SL project updates 2017 13/2: server, viewer, Content Creation meeting

PeTOublog post

Server Deployments – Recap

  • There was no update to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, March 28th.
  • On Wednesday, March 29th, the three RC channels received a new server maintenance package, primarily comprising a small update to asset metrics stats logging.

Week #14 (commencing Monday, April 3rd) should see a new RC update: “New estate setting allowing estate owners to override the parcel level allow public access settings”, which I assume will be awaiting a viewer-side update once deployed – but more on that next week.

SL Viewer

The new AssetHttp Project viewer,  version 5.0.4.324828, appeared on Thursday, March 30th. This contains code for handling the delivery of landmarks, wearables (system layer clothing and body parts), sounds and animations via HTTP and through the Content Delivery Networks the Lab leverages. I have a separate report on it available here, and Vir Linden – who has been leading the viewer-side work for the project – had this to say at the Content Creation User Group meeting on March 30th:

Outside of this, the various LL viewer channels remain as follows:

  • Current Release version: 5.0.3.324435, dated March 13th – snapshots to e-mail hotfix
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 5.0.4.324882 released on March 23rd – avatar rendering and other updates – overview
    • Voice RC viewer version 5.0.4.324770 released on March 20th – several improvements to voice
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer updated to version 5.1.0.503537 on March 17th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer updated to version 4.1.3.321712 on November 23rd, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847 dated May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

New Simulator Build Testing

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). It’s still under test, and will remain that way for a while yet, although there is some limited testing occurring on the Snack channel on the main grid.

Content Creation Group Notes

Animation Transitions

Vir is still looking at the issue of animations becoming “stuck” between transitions when using  llSetAnimationOverride – an avatar freezing when it should transition from standing to walking, for example, or getting stuck in a pre- or post-jump mode (see  BUG-7488 as an example of the kind of problem). As llSetAnimationOverride is a server-side function, it would appear that something is going awry there, but pinning it down is proving difficult.

Mesh Upload Physics Type

This goes back to a very old Mesh beta (when mesh model support was being introduced to SL), and feature request CTS-571, and also related to BUG-40694. In sort, the original request was to allow the physics shape for an object to be set at upload time, rather than as is currently the case, after the upload. Allowing this is seen as a potential fix for a wide range of issues associated with mesh modelling, and could also overcome lot of the “failed to rez” inventory loss is due to the use of the lowest LOD auto-generated shape preventing a ray trace hit on the server-side when trying to place objects, as defined in BUG-40694.

While cautioning that changes to the mesh uploader aren’t currently on the roadmap, Vir listened to the discussion of the issues, and indicated he’d take a look at the upload and the problems, and possibly suggest a re-visit to the uploader might be in order depending on what he finds.

Object Permissions – Derivative Permission Discussion

Note that while the following was discussed during the Content Creation User Group meeting, it does not mean anything is about to be changed with the Second Life permissions system.

There have been a number of long-standing pricing issues with selling full permission items, such as kits to help people build content they can sell, or mesh templates for clothing and accessories which allow non-mesh modellers to enhance (via texturing, scripted options etc.) to enhance and then re-sell. So of these discussions can be seen as far back as with feature request SVC-2622.

Touching on these issues from the perspective of diminishing returns for creators of full permission kits and templates, Cathy Foil enquired whether a “derivative” permissions flag, similar to that seen within IMVU might be added to SL. This would still allow those wishing to sell full permission Copy, Modify, Transfer items to do so, but it would also allow kit and template makers to set the Derivative flag against a product (so it is Copy, Modify Derivative, for example).

This flag would allow others to buy the item, enhance it, resell it, etc., but with the caveat that the minimum they could re-sell it for would be the original purchase price. Thus, they would naturally be encouraged to sell it for more (with the potential for the original creator of the item effectively getting a “royalty” type payment of each item sold).

This sparked a lengthy discussion on a range of topics – such as adding derivative chains to the system (allowing all changes to an item by various resellers to be tracked), through the idea that such a system would encourage people to add value to the products they create using fell perm kits / templates in the knowledge their work would be rewarded, etc.

However, as Vir pointed out, changing the permissions system itself is complicated and not easy to update. Adding some kind of derivative tacking  system would as well makes any such update, even were it to be considered, vastly more complicated in scope. As such, it is not something the Lab is liable to consider.

Avastar,  MayaStar and Maya .ANIM Exporter

Avatar 2 is now at release candidate 7 for those with the product, MayaSatar has received an update covering bug-fixes and the like.

Aura Linden is still working on the .ANIM exporter for Maya (does not require MayaStar), but as she’s working on this in her own time, it’s taking a little longer than anticipated to finish off, having had to re-write the exporter using python rather than Maya’s own MEL scripting language.

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