2016 SL project updates 44/2: TPV Developer meeting

The Fallen City
The Fallenblog post

The majority of the notes in this update are taken from the abbreviated TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, November 4th. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update. My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

  • On Tuesday, November 1st, the Main (SLS) channel received the same server maintenance package as deployed to the three RC channels in week #43. This comprises: a fix for the bug introduced in week #42 – see BUG-40735 “Paying an object with [slgaming] in the object name (most skill game machines) fails on the RC 16.10.14.320687”; two fixes for issues with the new llSit function for Experiences, and additional internal updates.
  • There was no RC channel deployment on Wednesday, November 2nd. However all three channels were restarted.

Both the Main channel deployment and the RC channel restarts saw land capacity / prim allowances for Mainland regions increase.A full Mainland region now has a land capacity / prim allowance of 22,500 as standard. Note that private estate regions will follow in due course.

For the specifics of these changes, please refer to Lab reveals LI / prim allowance changes in Second Life – in full.

SL Viewer

The Project Bento RC viewer updated to version 5.0.0.321250 on Wednesday, November 2nd. offering the following fixes (the reports on the JIRA are non-public, so links aren’t included here to save confusion):

  • SL-395 – joint scale locks failing to upload in some cases.
  • MAINT-6853 – viewer crash when checking preview skin weights in mesh upload.
  • SL-504 – intermittent crash when adding attachment to an avatar (probably during shutdown).

This viewer is expected to go through at least one more iteration to address further bugs.

The Lab hopes that either the Bento RC or the current Maintenance RC (version 4.1.2.321183 at the time of writing) will be promoted to the de facto release viewer prior to US Thanksgiving, with the other being promoted shortly thereafter.

A further Maintenance RC is in development, and is likely to appear once the current RC has been promoted.

64-bit Viewer Progress

The Lab has completed building all of the required libraries for the 64-bit viewer, and are now actually building the first 64-bit project viewers, which it is hoped will see the light of day before the end of the year.

The library updates also mean that the Lab will be able to do large-scale updates to the viewer build environment with significantly greater ease in the future. One of the first of these updates liable to come in the first quarter of 2017, to switch to Xcode 8 (Mac) and Visual Studio 2015 (Windows).

Bento

Medhue Simoni’s Bento elephant is now available – requires a Bento viewer to use / render correctly

There was no Bento User Group meeting on November 4th, so there is nothing major to report on that front – except those who have been fascinated and charmed by Medhue Simoni’s magnificent Bento elephant can now obtain it via the Marketplace. There’s also an extensive video on it – and it even flies! How cute is that?

Note, obviously, that you will need a Bento capable viewer to use it, and others will require Bento capable viewers to render it correctly.

The next Bento User Group meeting will be on Thursday, November 10th at 13:00 SLT at the the Hippotropolis Campfire Circle.

Interesting Nugget

During the meeting Sansar is discussed, and Oz Linden indicates that the log-in data the Lab receives suggests than a large number of Second Life users are using systems which are unlikely to be able to run Sansar particularly well, further boosting the Lab’s confidence that Second Life has a longer-term future.

This shouldn’t be taken to mean that Sansar will necessarily have a massively high set of system requirements – although obviously, anyone wishing to use the current generation of HMDs will need to have a system meeting the specifications required by such hardware.

Rather, it would again suggest than many Second Life users continue to access Second Life using systems which might be described as past their prime when compared to even the “modest”  hardware standards set by modern home computers.

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A journey to the source of prims in Second Life

The Prim Rig, ANWR Channel
The Prim Rig, The ANWR Channel

“Pey!”

The familiar bellow had me on my feet and in the Editor’s office before it had finished reverberating across the office.

“Chief?” I enquired from the doorway of his inner sanctum. He tossed a folder across his desk at me. I crossed the room to look at the cover, then at him, puzzled. “The new prim allowances? I’ve covered them, Chief…”

“Yeah? Well it seems some are concerned about the supply, given those changes. I want 500 words on my desk about prim production before the end of the day!”

I opened the folder and saw a ticket for one to Heterocera and details of a charter helicopter which would get me to the ANWR Channel. I looked up at the Editor, “You want me to visit the Prim Rig?” The look I got in reply told me all I needed to know. Pausing only to grab my camera and notepad from my desk, I headed for the elevator…

"I flew out to the rig via helicopter...."
“After circling the Prim Rig to afford me a good view, the pilot brought us in to a safe landing”

ANWR – named in respect of the to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – forms part of the body of water connecting the continents of Heterocera (Cercopia region) and Sansara (Cyclops and Purple regions) to the south. It is the home of the Prim Rig, a massive drilling rig sitting in the midst of the water which – as legend has it – is where all the prims in Second Life come from.

"You'll need this," the rig Foreman said, handing me a yellow hard hat as I stepped off the helipad. "We run a safe operation here!"
“You’ll need this,” the rig Foreman said, handing me a yellow hard hat as I stepped off the helipad. “We run a safe operation here!”

The idea for the rig is actually a part of an initiative to add some “back story” to Second Life through the character of Magellan Linden. However, it has gained a life of its own as the place where “primoleum” is drilled, pressed into the prims we need, and then funnelled to dry land via a pipeline.

I opted to take a trip out to the rig and blog about it when Patch brought it to mind in discussing the new region prim allocations, joking that he had been out to the rig to ensure production had been increased to meet the demand brought about by the new allocations.

Easily reached via water – and hard to miss when boating / sailing – the rig can also be reached via hot air balloon, SLGI tour trains (which fly out to the rig when they come to the end of their ground lines) or the regular sailings of the resupply vessels to / from the rig. Those wishing to fly to it via helicopter can do so from any of the airfields near the coasts of the two continents (as I did from the , travelling from the Calleta City Airport, Cecropia, where the prim pipeline comes ashore. When flying to the rig, do be aware that the helipad can be used by other vehicles as well and that auto return is set to 10 minutes, with no rezzing on the rig.

"We toured the rig, the Foreman showing me how raw Primoleum is brought up from deep under the sea bed, the raw cubes quickly smoothed or rounded into cylinders before passing on for pipeline delivery. It's all a highly automated affair..."
“We toured the rig, the Foreman showing me how raw Primoleum is brought up from deep under the sea bed, the raw cubes quickly smoothed or rounded into cylinders before passing on for pipeline delivery. It’s all a highly automated affair…”

It’s a very industrial place, as you might expect: the tall central drilling derrick rises into the sky like a latter-day spire, the square bulk of the rig surrounding it, waste stacks angling outwards over the water, burning off unwanted gases safely away from the massive structure. Cranes, containers and the Helipad occupy the upper deck, but it’s the deck below that offers the main attraction; that’s where the prims first appear, ready for onward transfer for use by residents!

There’s a lot of history bound up with the ANWR drilling rig – the fable of the prim, the legend of Magellan Linden, his discovery of Heterocera – all of it so much a staple part of Second Life’s history and back story mythology. All of which makes it a “must see” stopover for any SL explorer serious about discovering the grid 🙂 . Should you choose to do so, you might also want to check-out the Valda Experimental Wave Energy Hub to the south and west of the rig; but for me, that’s the subject of a future blog post – maybe!

"As we lifted off from the helipad, I took a last snap of the rig, knowing that as long as it was standing, prim needs in Second Life would always be met..."
“As we lifted off from the helipad, I took a last snap of the Prim Rig through the helicopter’s open door, knowing that as long as it was standing, prim needs in Second Life would always be met…”

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