Kokua 3..8.2: new tools build, VMM and more

kokua-logoOn Friday, August 8th, Nicky Perian announced the release Kokua 3.8.2.35975, which brings the popular SL and OpenSim viewer to parity with recent Linden Lab code releases, and includes additional tweaks and fixes from the Kokua team.

The release marks a considerable amount of work under-the-hood for the viewer, which is now built using the new tool chain for both Windows and Mac (with acknowledged thanks to Gavin Hird (aka Dayturn) for his work in getting the latter working). Also with regards to the new tool chain, the viewer has been available in test builds using the new tools for a while, but 3.8.2 marks the first official release.

In all the code updates from the Lab incorporated in this release comprise:

  • Release 3.7.28.300918 – new tool chain
  • Release 3.7.29.301305 – global system layer limit of 60 wearable layers in any combination
  • Release 3.7.30.302599 – DLL update to provide 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
  • Release 3.8.0.302622 – Experience Keys / Tools support
  • Release 3.8.1.303130 – Project Big Bird attachment loss fixes
  • Release 3.8.2.303891 – Viewer-Managed Marketplace

Experiences

Kokua 3.8.2 provides the expected floaters and tabs for Second Life Experiences. The main floater is accessed via the View menu. However, there is a slight glitch: when opening an Experience Profile from the list of Allowed Experiences, the viewer opens the Profile, but then displays an error message which suggests it is trying to add the Experience to the grid manager.

Kokua 3.8.2 does throw an error message when viewing an Experience Profile, but this doesn't interfere with things - click OK to clear
Kokua 3.8.2 does throw an error message when viewing an Experience Profile, but this doesn’t interfere with things – click OK to clear

The message doesn’t interfere with accessing Experiences or managing your Allowed / Blocked, etc., Experiences – just click OK to clear it. I’ve reported this issue to Nicky. Other than this, everything I’d expect to work with Experiences worked (albeit it in a rapid-fire test at the Lab’s PlaeoQuest). The expected Join dialogue was display, items attached as expected once permissions had been granted, and permissions were detached and permissions revoked on leaving the game play area.

Viewer-Managed Marketplace

The Marketplace Listing Panel is access via the View menu, and Kokua 3.8.2 completely removes the old Merchant Outbox (which no longer works anyway, following the VVM migration). Again, in a quick trial run using a single, uncomplicated item, I didn’t notice any obvious issues. The Marketplace Listings folder is also correctly hidden within Inventory, and the expected warnings are displayed on attempting to delete anything from the Listings Panel.

Kokua 3.8.2 provides full VMM support to SL users
Kokua 3.8.2 provides full VMM support to SL users

Other Notes

A high-speed flight across Blake Sea yielded a positive result with attachments. I neither parted company with my hair or my feet / shoes throughout – which is pretty much a given for me on any viewer without the fixes after just a couple of crossings. I did part company with my MD-900 somewhere over Dutch Harbor (so apologies if anyone found themselves getting slapped in the back of the head by a fast-moving helicopter!). However, that’s just a fact of Second Life, and not something endemic to Kokua!

There’s no RLV implementation with this release; it will likely be added in a test version in the near future.

As always, please refer to the Kokua release notes for the full list of updates and known issues.

I’ve not put this release through an extensive test; however, the time I have spent using it (roughly 5 hours on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August), I’ve encountered no issues other than the niggly little error message thrown by Experiences, as notes above.

Congrats to Nicky and all involved on the update, and in getting Kokua shifted to the new build tool chain.

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Second Life project updates 32: Server, viewer, misc

PaleoQuest; Inara Pey, July 2015, on FlickrPaleoQuest, July 2015 (Flickr) – blog post

Server Deployments Week 32 – Summary

On Tuesday, August 4th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package delivered to the RC channels in week #31. The focus of this release with to fix a number of Group management bugs:

  • BUG-9725 – Activating a group fails on first selection on Second Life Server 15.07.09.303393 & RC
  • BUG-9735 – Unable to Edit Group Parameters after being made OWNER of newly created group
  • BUG-9695 – [Project Notice] First attempt at joining a group fails (also happens with current release viewer)

Following the deployment of the update to both the RCs last week and the Main channel this week, indications are this these bugs have been fixed.

There were no deployments to the RC channels.

Viewer Updates

Monday, August 3rd saw the Viewer-Managed Marketplace RC viewer, version 3.8.2.303891, promoted to the de facto release viewer.

As a result of this, the two remaining active RC viewers were also updated to parity with the release viewer, with the Mesh Importer viewer updating to version 3.8.3.304090 on Thursday, August 6th, and the Maintenance RC updating to version 3.8.3.304115, also on August 6th.

Other Items

Rezzing Objects On Top of Mesh

There have, over the past few months, been increasing reports of issues in attempting to rez objects on top of mesh objects (landscaping element, mesh floors, etc). These take the form of trying to rez an object from inventory, only to get one of two error messages:

  • “Failed to place object at specified location. Please try again” or
  • Can’t rez object at  [coordinates] because the owner of this land does not allow it. Use the land tool to see land ownership”

In addition, rezzed objects can appear to “vanish” when rezzing on some mesh surfaces because they have actually rezzed under the surface in question, etc.

