SL project updates 16/1: server, teleports and other bits

The Incredible 4 blog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, April 18th the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package previously deployed to the RC channels in week #15. This includes:
    • Several internal fixes and two new internal logging modes
    • Another adjustment to fix issues with off-line IM and Group Notice delivery reliability
    • Fixes an issue where large numbers of objects could be returned after a rolling restart.
  • On Wednesday, April 19th, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre should receive the improved region capacity and access capabilities
    • Magnum looks set to receive a new “secret” update, which has been under testing on the Snack channel (and will likely have Snack reabsorbed into it).

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates thus far this week, leaving the viewer pipeline as:

  • Current Release version: 5.0.3.324435, dated March 13 – snapshots to e-mail hotfix
  • Release channel cohorts :
    • Project AssetHttp project viewer version 5.0.4.325368 dated April 12th – This viewer moves fetching of several types of assets to HTTP / CDN – overview
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 5.0.4.325124 dated April 3rd – avatar rendering and other updates
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer version 5.1.0.503537 dated March 17th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer version 4.1.3.321712 dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

Differences Between Teleporting and Physical Region Crossings

As we know, whether you teleport between one region and another or physically cross the boundary between two regions, you are performing a region crossing. However, there is a slight different in how they are handled. Rider and Simon Linden described the processes involved during the Simulator User Group meeting, which makes for interesting reading if you weren’t previously aware of the processes involved.

In referencing teleporting between regions, Rider said, “Teleport packs your avatar into a big ball of data and throws you at the destination.” It’s then left up to the destination region to determine whether or not you actually get in. Hence the teleport progress bar.

Simon then said of a physical region crossings, “They do a bit more pre-crossing checks to see if you go into the neighbour[ing] region than TPs do.” Rider Linden then added, “If the regions are adjacent, the sim you are on checks to see if it should smush you into that ball before it does.”

These pre-crossing checks are handled through your child agent on the neighbouring region, allowing the simulator running the region you’re currently in to “see” if you’re able to access the neighbouring region. If it believes you can’t, it won’t bother creating the ball of data about your avatar (and everything attached to it), reducing its workload.

When is a Region Not a Region?

A curious topic came up at the meeting: when is a region not a region? The simple answer is probably “when you can’t see it”. But what about if you can – apparently – see it, at least on the map, and it doesn’t appear to have a name.

The mystery island as it appeared for some people using both the LL viewer and Firestorm

Whirly Fizzle spotted this phenomenon on the World Map with a region apparently adjoining The Epiphany, although her curiosity was piqued as it was apparently without a name. The mystery deepened when most of those at the meeting reported they couldn’t see any such region on their maps – although two or three besides Whirly could, on both TPVs and the official viewer (ruling on an issue in how a specific viewer is handling the map data).

What was equally mysterious, was that those who were able to see the unnamed island on the World map could also see it on the web SL map – while those who couldn’t see it on the world map also couldn’t see it on the web SL map.

As other saw the same area on the map – regardless of viewer

Several theories were put forward for the phenomenon, including it being a  non-updated map texture; a potential error in map tiling and loading;  an  old texture loaded and stuck at the  wrong LOD; and so on.  Running a quick check, Simon Linden couldn’t find any evidence for a region ever having been placed in any of the eight grid areas surrounding The Epiphany. He did, however, offer a possible explanation of what might have happened:

I do know the support team will do some interesting tricks sometimes … they will move one of their regions next to another to do some sort of work, then move it away. Perhaps that got captured there.

Either way, a curious little anomaly.

Mesh UUID Flipping via Script / UUID

Back in the mists of time as mesh support was being added to Second Life, there was the ability to change mesh assets via UUID / LSL. However, the ability was used most frequently as a means of animating meshes  – putting considerable stress of the rendering system in the process. Because of this, a wiki page on the subject was raised, and the ability to change mesh UUIDs via script was eventually removed altogether.

The Lab is currently considering implementing a means to animation meshes (something routinely discussed at the Content Creator’s User Group meeting). This would be a far more efficient and less stressful means of animating meshes where it to be taken up as project, and completely negate the need for animation via UUID flipping.

However, while allowing meshes to be changed through scripts / UUIDs has other potential uses, it is unlikely to be re-introduced even if animated meshes are introduced to SL, because anyone obtaining the UUID for a mesh could potentially download the “mesh” as a vnd.ll.mesh  file from the CDN, and could then theoretically reconstruct the original mesh item from that data (thus effectively stealing it).

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