SL project updates 2017 12/1: server, viewer, Aditi testing

Field of Dreams; Inara Pey, March 2017, on FlickrField of Dreams / L’intangible – blog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information.

  • On Tuesday, March 21st, the Main (SLS) channel received receive the same server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels, comprising new internal logging output and changes to increase stability and security
  • There is no planned deployment for the RC channels on Wednesday, March 22nd. As all three were restarted as a part of the week #11 deployment, they will not be restarted.

SL Viewer

Maintenance RC Viewer

A new Maintenance RC viewer, version was released on Thursday March 16th.  This update includes a range of bug fixes (please refer to the release notes) and improvements as per my overview of the release. However, the updates to Avatar Complexity recorded in the release note appear to be absent the viewer / not working correctly. There are:

  • “We will now remember your choices of whether to render or not render certain avatars. You can set this by right-clicking on someone in-world and choosing Render avatar -> Default / Always / Never” – avatars still revert to Render Normally following a re-log
  • Your selections can be seen (and changed) in Preferences -> Graphics -> “Exceptions…” (under) Maximum Complexity – this “Exceptions” option does not appear to be in the viewer
  • We’ve also added a setting to always render your friends, regardless of complexity – also does not appear to be in the viewer.

A bug report has been filed on this.

Voice RC Viewer

The new Voice release candidate viewer, version, arrived on Monday, March 20th. This viewer offers a number of improvements to voice:

  • Fixes the apparent position of voices in local voice
  • Improves retry behaviour when there are problems connecting or during temporary connection problems
  • Logs more detailed information to the Lab for quantifying connection issues
  • Improves security of the communication between the viewer and SLVoice

Alex Ivy 64-bit Viewer

The 64-bit viewer for Windows and Mac was updated to version on Friday, March 17th.  This update should include the following:

  • 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.

In addition, 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.

New Simulator Build

DRTSIM-323 is the channel on Aditi (the beta grid) which is carrying the a new version of the simulator code using the Lab’s latest build of the server operating system. In includes the regions: Fire Ants, Bug Island and Mauve (again, these are on the beta grid).

HTTP Asset Fetching

This is another project on Aditi only at present. As previously noted, it will eventually see the move of the remaining Second Life inventory assets  – landmarks, gestures, animations, shapes, sounds and wearables (system layer clothing and body shapes) – to delivery over HTTP and via the Content Delivery Network(s), rather than via UDP through the simulator.  Testing is still progressing, and an initially project viewer repository has been offered, but is not currently listed in the Alternate viewer page, as the server-side of the new code is only available on Aditi, as noted.

If you want to test the new capabilities (uploading new assets – particularly sounds and animations and then running them – you can obtain the project viewer (for the time being) from the Server Beta Group meeting agenda page on the SL wiki. Note the links are liable to vanish as the agenda page is updated, and that this viewer will only currently work in testing the new fetching capabilities when logged-in to Aditi.

Other Items

  • A new feature that aims to improve landowner experience and help premium members in also in the early stages of testing. no details as yet on what it is, but it has previously been hinted at in recent TPV Developer meetings. More details to come, as they become available
  • There is a general capabilities failure issue which can occur when connecting to region on on Aditi, which prevents users entering the region. It is under investigation, but JIRA reports if you persistent encounter the problem in respect of one more more regions on Aditi would be welcomed.

A return to Storybrooke Gardens in Second Life

Storybrooke Gardens – click any image for full size

Lauren Bentham’s Storybrooke Gardens has long been a favourite of mine, particularly when it is dressed for winter (see here and here for more). With spring now upon us, Lauren has remade and expanded Storybrooke, so Caitlyn and I recently hopped over to have a look.

The new design means that there is now even more to see and enjoy, including part of the space retaining the snowy looks of the Gardens in winter – of which more anon. Winding past the landing point with its bright little tent, the familiar springtime trail still wind through the trees, lanterns hang from posts and branches, inviting visitors to follow. It meanders past little vignettes of charm and past cottages and houses available to rent, gathered here and there in little hamlet-like groups, sheep and deer grazing around them, foxes roaming nearby.

Storybrooke Gardens

This is a place of story-time fancy, so don’t be surprised when you bump into some familiar characters as you explore – both indoors and out (although again, do please be aware some of the houses may be privately rented when considering venturing inside anywhere). Humpty Dumpty, for example sits (a little headless) alongside the trail at one point, while gingerbread men peep and wave around the base of a tree at another and little fae folk hover and play. Those who are regulars to Fantasy Faire may also recognise little touches from popular FF creators adding to the magic of this realm.

Opportunities for photographs lie around every corner and along every path; for those looking for romance and a place to share a cuddle or two will find much to please them here, both under the trees and up in tall towers of varying descriptions. Camp sites, benches, blankets, even a bicycle suspended beneath dozens of colourful balloons, offer places to rest and enjoy. And, as noted above, those seeking a last touch of winter also won’t be disappointed.

Storybrooke Gardens – A Winter’s Tale

A short distance from the landing point is the entrance to A Winter’s Tale. This is a place where the snow lies heavy on the ground, frost wraps itself around bark and bough, and quaint little cottages, roofs laden under heavy white blankets, huddle close to the imposing bulk of a great castle. Above the two imposing guardians of the path leading up to the castle’s great doors, circles a magical boat held aloft by two translucent balloons, its deck offering a vantage point from which to observe the lands below.

Not far from the castle the single spire of a wizard’s tower points to the sky rises from the snowy landscape, a winding path curled around its rocky base leading to its front door. Children skate on the frozen pond at the foot of the tower, while reindeer keep an eye on all who climb the path to find out why lies inside.

Storybrooke Gardens

Towers are very much a part of this landscape – both winter and spring – as are windmills. They variously rise above tree-tops or swing their sails lazily in the breeze, adding yet more story-time feel to the land. Beneath all of them, the local folk sit and read or play, wave greetings to passing visitors, and go about their own little tasks, adding a further depth to all the scenes to be found through the Gardens.

Lauren has always had a gift for expression with her region builds, but sitting in the sky (not always the easiest place to create something with a truly natural look and feel), Storybrooke Gardens is perhaps one of her most magical environments. One we were delighted to once again visit and explore.

Storybrooke Gardens

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