2020 TPVD meetings week #6 summary

Greenhouse, December 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on February 7th, 2020. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks to Pantera for recording and providing it. As always:

  • Time stamps are given with links that will open the video at the appropriate point.
  • Core points of the meeting are listed below. Other subjects of lesser import may have been discussed, please refer to the video.

This was a relatively short meeting, information-wise, with much of the actual meeting time given over to general text chat.

SL Viewer News

[0:27-2:21]

  • The Yorsh Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.3.7.535996 on February 7th.
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.3.6.535087 on February 6th.

The remainder of the current SL viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.6.535003, formerly the Xanté Maintenance RC, dated January 22nd, promoted January 27th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22nd, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The three potential candidates for the next release promotion are quoted as being the Yorsh Maintenance RC, the Love Me Render RC and (even though it is still a project viewer at the moment) the Legacy Profiles viewer.
  • The Camera Presets RC viewer is experiencing a higher than average crash rate, with investigations on why still ongoing.
  • [19:47-20:30] As noted in my week #6 CCUG summary, EEP is now in burn-down mode – which means more bugs are being fixed than are being reported. It is anticipated that the formal deployment is now weeks, rather than months, away.
  • [28:06-28:41] The cache replacement viewer project is once more making progress, but there is no date as to when a public version of the viewer is likely to surface.

In Brief

  • [2:46-11:30] The new Premium Plus subscription level requires viewer-side changes. These predominantly relate to logging-in, where a user’s account level (Basic, Premium and – in the future – Premium Plus) is obtained from the back-end via a received block of LLSD code containing benefits tags and values.
    • This code is now in a public repository, and will be seeing some changes to various values specified within it prior to Premium Plus being launched.
    • The server-side code supporting the new LLSD code block will be made available on some Aditi servers soon, so TPVs can ensure the code doesn’t interfere with their ability to connect to the SL servers with their current viewer versions, and to start testing the viewer-side code in non-public versions of their viewers in preparation for the launch of Premium Plus.
    • At some point the server-side code will be deployed to the main grid, where it should not impact current viewer versions.
    • As side notes to this:
      • Once Premium Plus has been launched, the new code will refuse to connect if the required data is missing, but the system will let a viewer that ignores it to connect.
      • However, under the current roadmap, Premium Plus will not be going live until some time after Name Changes has been released (as per statements made at the monthly Web User Group meetings).
  • [14:42-14:50] Work on migrating viewer repos from Mercurial to Github is progressing.
  • [21:38-26:08] The SL system requirements page no longer references Windows 7 as this is no longer a supported operating system version. However, a broader update to the requirements page is being considered, as the current information is considered “woefully to aged.”
    • As part of this discussion, it was reiterated that when EEP does go live, it removes the option for turning off basic shaders, which will prevent systems than cannot support basic shader operates from accessing Second Life. The fixed function OpenGL code that supports the disabling will then be removed as a part of a future viewer code clean-up pass.
  • [15:19-17:20 (incl. text chat)] Both Singularity and Alchemy have been working towards making formal releases Soon™. Singularity has an up-to-date beta available to users, and Alchemy is close to making an updated beta available as well.

4 thoughts on “2020 TPVD meetings week #6 summary

  1. Sounds like Premium Plus will kill the Lumiya viewer altogether. Is LL trying to do what it can to kill off its userbase with these upcoming “new features”?

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    1. I’m not sure how you arrive at that conclusion; the issue with Lumiya is that unfortunately, the developer appears to no longer be in a position to work on the app, regardless of changes Linden Lab make in order to support new features.

      Up until her absence, Alina was able to maintain Lumiya’s parity with far more complex user-facing capabilities than the enhancement and consolidation of the log-in process (which is essentially what the Premium Plus changes are). As such, there is no reason to suppose that were she still available, this would not continue to be the case. So, while her ongoing absence continues to be of concern to many / all of us who knew her and will remain so until such time as she is hopefully in contact with people once more, we can hardly expect enhancement of Second Life and improvements to the code base to simply stop or be delayed on the basis of a single app that falls well outside of LL’s remit / ability to support.

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      1. I would agree with much of what you said other than the fact one of the Lindens in a recent meeting (Dec/2019) said there would not be anything upcoming that might affect Lumiya’s behaviour inworld. So in spite of some breakage with animations and clothing changes, it is still very much a usable viewer and the only one pointed at mobile devices. To now see that a month later they are planning changes that would stop it from even logging in, is a bit of a kick in the teeth for quite a few who depend on it as their only link to inworld. There is nothing wrong with having an expectation that LL uses some foresight in what their code changes are going to affect, especially considering how slow they are at rolling out the IOS and eventually android text viewers they have promised. Typically apps for either platform are finished products within 3-6 months rather than the minimum 1-2 years that this is going to take for the lab for just the textual parts.

        The planned code changes I am sure will be just wonderful but it is my view that this could have been done server side too. Just the past couple of years it seems they are pushing more and more changes viewer side so that every year or so, we are facing forced updates breaking older viewers that no longer are updated but allow quite a few residents to continue using S/L.

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        1. I understand the frustration; however, it’s worth pointing out that the LLSD code changes aren’t coming in immediately; what was said is an advisory – Premium Plus isn’t going to be deployed until some time after Name Changes, which is itself currently facing some remaining blockers on its deployment. What is being done over the coming weeks is to allow TPVs test the code, see how it affects their viewers, etc. As such it could be another several months before PP surfaces – as such, the December 2019 statement is not unreasonable, particularly if the decision to consolidate the log-in process code may not actually have been taken at that time.

          “But it is my view that this could have been done server side too”. I’m not qualified to comment on that – but at least some of what is being done appears to be a consolidation of log-in exchanges that already occur, rather than just “pushing” an additional load onto the viewer.

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