Lab seeks assistance from Linux developers

Linux-SLDuring the Third-Party Developer (TPVD) meeting on Friday, April 24th, Oz Linden put out a request for assistance from members of the SL Linux community in order to ensure that the Linux version of the SL viewer continues to be developed.

His comments came as a part of a discussion on media work within the viewer in general, and can be heard in the video of the meeting provided by  Chakat Northspring, starting at the 9:10 mark.

For ease for reference, I’ve extracted the comments into an audio file (with a little clean-up to remove repetition), which is embedded below, any timestamps in this article refer to this audio.

 

Essentially, given the “extremely low” number of users running the Linux flavour of the viewer, and because the Lab wishes to focus on some “really cool things” for Second Life (no details on what these are), a decision has been made to remove Linux from any major focus of the Lab’s attention. Therefore, the Lab is looking to the TPV and open-source community to help ensure the Linux version of the viewer is maintained and moves forward. In making the request, Oz said in part [00:38]:

I just don’t have the time to put people on doing a lot of Linux work. I just don’t.  So, if there’s going to be a working Linux viewer, the Linux user community is going to need to pitch-in and help get it done, because frankly, if it doesn’t work, I can’t afford to fix it.

I have not been getting Linux contributions. What I get is occasional complaints that this or that thing doesn’t work in Linux … and the ethos there is that the community is what makes it work, and what I’m saying to the Second Life Linux community is, if you want it to work, you’re going to have to help.

The Lab will integrate and provide build services for Linux, and publish the results, but the Lab is no longer going to pursue development of the viewer on Linux, which means that if things are not working in the Linux flavour of the viewer, and there is no inwards support to fix them, then they’re unlikely to be fixed.

This shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the Lab is trying to “kill off” Linux support; it is a matter of focusing resources to serve the community as a whole. In this respect Oz added [01:55]:

And I hope that having said this, I will get a bunch of people step-up and start doing things and give me a lot of integration work to do. That’s my fondest hope. So next time you hear someone complaining about things not working on Linux, tell them i invited them to help.

 

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Viewer-Managed Marketplace: brief update

secondlifeFurther to the recent launch of the Viewer-Managed Marketplace public beta test on the Main grid, Brooke Linden provided third-party viewer developers (who will need to integrate the viewer-side VMM changes into their viewers) with an update on the state-of-play with the project at the Third-Party Viewer Developer (TPVD) meeting on Friday, April 24th.

Her comments came at the opening of the meeting, which can be seen on a video provided by  Chakat Northspring, and are summarised in my overview of the meetings. However, as VMM is of interest to a broader community than viewer developers, this article is intended to provide a slightly more detailed summary of her comments. Timestamps to the relevant points in the video are further provided for ease-of-reference.

Follow-up Meeting

[00:08] The Lab is planning a follow-up meeting to the current Main grid beta activities. This has been provisionally scheduled for 11:00 SLT on Friday, May 1st, but is subject to final confirmation. Formal confirmation of the meeting will hopefully be given through the existing Merchants’ Forum post (or at least through a fresh post) nearer the time, and I’ll endeavour to post word on it when it is announced.

The aim of the meeting is to gain general feedback on the VMM from those who have been able to try it as a part of the beta and to hopefully update on the status of any issues so far reported and which are being addressed, and to answer questions.

Automated Migration

[00:53] A number of requests have been made through the forum thread for the automated migration process for Direct Delivery items (Magic Box items require manual migration) to be trialled among a selected group of merchants prior to being enforced for all merchants.

Brooke indicated that this would be the case, and will be seeking volunteers to help with this nearer the time.

VMM includes an option to manually associate existing MP listings with VMM items in your inventory, which will help ease part of the the migration process for those concerned over automated migration paths
VMM includes an option to manually associate existing MP listings with VMM items in your inventory, which will help ease part of the the migration process for those concerned over automated migration paths

Other Items

[01:27 and 02:58] The beta programme will be opened to broader access than the current sign-up process, allowing for broader testing as things progress towards a “full” release.

[01:54] The language-localised elements of the work are expected in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, those trying the beta are requested to keep filing bug reports on anything they find (and can preferably reproduce).

[02:06] Incoming bugs on the project JIRA are being watched and investigated, including a couple of edge-case crash situations. Further bug and issues reports are still welcomed on the JIRA.

[03:56] As an aside to the main points, the VMM code has been merged with the current viewer release code as a part of the Lab’s now viewer development process (although the code remains available only via the project viewer for the time being).

