2019 viewer release summaries week #46

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, November 17th

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version, formerly the Ordered Shutdown RC viewer, dated November 4th, – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer, version, November 15th.
  • Project viewers:

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers



Mobile / Other Clients

  • No Updates

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Alien cats and thanksgiving meals in Second Life

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, November 18th 19:00: Teacher’s Pet / War and Peace

Gyro Muggins returns to Larry Niven’s Known Space universe and the Man-Kzin Wars series to bring us two short stories from that series written by Matthew Joseph Harrington, and which appeared in the Man-Kzin volume 11 (edited by Niven), first published in 2005.

Set after the end of the war, the stories within Man-Kzin XI are predominantly set during a period where the Kzin are down (but not necessarily out) and having to adapt to no longer being the masters of all races they encounter, and are in roughly chronological order.

The two stories by Harrington follow the trio by established writer Hal Colebatch, and marked his début as a published author at the age of 35. They are regarded by many as being strong studies in the Man-Kzin lore, whilst also drawing on other literary sci-fi sources. The stories are also noted for Harrington’s ability to round-out a number of “loose ends” within the Man-Kin wars as well as offering new slants on the broader carves of Niven’s Known Space universe.

Both stories use a play on words in their titles, with War and Peace doing so both in the manner it reflects the period of peace following war, and also for the way it focuses on the life and work of Peace Corben, a human female Protector, who returns in Harrington’s sequel story, Peace and Freedom, published in the 2009 volume Man Kzin Wars XII.

Tuesday, November 19th 19:00: What’s Cookin’?

A favourite food stories and recipe exchange with Caledonia Skytower and friends. This week Cale shares the P.G. Wodehouse story “Best Sauce.” All are welcomed to bring some of their favourite recipes to share, on note card.

Wednesday, November 20th 19:00 Spirit of Steamboat

Kayden Oconnell returns to the tales of sheriff Walt Longmire, reading the ninth volume of Craig Johnson’s tales about his laconic US Marine-turned-lawman protagonist.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office when he is visited by a ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a scar across her forehead. He doesn’t recognise her, but she clearly knows him and his predecessor, sheriff Lucian Connally, under whom Longmire started his career as a deputy sheriff in 1972.

His interest aroused, Longmire takes the the young woman to see Connally, now a resident at an Assisted Living Home. But Connally, a former US Army Air Force pilot who flew B-25 Mitchell bombers in the Second World War, fails to recognise her. This is in some ways hardly surprising, given Connally’s frequently inebriated state.

Disappointed at the two men’s reaction, the young woman whispers a single word, “Steamboat”. In doing so, she embarks on a tale that tales Longmire and Connally back to Christmas Eve 1988, when Longmire had been a deputy sheriff just two months. The holiday season had brought with it a record-breaking blizzard – and a road accident that left Longmire and the (again inebriated) Connally with no choice but to pull a B-25 out of mothballs and make a dangerous flight through the blizzard to Denver, Colorado, in order to save a life.

Thursday, November 21st 19:00 An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

Louisa May Alcott is best known for her novel Little Women (1868), a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood years with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. However, she also penned numerous short stories, particularly for children, and an Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving is one of them.

It’s Thanksgiving Day, and the Bassett family’s kitchen is in the midsts of preparations for a traditional dinner. But things go awry when news comes that Mrs. Bassett’s mother is ill, so Mrs Bassett and Mr. Bassett are forced to take the sleigh and attend to her. This leaves the children, led by Tilly, to complete the preparations for the dinner, and Tilly is determined to have everything ready for her parents’ return.

However, cooking a major meal unsupervised is more of a challenge than the children imaged, and soon the kitchen is filled with an assortment of smells, some of them a little odd. And then Mr. and Mrs. Bassett return – bringing with them grandma and several other guests they have invited to dinner…

With Shandon Loring. Also in Kitely – find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.

Sansar Product Meetings week #46: feedback session

The Nexus – changing coming

The following notes were taken from the Twitch stream recording of the November 14th (week #46) Sansar Product Meeting. This meeting provided the opportunity for general feedback following the recent R37 release.

