SL project updates 22/2: TPV Developer meeting

Chess Wonderland, Egypt; Inara Pey, May 2017, on Flickr Chess Wonderlandblog post

The majority of the notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 2nd, 2017. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Timestamps in the text below will open the video in a separate window at the relevant point for those wishing to listen to the discussions.

Server Deployment – Recap

  • On Tuesday, May 23rd, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with a server maintenance package (#17.05.22.326523), containing a fix for BUG-100704, “[Server] If Anyone Can visit is selected after Allow Group was set only group members can enter”, related to the parcel overrides update.
  • On Wednesday, May 31st, the RC channels were updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre received the same server maintenance package (#17.05.26.326655), comprising “Tweaks to help with capability loss”.
    • Magnum received a server maintenance package (#17.05.26.326659) for the simulator operating system update, which does not contain and functionality changes.

SL Viewer

[0:20] The Voice RC cohort updated to version 5.0.6.326589 on Wednesday, May 31st.

[0:31] The Asset HTTP viewer is doing reasonably well in its latest RC update (version 5.0.6.326593, dated May 26th), and this might be the next viewer to gain promotion to release status.

[28:22] Once the asset HTTP viewer has been promoted, the Lab plan to develop a schedule for removing simulator support for the old UDP messaging the HTTP updates have replaced. The actual removal of the messaging paths might not occur until 2018.

Maintenance RC

[0:40] A new Maintenance viewer was released as a RC cohort on Thursday, June 1st, 2017. Version 5.0.6.326731 includes a range of bugfixes and updates, including further updates to Trash management:

  • Fix for number of items in Trash calculation
  • Trash is full floater wasn’t showing in some conditions when it should have been. It will do as it should now.
  • Fix for when Trash version gets out of synch
  • A delete warning will now show up once every session to cut down on accidents
  • Trash purge message will include number of items deleted.

Alex Ivy (64-bit viewer)

[0:55] A new update for the 64-bit viewer will be appearing soon, it will include the new viewer update code, to help ensure the correct version of the viewer (32-bit or 64-bit) is delivered to the user.  Additional changes to the server-side viewer update manager (the code which tells the viewer there is a newer version available) have delayed this update from appearing sooner.

[2:10] When this version of the viewer is issued, it is anticipated that work will commence on building and QAing a Release Candidate version of the viewer. At this point the Lab will also start work on updating the SL wiki instructions for building the viewer.

[5:35] The Lab’s reocmmendation is that if Windows users are using the 32-bit version of the viewer on a 64-bit system, they should swap to a 64-bit version of the viewer for a less crash-prone experience.

[6:16] A caveat to this is 64-bit systems using the Intel HD and Intel HD4000 GPU chipsets. These systems cannot run the 64-bit version of the viewer and require the 32-bit version.

360-degree Viewer

[3:43] An update to the 360-snapshot viewer is expected soon, pending the fix for an issue with the Mac OS X build.

When the update appears, it will not require any post-processing of a ZIP file (as is currently the case). Instead, it should produce an equirectangular image with all the necessary metadata required for displaying on sites which support 360-degree images.

OTR and Chat Text Encryption

[7:14-18:56] Questions have again been raised on the use of end-to-end encryption of IM conversations by TPVs. This was a thing several years ago, largely derived out of misplaced fears that LL staff where reading people’s IM conversations willy-nilly. However, as it used viewer code never intended for that purpose, it was “broken” when the underpinning code was updated / removed.

At the time the encryption was used, it was problematic for the Lab, as it interfered with things like verifying abuse reports by checking IM logs (if the conversation is encrypted, LL cannot verify what was said, and so cannot take any action, even if warranted), and could also be an issue assisting in other types of necessary investigation (e.g. possible fraud / money laundering acts).

The circumstances under which someone from LL can view IM files are strictly limited and controlled, both in terms of who can view them, when then can view them and how much of them can be viewed. As such, there is no risk in IM logs just being casually read at the Lab. Given this, and the issues it can cause, use of any form of encrypted IM exchange would likely be frowned upon or be regarded as a “normal” function of SL (and so wouldn’t be safeguarded from potential “breakage” during future changes to the viewer). Instead, those feeling they need secure communications with other are encouraged to use other means of doing so.

Shoutcast / Streaming Scripts Issues

[23:30-26:33] The Magnum channel RC has resulted in breakages to scripts used by various streaming service DJ boards (see BUG-10073). The issue has been diagnosed, and a means to allow these services to keep operating is being developed. However, when deployed it will mean that the scripts themselves will also need to be revised, and it will not be backwards compatible with systems that are not updated by their creators, which will remain broken. As the change causing the issue is integral to the HTTP updates being made to improve SL’s performance, it will not be rolled back.

Griefing Following Ban

[30:02-35:39] Some estate managers are finding themselves specifically targeted for griefing after banning someone from their land (identified by the griefer as ban notifications carry the banner’s name). In some cases the griefing can extend to groups associated with the land. One solution is to use a bot for banning purposes, however, the request has been made for better anonymity for those carrying out the ban. A JIRA has been requested, providing the fullest possible description of the issue, what happens, and how, and what is believed to be needed to counter it.

General

  • [19:17] BUG-40824, “Missing Offline Group Notice (Unreliable Delivery)” is still proving a problem for some. The Lab haven’t looked at the issue recently, but will get back to it.
  • [21:25] Local and group chat has been lagging – again, it’s been noted, but no specifics on possible causes.
  • [21:49] Increasing limits (physics, etc) – currently the focus is on the simulator OS update, which includes, software tools and libraries. Once this work has been completed, the Lab hopes to look at all the limits and see what can be adjusted, either directly or with some up-front work.

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