SL Project updates week 49

Everlong; Inara Pey, November 2015, on FlickrEverlong (Flickr) – blog post

The technical news is very light for week #49, hence my lack of updates as the week progressed.

There were no simulator deployments during the week. A new server maintenance package had been planned for deployment to the three RC channels, but this suffered a last-minute postponement do to a simulator crash situation being discovered if a simulator spins-up with a specific debug mode enabled.

As a result of this cancellation, there is unlikely to be a Main (SLS) channel roll in week 50, although the RC update should see deployment. After that, with the Christmas / New Year no change window rising over the horizon, further simulator updates are liable to be conspicuous in their absence until early 2016.

The viewer has been similarly quiet during the week, with only the Maintenance RC being updated, with version 3.8.7.308556 being released on December 3rd. There was (again) no RC promotion to release status for any viewer, thus leaving the usual suspects in the viewer release channel:

  • Maintenance RC viewer, version 3.8.7.308556, dated December 3rd, as noted above. Some 38 fixes and improvements, including updates for some regressions introduced into the viewer with the current release viewer
  • Project Azumarill (HTTP updates) RC viewer, version 3.8.7.308134, dated November 25th, which provides  a complete replacement of the under the hood HTTP infrastructure within the viewer
  • Project Valhalla (CEF media update) RC viewer, version 4.0.0.307894 dated November 18th, which replaces the LLQTWebKit functionality used in the Web media plugin with one based on the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF)
  • Vivox RC viewer, version 3.8.7.307744, dated November 17th, which corrects a number of Voice quality and connection issues on both Windows and Mac
  • Quick Graphics RC viewer, version 3.8.7.306758, dated November 12th, which provides the new Avatar Complexity options and graphics preset capabilities for setting, saving and restoring graphic settings for use in difference environments / circumstances.

The two potential candidates for promotion to release status would seem to be either the HTTP RC viewer or the Maintenance viewer. However, the former’s promotion would appear to be dependent upon whether the remaining niggles have been ironed out to the Lab’s satisfaction, and the later on whether the most recent RC update gathers sufficient stats to indicate whether it is ripe for promotion.

There were assorted reports of issues with teleports, etc., through the first part of the week, and during the Server Beta User Group meeting, the question was asked by Caleb Linden if people had noticed an increased rate of teleport issues / failures, suggesting the Lab may have noticed something going awry.

Other than that, a light news week, as mentioned.

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Nine years in Second Life

2015 saw me invited to build a full sim installation at the LEA in which to display my SL images. I opted to recreate my interpretation of Fallingwater, the famous Kaufmann residence, now under the care and ownership of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
2015 saw me invited to build a full sim installation at the LEA in which to display my SL images. I opted to recreate my interpretation of Fallingwater, the famous Kaufmann residence, now under the care and ownership of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

On December 5th, 2015, I reached my ninth anniversary of continuous activity in Second Life. That’s 3,287 days.  On my eighth anniversary, I was able to note a lot of significant events having occurred between it and my 7th. This year things have been a little quieter of late, although the first half of the year saw a lot going on SL-wise, which kept me busy with the blog. We’ve also seen more news emerge about the Lab’s new virtual spaces / worlds / experiences platform, including its code-name. The latter has led to understandable doubt, uncertainty and concern for many, although some of the accompanying levels of vitriol and accusations have been a tad OTT.

My own rate of blogging has also slowed somewhat when I compare 2015 with 2014. There are a fair few reasons for this, both outside and inside of my virtual worlds time. Even so, I’ve tried to keep abreast of all that’s been going on, particularly within Second Life, and I’d again like to thank everyone who takes the time to come here and read the articles, reports and reviews.

I'm honoured to be a part of the Windlight Magazine team
I’m honoured to be a part of the Windlight Magazine team

The year has seen me become more deeply immersed in virtual world art. Most notably, I was invited to become an contributing writer for Windlight Magazine, and I’ve been asked to show my SL images in a number of art events, including developing a full sim installation at the LEA.

The latter was exceptionally daunting, given it was something well outside my comfort zone; I don’t for a minute consider myself an artist or creator in any capacity. But it was also fun – and more to the point, allowed me to bring the work of CioTToLiNa Xue, through her beautiful mesh sculptures and her art, more fully into the public eye. She has tremendous talent, and I genuinely hope more galleries will seek her out.

I’ve also recently taken up the post (and challenge!) of curating art at Holly Kai Park. Again, I’m not familiar with running art exhibition spaces, so there has been a rapid learning curve for me, coupled with putting together a supporting website, as well as the need to gently re-work elements of the park and build a new venue. All of this has been keeping me fairly busy of late!

Of course, I’ve kept up with flying and boating in SL. I’ve become particularly attached to my little AD25H Little Bee tender-style speedboat, developed by Ape Piaggio, and which I personally feel is the best SL boat in its class. I’ve also become a firm fan of DSA aircraft, with three either in my inventory or moored at home. The ability to swap these ‘planes between conventional wheels and floats makes them ideal for island living.  VetronUK also does some superb materials paint kits and script options which really bring DSA aircraft to life.

I'm still having a lot of fun flying, sailing, and boating around Second Life -with the DSA G58 Baron being my latest aeroplane acquisition!
I’m still having a lot of fun flying, sailing, and boating around Second Life, with the DSA G58 Baron being my latest aeroplane acquisition!

But it is the area of friendships and relationships where 2015 has been most rewarding. I’ve met a host of people through the year, and while it is somewhat unfair to single out just one or two, I can’t write about 2015 without mentioning John, who not only offered me the opportunity to write for Windlight Magazine, but who has also been hugely encouraging and supportive through the year, and is himself a powerhouse of talent and generosity. He and his partner Emma have brought together some remarkable talent through both Windlight Magazine and Team Diabetes of SL, and I’m honoured to be a small part of things, and greatly appreciative of their friendship.

Most of all, however, I cannot let this article pass without mention of Caitlyn. The past few months have been a whirlwind of  renewed pleasure in my time in-world, and an opportunity to share time in so many special ways, be it exploring together, re-working the island and house together, loitering in galleries together or simply spending the time sitting and chatting together. I’m not sure quite when I’ve smiled so much; thank you, Caitlyn.

Looking forward to 2016!
Looking forward to 2016!