SL project updates 16 12/2: viewer, Aditi inventory, TLS 1.2

Nusquam; Inara Pey, March 2016, on Flickr Nusquamblog post

The following notes have been taken from the Open-Source Developer meeting held on Wednesday, March 23rd, the Server Beta User Group meeting  held on Thursday, March 24th, and the Third-Party Viewer Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, March 25th (for which audio extracts are included). My thanks to Yuzuru Jewell for sending me the notes from the Open-Source Developer meeting.

SL Server Deployments – Recap

On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the improved server maintenance project previously deployed to the three RC channels. This comprises server script fixes (not LSL changes) and internal improvements. There were no planned deployments to the RC channels.

SL Viewer

There have been no further updates to any of the official viewers since the recent promotion of the former Maintenance RC viewer to release status. This viewer has already demonstrated a much lower crash rate than previous release viewers, thanks in part to the contributions made to the Lab by TPV / open-source developers.

HTTP / Vivox Viewer

It is anticipated that the HTTP / Vivox RC viewer, version dated March 23rd, 2016 at the time of writing, will be the next RC to be promoted to the de facto release viewer.

Quick Graphics RC Viewer

The Quick Graphics RC viewer, version dated March 11th, 2016 at the time of writing, further testing has been going on with a hard limit on the number of avatars rendered:  anyone outside the closest N will simply be invisible./

64-Bit Viewer Builds

The 64-bit official viewer project is continuing. As a part of this work, the Havok sub-library will be updated to 64-bit as well (allowing 64-bit versions of TPVs to including the sub-libraries, and will see CEF updated to that Mac users can utilise PPAPI should they wish to continue to use Flash driven devices for in-world media (currently, Mac users must use the less secure NPAPI – see here for more on installation requirements).

Inventory Updates

Once the HTTP viewer has reached release status, the Lab will be shifting viewer focus back on the inventory improvements work Aura linden has been working on. This includes switching all of the old UDP inventory messaging paths over to HTTP, and to deprecate old inventory messages and the removal of server-side support for such messaging.

Once live, this means that older versions of viewers which still rely on the old inventory messaging paths will no longer have functional inventories.

Aditi Inventory Syncing

As I’ve previously noted, there is a new system in place for synchronising Aditi (Beta) grid and Agni (main) grid inventories for avatars. Rather than requiring a password update in order to force your Aditi inventory to be overwritten with the contents of your Agni inventory (generally around 24 hours after the password change), the new process simply requires you to log into Aditi.

Whenever you do so, your inventory is flagged so that the contents of your Angi (main) grid inventory is merged with your existing Aditi inventory  (in theory preserving most of your Aditi inventory, rather than simply overwriting / deleting it) the next time an update process is run (at around 06:00 SLT daily). This process works one way: the contents of your Agni inventory is merged into your Aditi inventory – it doesn’t merge anything you have on Aditi into your Agni inventory.

The “in theory” statement above is important, as some issues / potential confusion has arisen with the way the process operates.

Syncing, Cache Clearance and Slow Inventory Load

Whirly Fizzle reports that following an inventory sync, items created on Aditi (and therefore unique to it) prior to the sync may seem to be missing from your Aditi inventory the first time you log-in to Aditi following the sync process. As the viewer uses the shame cache location regardless of which grid you log-in to, logging off and clearing cache corrects the problem (fresh inventory download from the correct grid asset servers) but it can lead to exceptionally log log-in times when trying to get back into Aditi (Whirly indicated in her case, it took two hours for her to log back into Aditi after clearing cache).

“Shared” Asset UUIDs and Agni Precedence

A further issue appears to be that worn items are essentially treated as “shared” assets between Agni and Aditi. This can led to problems on Aditi when editing the contents of a worn object there.

For example: Lucia Nightfire had her Agni inventory merged into Aditi. She then modified a script for a HUD which originally came from Agni. This was fine until the next time her Agni and Aditi inventories were synchronised (remembering that your Aditi inventory is flagged for update each time you log-in to the beta grid, unless it is flagged already). following this further merge, she discovered that the changes she’d made to the script on Aditi had been reverted due to the Agni data relating to the HUD and its contents overwriting the Aditi information.

The issue appears to be the result of the respective Aditi and Agni versions of the asset having the same UUID, with the Agni version of the asset taking precedence over the Aditi version during an inventory merge. It’s currently not clear if the same issue will occur with the contents of objects which are rezzed in-world as well; further tests are being carried out to check on this.

Two-Factor Account Authentication

As recently indicated by the Lab, phishing issues are still a problem in Second Life. These issues led to a request during the TPVD meeting that the Lab look to implement two-factor authentication on accounts.

The lab has been carrying out back-end infrastructure work, which has involved some changes – transparent to users – in the log-in and authentication process, and going forward, further work is to be carried out, which may include a move to two-factor authentication, although the Lab is still looking at options and time frames.

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