Filling the Cauldron: the closing weekend in Second Life

Filling the Cauldron — websiteSLurl

On Saturday, April 1st, we launched Filling the Cauldron to help friend and Second Life creator Elicio Ember and his family deal with their father’s medical situation (read more here and here). Since then, we’ve had a wonderful response from people who have taken the time to visit the event in-world, shop at the marketplace, bid on auction items, explore our nine amazing gardens, enjoy the art display and join in with the entertainment and music.

Filling the Cauldron draws to a close on Sunday, April 9th, and we’re bowing out with more entertainment and a final opportunity for you to visit and perhaps donate.  Should you opt to visit, here’s a break down of what is on offer.

The Marketplace

Filling the Cauldron Marketplace

Nineteen merchants rallied to the cause, offering fantasy, medieval and period clothing, accessories, avatars and furnishings for sale – and more besides. All of them have been exceptionally generous to us, offering far beyond the minimum of one item for sale at 100% of proceeds to Filling the Cauldron.

Our list of merchants comprises: AlruniaAhn – Lilith’s Den; Chic Aeon – Chic Buildings; Sweetgwendoline Bailey – Sweet Revolutions; Alia Baroque – Fallen Gods;  MalkavynEldritch – Ozimals; EldowynInshan – United Ishcon; Krystal Iridescent – Xtal Designs; SearlaitNitschke – Roawenwood; Plato Novo – %percent; H0neyHeart Resident – Ladies’ Pleasure; Johannes1977 Resident – Mahlberg Tailors; Raydenrider Resident – Dogg Mata; Tylar Resident – Tylar’s Treasures; xxsyrenxx resident – Syren’s Song; Irina Strazytski – Poet’s Heart; KerrythTarantal – Spyralle; TayrenTheas – Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions; Lunar Tripsa – Lunar’s Seasonal Designs; ShakiraAlexandra – Celtic Myst.

Filling the Cauldron: the limited edition Ozimal bunny and puffling celebrating Elicio Ember and exclusive to Filling the Cauldron. Read more

business has been steady throughout the week, and there are some very special items on offer, such as the limited edition Elico Ozimals, exclusive to Filling the Cauldron, and which you can read about here. So don’t miss a chance to come by and appreciate all that is on offer through the stalls and gacha machines.

And don’t forget, as well as visiting our merchants, you can also visit Cerridwen’s Corner, and purchase Elicio’s own creations directly!

The Auctions

Two auctions will be running over the weekend – out Silent Auction which has been running through the week, and our Live Auction, which will be held between 10:00am and 12:00 noon on Sunday, April 9th, which features some pretty amazing items, generously donated by so many. See the FTC auction overview for more.

Your choice of THREE Gachas from MadPea
TLG Ballroom Fountain

All Titan Avatars - Free the Cute!
Landscape 1 by Elicio Ember
Watercolour and Ink on Cotton Paper 23 cm x 30 cm / 9 in x 12 in

EE Real Horse Bespoke Experience Rental
The Night Theater will create a special dance for you!

The Sky Gardens

I’ve already blogged about the nine fabulous sky gardens built on a platform high above the main Filling the Cauldron events area. However, if you’ve not already done so, I urge you to visit them: they are incredible creations and deserve to be seen and enjoyed. Each is unique and offers a wonder space in which to relax, contemplate and rest. Saturday, April 8th also marks the last opportunity you’ll have to vote on the gardens as a part of a competition which will see one of the nine win the opportunity to be displayed at the upcoming Home and Garden Expo.

Sky Gardens, Filling the Cauldron – click any image for full size

Art Show

The Filling the Cauldron Art Show is an exhibition by a mix of Invited and Guest artists, with a focus on Elicio’s creation from past Fantasy Faire events. The art is displayed in the main event area, close to the auction and marketplace, and you can find out more about the artists and their work on the Filling the Cauldron Blog.

Filling the Cauldron: Art Show

The Entertainment! The Stories! The Dance!

Of course, we have more entertainment for you on Saturday April 8th, and Sunday April 9th as well, with lots of music from the DJs who have been supporting us throughout the week.  You can find the details by following the links above. However, there are two highlights for Saturday I’d particularly like to bring to your attention.

Fantastic Tales with Seanchai Library takes place at 1:00pm on Saturday, April 8th and features 1 hours of fabulous fantasy storytelling live in voice at the Filling the Cauldron Story Circle. Just follow the path from the event Welcome Area, turn off the music stream (if you’re listening) and enable Voice to listen to the stories (please keep any microphone you have closed).