Note: As always, the Q&A session included questions on very specific issues individual creators have encountered and which may not be common across Sansar, and for which a clear-cut answer could not be given at the meeting. Such questions do not form a part of this summary, and interested parties are referred to the Twitch video.

General Items of Discussion

Individual Volume Controls

A long standing request for Sansar has been to provide users with a means to adjust the volume at which they hear other individual users on voice. It’s a request that LL have said they will address at some point without giving a firm commitment as to when. Because of this, users have taken to carrying signs spelling out the request.

Volume control placards – somewhat mindful of early SL protests by users

So to start the meeting, the Sansar team indicated they are now working on such an individual avatar voice control slider, and sought feedback in terms of:

  • Where should the control appear? Should it be a slider in the avatar tag that’s displayed when mousing over / pointing to another user? Should it be a UI control embedded in a panel? If the latter, then where – the People panel or the avatar Profile panel, or both?, etc.
  • Once set, should it persist between sessions / worlds?

The general feedback would be to have the control as easily accessible as possible, and to not have it persist between sessions.

Pilot Programme: Event Hosting

With the focus for Sansar now on events, LL is looking to try to offer incentives for world creators to host events of their own. As a part of this, they are looking to run what they are calling a “modular” events programme, starting with an initial pilot that they hope to launch soon.

  • Details on this are sketchy, and appear to be more in a realm of discussions with individual world creators at present, rather than a more formal, open discussion.
  • Most of what LL appear to be looking for at the moment is feedback on what they can do to help world creators to host events, and what incentives creators would like to see on offer for doing so.
  • It is anticipated that “open recruitment” for the pilot programme will commence some time in the next month, with more details provided ahead of time.

Sansar Discord Contest Channel

There is a new Contests channel on the Sansar Discord server, and world creators are welcome to use that to announce any contests they are running.

Nexus Reversal?

Since the introduction of the Nexus and Codex, users have had to visit the Nexus and the the Prime Portal in order to visit worlds than have not previously visited. Linden Lab now appear to be preparing to revise this at some point and re-introduce Atlas-style accessibility to all public worlds.

When is a good question, but we are moving in the direction of – if you remember what the Atlas was  – more like that. Basically, everything that’s [publicly] available in Sansar will be immediately at your finger tips through what is now the Codex, rather than requiring you to go to the Prime Portal at the Nexus to find new stuff.

… Basically, anything that you can access through the Prime Portal now will just be natively available through your Codex in the very near future.

– Zaius Linden (video 41:50-42-50)

Spawning from Inventory In-world

Ability allow users to spawn items from their inventory directly into a world.

  • The first part of this will be the ability to spawn a series of toys that LL provide.
  • The follow-up will be for creators to define a list of objects that can be spawned within their world.
  • Both will include a scripted means for such objects to be removed from the world when no longer required.

R37 Point Release

There was a point release for R37 (“release update 1“) on Wednesday, November 13th. This included:

  • A new scripted ability that has been implemented in readiness for an upcoming feature. It allows (say) store creators to create a “dressing room door” portal that takes users directly to their Look Book where they can try purchased items (and use the Return to World button to go back to the store if they wish).
  • A “pre-release” for data persistence capabilities – utilises an HTTP API to allow key value persistence for things like checkpoints in quests, etc. Regarded as a “pre-release”, as currently no supporting documentation is available for it, and it is recognised this and some simple scripting support is required.
    • Those interested in learning more are invited to attend the Scripting Office Hours on Friday, November 22nd, when it is hoped more information will be available.

