SL project updates 23/1: server, viewer, environment updates

Out on the Calas horse trails, Caitlyn leading the way – blog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, June 6th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with a server maintenance package (, containing fixes to help with the caps (capabilities) router, particularly with reference to trying to teleport to regions which have a heavy avatar load (see here for details).
  • On Wednesday, June 7th, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre should each receive the same server maintenance package (, comprising internal fixes.
    • Magnum should receive a server maintenance package, but details were still TBD at the time of writing.

Capabilities Losses at Region Restart

Some regions are still suffering capabilities failures at restart (see this forum thread for an example, and see these wiki pages for more information on capabilities: Capabilities and Current Sim Capabilities). This overall caps system is shared at the server level, so when problems like this occur, it affects all of the regions on that server, which then require an individual restart to correct.

SL Viewer

There have been no further viewer updates since my last project updates article. This leaves the current viewer pipeline as follows:

  • Current Release version, dated May 18th, promoted May 23rd – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer overview
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer, version, dated May 11th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version dated November 23rd, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

Environmental Update

“We are going to kick off a set of environment improvements – exact scope is still TBD,” Oz Linden states at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, June 6th. “[but] there are a couple of hot problems that need to be stomped first.”

While the exact nature of these improvements is still TBD, the comment sparked a conversation on parcel windlight settings, which Oz indicated the Lab is still planning on implementing. While all discussion on this is still somewhat speculative, the current thinking on this at the Lab is:

  • The precedence will be 1) viewer local (so if you set a windlight through the viewer, that will take priority over any windlight indicated by the region / parcel) , 2) parcel (if allowed by estate), and 3) region
  • Currently, it is unlikely that the parcel controls will allow setting windlight environments by altitude (aka Firestorm zoning).

The latter point is perhaps the most contentious for those using the current Firestorm zoning for windlight – not only does this allow different windlight conditions for different altitudes (particularly useful in role-play regions which may have different locations stacked vertically, each of which is ideally suited it its own environmental setting), it also things like caves and caverns to have their environment set to midnight, naturally darkening them (a technique we use at Caitinara Bar for the benefit of those using Firestorm).

In addition to parcel windlight, the Lab is looking to add an experience-controlled way to change environment for an individual avatar – so that those joining an experience will have their viewer automatically adopt the windlight setting for the experience, if one is set. This could also provide a means for “altitude zoning” of windlights to some degree.

None of these additions will prevent users applying their own viewer-side windlight should they wish (as noted above).

Other subjects possibly on the list of environmental settings:

  • Selectable cloud textures (similar to the capability in Firestorm)
  • The ability to change the moon texture
  • Adjustable day length (so, for example, one SL day =  a physical world day)

As Oz noted in the meeting, the details of what the Lab would consider working on with the environment improvements has yet to be fully defined; however, he also added, “When we get to the point where we’re ready to start work on it (hopefully very soon), we’ll post a description of what we’ve got in mind … and yes, we’ll accept suggestions for improvements then.”

A sixth sense in Second Life

Le Sixième Sens, Le Sixième Sens; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Le Sixième Sens – click any image for full size

We first visited Le Sixième Sens (“the sixth sense”) in January of 2017, at a time when the region was popping up in blogs and photo streams. As I didn’t get to write about it then, I recently found myself hopping back to see what had changed and to catch-up on my own write-up for the region.

Designed by Natacha Haroldsen, the region presents itself as a little corner of Tuscany, where “a plaza surrounded by old shops that give you a rustic feeling,” sits beneath a pale azure sky, and a vineyard climbs the slope of a hill, beckoning those who stand at the archway of the plaza to explore the land before them.

Le Sixième Sens, Le Sixième Sens; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Le Sixième Sens

Six months may have passed since Caitlyn and I first followed the track down from the boutique shops gathered around the landing point and out over the arched back of a stone bridge, but little has changed in that time. Le Sixième Sens retains a wonderfully relaxed feel, offering the kind of setting you hope to find whilst travelling on vacation; a place that calls on you to stop, explore, run your fingers lightly over the delicate curl of flower petals and watch the water slip slowly under bridge and bough.

From the little piazza, visitors can wander across this gentle, rocky landscape, passing over the waters which divide it into three islands, and meander among the sunflowers, poppies and trees, going wherever their feet my take them.

Le Sixième Sens, Le Sixième Sens; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Le Sixième Sens

There are, of course, the vines mentioned above, paraded in neat rows up the slope of a hill to where a villa-style farmhouse sits. The lower slopes of this hill are covered in tall grass, on which horses graze and sheep roam and chickens cluck their way around another, smaller farmhouse. On this northern headland, extending out from the vineyard’s hill, sit old ruins which both face the piazza of shops across the water to one side and shelter moored rowing boats on the other, before the land ends in the broken finger of a lighthouse.

South and east, separated from the other island by bay and channel, sits a tall rocky plateau. A path rising from the trees below it forms a switch-backs up one of the otherwise sheer cliffs to where a small studio, gracefully called The Writer’s Workshop, sits. It commands a view out over the water, and offers the perfect vantage point for a painter. Linked to the rest of the land by a single bridge and with its screen of trees guarding the path from that bridge, the plateau gives a sense of tranquil separation from the rest of the region without ever feeling apart from it.

Le Sixième Sens, Le Sixième Sens; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Le Sixième Sens

Throughout this landscape, filled with the sounds of birds singing, can be found numerous places to sit and relax, or share a cuddle or a dance. A picnic blanket awaits under the shade of bushes in one direction, a chess set and sofa can be found among the farm’s outbuildings, the ruins hide a swing chair, while the rowing boats offer their own places to sit and contemplate the world – or one another. And that’s just the start; much more awaits those who take the time to explore.

Wherever you roam in Le Sixième Sens, there is something to be found and enjoyed, whether you are seeking a place to relax or a location to photograph (join the region’s group and you’ll get rezzing rights as well). The default windlight setting presents the region under what might be one of the cooler days of late summer or autumn – the hay bales in particular adding to this autumnal suggestion; but this is a place which invites tweaking and playing with windlights, and I couldn’t resist taking some photos suggestive of warmer summer days.

Le Sixième Sens, Le Sixième Sens; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Le Sixième Sens

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