Firestorm fund-raiser

Firestorm fund-raising market

The Firestorm team has launched a fund-raiser, primarily to help cover the cost of a new main server, used to host the team’s JIRA, web site, wiki, code repository, and so on. However, as the Firestorm blog post on the matter also notes, the team also have recurring costs involved in the license they have to pay in order to use the Kakadu codec for rendering in the viewer, and costs involved in running the land costs (albeit subsidised by the Lab) involved with the Firestorm Community Gateway.

To this end, the new fund-raiser is planned as a hopefully long-term event, and also designed to help people get rid of their unwanted gacha items.

Located over the Firestorm gateway regions is a “Firestorm market” featuring stalls and vendor boards where visitors can purchase collected and donated gacha items. Note that despite the confusing blog title, this is not itself a gacha event – there are no machines, just the opportunity to buy individual items and complete sets previously sold via gacha vendors, which the Firestorm team have collected or have received as donations.

The prices of items vary throughout, and many of them might well be offered under the acronym WTGTG – when they’re gone, they gone.

Firestorm fund-raising market

Anyone wishing to donate items can do so by contacting Kio Feila in-world.

In addition, those wishing to help the Firestorm team but who don’t find anything of interest on sale, can make direct L$ donations, or flow links to the Firestorm listings on the Marketplace, which male and female Firestorm Jackets can be purchased, with all funds also going towards helping cover the team’s costs.

All funds raised will be used directly and solely towards  the Firestorm operating costs and overhead; all Firestorm team members are volunteers who receive no financial or L$ compensation.

2018 SL UG updates #34/3: TPV Developer meeting

Ponto Cabana; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrPonto Cabanablog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 24th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. The second half of the meeting is dominated by general discussions on the Environment Enhancement Project, which is covered via my CCUG updates, particularly the week #34 update, and so these aren’t repeated in the notes below – please refer to the notes in the link or watch the embedded video.

SL Viewer


The Voice viewer has had one bug filed against it following its promotion to release status, but this is considered “not too terribly serious”.

The Animesh RC viewer updated to version on August 24th,  in the wake of the promotion of the Voice RC viewer to de facto release status, bringing it to parity with the latter.

All other SL viewers in the various pipelines remain as per the start of the week:

  • Current Release version, dated August 14, promoted August 20. Formerly the SL Voice RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version, released on August 20.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version, August 7. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
  • 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.

Of these, the BugSplat viewer (previously reported as coming to the end of its run) is with QA following its merge up to the Voice viewer release, and so a new RC version should be appearing in week #35. At the time of the meeting, the Love Me Render RC viewer had yet to be merged up to the Voice viewer code base.

The Love Me Render viewer should also address the KDU issues previously noted, with a fix to prevent the OpenJPEG textures that create problems from being created. However, the Lab is still working with Kakadu to try to obtain a better fix for issues.

Week #35 should also see the release of a new maintenance RC viewer.

Estate Access Management Viewer

[6:55-7:38] Feedback on the new EAM project viewer hasn’t been as broad as the Lab had hoped (i.e. the viewer hasn’t been tested by many region holders); however, the feedback that has been obtained has been taken on-board by the Lab. Currently, it is anticipated this viewer should be proceeding to RC status relatively quickly.

There are discussions on the EAM viewer that take place around 14-20 minutes into the meeting, however most of this can be covered by reading my EAM viewer overview.

Bakes On Mesh

[4:24-5:20] The order of events to get Bakes on Mesh working on Aditi are:

  • AIS update to support the new asset types used by Bakes on Mesh (and the new assets to be used by the Environment Enhancement Project). This is now due to clear the Lab’s QA and start deployment – at the CCUG meeting, Vir suggested this could start to happen in week #35.
  • A simulator update to support the Bakes on Mesh messaging, etc.
  • The Bake Service update to support  the use of 1024×1024 textures. This is ready to go, but is dependent upon to the simulator update being deployed.


[7:56-8:41] The Environment Enhancement Project, the TCO (viewer texture caching project) and ARCTan project (re-aligning rendering costs) all involve Graham Linden. His priorities are currently:

  • EEP shader work  – see my week #34 CCUG summary for more.
  • TCO viewer caching work.
  • ARCTan – see my week #34 CCUG summary for more.

The TCO project will hopefully improve texture caching in the viewer (as well as allowing users with 64-bit operating systems to set larger caches than is currently possible) and also include improvements to texture handling in the renderer.

“Avatar Last Names” Project

[8:42-10:40] The project to re-implement avatar last names is progressing, but is still not ready for deployment. The current focus on the project is ensuring the all of the Second Life services, both visible and non-visible to users, will correctly handle and resolve name changes (e.g. everything from how an avatar’s name is displayed in their profile / in-world tab through their groups, to object / asset ownership to SL web properties like the Marketplace, forums, and so on).

Given this, there are no dates available on possible deployment of the capability or how things like user suggestions for last names will be managed. Nor has the cost for making a name change been determined.

