2016 SL project updates 49/2: Bento and web and bits

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Luane’s Magical World, Morning Glowblog post

Server Deployment – Recap

  • On Tuesday, December 6th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the same server maintenance package deployed to the three RC channels, comprising internal simulator changes.
  • On Wednesday, December 7th, the three RC channels will received the same new server maintenance package, which includes the following feature requests:
    • BUG-6377 – llGetObjectDetails(id,[OBJECT_ATTACHED_SLOTS_AVAILABLE]) – Returns a value that is number of attachment slots allowed by the server minus the number of attachments worn by avatar. Returns 0 if avatar is not in the same region or if UUID is not an agent.
    • BUG-40871 – llGetEnv() constant “region_object_bonus” – returns the object bonus set for a region.

Bento Update

The major news is that Bento was officially pronounced “live” on Monday, December 5th with the promotion of the Bento viewer code to de facto release status – see the official blog post or my covering article. Currently  – and as far as I’m aware – Black Dragon has a release out supporting Bento, Cool VL viewer has had Bento updates in the experimental branch for some time, and both Firestorm and Catznip will be issuing updates with Bento support very soon.

The announcement was followed with some further releases of Bento capable content on the Marketplace, and more will doubtless follow as Bento reaches more viewers and Avastar is fully updated (see below).

Troy Linden, the product lead for the project, passed on congrats and thanks to all who have been involved in the project, and Vir Linden’s role in getting things rolling and taking responsibility for getting things to work in the viewer.

One issue that wasn’t fixed prior to release was that of facial deformations occurring at altitude, which was noticed very early in the project.

Cathy Foil demonstrates the mesh deformation which becomes more pronounced with altitude (starting at around 1,000m and getting progressively worse through 4,000m)
Cathy Foil demonstrates the mesh deformation which becomes more pronounced with altitude (starting at around 1,000m and getting progressively worse through 4,000m)

As this particular problem appears to be part of a broader issue of floating point calculation errors and it can be overcome by using hardware skinning,  it wasn’t seen as a significant enough issue to warrant holding back Bento.  Should you encounter it, try using hardware, rather than software skinning on your system.

Future Follow-Ons for Bento

As Bento was being developed, a number of ideas for follow-on projects were put forward. Two of these include:

  • “unwearing” the default avatar while allowing baked textures & reducing the complexity of avatar bodies(see BUG-10980). Vir has previously indicated an interest in pursuing this idea (and the feature request has been accepted by the Lab).
  • Splitting the avatar shape into different elements (e,g, head and body), seen as making it easier for users who are uncertain about customising their form using the sliders, or who have a No Mod shape associated with their head or body to be able to mix and match more easily.

No final decision has been made on what might follow Bento or when, but given Vir’s feedback on splitting the avatar shape into separate elements would require a fairly extensive re-working of how avatar appearance is handled (up to and including changes to the baking service), it would seem unlikely this would be adopted,

Avastar and MayaStar

Avastar is still in the process of being updated to give expected support for Bento, and a new version is anticipated in the near future – users should keep an eye on the Avastar website for news. Cathy Foil believes that MayaStar is fully up-to-date, and while there have been reports of problems, these appear to be user error rather than bugs in the software, so she is considering further tutorial videos.

Future Meetings

Bento meetings will continue for a while (allowing for upcoming holidays). They may still be broadened into more of a content creation style meeting if there is sufficient interest. This is still TBD. The next meeting will take place on Thursday, December 15th at the Hippotropolis Camp Fire Circle, as usual, commencing at 13:00 SLT.

Web Properties Update

On Monday, December 5th, Grumpity Linden issued a further blog post on recent SL web property updates, which also included a minor update (contents unspecified to the lindenlab.com properties.   In terms of Second Life, the updates can be summarised as:

  • Maps:
    • slurl.com was officially retired on November 22nd, everything is now maps.secondlife.com – slurl.com/secondlife/ are redirected.
    • Viewing a specific location on maps.secondlife.com no longer throws a 404 error in the console.
    • Maps no longer  disappear at peak use times.
  • A large infrastructure update was made to secondlife.com along with security fixes and several minor bug fixes.
  • The Marketplace had an Events infrastructure stabilization to fix a few listing bugs.
  • A minor Security fix was released.

The update also referenced the new Grid Status page service.

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