Related Links

Tools update viewer reaches release status

secondlifeOn April 23rd, 2015, the Lab updated the de facto official viewer to version 3.7.28.300918, formerly the Tools update Release Candidate viewer.

As regular readers of this blog know from my regular SL project updates, this release is primarily focuses on a change to the tools used to build the viewer (to Visual Studio 2013, Xcode 6.1, and some other tools improvements).

Two important aspects of this update are that:

  • The Windows version of this viewer will not install on Windows XP systems, regardless of the Service Packs also installed (previous versions of the release viewer would install on Windows XP system which had Service Pack 3 installed)
  • The Mac version of the viewer will not install on any version of OS X below 10.7.

Note that this is not a deliberate attempt to block XP users or those on older versions of OS X from Second Life; it is purely the result of the Lab using up-to-date tools for building the viewer (and which will yield positive benefits elsewhere. for example, during its time as an RC viewer, the new build version has had a crash rate some 2% lower than than of the official viewer built using the “old” tool chain. There have, however, been some reported issues of Linux users experiencing problems using this version of the viewer.

A further benefit of the tools project is that it offers the Lab and TPVs the opportunity to work with a more common set of viewer building tools due to the removal of some licensing issues. It is therefore more than likely that at least some TPVs will move over to using the new tool chain as well.

This viewer also introduces the updated log-in options at the top of the viewer’s splash screen. The three button approach seen by most users  has been replaced with a log-in area with a single button (note that users logging-in to SL for the first time or after a clean install will still see the “first time user” log-in splash screen).

LL viewer log-in updates: as they first appeared after an initial log-in following the 2014 revisions to the log-in / splash screen (top); and as the log-in options are displayed in the new RC viewer (bottom) - click for full size, if required
LL viewer log-in updates: as they first appeared after an initial log-in following the 2014 revisions to the log-in / splash screen (top); and as the log-in options are displayed in the updated release viewer (bottom) – click for full size, if required.

Related Links

 

Fantasy Faire: don’t forget the calendar competition!

Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura (Flickr) – click any image for full size

Now the Fairelands are open, there is so much to see and do; fund-raising, shopping, dancing, exploring, telling tales, sharing in adventures, joining the hunt … the list is quite fantastic!

One thing many of us will doubtless be doing is taking photographs, both as keepsakes and to share. So, given the Fairelands are still young, and the days still stretch before us, I thought that rather than write about my own travels across the Fairelands just yet, I’d take a little time to remind you of the Fantasy Faire Calendar Competition.

2015 marks the second year in which the calendar competition has been run, and once again, it gives entrants the opportunity to be immortalised in print and help raise even more for Relay for Life!

Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura (Flickr) – click any image for full size

The Faire organisers are looking for photographs that best capture the spirit of each of the thirteen sims – and the winners will be included in the Fantasy Faire 2016 calendar (with credits for the photographers) that will be created in Second Life, and in real life using Lulu.com, and sold to raise money for Relay for Life. So this year, people really will be able to take the Faire home with them – and share it with their friends and family too!

The rules for the competition are straight-forward:

  • Photographs are to be taken at your choice of the thirteen individually themed regions for this year’s Fantasy Faire
  • Entries for the competition must be uploaded to the Fantasy Faire [Photography Contest] Flickr group
  • Photographs may be edited with any photo editing software, and must be a minimum size of 1800 pixels high and 2300 pixels wide
  • Please do not take selfies or add text to your images – the aim is to capture the beauty of the Fairelands and their surroundings. Figures may appear in your photos, but should not be the focus of your submissions
  • All pictures should be PG rated. Any pictures failing to comply with this rule will be disqualified (and that includes nudity)
  • Fantasy Faire & Relay for Life of Second Life reserve the right to use photograph submissions for event advertising and publication.

The deadline for all submissions to the competition is 23:59 SLT Wednesday, May 6th.

Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura (Flickr) – click any image for full size

The Winners

  • The top twelve winning images*, as selected by the judging panel, will be included in the Fantasy Faire 2016 calendar, with credits for the photographers. This will be available for sale both in Second Life and the physical world through lulu.com later in the year, to raise money for Relay for Life
  • The first prize winner photo will be on the cover of the calendar
  • Please note that contest winners are required to provide their winning photography with the following dimensions – minimum 1800 pixels high by 2300 pixels wide at 200dpi or their photograph will be be disqualified.

Further Information and Related Links