2018 SL UG updates 46/1: Simulator User Group

Malaika Park; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrMalaika Parkblog post

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • On Tuesday, November 13th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server release 18#, previously deployed to the Magnum RC, and comprising a fix for Animesh land impact calculations – see below – and also internal logging fixes.
  • On Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, the three main RC channels should be updated with the same server update, 18#, comprising internal fixes.
  • There is no planned simulator update for EEP.

Land Impact Calculation Revision

The Land Impact update deployed to the SLS channel this week (and to the RC channels in week #45) is to correct an error in the Animesh code. In short, if an Animesh object has a conventional prim as its root, the required 15 LI for the Animesh skeleton is not applied.

This 15 LI is an aggregate value for Animesh arrived at during testing Animesh performance across a range of systems. It has also been subject to some alarmist blog posts about unexpected prim returns, but given Animesh products are not generally available as yet, this is unlikely.

SL Server

On Tuesday, November 13th:

All other viewers remain as per the end of week #45:

  • Current Release version, dated September 5, promoted September 26. Formerly the Rakomelo Maintenance RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Animesh RC viewer, version, dated October 18th.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version, dated September 28th.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version, dated 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.
  • Project viewers:
    • Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) viewer, version,  dated November 2nd.
    • Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version, dated October 29th.
    • 360 snapshot viewer, version, dated June 6th.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November, 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.

Recalling Viewer 2.0

There is one thing I’d like to mention, and that today is the anniversary of a very special moment in Second Life history. November 13th is V2 Day. Nine years ago we released version 2 of the viewer, which many people mark as the beginning of the end of Second Life.

– Simon Linden, Simulator User Group

While I’d possibly dispute the date – I have blog posts from March 2010 marking the release of Viewer 2.0 as the “default” viewer available from the Lab, prior to that it was a Beta viewer (remember those?) – so perhaps “first issued” might have been a better term, it is nevertheless true that viewer 2.0 was subject to a lot of sturm und drang; I wasn’t a great fan when it arrived, although as it developed and improved, I did become something of a convert over time, and I also agree with Simon’s summation of the early work:

I know the intentions of V2 were good … the old SL viewer UI was a crazy mess of things patched on by engineers with no overall design. But personally I think they made the mistake of trying to meet a schedule date and not waiting until it was right.

And again, as Simon notes, at the end of the day and despite all the pronouncements of Viewer 2.0 heralding the end of SL, here we are, nine years later, still SL-ing!

Fake Firestorm Website

There are in-world IMs / notices, doing the rounds pointing to a fake Firestorm website. for details, please refer to my blog post here.


2 thoughts on “2018 SL UG updates 46/1: Simulator User Group

  1. My recollection of Viewer 2 is that the code came from outside SL, and it took a while for Linden Lab programmers to understand it, and it killed off a critical element of the UI. We were stuck with one rather bad colour scheme. While there is a third-party add-on, and Linden Lab have improved the colours slightly, I find I need a different colour scheme. It’s possible that not providing alternatives, or picking up on the settings used by the OS, is a breach of US law.

    I was, in those days, using Windows.

    It was one of the things that pushed me away from the Linden Lab viewer chain.

    A lot of the people who were there have gone from Linden Lab. My own, rather vague, recollection is that there were other problems at that time, mostly management level, and Viewer 2 can be regarded as one of the symptoms. I feel that Simon Linden glosses over that aspect.


    1. Partially right.

      Viewer 2 was a design that came from a company called 80/20 Studios (or possibly 80-20 Studios), who worked predominantly on the UI aspects of the viewer (a lot of the underpinning code for functionality came from V1.x).

      Initially, there was a lot of resistance from the Lab to changing Viewer 2.0 (which had started life as “viewer 2009” and from sneak peeks in 2009, did look somewhat different). However, whether that came down to it being a case that “it took a while for Linden Lab programmers to understand it”, or whether it was because the Lab simply didn’t want to rush in and simply start changing things as a result of a knee-jerk reaction from users (who are always resistant to to large-scale change), but wanted to give the viewer a run more-or-less “as is” to see if people adopt, is really open to debate. I’d actually lean towards the latter over the former, simply because it strikes me that’s what any company pushing out a significant update to an existing product would want to do.

      Where there may have been more reluctance on the part of LL to make changes was in the “corporate” look of the viewer (remembering that it was primarily developed during the time when there was the push to make SL a “business platform” (Second Life Enterprise, et al), even if it actually appeared as the Lab was in the midst to changing course away from such ideas (it first appeared a month after Rod Humble officially took over as CEO). There was great reluctance to change basics like the original colours (most of viewer 2.x’s UI was initially very dark, for example, not a good thing for the visually impaired).

      Of course, what both aspects of this reluctance to change things too quickly did, was encourage open-source developer to step into the breach. KristenLee Cinquetti, for example, worked on mods to the Sidebar (remember that hideous beast?) taming it and turning it into something potentially useful. She was, for example, the first to reduce the screen eating size of the Sidebar and have it overlay the world view, rather than rudely shunting it off to the left when opening. She also returned inventory to a separate floater (another major source of irritation with viewer 2.0). Other tweaks were also provided by the likes of Alexandrea Fride while Hitomi Tiponi provided a set of Starlight Skins specifically for viewer 2.0.

      There were issues at the Lab at the time to be sure; communications with the user community had been all but dead other than what at times could feel like propaganda-inspired proclamations. There was a new CEO on-board and getting more directly involved in things and trying to reverse the aforementioned communications issues (something that itself went somewhat sideways eventually, but that’s a different story), there was an increasingly strained relationship between LL and open-source developers. But again, how much of this played into viewer 2’s development / revision is a little hard to determine.

      What is clear is that by October 2010, when viewer 2.2 appeared, significant strides had been made with the viewer: the Sidebar had been largely tamed, and the release of that viewer garnered, at the time, more positive reviews than had previous iterations.


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