Second Life project updates 39/1: TPV Developer meeting and more

Junk; Inara Pey, September 2015, on FlickrJunk September 2015 – blog post

The following notes are primarily taken from the TPV Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, September 25th, 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 39

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

Following the RC deployment, there were some reports of issues which seemed to be related to capabilities failures with the simulators concerned, although (at least in one case) no sign of actual caps failures could be seen. It’s not clear how widespread this issue may have been, and those regions that were affected appeared to have the issue resolved with one (or more) restarts.

Server Maintenance in Week #38

The end of week #38 saw several periods of unscheduled simulator maintenance (see here for example), leading to rumours that the deployments for that week were being rolled back. In fact, as reported by Oz at the Simulator UG meeting on Tuesday, September 22nd, the issue was related to the accidental use expired server certificates coupled with some asset server issues, but no actual roll-back of simulator version took place.

SL Viewer

[0:28] There have been no updates to the current RC and project viewers during week #39. There has been a cautious optimism in the Lab that the Mesh Importer RC viewer, version might be promoted to the de facto release viewer in week #40 (commencing Monday, September 28th), although this may be subject to further possible delay as a result of BUG-10326.

[01:10] The project viewers currently available – Project Azumarill (HTTP updates), the Quick Graphics (Avatar Complexity / graphics presets) and Notifications viewer – are all currently with the Lab’s QA team and competing for RC releases. It is hoped that some or all should move to RC status in the next week or two. However, there is currently some doubt as to whether the issues reported in BUG-10330 affecting the Quick Graphics viewer have actually been fully fixed. A maintenance viewer is also likely to be appearing shortly, either as a project viewer or RC.

[02:35] It is anticipated that the HTTP and Quick Graphics viewers will initially have small RC test cohorts, and their deployment will be “cautious”.

[07:25] The HTTP code changes are liable to be a non-trivial merge for TPVs, particularly those which might be using code paths differently to how that official viewer uses them. As such, the Lab has produced a video explaining the HTTP changes, and the recommendation is for TPVs to watch the video and get a feel for both the changes and their context, prior to attempting any merges.

[03:05] There may be an update to the Oculus Rift project viewer (currently version, dating back to October 2014) coming soon.

CEF Viewer

[03:18] The anticipated  Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF)  project viewer, featuring updates for media purposes, should also be appearing shortly. This had initially been tipped for a week #38 release, but is currently still awaiting QA clearance. Once available, it is liable to remain as a project viewer for an extended period to allow those with media products, etc., to both test it and update their items with HTML 5 support, as the viewer will not provide QuickTime support and will have Flash support disabled by default.

Inventory Updates

[10;00] and As I recently reported, the Lab will soon be issuing viewer-side updates to improve inventory handling. This work involves two lots of updates that will be made to the viewer. The first will remove all of the old UDP inventory messaging paths which have already been replaced by more robust mechanisms, which will then be followed by simulator-side removal of all support for these messaging paths. this work will then be followed by a two-part operation to refactor much of the inventory handling code in the viewer.

This work shares a lot of common ground with the HTTP project, as such, the first set of viewer changes are unlikely to appear until the HTTP updates within Project Azumarill have reached a viewer release candidate status. However, as this work progresses, it is liable to also require considerable care with code merges within TPVs.

Older Viewers and Code Changes

[11:10] The upcoming viewer-side HTTP changes are unlikely to have an impact on older versions of viewers currently in use. However, the inventory changes will, and are liable to “break” inventory operations on those versions of viewers that do not have the updated code. This will be particularly true with the removal of all UDP support for inventory in both the viewer and on the simulator side (which is liable to occur in early 2016).

[14:07] While there may be concern at the idea of older viewers being “broken” by the inventory changes, the Lab is keen to emphasise the work is being undertaken with the aim to improve the Second life experience, and make inventory operations more reliable than they perhaps have been.