2019 Simulator User Group week #48 summary

Fox Road, October 2019 – blog post

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for news and updates:

  • On Tuesday, 26th November, servers on the Main SLS channel were updated with server maintenance release 2019-11-15T21:13:13.532828, previously deployed to a release candidate channel. It comprises:
    • Improves crash detection during shut-down.
    • Fixes some race conditions with LSL scripts that could cause them to handle the same event more than once during a roll.
    • Includes updates to improve simulator security.
  • On Wednesday, 27th November, there should be a single RC deployment 2019-11-19T22:26:38.532992, which is functionally the same build as 532828, but compiled using updated server build tools.
    • Given the issues with Tuesday deployment (see below) the status of the deployment was in a state of flux at the time of writing.

Tuesday Deployment Issues

The Tuesday server updates required an extended deployment window, together with more restarts of the updated simulators than is usually the case. Given the simulator version had been deployed to RC servers in week #47, the issues encountered with the deployment took LL by surprise:

This is one of those situations where we are left trying to figure out what went so wrong; we don’t know of changes that would have caused this much churn. That is the big difference between our Tuesday and Wednesday updates. Tuesday is more than 2x bigger, and divided up differently. Seeing something happen and knowing why it happened are two completely different things. Given that last week was OK, I suspect it is a scaling problem however.

The real frustration is that there isn’t a good way to test or simulate the scale where the issues happen. Updating one or two servers can be perfectly fine; but then do a few hundred and something goes up in smoke.

– Simon Linden, commenting on the November 26th deployment issues

Currently, the Lab is digging into what may have gone wrong (e.g. by checking server logs, etc.). They have already tracked down what might be a contributing factor, but the overall root cause analysis will take time. However, as the issues appears to be with the deployment process itself rather than the updated simulator code, at this point in time it is unlikely the simulator update will be rolled back.

SL Viewer

The following viewers were updated during the latter half of week #47:

  • November 22nd:
    • The Wassail Maintenance RC viewer updated to version
    • The Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version
  • November 20th

The remainder of the viewers in the current pipelines are as follow:

  • Current Release version, formerly the Ordered Shutdown RC viewer, dated November 4th, – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16th.

Name Changes

  • There are concerns over how long names might be cached within services, how changes might be tracked by external databases (e.g. customer lists for things like redelivery terminals), etc.
    • To help ensure user-developed tools, etc., can keep up with Name Changes, Linden Lab plan to offer a REST API (REpresentational State Transfer) that can be used to perform a name<-> avatar key translations and that will always return the same key for any name an account has ever had, and the key will always return the current name.
    • Creators are again reminded that their products and tools should utilised the avatar agent key, no avatar names.
  • LSL enquiries on agent key will return the current name for an avatar, not any past name(s).
  • There was concern that Name Changes could lead to issues in tracking griefers. However, as was pointed out in the meeting:
    • There are fees associated with Names Changes – signing-up to Premium and then for each change. These are unlikely to find appeal with griefers.
    • Griefers already create multiple accounts, and this will remain likely remain their preferred means of causing upset.
  • BUG-216397 “llName2Key, llRequestUserKey both accept a lone “R” as a surname for “Resident” agents” has been raised with the Lab again, and has been marked for inclusion in the next internal maintenance fix for Name Changes.
  • Once again, a “fee” figure was mentioned at the Simulator User Group meeting (US $20) – but it is important to note this is only a guess on the part of a user, and not any form of statement from Linden Lab. So If you hear it anywhere in the next month or so, ignore it.

Artistry at THE EDGE in Second Life

THE EDGE Art Gallery: Artistry – Ladmilla and Eli

Open through until December 23rd 2019 at THE EDGE Art Gallery, curated by Ladmilla, is the gallery’s final exhibition for the year. Entitled Artistry, it is again an ensemble exposition, bringing together an interesting mix of talents and a stirring of 2D and 3D art, with images from both the virtual and physical realms.

In all, eight artists present displays at the gallery, their number rounded-out by a further display of art by Lamilla herself, accompanied with words by her Second Life partner, Eli Medier. As usual, the majority of the artists participating in this session display their art within the gallery’s individual Tuscan-style houses set around the gallery’s grounds / gardens, with Ilyra Chardin presenting her pieces within the garden itself.

THE EDGE Art Gallery: Artistry – Ilrya Chardin

It is the latter that mixes 2D and 3D art, with Ilyra’s 2D digital mix media, most of which originate with photos taken within Second Life, sharing the space with six very distinctive pieces of mesh sculpture.

Two artists making a return visit to THE EDGE having been a part of the September / October ensemble exhibition at the gallery are Davenwolf Dagger and Loegan Magic.

THE EDGE Art Gallery: Artistry – Davenwolf Dagger

As I’ve admitted to in past articles on his work, I’m something of a fan of Davenwolf’s evocative photography, in which he captures physical world locations in the most captivating way, and through his pictures, weaves a pictorial narrative. With Broken Dreams, he takes this a stage further, combining words with his images (please read the text panels before examining the art) to present a haunting story of a once-loved house and home (and a place which now, thanks to Australian bush fires, may no longer exist).

With Simple Things, Loegan offers more of his enticing looks at Second Life, offering a marvellous selection of focused images that convey stories about the digital spaces in which we chose to spend so much of our lives – but which also contain within them moods and thoughts that extend beyond the digital and into the physical, thus tying the two together in an elegant reflection of how our physical and digital lives intertwine.

THE EDGE Art Gallery: Artistry – Loegan Magic

Through Out of the Mist, Thomas Crown simply presents as series of images of Second Life that offer unique glimpses of this world through his eyes, and the landscapes and residents that bring it to life. And by “residents”, I’m not referring to avatars; a world is brought to life as much by its animals and wildlife and even by the vehicle humans have created to assist them in their travels through the places they inhabit. So it is these “residents” – wild fowl, horses, steam trains, boats, and cattle, to which I refer and which are evocatively portrayed here.

Avatars are very much the focus of Tresore’s From Dark to Light, in which she presents her avatar in a variety of story-laden setting and styles from period to fantasy and back, in which colour – notably red and black – play as much a role in many of the pieces as her avatar’s pose and style of dress. Colour and depth are also very much present to great effect in Raging Bells’ untitled selection of SL photographs, offering as they do a sense of the richness of life and opportunity within this virtual realm.

THE EDGE Art Gallery: Artistry – Raging Bells

I admit to not having to have previously come across Zia Branner’s work in Second Life, or that of BigZee. Zia is a physical world artist who constructs marvellous images through the use of acrylics (mainly on canvas) together with structure paste, gel, sand, glue, bandages and paper, and perhaps oil crayons and acrylic ink to accentuate parts of a an image. Held under a layer of mat or gloss varnish, this gives such pieces a sense of physical texture that is clearly evident when presented through a digital medium like SL. BigZee meanwhile, presents images from Second Life that offer their own sense of texture and life through his use of especially vibrant and attention-grabbing colours.

In Shadows, Ladmilla and Eli round-out the exhibition with a series of very tonal images by Ladmilla combined with words by Eli. Utterly captivating in their own right, the narrative in each image is given even greater depth and poignancy through Eli’s words as they perfectly amplify the mood and feeling exuded by each piece.

THE EDGE Art Gallery: Artistry – Zia Branner

As always with THE EDGE, a fascinating selection of art and artistry.

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