2018 SL project updates 2/3: TPV Developer meeting

Tranmore Bay; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrTramore Bayblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, January 12th 2018. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion.

Viewer Pipeline

[0:00-4:24] The Nalewka Maintenance RC updated to version on Wednesday, January 10th, and the Wolfpack viewer has been withdrawn. This leaves the remainder of the SL viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version, dated November 17, promoted November 29th – formerly the “Martini” Maintenance RC – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

The Update to the Alex Ivy 64-bit RC viewer (Tuesday January 9th, and reported in Part #1 of this week’s updates) will be the last such update for that viewer as an RC, and it will most likely be promoted to release status in week #3 (commencing Monday, January 15th). There should be an official blog post accompanying the promotion when it happens, encouraging those on Windows who can upgrade their version of Windows to 64-bit / Windows 10 to do so.

  • [28:16-30:11] A reminder that Alex Ivy is Windows and Mac, and that the Lab has a separate project for Linux. This will require support from the Linux community to help move the Linux viewer build to a Debian package using system libraries, so allowing TPVs to add the dependencies they require for their flavour of Linux build. If help is given and the project is successful, the Lab will then maintain the Linux build, with the caveat that it will only be subject to cursory QA, and will continue to require support from the Linux community for fixes. A repository for code submissions will be made available, together with a blog post / open-source community notification on the specifics, after the 64-bit viewer has been promoted to release status. Those wishing to support the work will need to sign a contribution agreement with the Lab.

The Voice RC has no known outstanding issues, and should be ready for promotion once Alex Ivy has been promoted to release status and the Alex Ivy code has been merged into the viewer.

The 360-snapshot viewer is looking set to move from project viewer status to a release candidate viewer.

A new viewer branch is being prepared – the media branch, which will be specifically for Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) changes and other media handling updates. This will likely appear some time after the Alex Ivy viewer has been promoted to release status.

A further viewer project on the horizon is a further update to the viewer build chain, and bring that more up-to-date with things like Visual Studio, etc.

Viewer Deprecation

[4:25] Once Alex Ivy is promoted to release status, the Lab will be deprecating all versions of their viewer not using Asset HTTP loading (e.g. viewers prior to version 5.0.6). At some point after this, work will then commence on removing all UDP asset messaging from the servers, so anyone still using a viewer not fully supporting Asset HTTP will be unable to load gestures, animations, sounds, etc.

Avatar and Object Rendering

[9:26-10:32] Work on revising the current avatar complexity and object rendering calculations is due to resume “in the next week or two”. It is hoped this will allow the Lab to adjust the formulas used to make a reasonable generalisation in the rendering cost of things, and whether or not objects are being reasonably accounted for in those calculations, although things may not change that much. However, the Lab is “determined to fix some of the bad incentives in the current calculations”.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements, including the ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level; a new environment asset type that can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others; scripted, experience-based environment functions, an extended day cycle and extended environmental parameters. This work involves both a viewer updates (with a project viewer coming soon) and server-side updates.

Current Status

[33:32-35:06] Rider linden is making progress, with his next step being to get the new setting objects defined as assets which can be stored in inventory. Once this has been done, he will be comfortable with setting up test regions on Aditi ready for testing once a project viewer is available. The viewer will require new UI elements for manipulating windlight assets, the initial design work on which, Rider jokingly claims, has already given him a nervous twitch in his left eyebrow!

In Brief

  • [13:35-15:32 ] Group Notices failures: some work has been done on this, showing that problems can start to occur if the group chat servers are left running too long, so a round of restarts should hopefully prevent this. Work is also going to be put into making group notice delivery more robust when logging-in, and this will hopefully be out in the next few months.
  • [22:49-26:55] Viewer widget documentation & additional viewer documentation: the viewer web widget wiki documentation is currently out-of-date, and a request has been made to update it. The Lab doesn’t have any documentation on the viewer (e.g. design documents etc.), outside of what is available on the wiki.
  • [32:04-32:45] IMs to E-mail: there have been reports at the recent Web Group and Simulator User Group meetings that some IMs to e-mails failed over the holiday period. This has been investigated, and the issue did lie with the Lab. However, it has been rectified, and all IMs to verified e-mails addresses should work correctly.
  • [11:02-11:48 – in text+ voice comments] The next Firestorm release will not allow changes to the debug RenderVolumeLODFactor which go above 4 to persist between log-in sessions. People will still be able to set the value above 4, but will have to do so each time they log-in. [18:33 – in text] There is to be one more beta release of the new Firestorm, which should be followed in about a week’s time with a formal release (late breaking issues allowing).



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