Mystical Fae Forest – blog post
The notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 10th, 2017. Audio extracts from the core points of the meeting are included.
SL Viewer Pipeline
There have been no further updates to any of the official viewers since part 1 of this week’s updates, leaving the pipelines as:
- Current Release version: 188.8.131.524126, dated March 3rd, promoted March 6th – formerly a Maintenance RC viewer download page, release notes
- Project viewers:
- Obsolete platform viewer version 184.108.40.2060847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.
A further Maintenance RC viewer is in the offing; expect that soon.
Love Me Render Viewer
The Love Me Render RC viewer containing rendering pipe improvements was withdrawn due to assorted issues, in part justifying the move of rendering fixes to their own viewer branch to prevent them bottlenecking viewer releases (which could have happened if they had been a part of the “regular” Maintenance RC). It will hopefully reappear once the issues prompting its withdrawal have been dealt with.
The Project Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer has a new update currently with the Lab’s QA team. It has “quite a bit of work” in it, and should hopefully appear early in week #11 (week commencing Monday, March 13th). This update will include:
- An open-source wrapper for CEF called Dullahan (link for those who are curious about the etymology of Lab project names) which will replace llCEF, making it easier to render web content through the viewer
- The same versions of Dullahan / CEF and libVLC (audio handling) on both the Windows and Mac builds
- The 64-bit Mac build now uses MacOS Sierra, and will be backwards compatible as far as OSx 10.9 (Xcode 8)
- The 64-bit Windows build still uses Visual Studio 2013, and will support Windows 10, 8 and 7. Vista support is TBC.
360 Snapshot Viewer
New Viewer Management Framework
The next 64-bit update after the one referenced above will include the new viewer update process, which is specifically targeted at Windows users. This will run a process when updating the viewer to check the version of Windows being run (32-bit or 64-bit), and ensure the correct version of the viewer is downloaded and installed. In time, this process will eventually take over producing crash dump data as well.
Some concern was raised over forcing 64-bit users to run 64-bit versions of the viewer if they have found 32-bit versions to be easier (for whatever reason). However, the Lab believes this is unlikely to be the case.
Viewer Build Process
The viewer build process is changing with the arrival of the 64-bit viewer versions. One aspect of this is a new version of autobuild itself. The build process also uses the same compiler switches for building all of the various libraries which go into a viewer build, which are controlled by a new repository. This should smooth the build process and means that for Windows, the process can build either the 64-bit version of the viewer or the 32-bit version, providing the core 64-bit repository is used and depending on how an address size switch is set.
32-Bit Windows Support
There is still a large number of Second Life users running computers with 32-bit windows. As such, the Lab intends to support 32-bit windows for as long as the numbers warrant it / it is practical to do so. However, those on 32-bit versions of the operating system are liable to experience higher crash rates and poorer viewer performance, simply because of the memory limitations inherent in 32-bit Windows.
The next Voice update should be appearing soon, which fixes the left / right orientation of Voice on the Mac. There are still some connection issues to be resolved, but hopefully the viewer will reach LL’s QA team in the next week or so, paving the way for its public appearance.
Abuse Report Categories
Currently, the report categories associate with Abuse Reports (ARs) are currently held in the viewer. This means that any changes made to the categories may not be reflected in all viewers, complicating the Governance Team’s work it triaging incoming reports.
While first mooted in August 2016, the Lab is now looking to make the Abuse Report categories a simulator-side capability downloaded to the viewer (most likely at log-in). This would both make it easier for the Lab to revise the abuse categories (were their ever a need to do so) and, over time, help eliminate the problem of incorrect abuse categories existing in older viewers.