2018 UG updates #22/1: Simulator User Group meeting

A Little Bit of Soul; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrA Little Bit of Soulblog post

Server Deployments

The was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018.

RC Roll-back and Deployments

On Friday, May 25th, the deployments to the Magnum and BlueSteel RCs channels were rolled back from update #, which included server-side support for an upcoming capability to deliver estate information to estate owners and managers, to # the roll-back was due to an unspecified bug.  The updates have remained deployed to the LeTigre RC.

There is due to be a further RC deployment on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018, but at the time of writing, details were still TBA. Commenting on the overall situation at the Simulator User Group on Tuesday, May 28th, 2018, Simon Linden said:

Let’s see … for server news, we had a roll-back last week of the RC channels for a bug. we’re going to have updates out tomorrow that have that fixed … and possibly another release that has a few other items in it. It’s all internal changes, as far as I know.

Upcoming Server-Side Maintenance Periods

The Lab has announced a series of upcoming server-side maintenance periods over the next several days (including the RC deployments these are set for:

  • Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 from 06:00 SLT (and rolls into the RC deployment window).
  • Thursday, May 31st, 2018 from 06:00 SLT.
  • Monday, June 4th, 2018 from 06:00 SLT.
  • Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 from 06:00 SLT (and presumably rolling into any planned Main (SLS) channel deployment planned for week #23).

During these maintenance periods residents may be logged off and will not be able to log in until maintenance is complete. In addition, residents may temporarily be unable to send messages or initiate group chats until the maintenance is complete.

Please refer to the Grid Status Page for more.

SL Viewer

There have been no further updates to the current SL viewers in the pipeline for the start of the week, leaving the list as:

  • Current Release version, dated May 7, promoted May 16 – formerly the Ouzo Release Candidate.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version, dated May 22.
    • Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer,, dated May 21.
  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

I’m plugging away at the first project viewer for EEP, and as soon as I get a blocker out of the way we’ll be able to get something into people’s hands.

 – Rider Linden, discussing EEP at the Simulator User Group meeting, May 28th

We have a blocking problem on the back-end at the moment … once we’ve gotten that fixed, we’ll deploy the back-ends that it depends on (simulator and inventory at least), and then put out a Project Viewer. y hope/expectation is that the Project stage will go well and we’ll get feedback quickly … Once we’ve responded to that, it’ll advance to RC, and at that point we won’t object to TPVs integrating it … The good news with respect to that is that the closer we get, the higher its priority gets, and the blocker is even higher priority for other reasons, so prospects are good.

– Oz Linden discussing EEP at the Simulator User Group meeting, May 28th

The meeting exhibited some lack of understanding on how EEP will operate. In brief EEP is a set of environmental enhancements, including:

  • The ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level.
    • Includes  arbitrary paths for both the sun and the moon.
    • Day cycles consist of a series of fixed skies. Each sky has a sun and a moon position.
    • In transitioning from sky to sky the sun or the moon will follow the great circle from one position to the next.
    • Can, howver be overrideen by the viewer (as per current “local” windlight settings.
  • New environment asset types (Sky, Water, Days – the latter comprising multiple Sky and Water) that can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others.
  • Experience-based environment scripted functions.
  • An extended day cycle (e.g a 24/7 cycle) and extended environmental parameters.

This work involves simulator, as well as viewer changes, and includes some infrastructure updates. The document linked to above (by Rider Linden) provides a summary of the document, and I attempt to offer updates through these Simulator User Group meeting notes and my Content Creation User Group meeting notes, as and when updates from the Lab are made available.

Grid-Wide Experiences

Work on grid-wide experiences is currently at a lower priority that other work currently being carried out (e.g. EEP), and so progress is slower. As with existing experience creation, only Premium members will be able to create grid-wide experiences. However, anyone will be able to accept and participate in them.

On-Line Friends Not Showing as On-Line

The is a recurrent bug that can affect people at different times and on different regions – all friends for the affected person appear as off-line. sometimes it can be rectified by IM’ing someone known to be on-line,forcing the Friends list then re-populates itself correctly. Simon Linden acknowledged the bug with the following comments:

It’s not caps fail – it’s a lost packet. There’s work going on to convert that to a cap so it’s more reliable, I believe. A work around is to tell folks to open up the web site and look at the friends on-line list there – that should be more reliable … The fact that you get an inaccurate list when you log in, and maybe a different one if you log out/in again, is due to packet loss. When you first land at a region, it needs to look up all your friends and status and send (or not) them the “is on-line” message, and also send a list to you. At the same time you’re getting updates for all the world around you, all your off-line IMs, etc. So there’s way too much traffic at once.

– Simon Linden, Simulator User Group meeting, May 28th

There also appears to be a similar issue that can be region-specific (see BUG-7557). This generally requires a region restart to resolve, and the underpinning causes still seems to be unknown.