Dreamer’s Feelings in Second Life

Dreamer’s Feelings

Dreamer’s Feelings is the title of a collaborative 2D and 3D art installation by Maddy (Magda Schmidtzau) and CioTToLiNa Xue, which opened at Trésor de l’Art on January 10th, 2018.

The installation is located in a sky gallery, reached via teleport from ground level – which instructions for the best viewing experience can also be found. Those who find the preferred windlight – Ambient Dark – a little to dim to see, might prefer setting their viewer to midnight. Do, however, take note of the need to have Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled. Shadows are not required, so this shouldn’t be too much of a performance hit for most people – however, as the exhibition does use projectors, it is essentially ALM is turned on (if not on by default in your viewer) in order to fully appreciate the installation. Once any adjustments to the viewer have been made, the installation proper can be reached via one of two red teleport discs.

Dreamer’s Feelings

Dreamer’s Feelings,” the artists note, Is a dreamlike narration through happy feelings.” And so it is visitors travel through a series of halls wreathed within the darkness of night, each offering scenes of colour and expression in which certain motifs – notably that of music  – can be found.

Starting from an illuminated pool, the display halls rise step-like, separated one from the next by steps or ghost-like art which stands almost glass-like across entrances or glides like smoke across them (again, it is essential that ALM is enabled to fully appreciate the scenes).  In the first hall, hands rise from the watery surface, lights playing over them and they surround a guitar. Close by, two more arms rise from the water, fingers entwined as lovers might hold hands, while images are projected  on the marble-like walls.

Dreamer’s Feelings

From this starting point, the remaining halls rise to surround the pool almost entirely, each one offering a mix of 2D art (Maddy) and 3D art and sculptures (Maddy and CioTToLiNa), with some of the motifs freely represented in either format. Directly above the pool float four spheres containing Figures of an angel, who  – in three at least – appears to be keeping watch on things.

With the dark environment settings, the projected lights and images drifting around and through the sets, the repeated motifs, this installation has the feel of travelling through a dream – but whether it is your own dream or someone else’s is up to you to decide. Whichever you chose, the art by both Maddy and CioTToLiNa is engaging wnough to warrent  visit to Dreammer’s Feelings and spending time wandering through the halls.

SLurl Details

Second Life: official 64-bit viewer and plans

On Tuesday, January 16th, Linden Lab promoted the Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer (version at the time of writing). This is a significant release, not so much because of any specific new features (although it does include improvements to media handling), but because it marks a number of important changes to the viewer.

Following the release, which Oz Linden blogged about the viewer and the Lab’s plans around it, on Wednesday, January 17th, 2018, and I’ve highlighted a few points of note from that blog post below – but do please read it in full.

Most notably, this version of the official viewer is built using an updated set of libraries (some of which will be undergoing a further update in the future), and a revised build process. It is currently being made available for download for Mac OS X (64-bit) and Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) – there is no Linux version of this viewer at this time, as explained below.

For Windows users, the most significant update lies with a new viewer executable, the SL_Launcher, which – as Oz explains in his blog post:

Manages the viewer update process, and on Windows also ensures that you’ve got the best build for your system (in the future it may pick up some other responsibilities). For Windows systems, the best build is usually the one that matches your operating system. For example, if you’re running a 64-bit Windows, then you’ll get the 64-bit viewer. If not, then you’ll get the 32-bit viewer.  However, some older video cards are not supported by Windows 10, so the launcher may switch you to the 32-bit build which is compatible for those cards. You won’t have to do anything to make this work – it’s all automatic – if you get an update immediately the first time you run this new viewer, it’s probably switching you to the better build for your system.

Oz also notes that if you have a shortcut to the viewer set-up, you should update it to point to SL_Launcher rather than the viewer .EXE, to avoid issues with running / updating the viewer, and indicates there is a slight bug with both the SL_Launcher and Second Life Viewer processes both show as icons on the OS X Dock, and will be fixed in a future update so that only a single icon is shown.

One of the things the Lab has been tracking with the Alex Ivy viewer is overall performance / stability. It had long be noted that running the 32-bit version of the Windows viewer on 64-bit version of Windows with more than 4 Gb of memory could lead to fewer crashes related to running out of memory. However, with the 64-bit version of the viewer, the Lab have seen further benefits for Windows users, and so are encouraging those who can to switch to using a 64-bit version of their preferred viewer, if one is available (e.g. users still running a 32-bit version of a viewer on a 64-bit version of Windows, or those upgrading their hardware to a system running 64-bit Windows).

Linux will be supported – if there is sufficient input from the open-source / Linux communities

Linux is the notable exception to the Alex Ivy branch of the official viewer, as there is currently no support for the operating system.

Linden Lab halted Linux development work in 2015 for a number of reasons (see here for more), and sought the support of the Linux community (who represent around 1-1.5% for the SL user base) to help maintain the viewer on Linux. More recently, as I’ve reported in a number of my weekly SL project updates (see here for an example),  the Lab has set out new plans for Linux support going forward, With Oz explaining:

We’re reorganising the Linux build so that instead of a tarball, it produces a Debian package you can install with the standard tools, and rather than statically linking all the libraries it will just declare what it needs through the standard package requirements mechanism. We’ll post separately on the opensource-dev mailing list with information on where that project lives and how to contribute to it.

Again, a key aspect of this project will be continued support from the open-source / Linux community to help maintain the Linux viewer going forward, in providing bug fixes, etc., and the Lab providing essential QA and the core build environment, as noted above. This approach is seen as beneficial, as it will remove many of the idiosyncrasies / overheads involved in producing a Linux viewer, such as maintaining multiples libraries associated with the viewer, and instead provide a basic viewer package which can be used by TPVs / Linux users to meet their specific preferences.

Some TPVs have already released versions of their viewers based on the Alex Ivy code, and Firestom’s upcoming release should also, I believe, include a 64-bit version based on Alex Ivy.

And if you’re wondering about the viewer’s name – as Oz explains (and I noted back when the first 64-bit project viewer appeared), Alex Ivy is derived from 64 in Roman numerals: LXIV – aLeX IVy.


2018 SL UG updates #3/1: Simulator User Group

La virevolte; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrLa virevolteblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the server maintenance package deployed to the RC channels in week #2.maintenance package comprises internal fixes.
  • Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, January 16th, Simon Linden indicated that the next RC deployment should be in week #4 (commencing Monday, 22nd January.

SL Viewer

The Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer, version, dated January 9th, 2018, was promoted to de facto release status on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018. All other viewer in the pipelines remain unchanged at this point in time, although the Voice and Nalewka RC will be updated in due course for parity with the Alex Ivy code base. This means the viewer pipeline currently reads as follows:

  • Current Release version, dated January 9th – formerly the Alex Ivy Maintenance RC
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Nalewka Maintenance viewer version, January 10, 2018.
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

  • Simon Linden is working on a new feature – due to go to Aditi (the beta grid) for testing soon – but will not be drawn on specifics at this point in time.
  • Joe Magarac (animats) has been digging into the viewer code handling region crossings in an attempt to improve avatar handing  when seated on objects and looking at the “partial unsit”issue (when the avatar becomes visual detached from a vehicle on a region crossing, but acts as if still attached (e.g. appearing seated, with any attempt to stand causing a viewer crash. He’s documented his work on a Firestorm JIRA (see FIRE-21915). Commenting on the work, Oz Linden indicates that if Joe would like to submit the change to the Lab (via the Second Life JIRA) the Lab would be interested in working with him to further improve agent  / object handling during region crossings.