2019 SL User Groups 17/1: SUG – teleport disconnects update

Puddlechurch; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrUmiblog post

Server Deployments

From the server deployment thread for the week:

We are working on the TP & sim crossing disconnect issue, and making several changes over this week.  These may be a little bit more disruptive than our usual grid roll process and we apologise in advance for the inconvenience of those.  We’ll do our best to keep this disruption to a minimum. We have a simulator update which we will roll to BlueSteel and LeTigre on Tuesday.  Depending on the results we will make additional plans for gridwide rolls as soon as practical. We thank you for your patience and fully realize both the urgency and the frustration this has been causing.

Thus far, there has been a deployment to BlueSteel and LeTigre – server update Check the deployment thread for further updates.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates at the start of the week, leaving the viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version, formerly the Estate Access Management RC viewer, dated April 12, promoted April 17 NEW. – see my EAM overview for more information
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • 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.

Teleport Disconnects

Let’s see … for server news, many of us are focused on the teleport issues … I hate to promise anything, but we all know a lot more about TP internal problems than we used to 🙂 . We do understand they’re annoying and a frustrating problem – we definitely want to fix it and make it better.

– Simon Linden, Simulator User Group, April 23rd

From the above statement, it should be clear that the Lab is devoting a lot of time to teleport disconnects. There have been mixed reports on the outcome of the deployment made on Thursday, April 18th, 2019, with some indicating matters have improved, others reporting no real change. In particular, people visiting Fantasy Faire and travelling around the new Linden Homes continent appear to be faring a lot better than had been the case. Which is not to say the issue has in anyway been resolved – hence the continuing work.

While it had been indicated that the recent operating system update may have played a role in the problems, Simon again referenced the timing issue with region crossings, whilst also mentioning the potential for the simulator side of EEP possibly also playing a role in things.

One of the puzzles we’re trying to sort out is if somehow the environmental work caused the TP problems – the timing of the release is suspicious but the functionality _should_ be different …. The disconnects are a problem where the viewer and 2nd region don’t start talking as they should [so something is out of sync] or there’s a failure to communicate. I know, for example, the 2nd region is waiting for the viewer to connect and get a message … that never happens …

He continued:

It doesn’t seem to be closely associated with AV complexity … that said, the more complex your AV is, the more work it needs to change regions. It’s always been better to have fewer scripts and data for teleports and region crossings.

The problem is still trying to pin down actual potential causes, with disconnects remaining inconsistent in terms of reproduction., again as Simon noted:

It’s frustratingly inconsistent. It’s a lot easier to fix something that breaks all the time … to fix it, and to know when you fixed it. For example, before this meeting we ran a test that had probably 400 or so successful teleports, no disconnects … that’s good, but not proof of a fix.

Mazidox Linden, from the Lab’s QA team further qualified the Lab’s problem:

We need in the neighbourhood of 10000 teleports to have any kind of real statistical confidence, just as a reference point 🙂 .

EEP / Windlight Issues

Following the Thursday deployment, many region holders / designers noted significant differences in how their region windlights were being rendered. The didn’t get much in the way of discussion during the meeting, however, Rider Linden offered an apology for the situation, noting that the focus on the TP issue(s) resulted in some unexpected regressions. However, it’s not currently clear what might be done to deal with this issue.

Re-visiting Elvenshire in Second Life

(Fae Forest), Elvenshire; Inara Pey, April 2019, on Flickr(Fae Forest), Elvenshire – click any image for full size

Update July 2019: Elvenshire has closed, and Zuma relocated to a new location (see A new (fae forest) in Second Life, also now closed) for details. Because of this, SLurls have been removed from this post.

It’s been two years since our last visit to Elvenshire, the Homestead region designed by Zuma Fae Dust (Zuma Jupiter); a fact I was recently reminded of by Shawn Shakespeare, who actually originally pointed the region out to us back in March 2017. So this being the case, we girded our lions for teleporting, and hopped over to renew our acquaintance with the region.

Back in 2017, the region was set as a place rife with magic and not a little romance, rich in little vignettes and suggestions of an elven (or at least fae) presence. A lot has changed since then; now simply called (Fae Forest) the region still encompasses a forested feel – but this time it is a rain forest, suggestive of somewhere in the sub-tropics, backed against at high arc of mountain-like terrain, the rest of the setting smothered by a heavy blanket of foliage hiding it from prying eyes overhead.

(Fae Forest), Elvenshire; Inara Pey, April 2019, on Flickr(Fae Forest), Elvenshire

Much of the land around the feet of the trees is flooded, with water tumbling from the inaccessible uplands (while a path does offer a way up the steep hills, it only goes so far – to a plateau where a Koi house sits alongside the tumbling waters of falls). This is one of several places available for visitors to find when exploring the region.

Several of these maintain the mystical feel present within the region at our last visit. There’s an ancient, broken rotunda, for example. Slowly being overtaken by forest growth, it marks the way to an ancient garden area that in turn leads to an aged bath house rich in décor, brought together in an eclectic mix that completely satisfies the eye. A door to one side of this structure offers a way back to the landing point – but taking it might risk missing other attractions.

(Fae Forest), Elvenshire; Inara Pey, April 2019, on Flickr(Fae Forest), Elvenshire

Elsewhere sit hints of fantasy and the fantastical: a great blue whale, swimming without moving on the water rather than below it, a garden on its back, the bulk of spaceship like submarine close by. Then there are the little vignettes still waiting to be found: the old round stone turret when rusting canon and makeshift sofa, the gamer’s hideaway, all sitting between and under the trees.

And then there is the landing point itself, a hall close to the edge of the region. It has a wonderfully homely feel to it setting that immediately puts one at ease, yet holds an exotic look offering the promise of discovery within the region beyond.

(Fae Forest), Elvenshire; Inara Pey, April 2019, on Flickr(Fae Forest), Elvenshire

Should the forest prove too oppressive, gated steps run down from the landing point to a short tongue of land that licks the edge of a little grassy island crowned by a single tree (although two more lie to one side) and a sunken ring of standing stones. Here the rain falls lightly, and may well ease the more enclosed, oppressed air some might feel under the heavy foliage of the rain forest.

For those who fancy more of a challenge, the route to the path up the hills mentioned above can take some finding, but it also does reveal another little cuddle spot for romantics. Also, take care when crossing the bridges that form part of the route to the hillside path; we both fell through parts of the bridges to take a further dip in the waters below.

(Fae Forest), Elvenshire; Inara Pey, April 2019, on Flickr(Fae Forest), Elvenshire

This is a very different setting from the one we witnessed two years ago – hardly surprising since it is two years since our last visit; but it is one that remains photogenic.