Mac OpenGL Support  / Linux Viewer Builds


  • Nothing new to report on how the Lab is going to handle rendering on the Mac viewer following Apple’s decision to deprecate OpenGL support. Options are still to be investigated.
  • Work on the Linux 64-bit viewer is progressing as a background task. It is hoped that more positive news will be forthcoming towards the end of the year. However, any Linux build will have a degree of limited functionality, by virtue of the fact that Vivox has discontinued providing voice support for Linux on account of its low user numbers compared with other operating systems.

In Brief

[24:26-25:51] JIRA Update: the Second Life JIRA update is now scheduled for Wednesday, August 29th, 2018. During the update, the service will be unavailable for several hours. An official blog post should precede the update.

[26:15-27:27] Abuse Reports: a cap was introduced recently that loads Abuse Report categories from the server, rather than having them hard-coded in the viewer. However, some users remain on older viewers that ho not recognise the cap, and which have out-of-date categories stored within them. This causes  reports filed using the correct categories to be delayed in processing until then can be reviewed and correctly re-classified.  So far the Lab has opted not to block incoming ARs purely on the bases of them having an invalid category.

[31:35-33:15] Duplicate Calling Cards: some time ago there were improvements made to the viewer to handle the deletion of calling cards. However, duplication of cards can still be an issue for those who like to have them inventory. To help with this, the Lab’s support team is adding a function to their inventory fix transform that will also remove duplicated calling cards (and duplicated calling card folders).

Discovering a Missing Melody in Second Life

Missing Melody; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrMissing Melody – click any image for full size

The heat of summer has left the grass long and golden, roots reaching deep into the soil to gain moisture. Closer to the local stream and river, the grass and moss are still green, benefiting from both the plentiful water seeping into the land on either side of the waterways and from the shade offered by tall trees of a rich woodland. But the seasons are turning; the sky offers a paler Sun than might have been blazing down in the midst of summer and the trees are slowly losing their canopies of leaves, scattering them across the ground below, where their gold and reds form a slowly decaying carpet and litter the calm surfaces of the river’s arms.

Such is the tranquil scene awaiting visitors to Missing Melody, a Homestead region designed by Bambi (NorahBrent). Still under construction, it is nevertheless open to those wishing to explore it, offering a beautiful autumnal look and feel with – at the time of our visit at least –  a delightfully minimalist approach to a setting Bambi describes as a “shabby rustic theme”; an approach I hope continues through to the region’s completion in this form, and things don’t become too crowded.

Missing Melody; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrMissing Melody

The yellowing grass sits at the northern end of the island, lapping around the broken tower of an old windmill and appearing to leave a tractor stranded within the waves of seeded grass heads as sheep graze fitfully. From a distance, it might be easy to mistake the grass for a field of corn and the lodge sitting close by for a farmhouse. Closer examination, however, reveals the truth of the grass, while the lodge appears to be more of an artistic retreat than part of a working farm.

An unsurfaced road, rutted and marked by rocks on either side runs past the lodge and points the way south to where a bridge reaches over a branch of the river (almost the landing point) to arrive at a little café. Such little places are very much a staple of many regions designs, offering places to sit and perhaps cam around the setting.

Missing Melody; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrMissing Melody

Between lodge and café, the road runs through the region’s woodland and past an old shack that fits the region’s shabby theme perfectly while also offering a cosy interior with a rich homeliness about it. Behind the shack, a path directs feet towards a deck reaching out over the coastal water. This almost – but not quite – reaches an off-shore fishing shack converted for use as a little snug for couples.

Eastwards from the road, the land gets a little more rugged in nature. Bridges and steps offer a way up among the rocky humps, passing a wrought iron gazebo and passing over tumbling falls to reach a shabby platform of a tree house before the land tails off into a small headland dominated by a great water tower.

Missing Melody; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrMissing Melody

The theme of music is presented here not only in the region’s name, but also in the way the wrought iron gazebo offers a home for a musical trio of guitar, piano and drums, with pillows, logs and benches set out under strings of lights bulbs to offer space for an audience should musicians arrive.

Meanwhile, the idea of a missing melody is perfectly framed by the weathered form of an old grand piano sitting behind the hunter’s lodge. Apparently being slowly claimed by nature, the piano would appear to be more of an artistic statement, carefully placed with sheet music anchored by vines, while an old curtain or blanket hangs from the ppiano’s closed lid. The placement of these, and the little models of two little robins, perhaps giving the lie to the piano simply having been abandoned and add to the idea that the nearby  lodge is the residence of someone with an artistic bent.

Missing Melody; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrMissing Melody

There are a lot of little touches through Missing Melody – picnic benches along the roadside, little snuggle points scattered around the landscape; deer to be found within the woodlands with their misted ground, and plenty of opportunities for photography (rezzing is permitted with auto return set to 60 minutes – but do remember to clear up props ahead of that limit).

Yes, there are a couple of rough edges – trees floating over water, for example; but again, this is a region still under construction, an matters like that will be addressed. In the meantime, Missing Melody is already a photogenic destination – and our thanks again to Shakespeare and Max for the nudge in suggesting we visit.

Missing Melody; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrMissing Melody

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