The notes in this update are taken from the abbreviated TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, January 13th, 2017. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update. My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.
The Maintenance RC viewer was updated to version 188.8.131.522791 on Thursday, January 12th. Otherwise the pipeline remains unchanged from part 1 of this week’s update. [34:20] this will likely be the next viewer to be promoted to release status.
[03:07] It is anticipated that the 64-bit official viewer, version 184.108.40.2061863 at the time of writing, will remain in the project cycle for some time. An update to it is anticipated in week #3 (week commencing Monday, January 16th, 2017). Currently, the project viewer isn’t being used by many, and the Lab hopes this number will pick up so that a little more feedback can be obtained.
Points of note with the 64-bit viewer and 64-bit plans:
- The Mac version is currently without Havok support, an it will likely be 2+ weeks before it does.
- There will also be a number Havok libraries build in support 64-bit, which will be made available to TPV sub-licensees, but this is unlikely to happen until the Lab starts building 64-bit release candidates.
- KDU within the viewer is being updated to version 7.9.
- [08:08] New packaging of the media code and a new version of CEF.
- The viewer update code will be completely revised.
- The crash reporting code may be updated.
[11:28] Eventually, the Lab plans to have the viewer available in both 32-bit and 64-bit for Windows, and 64-bit only for Mac OSX and Linux.
For more on Linux, see below.
[07.18] Updates to Voice should be appearing in a viewer in the next 2(ish) weeks. This will include a new SL Voice plug-in from Vivox which includes a new Opus codec, as well and bug and exploit fixes.
Linux and the Viewer
[10:08] Currently, the Lab have not carried out any work on a 64-bit version of the viewer on Linux. However, thought is being given on how to move forward with Linux, and it is hoped that the Lab will have some ideas to put to the TPV / open-source community by the next TPV Developer meeting. It is also hoped that by that time, the Lab will have started work on a 64-bit Linux version of the viewer.
The following are covered in brief. please fer to the video for specifics.
New Camera Presets Coming?
[09:14] Jonathan Yap, who has worked on various code contributions for the viewer including, most recently, graphics presets, is working on a new project, which appears to be updating the viewer’s camera presets.
Music Stream Autoplay
[16:45-28:09] A lengthy discussion takes place on music autoplay within the official viewer, and whether or not it should be enabled by default.
- Having it enabled is seen a off-putting to new users, as it means they can be confronted with loud music playing over their system almost from the moment they log-in, with no apparent way to turn it off. This is seen as possibly causing some to log-off in frustration
- Having it disabled by default is seen as breaking the shared experience in regions where the creator has specifically included music streaming as a part of the environment
- The compromise is potentially for the default volume on media to be reduced.
(Note, this discussion also drags on between 29:45-33:50, after the above agreement being reached.)
[28:45] In a similar vein, a request was made to disable click-to-walk, as it has been observed that new users get confused when they find their avatar apparently moving when they haven’t touched their keyboard. A JIRA on this has been requested.
Group Chat Issues and Group Notice Deliveries
[34:59] Group chat lag become more noticeable over the holiday period. However, the Lab ran a restart of the back-end group chat servers, and this appeared to resolve the majority of issues. If specific groups are still experiencing issues, JIRAs are requested.
[36:49] There are reports that the problem of group notices not always getting through is getting worse. So people don’t get the notice, others get them twice, etc. A JIRA, BUG-40824, has been raised on issues with off-line receipts of group notices as well.
Environment Maps, Shiny, Projectors and More
[42:29-end-of-meeting] The end of the meeting centres on a convoluted discussion on the environment map used for the sky, shiny / glossiness, etc. In sort, there is a request for region holders / creators to be able to replace the environment map with a texture of their own choosing. On the plus side, among other things, this could allow things like easier simulation of reflections using projectors. on the negative side, again among other things, it could break a lot of existing content.
Changes to the environment map, providing they can be shown to have specific benefits and do not break existing content, have not been ruled out. However, a specific proposal is really required.