SL project updates 37/2: TPV developer meeting and more

Sommergewitter; Inara Pey, September 2015, on FlickrSommergewitter September 2015 – blog post

The following notes are primarily taken from the TPV Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, September 11th, 2015. A video of the meeting is included at the end of this report, with any time stamps in the following text referring to it. My thanks as always to North for the recording and providing it for embedding.

Server Deployments – Week 37

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for additional information.

  • The Main (SLS) channel did not have any deployment / restart during the week, largely due to the fact the one deployment in week #36 was to a single channel (BlueSteel), which was rolled-back on Thursday, September 3rd
  • The three RC channels all received a new server maintenance project, comprising internal simulator fixes.

Upcoming LSL: llGetAttachedList()

The Week #38 (week commencing Monday, September 14th should have a new LSL function rolling to at least one RC channel.

llGetAttachedList() is a new function that will return a list of root keys of all visible attachments worn by an agent except for HUDs. Originally a feature request (see BUG-9683), which also lists a number of potential benefits of such a function. The wiki page for the function is still in preparation,but the function itself can be tested on the Aditi (beta grid) region of Tehama. Note that it will only work when invoked for a target within the same region. I’ll have more on this should the function make it into an RC deployment in the coming week.

SL Viewer Updates

Mesh Importer

[01:50] The Mesh importer viewer continues in RC status as the Lab continues to fix problems either found internally or by those making use of the RC viewer, although Oz notes the problems are gradually becoming less severe in nature. However, it’s still not quite ready to be promoted to the de facto viewer.

Notifications Viewer

[02:39] The notifications viewer has been getting a “lot of exercise” as a project viewer, and looks set to move to release candidate status in the near future.

Quick Graphics Viewer

[03:11] The Quick Graphics project viewer, which presents the new Avatar Complexity capability and the ability to save and re-load graphics settings more-or-less on the fly,  updated to version 3.8.4.304916 on Thursday, September 10th. There are still some further adjustments being made to the viewer, but it should progress to RC status some time in the next two weeks or so.

[46:13] One of the changes which may be made to the Avatar complexity aspect of the viewer is a further toning-down of the colour intensity of avatars rendered as “Jelly Babies”. Also, the values on the Complexity slider my be further adjusted to assist those with low-end systems.

[50:20] Some have expressed an opinion that having an “infinite” upper limit to Avatar Complexity is counter-productive, as it does little to discourage people from having complex avatars which can tax other systems. In reply to this, Oz Linden said:

I really want to emphasise this, and I hope people understand it. we’re not trying to create a standard for what is “good”. what we’re trying to do is inform people about what effect they’re having and to control the impact other people have on them,  and then let things sort themselves out.

[54:28] Also with reference to this viewer, the Advanced Graphics floater has been updated to a 2-column format in response to concerns that the earlier, large single-column floater could not be easily displayed on some laptops / lower resolution monitors.

They updated Advanced Graphics floater in the September 10th Quick Graphics project viewer, version 3.8.4.304916
The updated Advanced Graphics floater in the September 10th Quick Graphics project viewer, version 3.8.4.304916

I’ll be taking a further look at Avatar Complexity once the viewer reaches RC status.

Project Azumarill

[06:25] Project Azumarill is the name of the Lab’s new project viewer, version 3.8.4.304871, which offers a complete replacement of the under the hood HTTP infrastructure, and which impacts all aspects of the viewer using simulator capabilities.

This is essentially building on Monty Linden’s HTTP work, which was applied to the most critical paths within simulator / viewer communications, and sees Rider Linden apply the changes through the viewer, and so includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Asset upload (Images, Meshes, Animations)
  • AISv3 inventory manipulation
  • Viewer Managed Marketplace
  • Simhost event polling
  • LSL script compilation
  • Experience management (blocking, allowing, creating).

Currently, the new code is sitting in the viewer alongside older code, although the latter will be removed prior to the viewer being promoted to the de facto release viewer. While a significant update, it is anticipated that the viewer will progress rapidly through the release process, as functionally, there isn’t that much which can be said to be new for people to play with. As such, it will hopefully go through a total of two project viewer iterations prior to becoming a release candidate, then move fairly quickly from RC to release.

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SL Project updates: 37/1: inventory reliability improvements

Mysts of Eyr; Inara Pey, September 2015, on FlickrMysts of Eyr September 2015 – blog post

At the TPV Developer meeting on Friday, September 11th, the Lab provided further information about the ongoing work to improve inventory handling and management in Second Life.

As has been reported through these pages, the Lab has been tackling a wide range of issues related to inventory, inventory management, inventory losses, etc., over the last several months. The updates given at the TPV Developer meeting were to provide information and news on both the work to help fix issues around large “flat” inventories, and on new and upcoming work in rationalising inventory related code within the viewer, with Izzy and Aura Linden providing the updates.

The video of the meeting can be seen here, and time stamps are given below to the relevant points in the video where the items are discussed.

