SL project updates week 9/1: server, viewer

China Grove - blog post
China Groveblog post

Server Deployments, Week 9

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

  • There was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, February 24th
  • On Wednesday, February 25th, all three RC channels will receive the same server maintenance package, which comprises:
    • A server-side fix for BUG-8297, “Unable to teleport anywhere using SLGO”
    • Improvement to server logging.

The SL Go teleport issue only affected users running the SL Viewer (SLV) supplied by OnLive, who run the SL Go service (it did not affect those using Firestorm on SL Go), and was the result of a recent server-side code clean-up which meant that OnLive’s SLV was essentially using an invalid channel name when instigating teleports, causing them to fail.

OnLive implemented a workaround for the issue on their side of things on February 3rd, however, the update included in the RC package noted above provides a fix on LL’s side of the connection as well.

SL Viewer

On Tuesday, February 24th, the Maintenance RC viewer, version 3.7.25.299021, was promoted to the de facto release viewer.  This release includes a large number of improvements and fixes to the viewer, as listed in the release notes.

This currently leaves just the new log-in viewer RC (version 3.7.25.298971 released on February 17th) and the Experience Tools RC (version 3.8.0.298001 last updated on January 15th) in the release channel for the time being.

Experience Keys / Tools

The initial release of Experience Keys / Tools is still awaiting various back-end updates to clear the Lab’s QA department, with the viewer remaining at RC status until that happens (see above). As previously noted in my Experience Keys reports, the initial release of the functionality will not support grid-wide experiences, although are likely to be on the roadmap for future enhancements.

Once released, the current iteration of the functionality is liable to be allowed to run for a number of months before the Lab starts making  (or releasing) updates, with Oz Linden commenting at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, February 24th, “there will be another round of improvements to Experiences at some point, but we’re going to give the first round some time to be adopted before we go too far with those.”

Group Chat

Group chat work is continuing, with the recent changes to handling server lock-ups reducing the number of reported freezes.

Simon Linden is also continuing to look at the code side of things, and specifically issues with group chat visibly “stalling” which switching between chat tabs and / or as a result of moving between regions. This work has been the subject of a series of “mini-tests” during the Server Beta User Group meetings held on Thursdays, and resulted in some recent code updates. Commenting on this at the SUG meeting, Simon said, “The new code also showed me details about one way the system fails, so I hope to make that better at recovering,” so further updates can likely be expected, although this may not be as broadly visible to many users as the initial group chat improvements.

Lab asks educators to share their success stories

secondlifeLinden Lab has issued a blog post and started a discussion thread in the forums on the subject of educational success stories in Second Life.

In particular, they are keen to hear of success stories within the educational sector and by those who have been using the platform for educational purposes (outside of teaching new residents how to use Second Life, An area in which the Lab already knows there are in-world organisations at work in that area as well).

The blog post reads in full:

Are you an educator seeing positive results from using Second Life? We’d love to hear from you! Please join us in this Education Forum thread to share your answers to the following questions:

  1. What educational organization do you represent?
  2. How do you use SL in your educational endeavours?
  3. Most importantly, what positive results have you seen from using SL?

From direct conversations, press coverage, and the like, we’ve heard of a number of organizations seeing positive results using Second Life for education, but we’re always eager to hear more and we hope you’ll add your voice to the thread.

Thanks!

Commenting on the post and requires, Peter Gray, the Lab’s Director of Global Communications told me, “We kicked off this thread because having a current collection of shared success stories is certainly helpful to our PR efforts, helps further our understanding of that community, and can also be a useful resource for people who may be interested in using SL in similar ways. We’ve spoken directly with a number of educators active in SL and certainly keep an eye out for these kinds of stories in the press as well, but we’re always eager to hear more.”

And it is not only educators and educational institutions the Lab wished to hear from, as Peter went on to state, “While we’re particularly interested in success stories from educators affiliated with educational institutions, we’d also be happy to hear from anyone who’s seen positive results using SL in their educational endeavours.”

So, if you do have a story of educational success and Second Life to tell, please be sure to join the conversation.