2018 SL project updates week 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

[0:24-4:50]

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 5.2.0.518362, 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.

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