Q&A Session

  • Avatar texture LOD system: as well as being defined by a memory cap, the avatar texture LOD (level of detail) is also defined by distance from the camera. There has been a request to set this parameter higher or to allow the user some control over it, as currently, simply trying to get a full-body snapshot of an avatar can lead to a degree of LOD degradation.
  • Will the camera scripts be further enhanced be LL providing camera simple scripts? Not currently – however, contributed scripts on the subject are welcome via github.
  • Can there be an “upcoming events” information board in the Nexus? Yes – LL is working on refinements to the Nexus that include more portals (including to community built worlds), event boards, etc. No time frame on delivery was given, but the changes were described as making it more like a “Times Square” in terms of available information.
  • What is the strategy to get more than just LL staff and “Sansar regulars” attending events, and to bring new users into the platform?
    • “Long term” approach, with part of the focus on running events that keep the current users engaged in the platform and encourage other creators to run their own events, further adding to retention.
    • Partnerships are seen as both raising Sansar’s visibility among audiences and helping partners to raise their visibility with potentially new audiences.
      • An example of this is Monstercat being able to use Sansar to extend their reach into streaming content providers like Twitch.
    • Partnerships also raise product / platform awareness among the respective parties own audiences.
    • Events hep produce promotional material Linden Lab can use to both promote the platform to the media, etc., and use to encourage other potential corporate partners (and potential clients?) into trying the platform.
    • The longer term goal is to generate a lot more general interest among people involved in various forms of activity and entertainment that can be translated into Sansar events, and encourage them both to attend and to further explore Sansar (by participating in quests, attending community events, etc.), so that they might convert from visitors to engaged users.
  • Will it be possible to change the UI size for those on bigger / very high resolution monitors? This is a known issue the Lab intends to address – but no time frame on when.
  • Will there be a local clear cache option in the client? No on the immediate road map. Ideally, LL would like a system where the cache could be cleared without user intervention (e.g. when installing a client update) or to make the cache location selectable by the user (so they can place it on a much larger drive partition, for example).
  • Will it be possible to link and avatar to a keyframed or dynamic object? Something LL want to get to. Currently experimenting with “jointing” – “sticking” to arbitrary things together (e.g. and object linked to an avatar’s arm that allows the avatar to sit on a roller coaster). No time frame on if / when this might be surfaced as a feature / capability.
    • LL would also like to get to a point were animations in objects will drive the avatar (e.g. so when using a baseball bat, the bat will automatically drive the avatar’s swinging motion / body animation when using it to strike a ball).

Space Sunday: Apollo 12, 50 years on

NASA’s official Apollo 50th anniversary logo. Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, on Friday, November 14th, 1969, the second Apollo Saturn V intended to place humans on the Moon lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Centre. Aboard it were mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr, Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon Jr, and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean.

Coming four months after the launch of Apollo 11, the Apollo 12 mission was intended to extend lunar surface operations, albeit modestly. Armstrong and Aldrin spent a total of 21 hours and 37 minutes on the Moon and completed a single surface EVA, Conrad and Bean would spend 31 hours and 29 minutes on the lunar surface, performing two EVAs in the process. However, it became the mission that almost had to be aborted thanks to a pair of incidents that occurred in the first minute after lift-off.

The crew for the flight were of mixed experience: Conrad was making his third trip into space, having flown the Gemini 5 and Gemini 11 missions; Gordon was making his second flight, having partnered with Conrad during Gemini 11; Bean was on his first flight into space. Conrad had joined NASA as part of the second astronaut intake group that included Neil Armstrong, while Gordon and Bean were both part of the third intake alongside of Edwin Aldrin.

The Apollo 12 crew (l to r): Commander, Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr.; Command Module pilot, Richard F. Gordon Jr.; and Lunar Module pilot, Alan L. Bean. Credit: NASA

Conrad joined NASA from the US Navy, where he was regarded as an outstanding carrier-based fighter pilot and first-class test pilot and flight instructor. He was regarded as one of the best pilots in his group, and was among the first of his group to be assigned a Gemini mission, flying alongside Mercury veteran, Gordon Cooper, the second American to orbit the Earth. He was also one of the most diminutive of the astronauts, standing just 5ft 6.5 inches tall. However, he made up for his small stature by being at times outspoken and a little irreverent (he facetiously referred to the Gemini 5 capsule as a “flying garbage can” during the then record-setting mission of almost 8 days in orbit, on account of the cramped size of the vehicle). While these qualities rankled some in NASA’s management, his forthrightness allowed him to become central to testing many spacecraft systems essential to the Apollo programme. These tests included the Gemini 11 mission with Gordon, and which remains the highest ever Earth orbital mission completed to date, with an apogee of 1,369 km (851 mi).

