Daily Archives: July 2, 2016

SL Project updates 16 26: Server, viewer TPVD Meeting

It All Starts With A Smile; Inara Pey, June 2016, on Flickr It All Starts With A Smileblog post

Some of the notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 1st. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update, and references to it are indicated through the use of time stamps in the paragraphs below (note that there were some extended pauses in the meeting where there was no discussion, hence some of the time gaps evident between time stamps, where given). My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

Server Deployments – Recap

  • On Tuesday, June 28th, the Main (SLS) channel received the same server maintenance package previously deployed to the RC channels, comprising  minor internal changes and Tool Tip/Constant text fixes.
  • On Wednesday, June 29th, all three RC channels received the same new server maintenance package, comprising the following fixes:
    • BUG-11836  Increase max animation size – animation files up to  250Kb can now be uploaded
    • BUG-6035 (non-public) LSL email registration (for receiving email from outside the region) can break without automatic recovery.

Deployments for Week #27

There will only be one deployment in week #27 (commencing Monday, July 4th), this will be to the Main (SLS) channel, promoting the current RC channel package, which due to Monday being a holiday in the United States, will take place on Wednesday, July 6th, rather than Tuesday, July, 5th.

SL Viewer

The Bento project viewer updated to version 5.0.0.317134, on Thursday June 30th. This update includes small tweaks to the avatar skeleton file, but no structural changes, and provides fixes for:

  • SL-426 missing string for left pec, right pec attachments
  • SL-398 issues with system eyelashes
  • MAINT-6380 vertical flicker with some mesh avatars.

Visual Outfits Browser Project Viewer

[03:22] The Visual Outfits Browser (VOB) project viewer updated to version 4.0.6.316422 on July 1st. This could be the last iteration of the viewer as a project release prior to it being promoted to a release candidate status, which might be as early as week #27, pending the outcome of fixes for a couple of issues.

Oculus Rift Project Viewer

[04:19] A new Windows build for the Oculus Rift project viewer, version 4.1.0.317313 was released on July 1st (reported as being with the Labs QA team during the TPV Developer meeting) – see my update article for more.

It is expected that over the fullness of time, this viewer will progress through project and RC releases and be merged into the main viewer. The Lab currently has no plans to maintain it as a separate viewer channel.

Note that this viewer is still specific to the Oculus Rift. Support for the HTC Vive in Second Life is something the Lab “would like to be able to do”, but this viewer does not expressly support the Vive as well. If and / or when the Lab might offer Vive support in SL, and how far that support might go (e.g. will it include support for using the Vive’s room sensors with SL) is an open question at this point is time.

Inventory Messaging Viewer Promotion

[00:28] It appears the inventory messaging viewer, version 4.0.6.315555, is “almost certain” to be promoted to de facto release status on Tuesday, July 5th.

This viewer eliminates deprecated and unused UDP inventory messaging mechanisms from the viewer, replacing them with the current AIS mechanisms. The promotion of this viewer to de facto release status marking the start of a countdown towards the removal of the corresponding back-end support for these old UDP operations, which will most likely take place some time in Q4 of 2016 (final dates TBD at this time).

When it happens, it means than any viewers still reliant on the UDP mechanisms for inventory operations – such as the Lab’s Obsolete Platforms viewer (version 3.7.28.300847) will no longer work.

Maintenance RC Viewer

[03:02] The Maintenance RC viewer, version 4.0.6.316883 at the time of writing, is also doing well in its cohort, and is expected to be promoted “not to far” behind the messaging viewer – so most likely around mid-July, unless anything happens, given the Lab generally likes to leave 2 weeks between viewer promotions.

Project VLC Media Plugin Viewer

[36:23] It is hoped this project viewer (currently version 4.0.6.316258, dated June 15th) should move to release candidate status in week #27. Again, this will be for Windows only, replacing the QuickTime media plugin for the Windows viewer with one based on LibVLC. The Mac viewer will be updated to use LibVLC when the 64-bit version is released.

There have been some issues with this viewer recognising .MOV files in comparison with playing files in a web browser or a VLC client (see BUG-20024), It is believed that this is due to be down to the number of different .MOV formats the VLC plug-in in the viewer can recognise (.MOV essentially has multiple flavours) when compared to other means to play these files.

[44:56] In general terms, the Lab plan to make further media handling improvements with the 64-bit versions of the viewer, unless something significant comes up with diverts resources.

