Fantasy Faire: I remember

I remember the sunrise seen from the top of Hope's Horizon
I remember the sunrise seen from the hall atop Hope’s Horizon

I remember walking the streets between wall and mountain.
I remember climbing stone-hewn steps and passing under arched passages.
I remember tall houses clinging to sheers faces of rock.
And I remember standing atop Hope’s Horizon as the sun came up.

I remember the finger of rock at Crimson Field
I remember Crimson field’s lone tower

I remember looking over a sea of red in a bowl of stone.
I remember the wind-blown ripples that dry-stirred its surface.
I remember walking through a field of roses.
And I remember  Crimson’s Field’s lone tower.

I remember Titan's Hollow
I remember Titan’s Hollow

I remember the sky-strung crystals and gilt-edged paths of glass.
I remember the needles of rock rising from shimmering waters.
I remember the colours so vivid atop the slender spires.
And I remember Haven Hollow’s wonder.

I remember walking the paths of Lotus Valley
I remember walking the paths of Lotus Valley

I remember the gentle waters, the narrow bridges and shuttered doors.
I remember Buddha sat by bamboo fingers, as incense burns close by.
I remember heron waiting and lions guarding.
And I remember Lotus Valley’s dragon, and his vigilant gaze.

But most of all, I remember those we've loved and lost
But most of all, I remember those we’ve loved and lost

But most of all, I remember all those we’ve loved and lost.
And each year so I also look forward,
Awaiting the Fairelands and their return.
To give us new hope, new wonders, new memories
That help us remember once more.

I remember is a new challenge presented to bloggers by the Fantasy Faire team, inviting us to share out memories of past Faires, the realms they’ve held, the forms we took whilst exploring them, the adventures they gave us, and the moments of wonder we felt.

So why not share your memories, or perhaps share in one of the three other challenges for bloggers? and don’ forget, if you intend to apply to be an official blogger and haven’t already done so, your application must be submitted by April 18th, 2015.

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SL Project updates week 15/2: TPV Developer meeting

Tillicum Island; Inara Pey, March 2015, on FlickrTillicum Island (Flickr) – blog post

The following notes are primarily taken from the TPV Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, April 10th, and from the Server Beta meeting held on Thursday, April 9th. A video of the TPVD meeting is included below, with any time stamps in the following text referring to the video. My thanks as always to North for the recording and providing it for embedding,

Server Deployments Week 15 – Recap

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread in the forums for the latest information and updates.

  • On Tuesday, April 7th the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance update previously deployed to the three RC channels, which sees UDP inventory messaging deprecated (HTTP Inventory in the viewer MUST be enabled for your inventory to fetch correctly / your avatar to render in your view –  details here and further notes below)
  • On Wednesday, April 8th all three RC channels received a new server maintenance package comprising a crash fix, minor CDN configuration updates and an internal server configuration update.

HTTP Inventory

[15:18] The Lab is still planning to remove the HTTP Inventory option and setting from their viewer “soon”. In addition, as a part of their overall work on improving inventory handling, the Lab is planning on removing the viewer-side code for UDP inventory fetching from their viewer, citing the time frame in which this is likely to happen as being “weeks or months, more likely months”.

Firestorm has already removed the option in preparation for their upcoming release, and has set that viewer so that if anyone currently has HTTP Inventory disabled, it will automatically be re-enabled in installing the new release over their older version.

Forthcoming Deployment

A new change destined for the RC channels is an update to llGetObjectDetails(), which adds new functions for avatar shape identification and hover height:

  • OBJECT_BODY_SHAPE_TYPE – returned list entry is a float between 0.0 and 1.0, -1.0 if the avatar is not found
  • OBJECT_HOVER_HEIGHT – returned list entry is a float, -1.0 if the avatar is not found.

SL Viewer

Avatar Layer Limits

[03:00] The Avatar Layer Limits viewer updated from project to RC status with the release of version 3.7.27.300567 on April 9th. This allows users to wear up to 60 wearable layers (jackets, shirts, tattoo, alpha, etc.) in any combination. Until these updates reach the main viewer (and all TPVs), those using it will find their layers will only adhere to the new global limit whilst using this RC viewer.

A update to the baking service which will enforce the new global limit  will be deployed once it has passed LL’s QA testing.

