2019 SL User Groups 24/3: TPV Developer Meeting

aZiLe; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickraZiLe, May 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 14th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. The key points of discussion are provided below with time stamps to the relevant points in the video, which will open in a separate tab when clicked.

SL Viewer

[0:23-3:40]

There have been no further LL viewer updates wince the Love Me Render and Bakes On Mesh RC releases on June 10th. This leaves the current LL viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, released on June 5th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, 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 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

BOM Alpha / Universal Wearable Issues

Please also see my week #24 CCUG update for details of issues around alpha handling and the universal wearable channels in the Bakes on Mesh viewer. Vir indicated that the Lab has a handle on this, which will require an Appearance Service update and a “small” viewer-side update that will include a new inventory icon for universal wearables.

Legacy Profile Project Viewer

[3:50-6:10]

  • As per my preview article, the Legacy Profiles project viewer (version 6.2.3.527749 at the time of writing), moves avatar profile in the viewer back into their own floater, rather than using a view of the web profile.
  • This work is in its initial stages, and the overall aim of the work is in flux. This means that the profile panel itself might be subject to further revision, and that even the web feed itself might gain its own floater, rather than being a tab within the new profile floater.

360 Snapshot Viewer

[6:15-7:33] Note that the 360 Snapshot viewer has been temporarily withdrawn, due to  the core viewer code being badly out-of-date. The viewer is currently in the process of being updated – no functionality changes to the 360 snapshot capability, purely an update to bring the core code up-to-date with the current release viewer. It is hoped this will reach the Lab’s QA team soon, and reappear as a project viewer in due course.

Group Chat Performance

[17:01-34:15]

  • A frequent complaint with Group chat is that it can be slow.
  • The Lab’s investigation in issues shows that actual chat messages and group notices account for the minority of traffic seen in the group chat system.
  • By far the largest volume of traffic is purely the on-line / off-line notifications that are being sent.
    • So, for example, in a group of 20,000 members, each time someone logs-in or out of SL, 20,000 messages are generated in the group chat system; for a 50,000 member group, the number is 50,000, and so on.
    • Note that a couple of years ago, to try to improve things, the Lab disabled the ability to see the group members list for groups over 5,000 members – but the actual messages themselves are still circulated.
  • The Lab is therefore seeking feedback on how big an impact it would be if these on-line / off-line messages were turned off on the simulator side, either just for very large groups (upper limit TBD), or simply for all groups, in the hope it will reduce the volume of traffic and help improve overall chat performance.
  • It has been acknowledged that if this is to be done, it would be useful for group members to still be able to see which group owners / moderators are on-line, and for group owners / moderators to see which group members are on-line, so that issues / enquiries can be dealt with. The Lab will investigate whether this can be done.
  • Note that removing these messages would not affect the “last login” date for the group members list.
  • It is likely the Lab may carry out some experiments on a small cohort of groups to see what might be done and check for any measurable performance increase in those groups.
    • Some experimenting has already been done in trying to batch the on-line / off-line update messages, but it’s not clear if this has had any positive impact where it has been done.
  • An alternative suggestion is to break groups into types: e.g. those purely for chat (which may require more information on users’ on-line status) and those just for outwards announcements.
    • This is already done to some degree by group owners setting group rules / members’ capabilities; however, it still means the on-line / off-line messages are still sent.
    • Were the Lab to try to implement a more robust system like this, there would be a major issue is handling existing groups and determining how to define them.
  • [41:00-41:15] More generally with group chat, the Lab have considered adding an ability to add a server-side block (accessible through the viewer) on chat from groups a user does not wish to hear from, chat-wise. This may be implemented “at some point”.

In Brief

  • [36:10-36:35] Avatar Teleport on Region Performance: as we know, avatars arriving in a region can have a significant impact on the region’s performance. The Lab believe that have a partial understanding of the problem, and has some ideas on how the impact might be lessened.
  • [44:20-46:44] BUG-225696 – “All offline inventory offers from scripted objects are lost” –  was believed to have been fixed in the Teranino RC viewer, however it still appears to be occurring. As such BUG-227179 has been raised against the issue, and the Lab will look into it again.
  • [52:16-53:30] Kitty Barnett (Catznip) has been working on trying to clean-up a series of viewer-side events that can cause the viewer to stall after the login.cgi process has completed that can cause region messages (including IMs) to be lost. The Lab is aware of these as well, but would be interested in accepting Kitty’s code contributions if she can get them finished.
  • The Lab is still looking for a Senior Graphics Engineer to work on Second Life (San Francisco based).

Total Aside

In discussing SL groups (and as a point of humour), Oz and Grumpity revealed the first three Jira items filed internally at the Lab:

  • SL-1: Second Life should grow to dominate the entire world, thereby making us the de facto world leaders.
  • SL-2: Build a time machine.
  • SL-3: Build an army of robot cats.

SL-2 was seen as necessary because the Lab knew that it would eventually need to go back and re-engineer some of the decisions made when first defining / building Second Life and its architecture. Sadly, and DeLorean cars notwithstanding, there are still considerable blockers that prevent its implementation!

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