Server Deployments Week 16
As always, please refer to the server deployment thread in the forums for the latest information and updates.
On Tuesday, April 14th the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the server maintenance package previously deployed to all three RC channels. This comprises a crash fix, minor CDN configuration updates and an internal server configuration update.
BJECT_BODY_SHAPE_TYPE– returned list entry is a float between 0.0 and 1.0. Anything > 0.5 is male, otherwise female; -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 Updates
The Maintenance RC viewer, version 184.108.40.2060636 was promoted to the de facto release viewer on April 13th. The viewer contains multiple fixes and improvements, as detailed in the release notes.
This release also includes the fix for the URI parsing error, which was originally issued in the HeatWave RC viewer (formally version 220.127.116.110424, which has been withdrawn from the release channel as a result.
Webkit Replacement, Flash and Quicktime
As I’ve reported on a number of occasions, Webkit is a third-party library which has been used within the viewer for a number of media-related tasks (powering the built-in web browser, displaying profiles, and is used with MOAP and many in-world TVs). However, it has been something of a problem for the Lab, with out-of-date libraries and other issues.
Because of this, there is a project under-way in the Lab to replace webkit with the Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF). Work on this within the Lab has been progressing, and they now have CEF working with the windows version of the viewer, and are now focusing on getting it working on the Mac version. There are no plans to release a test or project viewer with CEF support until it is running on both platforms (it is thought that Linux will be able to use the Mac version).
Avatar Complexity (RenderAutoMute Functions)
In week #47. 2014, I reported on how the Lab is working to give greater control to users over how other avatars are rendered in their own view.
Avatars can frequently have very high render costs associated with them which, even in modestly populated areas, can have a detrimental impact on viewer performance on lower specification hardware.
The idea with the new, still-to-be-released functionality is that users will be able to define a render weight for their viewer when drawing avatars. Any avatar that exceeds this limit will be rendered as a solid colour “imposter”, regardless as to how near / far they are from a person’s viewpoint. Thus, the rendering load is reduced, improving overall performance. Because of the solid colour aspect of the avatars when rendered in this way, they were somewhat quickly dubbed “Jelly Babies” after the sweets of that name. note they are only rendered like this in your own view, it doesn’t affect how others see them.
This work has been going on for some time, now, and is approaching maturity. Commenting on it at the Open-source Developer’s meeting on Monday, April 12th, Oz Linden indicated that things are currently waiting server side updates. Included in the functionality is a means by which someone can see the number of other people who are rendering their avatar as a “jelly baby”.
The capability can actually be experimented with at the moment, although it is a case of trial and error until the new UI controls are added to the viewer. Should you wish to try, go to Advanced > Debug Settings and type-in RenderAutoMute. This will list a series of options, of which
RENDERAUTOMUTERENDERWEIGHTLIMIT are the two you need:
RENDERAUTOMUTEFUNCTIONSis essentially the “on / off” option for enabling the other options, and must be set to 7 in order for any of them to work
RENDERAUTOMUTERENDERWEIGHTLIMITis the function that determines how avatars are rendered. Try starting with a value of around 100,000 and experimenting from there.
BUG-9020 reports issues with people being unable to see anything typed in certain group chats they belong to – either their own messages, or anything typed by anyone else. The problem appears to possibly be more widespread than the report indicates – if you are experiencing a problem, please consider adding the details to the report: the specific groups, etc., and specific issues. The Lab is currently looking into this and checking through the additional logging / diagnostic tools they’ve added to the group chat services to see if anything is showing-up as causing the problem.
In-viewer Translation Tool Fix
As noted in my week #12 update, the built-in viewer translation tools are now pretty much broken (Google and Bing). Nalates Urriah filed a bug report on the Bing situation recently (see: BUG-8794 “The Bing API used by the viewer is depreciated [sic]”).
Commenting on the situation at the Open-source Developer’s meeting on Monday, April 13th, Cinder Roxley indicated that the Alchemy TPV team are working to get the viewer translation tool working again, although there is currently no ETA on this. The fix is liable to appear in the Alchemy viewer, but the code will be contributed to Linden Lab.
Forum Log-in Issue
As noted in BUG-8953, there is currently an issue with signing-in to the the SL forums, and staying logged-in. the problems are broadly two-fold. In short, people are finding they are being randomly logged-out of the forums for no apparent reason, or are being redirected to the top-level community page when logging-in, rather than being redirected back to the page in the forums they had displayed prior to the log-in request being displayed (e.g. when replying to a post).