2016 SL project updates 40 (2): TPVD meeting, Bento

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

The majority of the notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, October 7th. 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 Deployment – Recap

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates or changes.

  • Tuesday, October 4th saw the Main (SLS) channel updated with the server maintenance package previously  deployed to the three RC channels, which includes a fix for BUG-40565, introduced as a result of the deployment of the week #38 server maintenance package.
  • There was no planned deployment / restart for the three RC channels, although there should be a new RC package available for week #41 (commencing Monday, October 10th).

SL Viewer Updates

From 00:05 in the video.

The VLC Media Plug-in RC viewer updated to version on Thursday, October 6th, intended to fix a number of outstanding bugs, including setting the volume slider to maximum, causing the voice sound to cut out completely. This view has been performing well, with a low crash rate, so if this trend continues with the latest update it may well finally make it to release status in week #41 (commencing Monday, October 10th).

The Project Bento RC viewer updated to version on Friday, October 7th (see below for more).

Project Bento

There was no Project Bento user group meeting during the week, due to a timing conflict with the Lab’s internal monthly meeting. The next Bento meeting will be on Thursday, October 13th, at 13:00 at the Hippotropolis camp fire circle.

In the meantime, as noted above, there was a new Bento RC update, which includes the following additions and fixes:

  • Adds a scale locking feature to mesh upload
  • Optimisations should improve the frame rate in mesh-intensive regions
  • Probable fix for an intermittent crash.

The scale locking feature adds a check box which, if checked will lock joints against scale changes, and thus the sliders affecting the joint will no longer influence it. Leaving the box unchecked for the joint will allow scale changes. This might be useful for those wishing to produce (non-human?) avatars where it might be preferable to have certain parts of the body locked from slider-driven changes to prevent distortions / conflicts arising, without necessarily locking in the entire mesh against slider changes (e.g. the face could be “frozen” to prevent distortion, but body height or tail length, etc).

In addition to their brief Bento Hands preview first seen in July, Vista Animations have now produced a more details preview, with the beta version of the hands (with free update to the release version) available on the Marketplace for L$999.

64-bit Viewer and Viewer Build Process

[03:19] Work on the 64-bit viewers is temporarily paused as the Lab shifts over to their improved viewer build process, which will come into effect with the 64-bit builds.

The updated process involves changes to almost everything in the build pipeline other than the compilers. However the work is progressing well, and the Lab anticipates running builds using the new libraries from week #41, and the library repositories are already public for TPVs to examine and use.

In particular, the Autobuild environment has been updated to support platform-specific switches within the build scripts via a new option in the autobuild_source_environment command. The varsfile is a file containing template variable assignments to be modified based on the build type, so that all builds(library and viewer) use the same compilation and option switches. The variables file used by Linden Lab to build the viewer and its libraries is in the viewer-build-variables repository. TPVs are free to us this, or adopt / continue to use their own.

As noted, given the extent of the work, the Lab is avoiding updating Visual Studio and Xcode. Instead, they will be updated as a follow-on project once the current work is completed.

Snapshot 360

[08:49] The Lab is working on a new viewer capability – the ability to take 360-degree panoramic snapshots using the snapshot floater. I’ve covered this in a separate article, with key audio extracts.

Experience Force Sit

Rider Linden is continuing to work on this new capability (see my article here) which will allow for the scripted seating of avatars engaged in experiences (Project Espeon). In particular, the latest Maintenance RC allows avatars to use the stand button to stand (Server Beta Meeting, Thursday, 6th October).


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