2019 SL User Groups 9/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Provincial Life; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrProvincial Lifeblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 1st, 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.

There was a lot of general text chat during the meeting, there these notes are purely a summary of the key discussion point likely to be of interest to most users.

SL Viewer


As noted in my CCUG Summary for the week:

  • The BugSplat RC viewer, version, was promoted to de facto release status on Thursday, February 28th.
    • This has resulted in breakage for some open-source builds, and the Lab will be accepting patches to correct this, providing the patches do not interfere with the BugSplat changes.
    • There will likely be further fine tuning of the BugSplat code to assist with the reports generated.
  • The EEP viewer was promoted to RC status with the release of version on Wednesday, February 27th.

The remaining viewer in the pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version, dated February 22nd.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version, dated January 16th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November, 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version, dated May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

The EAM viewer requires a further simulator update, and there will be further simulator updates / deployments for EEP (which is not yet grid-wide).

The new Maintenance RC viewer – code-named Teranino (after the Croatian liquer) – has been delayed while it is being merged up to the BugSplat release. Among other things, this RC will have numerous crash fixes in it.

Also as noted in my CCUG summary, the Bakes on Mesh viewer is awaiting a Bake Service update. Once that has been deployed, the viewer will likely be promoted to RC status.

Asset UDP Messaging Deprecation

[4:54-6:08] The simulator update to remove the remaining Asset UDP messaging was delayed as a result of the week #9 deployments having to be deployed. The initial deployment of the changes will, I believe, be made to the Magnum RC channel.

As these updates are deployed the current Obsolete Platform viewer and the Linux Spur viewers will be increasingly unable to receive asset data – including avatar shapes, meaning avatars used using them will appear as clouds. These viewers will not be updated to render avatars, and will not be updated to enable them to do so.

In Brief

  • [22:29-22:52] Texture memory caching: this work is stalled at present, but LL hope to resume the work soon.
  • [23:12-23:35] Visual Studio 2017 update: “Good progress” is being made on the shift to using VS 2017 in the viewer build process, and it is hoped tested on the updated build process can commence in a few weeks.
  • [28:38-28:48] Avatar attachment issues: the issue of attachments belonging to other avatars randomly appearing to be briefly attached to your screen when logging-in to / teleporting to busy regions is thought to be the result of a race condition, with the viewer receiving object data for attachments before it gets the necessary avatar / attachment point data. While the problem does correct on receipt of the latter, LL are continuing to investigate.
  • [7:06- 19:23 – mainly in text chat] NiranV Dean (Black Dragon viewer) believes he has noted two performance improvement areas:
    • A means to prevent fps collapse when edit-selecting rigged mesh. He has offered to set up a repository so his ideas on this can be examined.
    • A means to reduce the number of getChild calls generated when using tools such as the Edit window (some TPVs may have already implemented fixes to reduce these calls).
    • Using sliders to make changes to glow and transparency (and possibly to materials – e.g. shine and glossiness, although the workflow here would be more complicated) to reduce the number of callbacks being made.
    • There is a willingness at the Lab to look at his ideas, once they’ve been submitted  / made available.
  • [29:38-31:31 (and beyond in chat)] General discussion on avatars appearing to float above platforms floors at altitude. In short, this is nothing to do with further height offset issues, but likely the result of floating point precision options (the same issues that can lead to things like “prim drift” when building at altitude). Any attempt to redress this could be a major project, if not a fundamental change in how the simulator works.
  • A presence of the Singularity team at the meeting led to suggestions a release for that viewer might be somewhere on the horizon.

Chalkboards and photographs in Second Life

Lyric Art Gallery: SecondHandTutti

Officially opening at 10:30 SLT on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at the Lyric Art Gallery is the latest edition of the Visual Feast exhibitions, featuring the work of two artists: SecondHandTutti and the gallery’s co-curator, Michiel Bechir. Between them, they offer two very different – but equally captivating – exhibits.

On the ground floor of the gallery is SecondHandTutti’s #26 Chalkboard Dolls, which – contrary to the title is actually 17 pieces of art comprising 14 wall mounted images and three 3D pieces. They are, however, all drawn together by the chalkboard theme.

Lyric Art Gallery: SecondHandTutti

The 14 images, all clearly taken in Second Life have been beautifully rendered to present a series of chalkboard drawings. Each is offered as if freshly drawn, the chalk resting on the board’s shelf alongside an easer. It’s a fascinating way by which to capture Second Life and the degree to which each image genuinely appears to have been hand-drawn on a board is mesmerizing. Granted, on one or two you have to get the camera in close to fully appreciate the detail, but the effort is more than worthwhile.

The three 3D pieces utilise chalkboards to display their names. They are uniquely abstracted studies of figures created with prims, rather than the more common mesh. This gives them a rawness of line that is as eye-catching as the images surrounding them, and  – in the case of Dancer perhaps offers an added sense of tribalism to the figure and the dance.

Lyric Art Gallery: Michiel Bechir

Located on the upper floor of the gallery, Michiel’s exhibit presents 17 of his photographs taken around second Life, either mounted on the walls or on easels. His work has always had a richness to it, whether presented as a gently post-processed photograph, or more broadly edited to give the feel of a painting, and the selection offered at the Lyric presents both approaches for visitor to admire.

As a seasoned SL traveller, one of the things I enjoy with landscape photography that has been captured in-world is trying to identify the locations without cheating by referencing the Edit floater or hovering the mouse over a picture in the hopes of seeing a name. Sometimes the images feature aspects of a region that are so iconic, it is relatively easy to do so: the airstrip at Wild Edge, for example, or the wind turbines at La Digue Du Braek, or the beauty of the Gulf of Lune – all of which can be found in this selection. But sometimes, the setting can be captured in a more subtle manner – and thus I was delighted to spot images taken and Scribbled Hearts and Kekeland, two destinations to which I have in the past made numerous visits.

Lyric Art Gallery: Michiel Bechir

Two excellent selections of art, and I recommend them as being well worth a visit.

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