SL project updates 7/2: TPV Developer meeting

The Centaurs' Hall - blog post
The Centaurs’ Hallblog post

The following notes are primarily taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, February 13th. A video of the TPV Developer meeting is included at the end of the article (my thanks as always to North for recording it and providing it for embedding), and any time stamps contained within the following text refer to both it and the TPV Developer meeting.

SL Viewer

Avatar Hover Height (AHH)

[09:17] It had been expected that the Avatar Hover Height project viewer (version might have been replaced by a release candidate during the course of the past week. However, some of the reported issues are still being worked on, most of which are related to the code which tries to keep an avatar’s feet in contact with the ground, and problems which can occur in certain extreme cases. It is now anticipated that the viewer will be updated to a release candidate viewer once these issues have been fixed.

 Viewer Build Tools

[14:37] It had been hoped that this viewer would be updated with a release candidate version prior to the long weekend no change window (see below), however it didn’t clear QA in time. Unless something significant happens on the QA side, this viewer should therefore reach release candidate status some time during week 8 (Week commencing Monday, February 16th).

However, it is anticipated it will undergo further updates while at RC status, and so therefore is unlikely to progress directly from RC to the de facto release viewer in a short space of time. One such update might be to include various patches to further simplify the build process, notably for windows, for example.

Graphics Settings and Avatar Rendering

[19:49] This work is a combination of STORM-2082, which allows users to create and save multiple graphics settings defaults, and internal work carried out by the lab to help users improve their viewer performance by defining limited above which avatars with heavy rendering costs are replaced by a solid colour. A viewer with these updates has been under limited testing for a while,  and is liable to be appearing very soon, particularly given the Lab’s recent announcement on forthcoming improvements.

Mesh Importer

[23:43] There are a fair number of bugs and issues which have been identified with the current mesh importer project viewer (see the JIRA filter list for details), it is therefore unlikely that it will be progressing in the short term.

Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM)

[00:05] A new version of the Viewer-Managed Marketplace project viewer was released on Friday, February 13th, version This viewer includes updates as a result of feedback from initial testing on Aditi, and is available for further testing, but again must be used on Aditi in regions ACME D, E, or F.

A number of issues remain open with This update:

  • VMM-20 Include product listing ID in audit listings window results
  • VMM-18 Add “sort by age of listing creation”
  • VMM-17 Support listing folders at any level of Marketplace Listings folder.

A list of key changes can be found on the forum update announcing the release of the new version of the viewer, and further details on VMM can be found in the SL wiki FAQ.

This viewer doesn’t address all of the concerns raised during testing, as some are still being discussed internally by the Lab, and a decision has yet to be taken on whether to address the additional concerns (which are presumably non-viewer specific) prior to holding a feedback meeting, or whether to push ahead with a further feedback meeting which might encompass the use of the new project viewer. This largely depends on the likely time frame for addressing the remaining issues: it might be as little as a week or so, or it might potentially be a month or so.

Experience Keys / Tools

[06:34] The Lab is continuing to work on back-end issues which need to be sorted prior to the project progressing. It is still believed that none of these issues directly affect the viewer or will require updates to the viewer, however, it is unlikely the viewer will be updated (other than to maintain parity with any other viewer that might be promoted ahead of it), until such time as the Lab is confident they are ready to start pushing things forward again.

Group Chat

The Lab is also continuing to work on group chat, and a further mini-test took place during the Server Beta User Group meeting on Thursday, February 12th. This focuses on testing viewer-side freezes when opening and closing or swapping between group chat tabs, and chat update times when moving across region boundaries either physically for via teleports. The overall results of these tests were that users experienced almost no viewer-side freezes in comparison to the last tests, where some severe viewer lock-ups were experienced.

[10:27] Most of the effort on group chat is now being directed into these issues of stability and eliminating the need for servers to be restarted as a result of server-side freezes, given that one the whole, performance for the majority (all but some of the very largest groups) has been noticeably improved. In terms of the server freezes, progress is being made, with Oz reporting that there might only be once such instance a day now as a result of fixes already implemented, which is currently being iterated upon as a result of  the additional monitoring / logging capabilities the Lab have also introduced.

Attachment Issues

[24:52] There have been increasing reports on variations of a problem with attachment rendering following teleports / region crossings (e.g. attachments seem to detach and then re-attach, people see their attachments as missing while other see them as still attached – and vice-versa, and so on). Some of the issues are listed in BUG-6925, and the issues have been noted by the Lab.

The likelihood is that these issues are the result of more than one problem, and possibly the result of various race conditions resulting from the complexities of data packaging and hand-over required in both a region crossing and a teleport (which are both essentially the same things – the packaging and handing of data relating to an avatar and its attachments between simulators, and then passing of updated information to users’ viewers). Some also appear to be directly related to AIS v3 (as per BUG-6925) Currently, the Lab is still prioritising SL issues and problems, and  full determination as to what needs to be down to resolve these problems has yet to be made.

In the meantime, if you do encounter the problem, and you’re preferably using the official viewer, you might want to consider filing the following information via BUG-6925:

  • The specific time, origin region (the place you were crossing  / teleporting from) and destination region (the place you were crossing / teleporting to)
  • Avatar name
  • The item ID (UUID) for the attachment(s) exhibiting a problem
  • The viewer log that was recorded at the time the problem occurred.

This will at least provide the Lab with data they can use in further investigations into the issues, once matters have been prioritised.

Other Items

Presidents’ Day

Monday, February 16th marks Presidents’ Day in the United States and Linden Lab will be observing the holiday. This means that there is effectively a no change window in force from February 13th through 16th inclusive. This in turn means:

  • There will be no Open-source development meeting on Monday, February 16th
  • Any server-side deployments scheduled for the week commencing Monday, February 16th will most likely take place a day later than usual. So any Main (SLS) channel deployment will probably occur on Wednesday, February 18th and any RC channel deployments on Thursday, February 19th.

3 thoughts on “SL project updates 7/2: TPV Developer meeting

  1. Glad chat is being worked on — I never hear about group notices failing – both in viewer and to email.

    Some groups – never get. I’ve dropped – rejoined — to see if future notices go through – don’t. Some small groups some medium some huge– some I’ve put an alt in – same result.

    Never hear others complain about it– but am tired of sitting and having to click through all groups once or twice a week. And some notices appear days after being sent. Miss a lot of events, sales….


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