[05:23] Again, please note that this update only applies to avatar wearing (clothing) layers; it does not apply to attachments, which remain at the global limit of 38. The Lab currently has no plans to alter this, not only because they’re work to resolve a series of attachment issues, but also because large numbers of attachments on avatars can impact viewer performance due to the way in which they are handled.

[11:38] The above notwithstanding, a further update to the attachment fixes project viewer (currently at version 3.7.27.300377) is expected soon, possibly in week #16.

Maintenance Viewer

[06:36] The Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 7.27.300636 on April 9th. This viewer includes multiple fixes and improvements. It now appears that all of the issues reported against this viewer when first released have now been resolved, and subject to the performance of this new version as an RC, it looks set to be promoted as the next de facto release viewer.

Tools Update Viewer

[08:50] The “final” set of fixes and updates for the Tools Update RC viewer (currently version 3.7.27.300242) are with the Lab’s QA team. If all goes according to plan, these should be appearing shortly in an update to the RC viewer, which should then place it as the next-in-line for promotion to the de facto release viewer  after the Maintenance RC has been promoted.

Once this viewer does reach release status, it will mean the Lab will have switched to the new viewer build process. As a result, the official viewer will no longer install on Windows XP or versions of Mac OS X below 10.7. This will also be true of any TPVs which fully switch to the the new build process in the future.

Viewer-Managed Marketplace

[00:00] The first element of the server-side deployment occurred in week #15. However, there are two further elements awaiting deployment, which will roll-out to the servers over the next two weeks. So the Lab is hoping that things might be ready for wider beta testing to commence in the week #17 (commencing Monday, April 20th).

Continue reading “SL Project updates week 15/2: TPV Developer meeting”

Using Amazon AppStream to stream a viewer

Update, Saturday April 11th: Bill Glover, who has also shown a keen interest in the possibility of using Amazon AppStream, has been carrying out his own experiments with Firestorm and Second Life. He notes of his experience:

I set-up a stream with the Firestorm and was able to use it from both a Chromebook and an Android phone. It was really very responsive over a hotel wifi network, but there are many caveats.

It works, but it’s expensive and nowhere near being useful for just casually streaming SL without some custom client development and viewer integration.

You can read his initial thoughts on things over on his blog.

On Wednesday, April 8th, and following the announcement that the SL Go service is to be discontinued, I speculated on how the Lab (or indeed, someone else) might offer up an alternative to fill the void left once SL Go ceases at the end of the month.

After looking at various alternatives (including Highwind’s GDN – Highwinds being one of LL’s CDN providers), a conversation with Dennis Harper pointed me towards Amazon AppStream, and the more I read, the more it seemed to be a viable option, and hence it became the focus of my article.

As a result, Nebadon Izumi (Michael Emory Cerquoni) sat down to see just how easy (or not) to get something up and running, albeit using OS Grid and the OnLook viewer, and reported some success, as soon in the video below (please use the gear icon to flick it over to 720p when watching if it doesn’t automatically play in HD).

“What made me think to try was your article,” Nebadon told me as we discussed this initial attempt, although he admitted. “You get 20 hours of free streaming per month with Basic Amazon AWS account (required to access the AppStream service), then its 83 cents per hour. I also tried this on my Android Tablet, but while the graphics were beautiful, input is a problem, and the viewer will need overlay controls like SL Go, which will require development.”

Once he had his account created, Nebadon was able to install the viewer and use the supplied web browser to obtain and install the VS C++ 2010 re-distributable packages he needed in order to run the Singularity-based OnLook viewer, “you can go anywhere on the web and download any software you need to make your application run,” he noted to me. “Once I had these and the viewer installed, it took about 20-30 minutes for the viewer to deploy, and I got a set of instructions on how people can connect to it.” The whole process took him, he estimates, about 2 hours.

This is obviously a long way short of providing a full-blown service, and anyone wishing to use Amazon AppStream as the basis for a streaming solution for their grid who obviously have to dig a lot deep into issues of cost and pricing, payment mechanisms, potential demand, management, scaling, and so on; it also has yet to be tried with a viewer connecting to SL. Nevertheless, as a trial exercise, Nebadon’s work at least shows that the viewer can be streamed relatively easily using AppStream, and that’s a good place to start.