2019 SL User Groups week #34/1: Simulator User Group

Hallig Norddeich, Nibbevegen 1; Inara Pey, July 2019, on FlickrHallig Norddeich, Nibbevegen 1, July 2019 – blog post

Server Deployments

Note: at the time of writing, the server deployment release notes had yet to be published. This article will be updated when they are available.

  • On Tuesday, August 20th, the SLS (Main) channel  was updated with server maintenance package 19#, containing internal fixes, and previously deployment to the RC channels in week #33
  • There was a change to the RC deployments in week#33.
    • Server maintenance update containing improvements for script performance and that had been due to be deployed to the BlueSteel and LeTigre channels, was found to have an 11th hour bug that prevented deployment.
    • Instead, BlueSteel and LeTigre received the same deployment as had been planned for Magnum –
    • server maintenance package 19#, containing internal fixes.
  • As a result, on Wednesday, August 21st, the RC channels should be updated with at least one server maintenance update, 19#, containing the script run improvements. However, at the time of writing, and pending the publication of the release notes, it is not clear if this update will be going to all of the RC channels or just a selection.
    • Should this deployment also go sideways for the script improvements updates, those interested can test performance on the Aditi DRTSIM-406 channel at the Jigglypuff region.

SL Viewer

The EEP RC viewer updated to version on Monday, August 19th, 2019.

The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as follows at the time of writing:

  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16th.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, June 5. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, 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.

In Brief

  • Despite the lack of deployment of the script improvement code in week #33, some have reported that overall script performance on some regions appears to have improved. The Lab has picked-up on these reports, but has no explanation as to what may have happened to improve things.
  • At the CCUG group meeting on August 15th, it was stated that a Linden at a recent Web User Group (WUG) had hinted the SL wiki was to be gradually deprecated in favour of the knowledge base. However, at the SUG meeting, Oz Linden indicated that this isn’t necessarily the case:

If I proposed killing the wiki, there a Lindens who would show up with pitchforks…rest assured that it is well defended. One of our background-priority projects that is getting some attention is updating the wiki software, actually … no predictions when that might happen, but Someday™.

  • A major impact felt by regions is that of avatars teleporting into / out of a region. Some work was done to improve things a while ago, particularly around avatars leaving a region, but the Lab is aware of the issues of avatars coming into a region causing it to slow down / freeze – and this is now described as “moving up” in the Lab’s hit list of issues to tackle.
  • There was further discussion around the idea of limiting script use to the parcel level in order to prevent individual parcels taking up all of the script resources for a region. However, as noted in my week #33 summary, this is perhaps much easier said that done.

On the waterfront at Pappado in Second Life

{PAPPADO}. August 2019 – click on any image for full size

Shawn Shakespeare suggested we drop into {PAPPADO}, a 1/4 Full region parcel offering a waterfront design suggestive of somewhere along one of Europe’s Mediterranean coastlines.

Unlike most 1/4 region parcels, which tend to make up a square within a region, this one looks to be two 1/8th parcels that have been joined end-to-end to present a ribbon-like setting that runs entirely across the north side of the host region, east to west ,that in turn makes for an ideal coastal build.

{PAPPADO}, August 2019

On arrival, I was somewhat put in mind of two places we’ve vitised in the last year in SL – Little Havana, which we dropped into in December 2018, and Keleland, which we last visited a year ago, in August 2018. The resemblance to either is somewhat superficial – {PAPPADO} has a personality all its own – but in the case of Kekeland, it is perhaps understandable given the parcel’s principal designer is Terry Fotherington, who designed Kekeland alongside of Bridget Genna.

The landing point sits at the eastern end of the parcel, on an aged stone terrace bookended by the sea to one side and an old chapel-like building on the other. Both terrace and chapel share their stonework with an arched gateway that backs the terrace, all three suggesting that are all that remains of a large structure that once stood here – although the walls running from either side of the gateway are of a much more recent design, and the gates themselves suggest they are perhaps not the originals.

{PAPPADO}, August 2019

Beyond the gates is an old slipway; what it may have been used for is unclear, but the hulk of an fishing boat lies canted over on the sands close by, and another, seaworthy trawler sits just off-shore – the first hints that this is as much a working destination s vacation spot.

Running westwards away from the landing point is the broad ruler of a road sitting between sandy beach and seafront properties that would appear to cater to those on vacation – there’s a motel, a cinema, a little ice cream parlour and a cake shop. Arches and alleyway provide access to a cobbled street paralleling the beach-front road and which offers a mix of possible residential houses and smaller commercial units.

{PAPPADO}, August 2019

Mid-way down the road sits a further set of arched gates that slice across it and standing in defiance of any four-wheeled motor vehicles that might happen down the street. While the road does continue beyond the wrought-iron gates, the surroundings take on a far more businesslike look. The beach is replaced by wharves, the sand by rocks and shingle. Signs indicate this is a place were fishing is the order of the day – although given the rocks in the sea, I would not like to try to bring a fishing boat alongside the wharves!

