an AMD GPU, regardless of the viewer they are using, and even if they have recently rolled back to an earlier version of the driver.

The latest AMD Catalyst™ 14.12 drivers currently being deployed via automatic update continue the issue of driver issue: with Hardware skinning enabled, rigged messhes will not render (l); disable it, and they'll render OK (r) - click for full size; image courtesy of Maestro Linden
The latest AMD Catalyst™ 14.12 drivers currently being deployed via automatic update continue the issue of rigged meshes being invisible with Hardware skinning enabled (l), but visible with it is disabled. Image courtesy of Maestro Linden

The two ways of dealing with the problem / avoiding it, are to:

  • Either turn off hardware skinning off in the viewer (Preferences > Graphics > uncheck Hardware skinning), which is hardly ideal, or
  • Roll back to pre-14.9.2 Catalyst drivers via the AMD download site. Those affected should consider using (at the latest in terms of release numbers) version 14.9.1 – but be aware this driver has issues of its own (see BUG-7947 and BUG-7627). Therefore, the 14.4 drivers might be a better option.

Uninstalling  the current AMD video drivers may be warranted prior to installing older drivers, and there is a request within the JIRA report linked-to above that those affected by the issue also raise a bug report directly with AMD to help bring this matter more to their attention.