Server Deployments Week 25
As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates / news.
- On Tuesday, June 16th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels, comprising further Internal server logging changes.
- There will be no deployment or restart to the three RC channels on Wednesday, June 17th.
On Friday, June 12th, the Lab issued a new viewer directly to release status. Version 184.108.40.2062599 offers no functional changes to the the previous release viewer, but does include two DLL files – MSVCP100.DLL and MSVCR100.DLL which were missing from the Windows version of the viewer, and as a result causing problems for some users by their absence.
As a result of this release, the Attachment fixes RC viewer (Project Big Bird) RC viewer updated to version 220.127.116.112640 on Tuesday, June 16th, and the Experience Tools viewer updated to version 18.104.22.1682622.
An “obsolete platform viewer” has also been issued by the Lab. Version 22.214.171.1240847 of the viewer is a “static” release of the viewer which is aimed at providing users on Windows XP or versions of OS X below 10.7 to be able to continue to log-in to SL following the upgrade of the tools used to build the viewer. As I reported at the time, the key points to note about this viewer are:
- It will not receive new features or bug fixes
- It will not be promoted to release status
- It does not change the Lab’s support policy on Windows XP or versions of OS X below 10.7, and is purely – as noted – an interim offering to help people
- It will be provided for as long as is reasonable – but not indefinitely.
Experience Keys / Tools
As noted above, the Experience Tools RC viewer has been updated to match the current release version as the Lab continue to work on the back-end services. One issue that has been encountered – albeit it in a single case so far – is that access to the KVP store used to hold information on the experience can be delayed in very permissive areas where there is a lot of natural in-world rezzing going on (e.g. public sandboxes) – see BUG-9027. This is because access to the store uses the same resources as used for rezzing objects.
The concern with the problem is that it could have an impact of grid wide experiences. However support for running experiences on a grid-wide basis is, in the Lab’s eyes, “still some time in the more distant future”, as they are focused on the region / parcel level and ensuring the capability works within these extremes first. As such, this issue is unlikely to prevent the initial deployment of the Experience Tools capability, although the Lab will look into this particular matter at a latter date.
Combat and Damage
During the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, June 16th, the subject of damage, combat and protection within regions controls. Commenting on the matter Simon Linden said, “I’m beginning to think more and more we need regions set to different modes … something safe for general use, then raise the limits for combat (and the like) where you are freer to hurt yourself. It’s just an idea at this point, but the one-setting-for-everything seems to always make someone unhappy.”
The problem here is that the existing Linden Damage system is seen as being somewhat inflexible, hence the development of various combat systems within SL. However, that there are so many systems now available, makes the Lab hesitant to change things, as Simon went on to explain:
We’ve talked before about working on the damage feature but I think that’s a case where everyone has their own usage, and so it would be better to have the features so others can make the damage systems they want. We probably can’t alter the current one. I’m sure somewhere somebody is using it and we can’t break their content. We could add to it, if it’s backwards compatible, but like I said, I think it would be better to hear what the CS and other system builders want to make their system nicer.
As Simon states, this doesn’t mean the Lab are about to make changes, or consider making changes where combat systems and damage are concerned; just that they are aware of the limitations within the current land settings.
That said, a recent change within the LL viewer has been noticed. Under it, damage cannot be set it the parcel level only; also, the viewer does not display the health meter on damage enabled parcels, but people can be “killed” and teleported home. While Oz acknowledged this may be due to the Lab not fully following through on a set of changes to the viewer code, Simon also pointed out that the two-state on / off capabilities between regions and parcels has never really been fit for purpose:
Basically if you have any larger or high level setting, as well as a smaller scale (like regions vs parcels) the higher one can’t just be “on” or “off”. It needs to be “on with override smaller settings” , “on without override”, “off override smaller settings” , “off without override” … It just doesn’t work with simple on/off settings. You need more info about the intent on how it relates to the smaller areas
However, he again warned against anything being done on this in the near future, commenting, “if we want to fix this in SL, it means viewer UI changes, new data being passed back and forth to the simulator (which can be a hassle depending on the messages), new values in the database (which is another issue) and of course simulator changes.” In other words, were anything to be done, it would be a large-scale project, something which the Lab has yet to even consider taking on.