Filling the Cauldron Story Circle

Then at 3:00pm, the Monarch Dance Troupe presents Amnesia especially for Filling the Cauldron, at the event main stage. ”

allow us to invite you to join us on a trip along our twisting memory lane! 6 very different dance performances, with original builds, choreography and a wide assortment of music take you back and forwards, up and down in time. Our time. The Monarchs’ time. To a distant past and a hopefully not so distant future. If that is not incentive enough to join us…Consider this: There will be unicorns, giant robots, girl power, magic pianos and a new spin to a classic tale…and dragons!”


So – do please join us at Filling the Cauldron this weekend; we’ve a lot to offer, and the cause is a worthy one!

Links and SLurls

SL project updates 2017 14/2: TPVD meeting, server updates

Maison de L’amitieblog post

The notes in this update are taken from the following sources:

  • Server Beta User Group meeting, held on  Thursday April 6th, 2017 at 3:00pm SLT – transcript here
  • The TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 12:00 noon SLT.

A video of the TPV Developer meeting is embedded at the end of this update. My thanks as always to north for providing it. Timestamps in this report, where relevant, will link you to the point in the video where items are discussed (via a new browser tab).

SL Viewer

No changes to the current pipeline since part one of the week’s update:

  • Current Release version, dated March 13th – snapshots to e-mail hotfix
  • Release channel cohorts:

    • Maintenance RC viewer version, dated Monday, April 3rd  – review
    • Voice RC viewer version released on March 20th – several improvements to voice
  • Project viewers:
    • Project AssetHttp project viewer, version dated  March 30th – This viewer moves fetching of several types of assets to HTTP / CDN – overview
    • Project Alex Ivy (“LXIV”), 64-bit project viewer, version dated March 17th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version dated November 23rd, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review
  • Obsolete platform viewer version dated May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

64-bit Build Instructions & Windows Crash Rates

[11:15] The Lab plan to update the viewer build instructions on the wiki to match the 64-bit build process once the 64-bit viewer reaches release status, and the build process is seen as stable.

[29:14] The 64-bit build is being tested across all versions of Windows back to Windows 7. While the current project viewer cohort of users is small, there is evidence that Windows 7 64-bit systems have a “significantly higher” crasher rate with the viewer than Windows 8 or Windows 10, with Windows 10 systems having the lowest overall crash rate.

SL Voice: Linux Updates and Blocking Older Versions of SL Voice

[0:49] Vivox, the company that provides the Voice back-end service and delivers the Voice plug-in for the viewer are no longer providing updates for Linux. This means there will no longer be any Voice updates for the Linux flavour of the viewer unless Vivox reverses that decision.

[1:42] The plans to block older versions of SL Voice to ensure  users are only using the most recent versions of the plug-in, first announced in the latter part of 2016 and placed on hold in December 2016, remain on the back-burner with Oz  Linden noting, “We don’t have any time line for disabling older Voice versions … We may or may not get to it.”

Region Access Changes

There are two changes to region access which are currently in progress.

Region Capacity and Access

[2:36] The first is the Improved Region Capacity and Access updates as reported by the Lab on Tuesday, April 2nd, and which are being rolled-out in stages. There has been some negative reaction to these change (some basic account users have been particularly vocal about the upper capacity to a very busy region being “reserved” for Premium members); however, the deployment which was placed on its own limited server channel (McRib),  appears to be going well and so will be rolled to a larger selection of regions in week #15 (commencing Monday, April 10th).

[3:28] The Lab will continue to look at avatar capacity within region types  as they continue to make other changes to the system, and if the opportunity arises to increase the numbers, they “probably will” (quote). Of course, increases to region capacity on the back-end can have a negative impact at the viewer end of the equation, where the viewer and client system potentially have to work than much harder.

Revised Region and Parcel Access Controls

[4:40] The Lab is revising how Public Access controls are set at both region and parcel access. This involved changes to both the back-end (already on RC) and a set of changes to the viewer UI. You can read more about this in my separate report here.

Simulator Operating System Update

[4:07] As noted in recent SL project updates in these pages, the Lab has been working on a new region simulator build using an updated version of Linux. These work has been on test on Aditi (the beta grid) for the last several weeks (on channel DRTSIM-323), and is due to move to an RC release in week #15, pending no last-minute show stoppers arise in final QA  / test.

This is an extensive back-end change to the simulator, which should be largely invisible to users. However, the Lab will be watching the initial deployment carefully, because as Mazidox  Linden commented at the server beta meeting, “It won’t change anything you should notice, and could change anything, at the same time.” This being the case, there is a standing request that as the update is deployed, those using regions running on the RC channel(s) on which it is running (see the week #15 server deployment notes in the Second Life Server forum, once published) to be extra vigilant and report anything untoward they may see / encounter.