Conrad has a further distinction: under NASA’s original plans, he was selected to command the back-up crew for Apollo 8, the first test flight of the Lunar Module in Earth orbit. Under the standing protocol of back-up crews moving to a “prime” mission slot three missions later, he was in line to command Apollo 11. However, delays in getting the Lunar Module ready for flight meant that Apollo 8 and Apollo 9 were swapped, shunting his command slot to Apollo 12.

Both Gordon and Bean also came to NASA from the US Navy, where they had also served as fighter pilots before transitioning to test pilots. Both also served with Conrad during their military careers: Gordon with Conrad aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, where the two shared a cabin and had become good friends, while Bean was trained by Conrad when becoming a test pilot, the two also forming a friendship in the process.

(l) The crew arrive at LC39-A ahead of the Apollo 12 launch. (r) Apollo 12 lifts-off, November 14th, 1969. Note the wet conditions apparent in both pictures. Credit: NASA

Apollo 12 launched from Cape Kennedy into a cloudy, rain-swept sky. 36.5 seconds into the flight, lightning struck the top of the vehicle and travelled through it and its ionised exhaust plume to strike the launch gantry it had just cleared. Protective circuits on the fuel cells in the service module (SM) took them off-line, along with much of the Command Module’s flight systems.

Having struck the Saturn V 36.5 second after the launch of Apollo 12, lightning travelled down through the vehicle and through its ionised exhaust plume to discharge on the launch pad gantry. Credit: NASA

15.5 seconds later lightning again struck, disabling the attitude indicator and garbling telemetry being received by Mission Control. However, neither strike affected the Saturn V rocket’s instrument unit, allowing the vehicle to continue to climb towards orbit as planned.

The loss of the fuel cells placed the CSM on battery power, but this wasn’t up to the task of providing all the power necessary to power the Command Module’s instruments for the entire mission. Nor could the fuel cells be brought back on-line.

Flight Director Gerry Griffin was considering calling for an orbital abort, despite fears the lightning strikes may have affected the Command Module’s parachute deployment pyrotechnics, when John Aaron, the Electrical, Environmental and Consumables Manager (EECOM) realised he’s seen a similar pattern of telemetry disruption during an equipment test, when a power supply unexpectedly failed.

“Flight, EECOM. Try SCE to Aux,” he stated over the radio, recalling an obscure back-up power supply switch-over.

His call went unrecognised by Griffin, the CapCom, astronaut Gerald Carr, and Conrad on Apollo 12. However, rookie Alan Bean remembered the SCE switch from a training incident a year earlier during a rare simulation of such a failure, and flicked it over. The move brought the fuel cells back to power, and both Aaron and Bean were credited with saving the mission.

After the excitement of launch, the flight settled into “routine”, with Apollo 12 reaching the Moon late on November 17th, 1969. An initial engine burn put the combined Command and Service Module (CSM) Yankee Clipper and Lunar Module (LM) Intrepid into and elliptical orbit of 110.4 x 312 km (69 x 195 mi). On November 18th, this was adjusted to 99.2 x 121.6 km (62 x 76 mi), and on November 19th, Conrad and Bean entered to the Lunar Module ready for their descent and landing.

This began after Intrepid had separated from Yankee Clipper, with an engine burn on the far side of the Moon, out of contact with Earth. The landing site was set within a region of Oceanus Procellarum, the Sea of Storms that had been given the official name of Mare Cognitum (Known Sea) on account of it having been visited by three automated probes: Russia’s Luna 5 and America’s Surveyor 3, and Ranger 7. The aim was to put Intrepid down in a precisely-denoted area within walking distance of Surveyor 3, and which Conrad had dubbed “Pete’s Parking Lot”.

Apollo 12 Lunar Module Intrepid as seen from the Command Module Yankee Clipper, November 19th, 1969, prior to commencing its descent for landing. Credit: NASA

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