2019 SL User Groups week #37/1: Simulator User Group

Natural Falls, July 2019 – blog post

Updated with the full details of the Magnum and LeTigre RC deployments

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for updates.

  • On Tuesday, September 10th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server release 2019-08-29T20:20:39.530516 – comprising “simulator component of deploy tooling and process improvements”, and previously deployed to the main RC channels in week #36.
    • This is the update that doesn’t report channel names to the viewer, so Help > About will always report the channel to be “Second Life Server” (SLS) regardless of the channel the region you are on is assigned to.
    • There is a race condition that can cause double rolls of a deployment some 2 or so hours apart. The Lab is aware of the issue and investigating the cause.
  • One Wednesday, September 11th, the main RC channels will be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel was updated with server release 2019-09-06T18:49:52.530700, containing the simulator-side script usage improvements.
    • Magnum and LeTigre were updated with server release 2019-09-06T22:03:53.530715, containing the fix  to address most cases of experience-enabled scripts losing association with their experience.

SL Viewer

The Umeshu Maintenance RC viewer, version and dated September 5th, has been promoted to de facto release status. At the time of writing, the rest of the current official viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, August 19.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, June 5. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November 2017 – 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.

In Brief

  • Group Chat: there are some reports that group chat has been improved over the last couple of weeks with less drop-outs and issues, although conversations arrived with the original post missing still appears to be an issue.
    • Oz Linden acknowledged the Lab is still tweaking on things to try and brig about improvements.
    • Simon Linden indicated that it is one of those problems where running the service on more capable hardware doesn’t always improve things – as the Lab found out in tests earlier in the year.
  • Sound file duration: a good while ago, the viewer had a change to allow 30-second sound files. However, it has been awaiting a server-side update to support it. When asked about the status of the update, Oz Linden replied:

Can’t predict now when the 30 second sound limit will happen, but it’s part of a high priority bundle of stuff, so Pretty Soon™


Previewing Lab Gab 2 with Reed Linden

Image courtesy of Linden Lab

The second segment on Lab Gab has been announced as streaming live on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at 15:00 SLT, when it will feature special guest Reed Linden.

Lab Gab is the title given to the new fortnightly (thus far) chat show hosted by Xiola and Strawberry Linden. The first segment was streamed on Wednesday, August 28th, and those interested can read my summary here. It formed a general intro to the show, with Xiola and Strawberry chatting about a number of topics and taking questions from people watching the live stream on YouTube.

The second segment promises to be more formal, featuring  – as noted – Reed Linden. AKA (at present) Penguin Fabuloso, Reed has been with the Lab for just over eight years, having joined in August 2011. Most recently, he’s been in the hot seat for the monthly Web User Group meetings (which I “skilfully” keep missing on account of – well, let’s be honest here – not remembering to check the schedule). As a Product Manager at the Lab, Reed has his fingers in a number of areas including the Marketplace, Profiles and SL web properties, and also with Bakes on Mesh.

All things being equal, I’ll be watching the show and will hopefully have a summary available in these pages some time thereafter. Those wishing to tune-in to the stream can do so via the Lab’s official YouTube channel.

Crossing Over and Night Walks in Second Life

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Crossing Over and Night Walks

Open from September 10th, 2019 at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery curated by Dido Haas, are two independent – yet in some ways complimentary – exhibitions by two gifted artists. Crossing Over features a 3D installation by Kaiju Kohime located in the middle of one of the gallery’s two arms, while Night Walks presents a further series of Melusina Parkin’s unique studies of Second Life. Both installation and imagery offer a richly layered environment in which thought is strongly provoked.

