2020 Simulator User Group week #12 summary

Enchantment! @ LeLoo’s World, January 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken at the Simulator User Group meeting held on Tuesday, March 3rd.

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the simulator deployment thread for updates.

  • On Tuesday, March 17th, the majority of the grid (the SLS “main” channel) updated to simulator version 538236, containing internal fixes, as previously deployed to a selection of RC servers.
  • An RC deployment is pending for Wednesday, March 18th, but details were TBA at the time of writing this summary. This update will apparently replace versions 538236, and 538222, both previously deployed to RC servers (March 11th).

Continuing Object Rezzing Issues

The object rezzing issues (see: Potential showstopping bug on many mainland regions. Anyone else experienced this?) is becoming more noticeable.Commenting on the situation, Rider Linden believes he may have a is resolution for the issue, stating:

I believe I was able to isolate what was going on with object rez and I think I have a solution for it. It should roll on Magnum.

This deployment should be part of the RC rollouts on Wednesday, March 17th.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates to mark the start of the week to leave the official viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.7.535996, formerly the Yorsh Maintenance RC, dated February 7, promoted February 20th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Premium RC viewer, version 6.3.8.538264, March 12.
    • EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.536347, February 11.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.3.7.536179, February 10.
    • Camera Presets RC viewer, version 6.3.6.535138, January 24.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

iOS Client

Simulator update 538222 (March 10th) saw the first deployment of code specifically in support of the upcoming iOS client, suggesting that the indicated testing period for the client may be approaching (although there are no details as yet on what form any such testing will take, and  / or if users will be asked to offer feedback).

The last detailed summary I have for the client can bee found in Second Life iOS companion app – mini update, and a key bullet point summary for the initial release could be said to be:

  • The app should initially be regarded as more of a communicator / companion app than a fully-rounded client:
  • It will provide a log-in option, and chat options (e.g. IM, group chat). Local chat will not initially be supported.
  • It will not present you with an in-world location, nor will your avatar rez in-world.
  • Seen as being useful for merchants / business owners to maintain contact with customers when away from their viewer.
  • In theory, the app should work with both iPhones and iPads, although there may be some configuration differences.

Over time it will be enhanced – but additional capabilities are still TBD.

Listening to the Silence in Second Life

Kultivate Signature Gallery: Melusina Parkin, Listening to the Silence

Kultivate Magazine and Gallery premier a new exhibition space on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 with the opening of the Kultivate Signature Gallery, a new 3-storey hall that will provide exhibitions by established Second Life artists. for its opening exhibition, it features the work of Melusina Parkin.

Melu, whose work stands as one of my featured artists in this blog, has an exquisite balance in her photography, a fine blend of detail, space and minimalism, all carefully combined and crafted to present images that are elegant in their unique focus, and rich in narrative and feeling. This is once again apparent with Listening to the Silence, as presented at the Signature Gallery.

In writing about the exhibition, Mule notes:

Sounds and words fill the world up. Nature talks by wind whistling, waves lapping, animal sounds; humans speak, cities talk by signs. Silence is rare and it’s never absolute. It’s a gem we have to keep carefully. Silence allows us seeing the world without the distractions caused by the sounds and seeing more clearly our interior worlds.

Kultivate Signature Gallery: Melusina Parkin, Listening to the Silence

And so it is that with Listening to the Silence, we are presented with a series of signature Melusina Parkin views of Second Life. No, not “views”, but “portraits”; Melu’s work so uniquely captures the virtual world in which we spend so much time, that each piece genuinely presents a sense of a living, breathing entity, one in which the presence of avatars would actually reduce that sense of life within it, rather than enhance it.

This is a collection of images that offer something of a continuation / reflection of ideas witnessed in past exhibitions such as Empty Spaces and Night Walks. In this selection, we are presented with views into deserted rooms, along empty streets, and over lonely waters. Each piece is haunting in its singular beauty – but we’re not being asked to just look at them, but to hear their very sounds of silence, again as Melu notes:

A photograph doesn’t produce sounds, although it can suggest them; so we can observe things just imagining their noise or appreciating their quietness. Images stop any movement, then they stop any sound as well. Silent images – images of silent things – are closely related to a sense of loneliness and of absence; we can multiply the meanings we give them.

Kultivate Signature Gallery: Melusina Parkin, Listening to the Silence

In pointing us towards this consideration of the absent sounds within photographs, Melu is opening a much broader door to how our imaginations might otherwise create the narrative to accompany each piece. However, there is perhaps something more to this exhibition; something perhaps unintended when conceived (or perhaps not, I’ve no idea as I’ve not spoken directly on the exhibit), but utterly prevalent to the global situation the is unfolding before all of us.

The spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has seen cities forced into lockdown, travel restrictions enforced, and general warnings for people not to gather in groups and to remain home / work from home wherever possible. The result has been a strange emptying of streets and places – perhaps not to the extent witnessed with Melu’s images, but still very evident. Thus, her pieces within this exhibition might be seen as presenting a silent echo of what we’re seeing world-wide in the physical world. In doing so, they offer a very different voice, a reminder of the chorus of sounds that accompany our daily lives that, if not entirely silenced, has been quelled.

So it is that Listening to the Silence can be seen as a richly layered exhibition, one with the power to not only engage us in reflections about how we perceive the digital world where we spend or time or on how sounds affect our daily living; but also the potential for the world that we regard as ours and familiar, to still present us with a collective threat and challenge.

Kultivate Signature Gallery: Melusina Parkin, Listening to the Silence

Listening to he Silence formally opens at 13:00 SLt on Tuesday, March 17th, with music by live performers Parker Static and SaraMarie Philly (14:00 SLT).

