2018 SL UG updates 42/1: Simulator and Governance

Lost Unicorn Forest Sanctuary; Inara Pey, September 2018, August 2018, on FlickrLost Unicorn Forest Sanctuaryblog post

Simulator User Group

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, leaving the simulators on that channel running on server release 18#, comprising the simulator update for Bakes on Mesh. However, regions on the channel were restarted, per the Lab’s 14-day restart policy.
  • On Wednesday, October 17th, 2018, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • The three core RC channels, Magnum, LeTigre and BlueSteel should all be updated with server maintenance package 18# containing internal fixes.
    • The Snack RC channel should be updated with server release, containing server-side EEP support. This will be an initially limited deployment to regions under LL’s management.

SL  Viewer

There were two SL viewer updates at the end of week #41:

  • The Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) project viewer updated to version, on October 12th.
  • the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer updated to version on October 11th.

The rest of the official viewers remain unchanged at the start of week #42:

  • Current Release version, dated September 5th, promoted September 26th. Formerly the Rakomelo Maintenance RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Animesh RC viewer, version, October 8th.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version, September 28th.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version, September 10th. 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.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version, released on August 20th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, dated November 17th, 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Non-HTTP Asset Fetching

For some time now, all SL assets have been fetched using HTTP via the Lab’s CDN provider(s), avoiding the need for the simulator to handle all asset transfers and associated messaging directly. While the viewer code has long had the necessary code to support asset fetching via HTTP / CDN, the code for the old, non-HTTP fetching has remained in place in the simulator, allowing much older viewer versions to continue to fetch assets by way of the simulator.

However, Linden Lab has announced that as from January 6th, 2019, they will be removing the old non-HTTP fetching methods from the simulator code. Any viewers still fetching the affected asset types via UDP after this date will not longer work correctly.

The specific asset types affected by this change are: system body parts, system clothing, gesture, animations, sounds, and landmarks (mesh, textures and avatar appearance having long been HTTP only).

Operating System Update

The Lab is working on another major operating system update for the simulators and their back-end services. Part of this work is being deployed to the Morris region on Aditi, the beta grid, on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018. As OS updates can lead to some unanticipated outcomes, the deployment to Morris is very much a test of the new code. Those who routinely use the beta grid and the Morris region are asked to raise a beta grid Jira on any issues or other “oddness” they note subsequent to the deployment – “oddness” in this case being anything outside of the usual / expected behaviour of things.

The Cloud and “On Demand” Regions

Questions continue to be asked about the use of “on demand” regions following SL’s eventual move to cloud infrastructure. That is, regions that are only spun-up and active when one or more avatars are in them.

As Ebbe and others from the Lab has indicated, making regions “on demand” is not a priority at present with the move. Rather the focus is on shifting SL to the cloud “as is”, without significant changes to how the simulators and their region appear to operate.

While an “on demand” region offering might be possible in the future, it will most likely be an entirely new product offering when compared to the current Full and Homestead region types, and would probably only by suited to a standalone use, rather than such regions being part of any contiguous land mass, simply because of the complexities of  access (imagine trying to fly across multiple regions and having to stop at each border for 60+ seconds while the next region is deployed and spun-up) and in handling LSL scripts that assume all regions are running all the time, etc.

So , don’t expect anything like these immediately after the move – although such a product might surface at some point in the future, one the Lab have built up confidence in running SL in the cloud.

In Brief

  • BUG-216320 “Error when retrieving grid statistics page via llHTTPRequest”: no fix as yet.
  • BUG-7084 “Prim properties visually revert to an earlier state since Interesting”: again, no progress to report at present.
EEP is coming! server-side support is being deployed in week #42 on a limited basis to the main grid (Snack RC), and Simon Linden has been having seasonal fun with his home parcel. Expect EEP to gain wider simulator availability in the coming weeks. Credit: Simon Linden

Governance User Group

Governance User Group (GUG) meetings are generally held on alternate Tuesdays at 13:00 SLT. They are intended to provide a forum for the discussion and education of issues involving Governance.  They are chaired by the GTeam supervisor, Kristen Linden and are open to the public. Details on dates, times and location can be found on the Governance User Group wiki page.

The Governance Team is responsible for dealing with Abuse Reports, in-world abuse, forum reports, Marketplace reports, etc. It is not responsible for issues with accounts being compromised, account subscription delinquency, fraud, IP infringement, etc.

  • These matters cannot be discussed at the GUG meetings.
  • Issues relating to them should be reported through the recommended channels (e.g. Support for account-specific issues, via the DMCA process for IP infringements, content theft, etc).

Similarly, individual cases involving Governance issues (e.g. the outcomes of abuse report filings), cannot be publicly discussed.


Meeting CliffsNotesTM

  • Is the Nazi swastika a reportable texture in Second Life if it’s not being used for historical role-play? Yes.
  • Is encroachment on Linden-own land (e.g. builds overhanging Linden roads) reportable? Yes, but are dealt with in accordance with the degree of encroachment / persistence of encroachment (in short: if you’re on mainland and get something returned – don’t put it back where it was).
    • Linden items reports for encroaching private mainland parcels tend to be referred to the Land team for handling.
  • Is non-delivery of goods via the Marketplace reportable? Yes, although what happens depends on why there is a non-delivery.
    • Goods failing to deliver because the listing is out-of-date and the creator is no longer active, then an AR won’t generally result in action – however, the commerce team is looking to run a clean-up on the Marketplace to handle “old” listings for creators no longer active in SL – see my previous Web User Group notes.
    • If it is a clear attempt to obtain L$ under false pretences (e.g. an empty folder or box is delivered), then the Governance team will likely investigate.
  • Is mass AR filing not allowed? It’s not disallowed, but generally serves no purpose; one report is enough to generate an investigation, if adequately filed.
    • Generally, ARs are best filed by those witnessing a violation / issue first hand.
    • Those mass abuse reporting as a means of griefing can find themselves the subjects of governance actions.
  • Do Premium members get treated differently to Basic users for ToS / Community Standards violations? No. Anyone violating the ToS or CC gets treated the same.
  • ARs against copybotting, IP infringement: these are not investigated – the creator of ripped content needs to file a DMCA. However, attempts are made to educate on how to file a DMCA.
  • Can private region holders ban people for any reason? Essentially, yes; they pay the tier, they make the rules.
    • ARs raised for being banned for a local rule like this will not be investigated.
    • Similarly, ARs raised by region holders against people accessing their region and violating a local rule (rather than an actual actionable violation) will be ignored.
  • Griefing:
    • There has been a decrease in the number of outright region griefing / crashing incidents.
    • If you cannot get into a region due to griefing, AR from a neighbouring region – but be sure to clearly indicate the region actually being griefed, and give as much information as possible.
  • Unsubscribing from mailing lists: always try to ensure there is an unsubscribe option / try to follow any unsubscribe instructions. If all ease fails and the list is responsible for spamming, raise a report and Governance will take a look.