The problem appears related to a combination of viewer raycasting issues and uploaded mesh objects having incomplete physics hull as a result of a fault in the mesh uploading process. As ChinRey observes, The latter issue has been known for some time, and experienced mesh designers work around it. However, it is possible that newer content creators unwittingly get caught by the problem or that there are older mesh items still in circulation that can cause problems (also see Whirly Fizzle’s observations on BUG-2019).

There are some workaround to the problem, which has been accepted by the Lab. They are not ideal or always workable:

  • Try pointing your camera angle straight down at 90 degrees to the mesh surface or move your camera view further away from the mesh (Whirly Fizzle)
  • If the surface is used frequently for rezzing, try placing a full transparent bank prim over it and then rez on that (Innula Zenovka)
  • If you can, try editing the item in linked mode and check the physic model for the specific surface on which you are trying to rez upon.  If it is prim, try converting it – and just it – to convex hull.  Be aware this could alter the LI for the object; if you get any unexpected consequences, convert it back once more.

As an example, I used the latter for the Trompe Loeil Rustic Pavilion at my home, which was constantly giving me problems. The floor section was set to prim, and converting it to convex hull removed the issue entirely with no side effects for me. YMMV.

Slow-down in News from the Lab

There has been a slow down in activity and news from the Lab. In some quarters, this has been aligned with the idea that there is “not much going on” with Second Life and theat focus has perhaps further shifted to Sansar. In fact, work is progressing with Second Life; however, this is the summer period, when vacations are in progress, and we have recently come out of a period where the Lab has been very focused on specific work – such as ensuring the scalability of Experiences, working on simulator stability and internal fixes, which has come at the expense of “new shiny”, and thus giving the impression “not much” is going on.

This week saw the Second Life development team (and, I assume other directly involved in Second Life) get together in Boston for their regular meeting to discuss the plans for the immediate future. A consequence of this in particular is that there were no meetings on Monday (open-source developers) or Tuesday (simulator user group).

There should have been a TPVD meeting on Friday, but confused communications meant that Grumpity, Oz and I spent the time on our own alternately plotting world domination – if anyone known of any really good mesh Super Villian Sekrit Volcano Lairs, we’d like to know (joking) – and the fact that my hair is enough for me to be Jelly Babied in Grumpity’s viewer.  Guess it’s time to go find some really good, low-complexity mesh hair…

Windlight Gallery opening with first fellowship awardees

WindlightSaturday, August 8th, 2015 at 13:00 SLT marks the formal opening on the Windlight Gallery, featuring an exhibition of works by the first round of Windlight Artist Fellowship Programme awardees.

The gallery is owned and operated by Windlight Magazine, the newest monthly magazine celebrating and supporting the art and photography world in Second Life,

Launched on July 1st, the magazine is owned and operated by John (Johannes1977 Resident) and features the writing and photography talents of luminaries Emma Portilo, Shakti Adored, Kara Trapdoor, Jessii2009 Warrhol, Vee Tamas, and Soairse Heart. I’m both honoured and pleased to be a part of the Windlight team as a contributing writer.

The Windlight Gallery is the magazine’s practical outreach to support artists and photographers. Occupying a large, modern building designed by Doctor Zimberman, it offers a series of individual display spaces spread across two floors, all gathered around a central full-height foyer area. It is home to the Windlight Artist Fellowship Programme, and the display spaces are reserved for those artists selected each month as Fellowship awardees.

The Windlight Gallery will provide free space to artists under the Windlight Fellowship Programme
The Windlight Gallery: home to the  Windlight Artists Fellowship Programme

The goal of the Fellowship Programme is to provide promotional and artistic resources to artists in Second Life, and is open to both new and established artists. Space with the Windlight Gallery is provided free of charge for a period of 30 days. Applications for space can be made on-line, via the Fellowship application form, which includes all applicable terms for the use of space in the gallery.

The August Fellowship awardees are:

Seb Arkright, Sandi Benelli, Ilrya Chardin, Bones Delicioso, Wicca Merlin, Richie Narstrom, Artemis Greece Resident, Bluesrocker Resident, ChrysteRox Resident, Ozymandi Resident, Roffellos Resident, SereneDean Resident and Myra Wildmist.

My congratulations to all!

Windlight Gallery
Windlight Gallery

The official opening will take place in and around the gallery starting a 13:00 SLT on Saturday, August 8th, 2015, and will feature music by Anek Fuchs. A formal dress code will apply.

There will also be a closing reception for the August Fellowship awardees on Saturday, August 23rd, 2015 from 15:00 SLT. This will again be formal dress, and will also feature music from Anek Fuchs.

So, do please come along, and hopefully, I’ll see you there!

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