2018 SL UG updates #32/3: TPVD meeting and ARCTan

Cloudbreak; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrCloudbreakblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 10th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a short meeting – 24  minutes on the video, which includes some lengthy silences.

SL Viewer


Bugsplat RC Viewer

Functionally identical to the release viewer, but used to test the Bugsplat crash reporting service (rather than routing crash reports to the Lab’s internal Breakpad based crash reporting mechanism), this RC is likely coming to the end of its test run, sufficient data having been gathered for the evaluation.

Voice RC Viewer

At least one more update is anticipated while this is at RC status. This will contain fixes for crashes within the SLVoice.exe (the viewer should detect the exe’s absence and automatically restart it). This update should appear in week #33 (commencing Monday, August 13th).

EAM Project Viewer

The EAM project viewer, version, dated August 7th, includes revised and improved capabilities for handling region access control. See SL Estate Access Management project viewer – overview for more.

Upcoming Viewer Promotion and New RCs

  • The new release of the Animesh viewer due in week #33 will most likely see that viewer promoted from project to RC status.
  • A new Rendering Project RC viewer should arrive in week #33.
  • A new Maintenance RC viewer is in waiting, but its release is dependent upon a server-side update for handling group invites and Friend requests whilst off-line (and part of the overall move to HTTP delivery for off-line IMs / notices). These changes should be going to the simulator RC channels in week #33. The Maintenance viewer will be deployed once these updates have reached the SLS (Main) simulator channel.
  • [12:56-13:23] Viewer TCO project: this contains the updates to how the viewer handles texture caching, and should be entering the project viewer pipeline “soon”, together with some OpenJPEG fixes (also see the end of this report for more on OpenJPEG / KDU).

Project ARCTan

[5:26-9:20] This is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints.

As I’ve previously noted, the Lab is sensitive to the implications of doing this, if it results in significant changes – particularly in the area of Land Impact for in-world objects. Should this be the case, steps will be taken to ensure users have advanced notification of changes that affect content, so they can assess what needs to be done and to make any necessary changes to their land / regions.

Part of this work will involve the Lab deploying simulator versions running both the current and the “new” calculations, allowing them to see the overall potential impact of any given set of changes (number of parcels / regions affected), ahead of making any actual change. This would allow them to avoid the kind of mass auto-return situation that has accidentally occurred in the past, and enable them to find a means to inform people of the potential impact.

A further option the Lab has been considering is to raise the land capacity on regions / parcels to compensate for any impact of revised LI calculations. So, for example, if the new calculations result in parcels going over the capacity limit by and average of (say) 10%, region LI might be increased by 15% to offer some compensation. Then, for those who still exceed their limit, there will be a period of grace when then can consolidate and bring their LI use within the limit of the revised calculations before the latter are enforced.

The important aspect of the LI work is that while values may change, they overall why they are being calculated my result in their meaning being different – so numbers might actually coming out “smaller” than is currently the case, resulting in no  need for physical changes to be made in terms of what people have rezzed in-world.

Overall, this is a long-term project, and no changes one way or the other will be occurring in the immediate future.

Environment Enhancement Project

[14:01-14:44] No significant news. The project is awaiting the current Inventory AIS updated to be completed on the main grid. There is also an inventory patch for EEP that needs to be deployed and tested on Aditi. Once this has been done, the way will hopefully be clear for EEP to appear on the main grid.

Other Items

OpenJPEG Images and KDU “Downgrade”

[10:33-12:54] : there is an issue with KDU which means that textures encoded using OpenJPEG may not display correctly. As a result, the Lab is rolling by KDU support from 7.10 to 7.9. This is a temporary measure to alleviate the problem whilst LL work with KDU to get a fix. In the meantime, Graham Linden has been working on potential means to avoid the issue is a fix is not forthcoming from KDU.

Second Life Scheduled Maintenance

[16:03-17:03] There will be a scheduled maintenance period on Monday, August 13th, commencing at 05:30 SLT (13:30 UK; 14:30 CET). This should be about an hour in length, but will see SL logins suspended. See: https://secondlife-status.statuspage.io/incidents/vrpczxqtk8ls for more.

JIRA Upgrade

[17:06-20:37] A new version of the Second Life JIRA is in testing. This will see several changes to the JIRA system, notably visually and when logging-in. The planned deployment of the new system is Thursday, August 16th. Part of this update will ensure JIRA refreshes a user’s e-mail to match the one provided for use with Second Life when logging-in.

2018 Sansar Product Meetings week #32: Edit mode

Channelling my inner Trekkie at the Roddenberry Nexusblog post

The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meeting held on Thursday, August 9th. These Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat. Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Sansar Atlas events sections each week.

The primary topic of the meeting was Sansar’s Edit mode, with Regomatic, who is a part of the Edit Mode development team talking about what has recently been released for Edit Mode, future plans, and taking a Q&A.

Date of Next Release

The planned release date for the next Sansar update is Thursday, August 16th, 2018. However, it is entirely dependent upon Sansar’s schedule of public events for August – see below for more on this – which my cause the update deployment pushed back until later in the month.

