2019 SL User Groups 3/2: TPV Developer Meeting

The Forest - Winter Wonderland; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
The Forest – Winter Wonderland, December 2018 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, January 18th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps are provided to the major topics of discussion , which will open the video in a new tab for ease of reference.

SL Viewer


The following viewers updated on Wednesday, December 16th, 2019:

The remainder of the official pipelines remain as:

  • Current Release version, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version, December 18. 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.

The EEP viewer is now very close to being promoted to RC status, and if all goes to plan, the simulator EEP support should be going to RC as well very soon.

Viewer Build Process

[4:04-7:24] The Lab is starting on moving their viewer build process to Visual Studio 2017.  This may lead to changes appearing in the build process as this work progresses. So far the work is proceeding smoothly, and is not anticipated as taking too long to complete. After this, the Lab plans to track their build process updates a lot more closely to Visual Studio releases (VS 2019 will be appearing this year).  Mac builds are to OS 10.13, and use Xcode 10.

Linux Viewer Status

[11:40-17:42] A couple of TPV Linux developers have contacted Oz Linden concerning assistance with the Linux build of the viewer. The holiday period, plus the fact Oz was on vacation immediately following it, means he has not followed up on the offers as yet, but will be doing so. It is hoped that this means work on supporting Linux will once again resume soon.

The Lab’s plan had been to provide a basic Debian build for Linux, avoiding the need to rebuild all the libraries for different tarballs. However, but suggestions have been made to consider using snaps / flatpacks instead. Currently the Lab is open to trying to incorporate the progress other have made in supporting Linux, including setting up build environments to support them with the aim of providing a Linux flavour for the viewer once more, with the caveat that any work carried out must not break the build processes for the other platforms.

There are a couple of potential caveats with any Linux viewer build that emerges from this work:

  • It will not have direct Voice support because a) Vivox no longer support Linux; b) changes to the Voice API means older versions of the SLvoice.exe plug-in will not work. (although voice via Wine is possible).
  • It is unlikely to have Havok support. It is felt that the number of Linux user actually employing the official Linux viewer has always been so small that the effort to incorporate the Havok libraries is not seen as worthwhile. This may be revised as work progresses.

Non-HTTP Asset Fetching / UDP Path Deprecation

[7:44-10:36] All asset types are – and have been for some time – fetched via HTTP / the CDN. However, the old UDP message paths for such fetching has remained in place. This is now being deprecated from the simulator code. The patch for this is not ready to go, and should be rolling out across the simulator release channels over the next few weeks, a little later than originally planned.

This means anyone using really old viewers that do not have HTTP asset fetching (notably for the likes of system body parts, system clothing, gesture, animations, sounds, landmarks and textures) will no longer be able to obtain responses to asset requests.

[34:52-35:15] The Lab will also consider requests to move other functions away from UDP to other capabilities.

In Brief

  • Reports are increasing on the time it takes mesh attachments (clothing, body parts, to “snap” into place when logging-in or teleporting to a region where there is a number of other avatars.
  • Some Firestorm users are also reporting texture corruption issues linked to the above, which may be linked to Malwarebytes anti-virus software..
  • Firestorm is hoping to move the current version with Animesh support to a “full” release around the end of January, hopefully).
  • Catznip is planning a release without Animesh support, to be followed by a release with optional Animesh release.