2018 SL UG updates #5/1: server, viewer

 R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.; Inara Pey, January 2018, on Flickr R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S.blog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, January 30th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with server maintenance package #, which comprises internal fixes.
  • There are no scheduled deployments for either the Magnum or LeTigre RC channels planned for Wednesday, January 31st, 2018. A deployment to the BlueSteel RC has been indicated, but no deals were available at the time of writing.

SL Viewer

A new Media Update RC viewer was released on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018. Viewer includes updates to the built-in media support that were not quite ready to be integrated when the 64 bit Viewer (Alex Ivy) was released. These include various fixes, updates, security patches and improvements for CEF (Chromium Embedded Framework) that is the basis for the built-in web browser and VLC that provides support for video media playback. Fixes are included to Dullahan (the third-party library that uses CEF) as well as all the media plug-in code itself. As per the Alex Ivy 64 bit viewer, there is no Linux version.

Otherwise, the SL viewer pipeline remains as:

  • Current release viewer: version, dated January 9th, promoted January 16th. Formerly the Alex Ivy Maintenance RC – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer version, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Other Items

Joe Magarac (animats) continues to look into region crossings with vehicles. As noted in my previous update, he’s learning-by-doing, and testing ideas with a self-compiled version of Firestorm (see this forum thread for more). He currently believes he has workarounds for vehicle animations topping on a crossing and bad camera positions after a crossing. His workarounds are a scripted camera re-set of the camera and animation re-start. Not ideal, and as he noted at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, 30th January, 2018 – the preferable solution would be a server-side fix.

Part of the problem is that vehicle region crossings are extremely complex, as Simon Linden notes:

The avatar and object are disconnected, passed to the new region, then re-assembled. It’s supposed to be transparent, of course, but things get weird when any part gets slow or fails

One of the things that can go wrong is what is being referred to as a “half unsit” situation, where the vehicle crosses to the next region but the avatar is stuck in the old one and unable unsit, move or teleport, leaving only a relog as a means to recover. The problem is recognising where things break: is it a server-side problem, something in the viewer or the result of a race condition?  In theory the hand-off of a vehicle and its passengers should commence until the root prim of the vehicle actually crosses the boundary. This is to prevent avatars sitting on the vehicle in advance of the root prim being handed-off and the vehicle then turning back, possibly leaving the avatars stranded in the neighbouring region.

Simon’s thinking is that the receiving region is doing a more than it should while it waits for everything to come together, potentially attempting to move an avatar and / or run scripts before everything is available to put back together correctly. He also acknowledges that specific issues can be difficult to reproduce and so solve.