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.

Upcoming Viewers

Autumn Maintenance Viewer

[02:10] The autumn maintenance release viewer is currently progressing through the Lab’s QA, and should be appearing as a project / RC viewer in the very near future – possibly in week #38.

Chromium Embedded Framework Viewer

[04:00] A project viewer containing the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF)  updates for media purposes is expected to appear in week #38. When it does appear, it will still have a couple of “minor issues” the Lab will continue to work on in preparation for it to progress to RC status down the road, however, it will still be ready for those wishing to test their current media products, etc., against, in preparation for the move to CEF support within the viewer.

Points to note with this viewer, when available are that:

  • It will not support QuickTime
  • It will not fix Flash on Mac systems
  • It will likely have Flash support disabled by default even on Windows
  • The Lab’s advice for anyone using Flash is to covert to HTML 5.

How long it remains a project viewer will be dependent upon the number and severity of issues people may find when using it.

Inventory Reliability Improvements

[09:08] Please refer to my separate report on information about the upcoming work the Lab is undertaking to further improve inventory reliability.

RSS Feed Change

In week #31 I reported that the Lab are working to update the Grid Status page RSS feed from RSS version 1 to RSS version 2. As existing web pages, etc., using the feed may need to be adjusted to accept the updated feed format, a proxy URL (http://beta.status.secondlifegrid.net/feed) has been available for the last few weeks for testing purposes.

It is now likely the switch to using the new feed will be made “pretty soon”, so if you have a web page using the existing feed URL and have not tested against the proxy URL, you may wish to do so.

Other Items

Profile Icons

[37:13] Back in week #3, I pointed to the Alchemy’s team’s discovery of a potential contributing cause to issues of texture thrashing in the viewer (textures loading and being discarded and load and being discard as the viewer runs out of texture memory). This is related to how the view uses people’s full profile image to create the little icons seen in CHUI, the Friends list, etc. Because these are UI elements, these are never discarded during a viewer session, and so can fill up a lot of texture memory.

The TPV meeting includes a discussion on this issue, with a suggestion that one way to handle the issue would be to take low-res MIPs of the profile picture to produce 4K images for use as icons. This would allow the viewer to dispense with using the full profile image and vastly reduce the amount of texture memory needed to store the icons. However, no firm decision of the solution is drawn.

Snapshot Floater

The batch of updates and improvements NiranV Dean made to the unified snapshot floater and contributed to the Lab have been undergoing testing. Currently, there is a fixed required to the world freeze update and a request has been made for the repository in which the code updates are stored is renamed, due to the length of the current repository name causing viewer build issues under Windows. Once these are taken care of, the updates will hopefully be ready for an appearance in a contributions viewer.

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