Once this operating system update has been completed, the Lab will start work on a further update.

Other Items

Rendering Cost Calculations

[19:25] The Lab is running a background project to look at the cost of rendering a wide range of Second Life features across a range of different client systems running the viewer. The tests for this work have now been defined and are about to be put into use. Once sufficient data has been gathered, the Lab will use it to determine what might need to be done to improve the accuracy of the avatar rendering calculations with a view to making them more accurately reflect the real cost of rendering high poly count items. Changes will be communicated through forums such as the TPV Developer meeting ahead of any implementation.

[33:55] One potential project which might help with mesh avatar complexity is to allow system layer texture baking to be applied to mesh avatars. This has been the subject  of numerous discussions at the Content Creation User Group meetings (see here and here for more), and while it is still not officially adopted as a project by the Lab, they are continuing to take a detailed look at the idea,

Ban List Improvements

[28:00] This was first raised at the TPV Developer meeting held of Friday February 17th. Essentially, the region ban lists are seen as difficult to use, particularly where the ban list is extensive. There have also been requests that the upper limits for both region and parcel ban lists are raised.

Both subjects are still subject to discussion within the Lab, and while no project is currently on the cards to deal with either, it seems likely that were they to be addressed, they would be addressed together. It has been noted that one possible driver for change might be the upcoming changes being made to how Public Access is managed for regions where it is set (see above).

Windows 10 / Nvidia Shadowplay Bug

Whirly Fizzle has reported a bug which appears to have started with a recent Nividia driver update or a Windows 10 update. In short, launching the Nvidia GeForce Experience and enabling ShadowPlay on a Windows 10 system with Nvidia graphics, which tend to result in a viewer crash. See BUG-11530 for more, including a response from Nvidia on the issue.

New region and parcel access controls coming to Second Life

At both the Server beta meeting on Thursday, April 6th and the TPV Developer meeting on Friday April 7th, Grumpity Linden and Oz Linden revealed more about the upcoming changes to region and parcel access settings.

The server-side update for thee control are currently on the three RC channel (server maintenance package (17# – but the changes as a whole will not come into effect until after there has been a significant UI update to the viewer.

So what is changing?

In short, the new controls – once they are available through the viewer – will mean that when a region is explicitly set to Public Access via the Region / Estate floater, parcel owners will no longer be able to unhceck Allow Public access or set other restrictive access (e.g. Group Only) in the About Land floater for their parcel – so no more ban lines on regions explicitly set to Public Access. However, parcel-level ban lists will still apply and if things like security orbs are allowed with the region in question, they will still work as well.

Note that no change will occur where Allow Public Access has not been explicitly set within the Region / Estate floater. In these instances, parcel owners will still be able to set their own access.

This change is being made for several reasons. For example, it is something many region owners (and those who sail / boat / fly  / drive through ostensibly public regions) have requested; it is also something many estates have in their covenant but cannot actually enforce; and so on.

With the upcoming changes, if an estate is set to Allow Public Access (top), parcel holders on that region will no longer be able to override the public access using the About Land access options (above). However,the parcel ban list and and installed security system will still apply

These changes mean that the viewer UI – as noted – will be undergoing some significant changes.  Exactly how extensive thee changes will be is unclear. However the Lab is conscious of the need to ensure there is no ambiguity in the controls, and that issues such as BUG-4994 which results in a parcel being set to Group access (and gaining ban lines) if both the Public and Group access options are checked, are also resolved as a part of the work.

At the Server Beta meeting on Thursday, April 6th, Grumpity Linden commented on the UI updates thus:

We are trying to find the best way to express the access sets most clearly … The UI is changing to better convey what your actual settings permit …

1) EO & EM can now force parcels to be no more restrictive than the Estate level setting.

2) UI for both Estate and Parcel access management is confusing. We’re making changes to make it less confusing. The weirdness where you check “Public access” and “Group access” and end up with group ONLY unless you also check “PIOF” and then you get group + public w/PIOF … that will not stand.

UI will grey out unavail options; also, estate level setting will include a warning dialogue to hopefully deter EM from messing with this override willy-nilly.

It is anticipated that a viewer (project or RC) with the required updates could be appearing in week #15 (week commencing Monday, April 10th).

The changes and the upcoming viewer UI updates were also discussed at the TPV Developer meeting, from which the following audio excerpts were extracted and put together.

These comments can be heard in full on the video of the TPV Developer meeting, commencing at the 4:45 time stamp.