The buildings here also appear a lot more careworn than those to the east, again perhaps an indication that enticing tourists or holidaymakers is not their primary goal. Beyond them, where the road meets its end, a path and little bridge cross a busy brook to provide access to another small beach area backed by a modern-style house (apparently open to the public), offering little spots on the sand for folks to enjoy at this end of the parcel.

{PAPPADO}, August 2019

Quite where in the world this might be is anyone’s guess. The gay colours of the buildings at the eastern end of the setting put one in mind of places like Havana, but the preponderance of Vespa scooters suggest somewhere on the Italian coast. However, and wherever you chose to see it, {PAPPADO} offers a pleasing diversion (although one or two of the props could perhaps benefit from some adjustment – a corner café has a few floating chairs, as does the beach!).

SLurl Details

Monochrome portraits and landscapes in Second Life

Kultivate The Edge, August 2019

Now open at Kultivate Magazine’s The Edge Gallery is the August-September exhibition of black-and-white / monochrome art and photography.

The featured artists for the exhibition are Tatjab, MTH63, Wintergeist, Chic Aeon, Belua Broadfoot, Illrya Chardin, Sophie Congrego, Roxaane Fyanucci, Euridice Qork, and someone called Inara Pey, who is really just along for the ride. The artists offer a rich mix of portraiture and landscape images in their selections, as well as a mix of styles that make for an engaging exhibition.

Kultivate The Edge, August 2019 – Tatjab

While the range of images is both deep and broad, I admit to finding myself repeatedly gravitating towards two of the artists in particular. The first is Tatjab – also known as tattoo artist (hence his SL and Twitter handle of “Tatjab”), painter, and pencil portrait artist, Jesse Boren. Located on the upper mezzanine level of the gallery and facing the entrance, he presents fourteen pencil portraits taken from the physical world that are utterly stunning.

Ranging from fantasy pieces (such as portraits of Cthulhu) through personal pieces (Blaze, Leland and Pam’s Grandpa, for example) to those of famous individuals such as Barrack Obama, Sir Anthony Hopkins (as Hannibal Lecter) and Clint Eastwood (as Josey Wales), these are truly marvellous pieces, one and all; the manner in which the very essence and life force of Hopkins, Eastwood (a picture I could barely take my eyes off of!) and guitarist Justin Furstienfled has been captured is just amazing – as is true of all the other pieces Tatjab offers here.

The Edge, August 2019 – Euridice Qork

Just to the left of Tatjab’s area in the gallery are nine pieces by Euridice Qork. All are avatar portraits and studies, but again I found myself repeatedly drawn to them because each and every one is powerfully evocative in its own very individual way. Within them all, one can find a sense of the subject’s self or can feel an emotional response or been drawn to thinking about a certain era – or perhaps all three, and more.

Take, for example the rightmost image of the woman at the microphone. While her style of dress might be a little more risqué than would likely have been the case at the time, the pose, the soft-focus background, the poise of the fingers of her left hand – all evoke a sense of 1940-1950s America, and a time when both jazz groups and big bands fronted by a vocalist where the means of a Saturday evening’s entertainment. Indeed, each time I look at this particular image, I cannot help but hear the words of Blue Moon, accompanied by a lone trumpet playing in the background.

Two other artists exhibiting here to and to whom I was drawn are Chic Aeon and MTH63 each  of whom can be found on the lower floor of the gallery.

Chic opts for a series of close-up images of items in-world. In this, I found the images to carry an echo of a technique that has become a signature of Melusina Parkin, and which I find particularly engaging: close-ups that suggest they are part of a large scene or story. In their presentation, be they focused on suitcases stacked one upon another or an oar in an aged and damaged rowing boat or the partially open drawers of a dresser, they drawer us to them, encouraging us into them in an attempt to peek beyond their borders, so to speak, and discern the wider story that may be just out of sight.

MTH63 offers a series of images of locations within Second Life, but rather than present them as “simple” monochrome pieces, he offers all but one of them as “negatives”, or perhaps reverse processed images (as used in the motion picture industry). Thus we’re presented with five unique views of settings within Second Life, with the one “positive” image sitting within them as the focal “glue” to MTH63’s “album”.

Kultivate The Edge, August 2019 – Chic Aeon (l) and MTH63

Truth be told, all of the artists featured in this exhibition offer a unique perspective on SL photography, be their work focused on avatars or landscapes or a mix of the two. The only potential exception is yours truly – and I say this not out of any sense of false modesty or to seek praise, but simply because I do not consider myself an artist. My images are purely intended for illustrative purposes within this blog; they are not posed, nor do they share depth of creative nuance evident in the other images, be it with framing, lighting, post-processing, and so on. As such, I count myself fortunate to be included  in an exhibition where there are some genuinely breath-taking pieces.

Slurl Details