SL project updates 16 8/2: TPVD meeting

Imesha; Inara Pey, February 2016, on Flickr Imesha – Blog post

The following notes are primarily taken from the  TPV Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, February 26th, 2016. A video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report, my thanks as always to North for supplying it, and time stamps in the text relate to this recording.

Server Deployments – Recap

There was no scheduled Main (SLS) deployment on Tuesday, February 23rd. On Wednesday, February 24th, all three RC channels received the same new server maintenance package, comprising a server crash fix and “minor internal improvements.”

RC and Project Viewers

RC Viewers

[00:58] The Current Maintenance RC viewer was updated to version on Friday, February 26th. This should have a fix in it for a significant crash problem it has been experiencing. Otherwise all the current RC and project viewers remain as per part #1 of this week’s updates, with no view promotion to de facto release status as bugs in the three RC viewers continue to be worked on.

[00:49] It is now believed that the major issues with the HTTP / Vivox viewer have now been resolved, with the version released on Monday 22nd February ( performing “pretty well” within its cohort. [23:45] It is hoped that Rider is in the process of clearing the last significant bug which is stopping this viewer from progressing forward.

[01:20] The Quick Graphics viewer (version, dated February 17th at the time of writing) is continuing to gather fixes for assorted issues. Oz is reasonably certain the anticipated update for this viewer will be released as an RC in week #9 (week commencing Monday, February 29th), which could mark its last RC update, making it eligible for promotion to the de facto viewer.

[26:43] At the current rate of progress it is likely these three RC viewer could all be vying for promotion to release status at around the same time.

Project Viewers

[01:49] As per my last Project Bento report, work is being put into the final version of the Bento skeleton. Once this work has been completed, there should be a further viewer update. This could likely be the last iteration of this viewer as a project viewer prior to it progressing to release candidate status at some point in the future.

[02:04] The Oculus Rift viewer update is also still in progress, with what is regarded as the last major bug now having been fixed, so an update will now be appearing “soon”.


[02:46] There is a new version of OpenSSL  coming out. Depending on the vulnerabilities it fixes, it is possible this will be folded into the current release viewer to get this out of the door, but no firm decision on this will be taken until the update is available.

64-Bit Project

[03:30] Work is progressing on the 64-bit viewer build for Windows and Mac, with the Windows tool chain and infrastructure being rebuilt to support both 32-bit and 64-bit builds (once live, the Mac viewer is likely to be 64-bit only).

Viewer Stats

[04:48] The Lab gathers statistics on viewer log-ins and crash rates (and has long done so). The former allows them to gather data on the numbers of users logging-in by operating system, by operating system flavour (32-bit of 64-bit) and by viewer build (using the viewer channel number).

Changes to how the stats are gathered, coupled with other factors means that they have not been disseminated to TPVs was once the case. However, this now seems likely to resume from March, with TPVs being furnished with their own stats and those for the Lab’s viewers.

Firestorm see this as useful as it allows them to directly compare their most recent releases crash rates not only with previous releases of their viewer, but also with the crash rates of the versions of the Lab’s viewer using  the same core code base, thus potentially helping to identify potential underlying causes of any elevated crash rates they may be experiencing.

This discussion on stats segued into a general discussion on viewer channels, viewer spoofing (an illegal viewer trying to appear as a legal viewer), blocking viewers by channel number, etc., which can be heard within the video.

Future Viewer Projects

Visual Outfits Browser  Viewer

[24:00] The Visual Outfits viewer is not publicly visible, but is designed to provide a means by which users can store and browse images associated with their outfits in inventory. There is currently no time frame for when this viewer will reach a public status (project or RC).

Inventory Code Improvements

[27:14] In September 2015 I blogged about the inventory improvements projects being undertaken by Aura Linden. This is a two-step project:

  • The removal of redundant inventory messaging paths from within the viewer because they have been replaced by more robust mechanisms or they no longer have any server-side support and so are redundant
  • A complete rationalisation of the inventory code within the viewer to  more closely couple functions with their actual purpose, followed by a refactoring of the code to make it easier to maintain going forward.

It had originally been indicated that the first part of this work might appear within a project viewer before the end of 2015. However, as it is utilising HTTP, it has been delayed pending the release of the HTTP updates viewer.

It is now anticipated that once the HTTP updates reach release status, the initial phase of the inventory work will be released and allowed to progress through to a release status and gain adoption by TPVs. Once this has been done, the Lab will start removing legacy APIs from the simulator code.  One consequence of this will be that very old viewer versions which do not support the Advanced Inventory System (AIS v3) code updates (which have been available in most recent viewer releases for some time),  will no longer be unable to log-in to SL as a request of inventory load failures.

Other Items

New Features Slow-down

[23:28] The recent slow-down in viewer and server releases has been due to a number of factors:

  • Getting the bugs straightened out in the current RC viewers
  • Preparing the viewer build tools and infrastructure for 64-bit builds
  • Updating the operating system used by the simulator servers, together with the tools used to build the simulators.

Future Asset Handling Changes

[28:28] The Lab still has plans to move more asset handling to using HTTP pipelining / the CDN network. This will include things like gestures, sounds and animations, allowing them to be delivered in the same way as is now the case for mesh and texture assets. Once this has been done, the UDP handling through the simulators will be removed. Time frames for doing this work are not publicly defined at this point much beyond “one of these days, real soon now”.

Aditi Log-in / Inventory Syncing

As I first reported way back in week #51 of 2015, the Lab is looking to introduce a new method of synchronising users’ inventories between Agni (main grid) and Aditi (Beta grid), so the latter reflects the former. The “old” method of doing this was for a user to change their SL password, wait for about 24 hours, and then log-in to Aditi, triggering their inventory there to be over-written with a copy of their Agni inventory. More recently, it has been a case of filing a support ticket to have your inventory manually copied.

Under the new system, anyone logging-in to Aditi will flag their inventory for an update which will occur the next time an overnight update process is run. This will merge a copy of their Agni inventory into their Aditi inventory, rather than over-writing it, whilst also avoiding unnecessary duplication of items in the process.

However, the new process has been delayed due to bugs in the code, and Caleb and Coyot Linden are at work trying to work the last of the bugs out of thing, so the process can finally be introduced.

Firestorm Release

[18:20] Firestorm has cut their release branch, which includes TLS 1.2 and CEF (the current LL release), and expect to issue it in the next few weeks.

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