Promoting Sansar

Not strictly a technical aspect of Sansar, however, the platform is spending time “on the road” and also raising its visibility among different global audiences.

  • On August 1st through 5th Sansar was at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention, where the Roddenberry Nexus was unveiled – see More Star Trek in Sansar: the Roddenberry Nexus for more.
  • On August 10th through 12th Sansar is at the Los Angeles edition of KCON, with the promise of “more exclusives” with regards to that.
  • A further e-sports “thing” is also in the offing for later in August. An earlier attempt at an e-sports link was pulled shortly after being announced. It’s not clear if this is a further attempt, or something else entirely.
  • A the same time, Sansar and Twitch are hosting “Twitch Streamer” days throughout August, with Twitch users being encouraged to drop into Sansar and explore.

Express Yourself Release Edit Mode Updates

The July Express Yourself update included a number of Edit mode updates:

  • Multiple Object Select / property application: The properties panel now works when multiple objects are selected, allowing the value of a property to be changed and applied across all selected objects.
  • Animated materials update: it is now possible to specify which textures in a material will be subject to the scrolling effect. This affects the following shaders:
    • Standard + Emissive + UV animation.
    • Standard + Alpha Mask – UV animation.
  • Standardise geometry option: by default, all objects uploaded into Sansar will go through an optimisation process that makes objects more efficient, foregoing the upload window optimisation process.
    • This can be disabled via a drop-down panel option.
    • The auto decimation will not apply to clothing or avatar attachments.
  • Object total triangle count: view the total triangle count of objects.
  • Real-time Gizmo updates: Position/rotation values update in real-time as the Gizmo is manipulated.
  • Fixes:
    • Rotation values no longer flip 180 degrees as you enter values
    • Scene settings no longer close the properties panel and vice versa; both can be displayed at the same time.

In addition to the above, the focus mode has been improved. Rather than just centring on an object when pressing F, it will now zoom the camera to the object. If two objects are selected and focus is used, the system will find a balance so that both are visible after zooming.

Upcoming Edit Mode Updates

August Update

  • Per-object settings: this should be a part of the August release, this will allow visibility to be toggled on individual objects within a specified type. So, rather than only being able to toggle visible for all audio materials, it will be possible to toggle it for an individual audio object. The state set for each object will persist between sessions. States will be indicated by “eyeball” icons.
  • Improved selectability of objects: it is currently different to select an object in Edit mode when it is “stacked” with others. The August release should improve this be adding a “selectability” icon / option. When set, it will make objects either selectable or cause them to be ignored when attempting to select others groups with them. Again, the individual states of objects will be indicated by a cursor icon, and will persist between sessions.
  • Container naming and renaming objects: the August release will include friendlier names for container, and the ability to rename anything in the scene objects list, rather than having to go through the Properties panel. Names can be up to 64 characters.
  • Analytics improvements:
    • The diagnostics ribbon in Edit mode is to be enhanced to include number of textures and the estimated download size, as well as the number of triangles.
    • There will be a new report option that will give a breakdown of all object in a scene and the amount of space they take up.
    • In addition, it has been requested that the analytics include the number of draws it takes to render an object, as high draw counts can often be a performance issue.

September Update

  • Folder support for scene objects: allowing objects to be placed together in folder, and allow entire folders to be selected and pulled into a scene, the ability to see the combined properties, etc.
    • Once scene object folders have been deployed, inventory folders will be coming as a future update.
    • Folder names will have a maximum length of 64 characters.

Still to be Prioritised for Future Release

  • Arrays for scripts: ability to use arrays rather than hard-coded parameters (e.g. an array to allow a user to pick a sound, rather than having to hard-code “sound 1”, “sound 2”, “sound 3”, etc.).
  • Locking improvements: currently, locking a container does not necessarily lock all of its children. In a future release  this will be revised such that it does.
  • Inventory folders: these are being worked on, and discussion are being had on the use of folders and the possible use of saving search categories / grouping by category to go with folders.

General Q&A

Scene / Experience Management Requests

  • Disabling capabilities in run-time: there are so types of experience that would benefit from having some run-time capabilities such as free camera movement or teleporting disabled in the Runtime mode (e.g. blocking the ability for someone to avoid traps in a game by teleporting past them, or using the free cam to cheat their way around a maze). These could be done via the scene settings, and Regomatic is going to look into it.
    • It was noted that if abilities to disable user-facing options are added to Sansar. then the ability to inform users as to what has been disabled (voice, teleport, freecamming, etc.), either before or when they enter the experience.
  • Search capabilities for scene objects: name, object type, etc. Possibly inclusion of thumbnail images of objects within the scene list to allow for visual recognition of objects, particular where multiple objects might have similar names (“Rock A”, “Rock B”, etc.).
  • Image size standardisation: currently, multiple image sizes and formats are required for items – one size saved within inventory, a different image size for the store, etc., requiring multiple image uploads. Automatic re-use of a single uploaded image would be preferable, and the Lab is looking into this.

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