Crossing Over is the second installation Kaiju is presenting since his return to Second Life (his first being a collaborative piece with Electric Monday and entitled Orizuru (which you can read about here). It forms, in the words of the exhibition’s introduction, a commentary on the changing face of society’s thinking and structure:

The vertical small worlds we used to live in, illustrated by male white religious oppression, are slowly tilting towards a more horizontal and more human engagement. This installation is about the continuing struggle between verticalism and a horizontal way of thinking and being, about the masks we put on to protect ourselves from our mirror image.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Crossing Over

The white-dominated element of religion (Christianity) is clearly symbolised by the main structure of the piece, which forms the framework of a great church. Within it, at the chancel, multiple white crosses float over the wireframe bust of a man as tendrils of light (thought / understanding / realisation?) fall from an angled blue cross to strike a mask that deflects them away – although it is showing signs of crumbling and breaking under their persistence.

It’s a clear and concise statement concerning religious oppression through the implementation of doctrine over belief / understanding. The white crosses stand as bars rigidly defining the dogma and the vertical nature of “white” Christianity as it is so sadly practised by some, wherein matters so often defined as “right” or “wrong” in terms of race, colour, gender and sexuality (perhaps more so in this present era than more recent times past). Meanwhile, the blue cross and the tendrils of light reflect that shift in thinking from dogma and vertical superiority towards the more compassionate, humanistic (and perhaps even more Christ-like?) “horizontal” view that we are in fact all equal; thus underlining the use of race, colour, gender and  sexuality by some as masks and shields by which they seek to hold themselves apart from, and over, others.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Crossing Over

Night Walks, meanwhile, offers a series of images that take us on “journeys into a dark world”. As the introduction notes:

Streets are empty in the night. At 3 or 4 am we can walk around without meeting people (just somebody who is “still” or “already” there, according to the words of the great Italian writer Italo Calvino, a night owl or a worker). So, we can look at buildings, parked cars, windows, street lamps and benches as they are the true inhabitants of that dark world.

Thus we are offered a series of night-time images taken from around Second Life offered in Melu’s unique perspective where she uses minimalism and close focus to tremendous effect. These are images that offer not so much a picture of a location but a glimpse into a world; sharply defined and focused they might be in their composition, but behind each one of them sits an entire story into which the imagination can fall.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Night Walks

Empty streets at night can be both enticing and frightening. We can be alone, even when just beyond the few inches of stone or brick that may separate us from the interior of house or apartment building, we know there are others, sleeping peacefully or – if lights are still to be seen through curtailed windows – going about their lives as we tread the pavements outside. Thus, we can wrap ourselves in a cloak of our own thoughts without fear of interruption or distraction.

But at the same time, the streets late at night can be unsettling: the familiar can be redrawn by the simple fall of light and shadow; doorways that by day might be welcoming can by night become places of menace. Thus – and again as the liner notes state, “Serenity and fear live together in the dark and empty streets. Which of them wins, depends on our mood. In the night the dark enchanting forest of the city becomes the landscape where the contrasting sides of our souls live.”

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Night Walks

And it is in this contrasting sides of the soul that the link is formed between Night Walks and Crossing Over is formed. It is said that it is in the depths of night that one can most clearly hear the voice of God – or the voice of conscience, if you prefer. That quiet, insistent voice of challenge against dogma that cannot be silenced by the distractions of daytime life or deflected by the masks we might otherwise wear when not so deeply alone, and which calls into question our structure doctrine of thinking and encourages us towards a more open  – dare I say “horizontal” view of the world around us.

The symbolism within and between both Crossing Over and Night Walks is both rich and powerful, offering multiple ways to interpret each as individual pieces and as interconnected exhibits (there is something of a symbolism for death in Crossing Over, for example, and the small hours of the night as seen in Night Walks are said to be the time when death visits the most – ideas which can taken interpretation of both into a whole new dimension).

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Night Walks

In this, I could go on to write at length on both, but I’ll resist putting words into the artist’s mouths and ideas into your heads. Instead, I would encourage you to go to Nitroglobus and view both, and allow them to jointly speak to you. Both Night Walks and Crossing Over officially open at 12:00 noon SLT on Tuesday, September 8th, 2019.

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