2018 SL UG updates #19/1: Simulator User Group meeting

Luane's World; Inara Pey, April 2018, on FlickrLuane’s Worldblog post

The following notes have been taken from the Simulator User Group, held on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, May 8th, the Main (SLS) channel received server maintenance package 18#, which includes updates to simulator communication protocols aimed at improving region crossings and teleports.
  • On Wednesday, May 9th, all three main RC channels should receive server maintenance package 18#, which includes two new LSL functions: llRequestUserKey and llName2Key –  see below for more.

Region Crossing Updates

Commenting on the region crossing updates, Simon Linden revealed he’d be out of the office for next week, but:

After I’m back I expect to continue region crossing work … the servers are now doing a better job tracking all the attachments and objects you may be sitting on. The goal is to know when the region thinks that’s all done, and the viewer acknowledges it. If that doesn’t happen, it can do better fixing it.

llRequestUserKey and llName2Key

llRequestUserKey and llNameToKey, both of which will be across all RC channels following the Wednesday deployment, are in connection with the upcoming return of Last Names (see this blog post and this blog post for more). These functions can be summarised as:

  • llRequestUserKey:
    • Requests the Agent ID for the agent identified by name from the dataserver. The name given may be either the current name of an avatar or a historical name that has been used in the past. If no agent can be found with the supplied name this function returns the value NULL_KEY.
    • It returns a handle (a key) that can be used to identify the request when the dataserver event is raised.
    • Note that agent being searched for with this function does not need to be signed on to Second Life.
    • See the llRequestRequestUserKey wiki page for more.
  • llName2Key:
    • Returns a key the Agent ID for the named agent in the region. If there is no agent with the specified name currently signed onto the region, this function returns the value NULL_KEY. Names are always provided in the form “First[ Last]” or “first[.last]” (first name with an optional last name.)
    • If the last name is omitted a last name of “Resident” is assumed. Case is not considered when resolving agent names.
    • Uses a different mechanism to look up agent information to the older llKey2Name().
    • See the llName2Key wiki page for more.

SL Viewer

There have been no SL viewer updates for the start of the week, leaving the current pipeline as:

  • Current Release version, dated March 27, promoted April 13 – formerly the media update RC.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • 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.

Other Items

Region Restarts and Server Moves

Once upon a time, the Lab used to put effort into trying to ensure adjacent regions in the same server or nearby server. This was most notably done through server re-balancing exercises (see my notes on one of them here, for example), carried out a couple of times a year and which could take some 6 weeks to complete. These operations generally required additional restarts for the regions being moved, and were thought to bring improvements to teleports and physical region crossings.

With hardware and infrastructure improvements over the years, coupled with other sets taken to improve overall grid performance, these operations are no longer carried out – although efforts are taken to ensure multi-region events are placed on simulators all located on the same or adjacent servers. However, nowadays, for the majority of region, they are moved purely as a part of the weekly rolling restarts.

Those wishing to know which regions might be sharing a server with their own can use Tyche Shepherd’s Grid Survey (use the region search and then click the region name link in the results). However, keep in mind not all the result may be up-to-date.

Next Meeting

As noted above, Simon Linden, who usually leads the Simulator User Group meeting will be out of the office in week #20. However, the meeting for the week will still go ahead as scheduled.

Roaming the fields of Second Life

La Clef des Champs; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrLa Clef des Champs – click any image for full size

La Clef des Champs (literally, “the key fields”, often used to indicate being out in the countryside) is a homestead region designed by Rose Ulrik (Rose Siabonne), which opened in April 2018. Caitlyn and I were able to visit not long after it opened – courtesy of a tip-off from Shakespeare and Max (♥ as always!) – and found it to be a simple, rustic design that is both restful and has what might be for some, a tiny bit of an edge to it.

In keeping with its name, the region presents an open, undulating landscape on to which have been scattered a couple of continental farm houses and outbuildings, giving the suggestion the land might be open-sided fields. Visitors arrive in the north-east corner of the region, backed by cliffs and rocky slopes on three sides, while the fourth inclines gently down to the lands below, cut neatly by a farm track.

La Clef des Champs; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrLa Clef des Champs

This hilltop is home to a modest café, proudly flying the French and Canadian flags and with a motif of the region – a series of large metal keys – hanging from one wall. From the worn patio outside of the café it is possible to look southwards over a small bay watched over by a lighthouse, to where one of the two farmhouses sits, its back to the sea, the track from the hill winding by a short distance away.

However, follow the track down the hill from the café, and before you get to the farmhouse, you’ll find the track forks, one arm continuing south past the little bay and towards the farm mentioned above, the second arm pointing a short finger west to where the second of the farms sits, chickens parading along its patio. Stepping stones offer a way onward, crossing the grass and skirting the house to curve past a little orchard and reaching on towards the farm’s outhouses, the way partially guarded by geese. A little way beyond this farm is a railway track, overlooked by an old warehouse sitting on a slight rise as the land reaches its western seaboard.

La Clef des Champs; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrLa Clef des Champs

The fields between these two farms lie open to wander, a small pond offering a place to sit and, going by the bucket alongside the wooden chairs, plenty of good fishing. It looks south to where a single aged wall stands atop a low hill, the last remnant, it would seem, of a much larger structure that once occupied the hill.

Just beyond the hill with its ruined wall, the landscape is again scooped into a shallow bay, a wooden deck set out over the water to face a small island bearing a windmill. A rowing boat can be obtained from the rezzer on the deck, allowing visitors to cross the water to this little island and explore the windmill and enjoy a little more privacy from the rest of the region.

La Clef des Champs; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrLa Clef des Champs

Deer and horses are to be found scattered around the region, together with numerous places to sit outdoors and enjoy the setting. These range from swings slung beneath the boughs of trees, to simple park benches to blankets waiting with lavish picnics, to the aforementioned decks and chairs – some of which also have food and drink at the ready. A little to the north of the windmill island sits an outdoor stage for music events, gently floating on the water and reached via stepping-stones – although admittedly, I’ve no idea if events are held there.

Elegant in its simplicity, La Clef des Champs makes for a relaxing visit, and rezzing is open for those wishing to use props with their photography – just do please remember to clean up behind you. There’s also a Flickr group for those wishing to submit their finished pictures. And the edge to the region I mentioned at the top of this article? It’s nothing serious for the open-minded; but do keep in mind this is an Adult region in which, although not overt, adult activities can take place.

La Clef des Champs; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrLa Clef des Champs

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