There have also been some questions over licensing of media in .MOV format, commenting on this, Oz said:

[39::08] We  believe our viewer is not going to be violating any licensing terms, and you [TPV developers] will have to make your own judgements about what your viewers are and are not allowed to do. I’m afraid Linden Lab cannot be in the position of providing advice on that.

64-Bit

[15:42] Work is continuing on the 64-bit versions of the Windows and Mac viewers., with Oz again re-iterating that when ready, the Lab will provide the Windows viewer in 32-bit and 64-bit flavours and the Mac versions as 64-bit only (as do most TPVs who support 64-bit). Linux will also be provided as 64-bit only, although this isn’t a focus for the first release of the 64-bit versions, unless the Lab receive suitable Linux contributions to help them along.

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Second Life Oculus Rift viewer 4.1.0.317313

The Second Life Oculus Rift project viewer has been updated to support the Oculus CV-1

The Second Life Oculus Rift project viewer has been updated to support the Oculus CV-1

Update: July 8th: Linden Lab has suspended viewer support for the Oculus Rift. This article has been updated accordingly, notably with strikethroughs on links which are no longer valid.

Update July 5th: Rai Fargis has raised a JIRA – BUG-20130 – where specific issues with this viewer can be recorded for the direct attention of l,inden Lab. Many thanks to Rai for doing so, and to Ai Austin for poking me with the JIRA number. please also refer to my follow-up article on his project viewer

Update July 3rd: Those with Oculus HMDs are reporting significant issues with this update to the viewer via Twitter, the SL forums and YouTube, with some of the problems also being added as comments to the end of this article. Any specific, reproducible issues (allowing for the apparent quantity of problems being encountered) should be reported to the Lab via the LL JIRA, if possible. 

On Friday, July 1st, 2016, Linden Lab released the much-anticipated update to the Oculus Rift project viewer.

Version 4.1.0.317313 of the viewer is a Windows only build, for a very specific reason, as all VR followers should be aware, and as explained in the headline comments in the release notes:

The SDK from Oculus Rift does not support anything but Windows, so the other platforms are not supported for use with an Oculus Rift.

This update means the project viewer should now support both the Oculus DK 2.0 and the new consumer version of the headset, the CV-1. Note, however, that it is not intended to support the HTC Vive as well (see below).

In addition, the update brings the viewer up-to-date with all viewer releases through to the Lab’s current release code base, and so includes the plethora of updates over the last two years, up to and including Avatar Complexity and graphics presets.

As with the previous version of the viewer, the Oculus Rift setting panel can be accessed via Preferences > Move & View. There is also an Advanced HMD menu option in the viewer’s Advanced menu, but I’ve no idea what this does (I don’t have an Oculus Rift of my own), and a toolbar button is available for those wishing to toggle in / out of the viewer’s “Rift mode”,  which can also be done by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-D (note that using either of these options will generate an on-screen error message if a Rift headset is not connected to your PC).

Oculus Rift Set-up floater

Oculus Rift Set-up floater

The release notes for the viewer contain a set of tips designed to help optimise the viewer’s performance (unchanged from the previous release of the viewer), as well as listing the core key controls:

  • Enter HMD mode – CTRL + SHIFT + D
  • Align to look – Q
  • Center Mouse Pointer – Z
  • Action key – X
  • Camera Mode – M (Press multiple times to cycle through 3rd Person, HMD Mouse look, and 1st Person modes)
  • Hide UI – CTRL+SHIFT+U

Performance

As has been repeatedly indicated by the Lab (e.g. the June 2016 Meet the Lindens chat with Ebbe Altberg), the nature of Second Life, where much of the in-world content (including avatars) has not been optimised for delivery at very high frame rates, the viewer is unlikely to deliver optimal Oculus Rift performance (e.g. 75 fps at all times for the DK-2 and 90 fps for the CV-1).  It should, however, offer a “comfortable” level of performance sufficient enough for people to enjoy the immersive experience presented by the headset reasonably well.

Future Intent and Vive Support

Going forward, the Lab plans to progress Oculus support through project and RC status and integrate it into the release viewer. There are no plans to offer a specific “Oculus Rift flavour” version of the viewer that will be maintained alongside a “non-Oculus Rift” version.

Speaking at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday July 1st, Oz Linden indicated that providing support for the HTC Vive in Second Life is something the Lab “would like to be able to do”, but it is not something on the horizon at present. If and / or when the Lab might offer Vive support in SL, and how far that support might go (e.g. will it include support for using the Vive’s room sensors with SL) is an open question at this point is time.

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