SLurl Details

Speedlight client: recent updates and 3D world view

via the Speedlight website

The Speedlight client for web browsers and Android, continues to be developed apace, with a number of recent updates delivering further functionality, including:

  • The ability to teleport, including via landmarks.
  • The ability to buy and / or sell land.
  • The initial 3D world rendering capability (currently only available to Gold subscribers).

Teleporting

Speedlight now offers two means of teleporting around SL:

  • Via the summary screen.
  • Using inventory landmarks.

Via the Summary Tab

If you know the name of the location to which you wish to teleport, you can do so directly from the Summary tab when logging-in to Sppedlight and Second Life (see Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices for details on creating Speedlight accounts and linking them to your Second Life account(s) if required).

  • When you are logged in to Second Life with Speedlight, click on your avatar’s name on the left-side menu to display the Summary tab (if it is not already displayed).
  • Click the Teleport To… option under the name of your current location. The location display changes to a field where you can enter a SLurl Or Region Name.
    • As you start to type-in a SLurl / name, the field will further change to display spaces for (optionally) entering the X, Y, Z coordinates for the location.
  • Click the Teleport button.
  • The location map should update to show you have moved to the desired location.
Teleport via the Summary tab: 1. Click the Teleport To… option; 2. The Enter SLurl or Region Name input field is displayed. 3. Start entering a SLurl or region name and the input field will add (optional) X, Y, Z coordinate fields; 4. Click the Teleport button to teleport your avatar.

Teleport via a Landmark

  • When you are logged in to Second Life with Speedlight, click on the Inventory option in the left-side menu.
  • Open your Landmarks folder and click on the Landmark you wish to use.
  • The landmark’s details are displayed in the Inventory Details tab.
  • Click the Teleport button to teleport.
Teleporting via Landmark

Buying and Selling Land

As of March 2020, it is possible to buy / sell land using Speedlight.

Buying Land

As with a viewer, you need to be on land that is for sale in order to purchase it.

  • In the Summary Tab, click on the About Land link displayed to the top and right of the map.
  • The About Land tab is opened, detailing information relating to the land – location, name, description, whether it is for sale or not, etc.
Buying Land in Speedlight: the Buy Land button
  • At the bottom of the tab will be a combination of up to three buttons: Sell Land, Buy Land and Abandoned Land.
  • Click Buy Land.
  • A summary of the land you are about to purchase is displayed, giving information on size, purchase price etc.
  • If you want to purchase the land:
    • Click the check box to accept the covenant (required whether or not a covenant is displayed). This enables the Purchase Land button.
    • Click Purchase Land.
    • To cancel a purchase, return to the Summary tab display without clicking the Purchase Land button.
Buying Land in Speedlight: completing the purchase
  • Providing you have sufficient funds on account, the purchase will be made, and the summary screen will update to display your purchase has been made and display you as the owner.
    • Note that you may be required to complete additional steps to make full use of the land – such as contacting the estate owner and request group access for rezzing rights, etc. These are land-dependent and outside the scope of this article.
  • With the land purchased, you should be able to rename it and change the description, and use the Parcel Options link to set the parcel’s capabilities (Fly, Build, Object Entry, Run Scripts).

Selling Land

To sell land you have permission to sell:

  • In the Summary Tab, click on the About Land link displayed to the top and right of the map.
  • The About Land tab is opened, detailing information relating to the land – location, name, description, whether it is for sale or not, etc..
  • At the bottom of the tab will be a combination of up to three buttons: Sell Land, Buy Land and Abandoned Land.
  • Click Sell Land.
  • The Land Management summary is displayed.
  • You must now:
    • Set the price for the land.
    • (Optionally) set an avatar name against the sale (so the land can only be sold to that avatar, if required).
    • Set whether or not any objects on the land are to be sold with the land.
  • When you have done so, click the Set Land On Sale button.
  • The summary tab will update, and will display an orange Cancel Land Sale button, should you wish to cancel the sale at any time prior to a purchase being made.

3D World View

The Speedlight 3D world view, March 2020, showing an avatar “mannequin”

Speedlight’s 3D world view is in the early stages of development, but is currently available for Gold subscribers to test. The capability comprises two elements:

  • The client-side world renderer.
  • A “world storage” server-side database. Details on this are not clear, but I assume it is a server operated by Smartbots that received asset data from the Lab (via CDN) and then feeds that data to the client.

The renderer has a number of limitations / issue at this point in time, all of which are being worked on:

  • Limitations:
    • Avatars can only be rendered in “mannequin” form.
    • The renderer will not draw avatars seated on objects.
    • There is no avatar / world interaction (so you cannot touch objects, etc).
    • Avatar mannequins  cannot walk or move (teleporting is possible).
  • Issues:
    • Semi-transparent textures will render in black.
    • Other texture issues may be encountered.
    • Numerous additional problems and issues to be resolved.

Obviously, the “mannequin” avatar form is only rendered by Speedlight, Those using a viewer will see your avatar fully rendered when you are logged-in to SL via Speedlight.

For those wishing to try the 3D renderer / help with its development, Gold subscriptions are available at L$1990 (US $8.00) a month, and can be purchased in L$ through the client for those wishing to obtain an early look at the capability.

Feedback

A good set of updates, along with a series of issues fixes made in the end-of-February 3.059 release that demonstrate Speedlight is continuing along a steady development path.

It’s still – as noted – early days for the 3D renderer, and before anyone complains at the avatar appearance, lack of functionality, etc., at this point in time, it’s worth pointing out that 3D world rendering in Lumiya started from a very similar point, and went on to become flexible and usable, so time should be allowed for Speedlight’s capabilities to develop.

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