SL Project Updates 16 25/2: server, viewer, animation files

Hell's Crossing; Inara Pey, June 2016, on Flickr Hell’s Crossingblog post

Server Deployments – Recap

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information.

  • There was not deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, June 21st.
  • On Wednesday, June 20th, the three RC channels were updated with the same new server maintenance package, comprising  minor internal changes and Tool Tip/Constant text fixes.

The RC update includes a fix for BUG-18251, and a further fix for the Bento attachment issue documented in BUG-10979, which doesn’t change Bento models or how avatars are rendered by the viewer.

SL Viewer

The Maintenance RC viewer updated on Friday, June 24th to version

The remaining official viewers were not updated during the week, leaving them as follows:

    • Current Release version: (dated May 11), May 18 – formerly the Quick Graphics RC viewer
    • Inventory Message RC viewer, version, dated May 23rd – removal of deprecated and unused UDP inventory messaging mechanisms from the viewer
    • Project viewers:
      • Project VLC Media Plugin viewer, version, dated June 15th – replaces the QuickTime media plugin for the Windows viewer with one based on LibVLC
      • Visual Outfit Browser viewer, version, dated June 6th – ability to preview images of outfits in the Appearance floater
      • Project Bento (avatar skeleton extensions), version, dated June 10th – bug fixes
    • Obsolete platform viewer, version dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Larger Animation File Sizes

There has been a long-standing request to increase the file size for animations, a request which has been enhanced by the development within Bento, where there is now a far larger number of bones to be pushed around (see BUG-11836).

While the Lab had been open to this idea, it looked as if any change would be deferred until after the back-end services had been updated to deliver animation assets via the Content Delivery Network (CDN), which at the time of writing is used to deliver meshes and textures to the viewer.

However, the Lab has now decided to bring this change forward, rather than wait for the move to the CDN. As this is a server-side update, it is currently due to be in the Release Candidate channel updates for Wednesday, June 29th (from Caleb Linden, talking at the Server Beta User Group meeting on Thursday, June 23rd). This will see the animation file size limit raised from 120Kb to 250Kb.

One thing to bear in mind however, is that until animations are moved to CDN delivery (where they should enjoy somewhat faster delivery to your viewer on a first-time load), they will be delivered to your viewer via UDP, and the larger file size, as it comes into use, will probably mean a slightly longer delay before animations kick-in while they are being downloaded. Obviously, once caches locally, this should be an issue (unless you clear cache).

Vir Linden discussed this change at the Bento Project meeting, and I’m including the audio extract from that meeting below.