Lab issues notifications project viewer

secondlifeOn  Wednesday, July 8th, the Lab issued their notifications project viewer, which sees an overhaul of the way in which notifications – system, group, transaction, etc., are presented through the viewer.

The viewer has been in the works for a while, and is the direct request of a feature request put to the Lab by Aki Shichiroji back in 2012 (see BUG-8000), and which has more recently been working its way through the Lab’s work list to appear in project form on July 8th.

The release of the project viewer, version 3.8.1.303211, was accompanied by an official blog post on the subject, which reads in part:

The Notifications Project Viewer is an improvement for sorting your notifications. This new feature is based on your feedback: a notifications floater with four tabs sorting your incoming notifications into System, Transactions, Invitations, and Groups and allowing better interaction with them as well.  Those who deal with high volumes of money transactions, group notices, group invites, or inventory transfers now have a better way to review their messages and identify which notices need immediate attention.

The images below show the floater and its four tabs:

The new Notifications floater - see below for explanatory notes
The new Notifications floater – see below for explanatory notes

Multiple notifications within a tab are initially shown compressed (above left). Clicking on the down pointing arrow button for a specific notification (highlighted in red, above left) will expand that particular notification within the floater (above right), with scroll bars allowing you to scroll down through an individual notification or through the notifications within that tab.  Clicking the up point arrow button (highlighted in blue, above right) will compress an expanded notification.

As with the current notification system within the release viewer, individual notifications can be deleted from any tab by clicking the X button. There are also additional buttons within the panel for collapsing all expended notifications or deleting all notifications within the currently displayed tab (i.e. clicking Delete All with the System notifications tab will delete all notifications in that tab but not all of your notifications in general).

A further improvement to the way notifications are displayed is that a time stamp for when a notification was sent / received is now clearly visible, both in the collapsed and expanded views for all notifications. The presence of any attachment is also indicated by the use of a paper clip symbol.

Given this is a project viewer, the Lab is requesting feedback and bug reports via the Second Life JIRA.

A couple of issues have been filed already. One of these – BUG-9625 – points out that the notification floater currently fails to include any means of accepting a group invitation; the only way of accepting an invitation in the project viewer at present, is to click on the button displayed in the initial pop-up (which will still be displayed as usual).  Expect this to be created in due course as the project viewer is updated.

Also, do keep in mind this is a project viewer, and currently not intended for prime time use.

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Cica’s Dreamers in Second Life

Dreamers, LEA 24
Dreamers, LEA 24

The ninth round of the Linden Endowments for the Arts (LEA) Artist In Residence (AIR) programme kicked-off on July 1st, with the awarding of the LEA’s 20 AIR regions to their respective grantees. Under the terms of the AIR grants, those awarded a region have up to 4 months in which to prepare it for their installation, and have it formally open to the public for at least two months – although the set-up period is flexible, and can be a lot shorter if the artist(s) wish(es).

Cica Ghost opted to really maximise the time people could enjoy her work. While she only received the region on July 1st, it officially opened to the public on July 6th (an event I had to miss due to being away between the 5th and 7th inclusive).

Dreamers, LEA 24
Dreamers, LEA 24

Dreamers is a marvellous build which extends from the ground up into the sky, where eight scenes await visitors. The ground level presents a fantasy environment, perhaps lifted from a dream, full of bright colours and fantastical creatures and wheeled vehicles on a huge scale, all waiting to be explored, and bearing Cica’s colourful paintings, making careful examination of all of them a must.

Within the midst of this marvellous landscape sit sixteen long-necked heads, faces lifted towards the sky, eyes closed – the Dreamers of the installation’s title. Touch eight of them, and they will each allow you to share in their dream, transporting you to one of the eight skyborne scenes Cica has created overhead.

Dreamers, LEA 24
Dreamers, LEA 24

These will each be immediately recognisable to anyone familiar with Cica’s work, presenting as they do little extracts from past installations she’s created. So it is that through the Dreamers we once more get to see the likes of Little Town, Ghostville, Ruins, and Living in a Bowl, to name but four of the scenes on offer.