“Flat ” Inventories

[10:15] This is something that has been mentioned through a number of project updates in these pages. However, in summary: if you have a large “flat” inventory structure with tens of thousands of items contained in single folders at a time, rather than being split between multiple sub-folders, you can experience significant issues in logging-in to Second Life, up to and including being completely unable to log-in at all.

Earlier in the year, the Lab developed an inventory transform tool which, when run, can take the contents of such large folders and split them into smaller, easier-to-load sub-folders. This tool has been undergoing testing for some time, but has now been issued to the Lab’s support teams. So, those encountering log-in issues and know they have large, relatively “flat” inventory structures can raise a support request (Premium or Basic) and have the tool run against their inventory, thus hopefully fixing  matters for them.

Inventory Code Improvements

Task Paths

[12:50] Currently, the viewer has multiple paths and mechanisms by which inventory tasks can be undertaken / completed. Aura is therefore working through the viewer code to try to rationalise how inventory is handled, ensure that older paths / mechanisms are properly deprecated / removed and replaced by newer and more robust mechanisms.

[14:20] The first set of changes Aura is working on is to remove from the viewer all of the old UDP inventory messaging paths which have already been replaced by more robust mechanisms (and in some cases already had the server-side support for them removed), but which have until now remained a part of the viewer’s code.

These changes should be appearing in a project viewer for testing by TPVs in the next month or so. This is to allow them to identify possible impacts on any dedicated inventory handling mechanisms they may use (e.g. RLV / RLV/a) which may also use the older UDP messaging paths, and address any updates they may need to made as a result.

Once this viewer reaches release status, the Lab will seek to remove any server-side support for legacy UDP for inventory operations from the simulator code. Again, this will be done in consultation with TPVs, with testing regions available on Aditi beforehand, so the Lab can again be warned if they are triggering potential problems which may need to be thought about / addressed.

Code Refactoring

[19:35] The second element in the work is a refactoring of the viewer inventory files. This work will initially rationalise inventory functions within the viewer so that they are more closely coupled with their actual purpose, rather than being more widely scattered through the viewer code, and will not involve any actual code changes.

However, a further part of the work will involve code changes, with the overall aim being to make the code a lot more readable, easier to test and maintain and understand.

Server-side Inventory Rules Enforcement

[23:32] Additionally, once the above work has been carried out, new checks will be added server-side to prevent actions which are known to cause inventory problems from happening.

For example, there have been issues where people have found themselves with more than one Current Outfit folder or with multiple Trash folders, both of which can result in complications when using the viewer. The simulator-side rules, when put into place, will be designed to prevent these kinds of instances occurring.

Time Frames

As noted, the first phase of Aura’s work – the initial code deprecation work – will be appearing in a project viewer in the next month or so, and the work will progress from there in the stages, thus:

  • Remove the deprecated inventory message paths from the viewer
  • Remove any remaining simulator support for deprecated inventory messaging support
  • Rationalise the inventory functions in the viewer
  • Refactor the viewer’s inventory code in the interests of stability, maintenance, testing and update
  • Add simulator checks to prevent folder duplications, etc

How long it will take to implement each phase isn’t currently clear, and will to a degree depend on feedback about issues discovered by TPVs, as well as the results of continued testing by the Lab.

Strictly light pink and blue with Duran Duran in Second Life

The giant record player at Khanada will be the location for a special celebration at the Duran Duran universe in SL
The Giant Record Player at Khanada will be the location for a special celebration at the Duran Duran universe in SL

On Friday, September 11th, Duran Duran, the English rock band out of Birmingham, issued their 14th studio album, Paper Gods. In a career spanning some 36 years. albeit with various line-ups and changes of face and style along the way, the band has enjoyed remarkable longevity.

They’ve also had a long association with Second Life. The Duran Duran Universe was launched by duranduran.com in-world on June 16th 2011, although planning for it goes back to around 2006. It comprises four regions, each with icons from the Band’s long history:

  • Tlon, an entertainment Island, featuring an eyeball that ‘follows’ the users (“Being Followed“), a Mediterranean Spa and the Cinema Eye
  • Azizi, an urban style Island, on the lines of a cosmopolitan city which includes the unmistakable Lipstick Tower which has to be explored to be believed
  • Sanhedralite, the nature island
  • Khanada, the region where “users can visit each band member’s dressing room (designed by the band members themselves)”.
The Lipstick Tower in features (among other things) a display of art by SL artist jjccc Coronet
The Lipstick Tower in Azizi features (among other things) a display of art by SL artist jjccc Coronet

It is to Khanada  that attention is being drawn for Saturday, September 12th, when from 13:00 SLT, a celebratory party will take place at the Khanada Giant Record Player.  The event is of course organised by the folk responsible for running the regions on the band’s behalf, and no assumptions should be made that members of the band will actually be there. It does, however, give Duran Duran fans  the opportunity to get together and mark the launch of Paper Gods.

The dress code is obvious: light pink or light blue (although I’m sure a flamboyant uniform would also be acceptable 🙂 ). Lipstick (for the guys) entirely optional.

and that only leaves me to leave you with the title track from the album.

SLurl Details