2016 SL project updates 36 (2): TPV Developer meeting

Yasminia; Inara Pey, September 2016, on Flickr Yasminiablog post

The majority of the notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, September 9th. 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. My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

This is not intended to be a transcript of the entire meeting, which featured discussions of some situations specific to individual region rather than SL as a whole. However, key discussion points have hopefully been highlighted.

Server Deployments

There was no main (SLS) channel deployment on Tuesday, September 6th.  On Wednesday, September 7th, all three RCs received the same new server maintenance package, defined as containing “minor internal logging changes” which may help with some of the problems occasionally seen with estate bans; at a minimum the Lab will be able to gather more information on them.

SL Viewer

VLC Media Plugin RC

[00:12] It is anticipated that this viewer (version, dated August 15th at the time of writing) will be updated in the early part of week #37. The update had been expected in week #36, but bug fixing slowed progress. In addition, the new version of the viewer will include changes for exception handling in the viewer intended to ensure exceptions are better handled and recorded. These may not prevent crashes occurring, but should provide the Lab with better data on the exception throws and catches. Overall, they are describes as “fairly small, widespread changes” to the viewer code.

Visual Outfits Browser

[01:26]  The Visual Outfits Browser release candidate was further updated on Friday, September 9th, to version,which should address some bugs, and the crash rate will be under observation with this update.

64-Bit Viewers

[03:08] Progressing continuing on the 64-bit Mac and Windows viewers, and the hope is that a project viewer will be arriving “soon”.

Project Bento

[01:26] My update on the most recent user group meeting is available, in which the viewer’s progress to RC in discussed. At the TPVD meeting, Oz indicated a hope the RC version of the viewer will be appearing some time in the next fortnight. This means that the Bento code will then be officially available for TPVs to adopt.

Windows 10 OpenGL Issue

[03:48] On September 6th, and following Whirly Fizzle’s pointer, I blogged about the Windows 10 / OpenGL issue which is affecting some Second Life users (as well as affecting a number of OpenGL games) – see also BUG-37795. Commenting on this at the TPVD meeting, Oz Linden said:

We are trying to work with Microsoft to find out what the genesis of that problem is … we didn’t do anything, so I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to fix it without help. The fact that it’s not just us that’s affected, is our best hope for getting a fix.

Voice Fixes

[04:50] The Voice changes mentioned in recent TPV Development meetings are not yet ready for release. There is at least one bug in handling Voice fade with distance which needs to be addressed by Vivox, which may take time for them to do. There is also no immediate push to deploy the new server-side Voice code currently on Aditi to the main grid. These changes don’t add any new features, being geared more for future changes to Voice than dealing with current problems, and as such may not be deployed until there is need for them.

New Family of LSL Functions

[07:27] A new family of LSL functions which it is hoped will please scripters. No details on what these are has been provided, pending final QA and testing via Aditi, so they may be appearing “real soon now”.  It is anticipated that an official blog post will mark the availability of the functions.

Other Items

  • [13:10] Alpha Masking Issues: This is a long-standing issue whereby alpha masking “fails” when ALM isn’t enabled in the viewer, leading to unattractive visual issues – see BUG-4357 for details.  This is something which fell off of the Lab’s radar, but they will now see if they can assign someone to look at the problem.
Alpha masking failure on attachments under ALM
Alpha masking failure on attachments under ALM. Credit: Whirly Fizzle
  • [14:44] Increasing the number of allowed attachments: project Bento sees an increase in the number of allowed attachment points on the avatar skeleton. However, the maximum number of attachments which can be worn at any one time remains 38, as any higher number starts to impact performance and stability, particularly with region crossings
  • [20:34] Ghosted attachments on region crossings: there are a number of bug reports on this (e.g. BUG-7761), and more than one bug may be at work (one causing items to become ghosted another causing them to revert, etc) on a region crossing (physical or teleport), which may or may not be linked to wearing multiple individual attachments at the same attach point. The Lab will be making further efforts to investigate issues
  • [27:00] E-mail changes: the Lab is making a series of change to improve the handling of outgoing e-mails from their systems (e.g. off-line e-mails for IMs, etc). The first of this is improving how users verify their e-mail address, which will be followed by further improvements, including only sending e-mails to addresses which have been verified. These changes will again be blogged about when implemented
  • Suppressing Avatar Complexity Notifications: the Lab may be looking at an easier way to suppress the avatar complexity notifications displayed in the top right corner of the viewer window than by using a debug option.