Small in size, these little scenes are enough to either pique curiosity (for the first-time visitor) or awaken memory (for those who visited the originals), setting one on a personal daydream. I could write a whole lot more about Dreamers, but really the best way to experience it is to go see it for yourself and have a little fun; it is a bright, uplifting place, full of images and daydreams, and there are more than a few poses and things to be found throughout which let you become a part of the settings, at least for a while.

Dreamers, LEA 24
Dreamers, LEA 24

Given only eight of the 16 Dreamers currently allow people to share in their dreams, I wonder if Cica might be adding to the installation as time progresses through to December, and the end of this round of AIR grants, allowing the remaining eight heads to share their slumbering imaginings with us. Or perhaps something else might appear in LEA 24 in due course.

Either way, I took the liberty of making a short film of what is there to enjoy now, if only to give a further flavour and whet appetites. So – enjoy!

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Second Life project updates 28/1: server, viewer

Umbral Photography, Hydra Isles; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrUmbral Photography, July 2015 (Flickr) – blog post

Server Deployments

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

On Tuesday, July 7th, the Main (SLS) channel received the same server maintenance package deployed to the three RC channels in week #27.

As noted in my project update for week #27, BUG-197 referred to in the package release notes relates to an issue whereby a user can’t see any of their local chat on a region or parcel, and nor can anyone else, due to a scripted object which is spamming chat so badly, the chat throttle kicks in, but no warning would be provided to inform the user this was the case. with the deployed change, the user will now get a message about the chat throttle being hit, but unfortunately, the system will not identify the spammy object (so it might be removed / returned, if possible).

There will be no RC deployments to the RC channels on Wednesday, July 8th, leaving all of the main grid on the same release. A new RC deployment, described as a “minor update” is in preparation for deployment to the RC channels in week #29.

SL Viewer

On Tuesday, July 7th, The Maintenance RC viewer was updated to version 3.8.1.303166, bringing it into line with the attachments RC viewer updated in week #27, and just leaving the Viewer Managed Marketplace viewer to be updated in the release channel, which will likely happen later this week.

Chromium Embedded Framework

At the Monday Open source Developer’ meeting, Oz Linden indicated that an anticipated project viewer,  the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) viewer which will provide media support via HMTL 5, should be appearing “Pretty Soon”™.  While Quicktime and Flash  may work on this viewer for some users, given the age / status of both, the Lab does not plan to support either going forward, and recommends media creators migrate to HTML 5.

It had been hoped that this viewer would have been out by now; however there appear to be one or two issues still to be resolved. “I heard the developer working on it today say he was deep in the middle of keyboard issues,” Simon Linden said during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, July 7th. “Getting frameworks like that to cooperate with OS events like keyboard, mouse and screen is always tough.”

Experience Keys / Tools

Simon is continuing to work on tweaks to the Experience Keys / Tools code, and in doing so passed an interesting comment at the Simulator User Group meeting.

“I’ve been working on updating the KVP code that runs on our server,” he said, “and had the most frustrating time integrating the newest version into our code … The code we have is dated and we should have better performance and stability with their latest.”

Quite what the difference is between “our” and “their” code might be isn’t entirely clear at this point in time – although the question was asked during the meeting, and may well be asked again in the future.

Simon also hopes to put some work into getting KVP access moved onto a separate thread to ordinary asset handling. As previously mentioned in these updates, that KVP access is currently on the same thread as asset handling can, at times, cause issues, as noted in BUG-8946.

Group Chat

The recent improvements made to group chat continue to make themselves felt, with many reporting that the old issues of lag with the chat on large groups has largely dissipated. Such are the improvements that Whirly Fizzle has suggested that http://isslgroupchatstillbroken.com/ should be updated. Even so, despite all the the improvements, Simon has indicated that there are still “a few things” he’d like to tweak a little more.