2020 SL project updates week #12: TPVD summary

Florence at Low Tide, February 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on March 20th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

SL Viewer News

[0:07-4:35]

  • The Premium RC viewer,version 6.3.8.538264 dated March 12th, updated to de facto release status on Wednesday, March 18th.
  • The Zirbenz Maintence RC viewer, version 6.3.9.538719, was issued on Thursday, March 19th.
  • The EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.538823 on Friday, March 20th.

The rest of the upcoming official viewer remain unchanged as:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • 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.

General Viewer Notes

Premium Viewer and Future Viewer Blocking
  • The Premium RC viewer contains new code to specifically handle benefits information related to benefits / limits applied to accounts based on subscription level (Basic, Premium or the upcoming Premium Plus).
  • Previously, this information can from a variety of sources, with some also hard-coded into the viewer, which made management of benefit changes etc., difficult.
  • With the future launch of Premium Plus and multiple benefits / limitations and associated values across multiple SL account types, all of this information will be provided directly by the server to the viewer at log-in, to make the on-going maintenance of such benefits and values (including the addition of new benefits / values) as used by the viewer easier to implement and manage.
  • Until Premium Plus goes live (there is no date at present for when this will happen, other than after Name Changes has been deployed), the changes in this viewer should not impact users. However, TPVs are being asked to adopt the code as soon as they can.
  • [0:39-0:54] At some point after Premium Plus has been implemented, Linden Lab will be blocking older viewers that do not have this code update, in order to encourage users to switch to viewer that utilise the code.
    • This step is being taken to ensure the viewer presents accurate information to users about their benefits / fees  / limitations, rather than being provided with out-of-date information that is hard-coded into their viewer.
  • [18:42-20:10] Benefits Service log-in failure messages: some people may have encountered an intermittent log-in failure messages similar to the one shown below over the past couple of weeks (I first encountered the problem on March 7th, 2020, others have been encountering it as recently as March 19th).
Benefits Service log-in failure, March 7th, 2020
    • The problems have apparently been due to “super brief” outages (and automatic recoveries) with the benefits service, which the Lab is still investigating for a root cause.
    • This is the type of message people will eventually see when trying to log-in to SL on viewers that do not have the code currently in the Premium RC viewer, once the Premium Plus service is live, and the switch to using the new benefits information service has been made.
EEP RC Viewer and Promotion

[1:03-1:50]

  • Depending on its time in an RC cohort and the nature of any issues found, EEP version 6.3.8.538264 could be the final version of this viewer, and destined for promotion to release status in the next few weeks.
  • It is unlikely any promotion will occur during week #13 (commencing Monday, March 23rd), because a) the viewer requires time in its cohort to check for issues / crash rates, etc.; and b) the week #12 promotion of the Premium RC viewer.
  • If the viewer performs well, and no significant issues are found with it or with EEP in general, it would seem likely the view will be promoted some time in the two weeks after week #13.
  • However, if problems remain with EEP, it is possible the tools update viewer (see below), when available, might be fast-tracked for promotion ahead of EEP.
  • The previous iteration of the EEP viewer reportedly had one of the lowest crash rates for any LL viewer.
Remaining RC and Project Viewers

[1:52-4:35; 7:05-7:31 and as timestamped below]

  • The love Me Render RC viewer is unlikely to be promoted until some time after EEP has reached de facto release status, so as not to have two blocks of rendering changes released one atop the other.
  • The Camera Presets RC viewer has an update, and should be appearing shortly, once merged with the new release viewer code. This will also not be promoted prior to EEP.
  • The first public viewer using the updated viewer build tools (VS 2017 and a recent version of Xcode for Mac and which uses the new Github repositories) is going through its “last massive rebuild”, and an RC version is expected to be made available in week #13.
    • This viewer will be functionality identical to the release viewer; there are no UI or other changes to it, other than bug fixes required by the move to the newer build tools.
    • This build has yet to address the notarising MAC application issue that results in warnings being issued by OS X “Catalina”. However, LL recognise this issue needs to be addressed , and will be doing so.
    • Depending on how this viewer fairs in RC compared to the EEP viewer, it might be fast-tracked for promotion to de facto release ahead of EEP.
  • [10:23-11:04] The Legacy Profiles RC viewer has a bug where under some circumstances it will display the profile web feed information in error, which needs to be addressed before the viewer progresses further (the web feed to the viewer will be turned off from the back-end once the Legacy Profiles viewer is promoted to release status).

In Brief

  • [17:15-17:36] There are some inventory operations (e.g moving a folder, renaming a folder, etc.) that are under UDP. There is a plan to move all such operations to AIS (HTTP), but this work will likely not be tackled until after the work on the cloud uplift has been completed.
  • [17:39-18:18] Because of the uplift work, and outside of major projects such as EEP, Name Changes and Premium Plus, the number of server / back-end changes that the Lab make will be “quite constrained” over the course of the next 12 months or so.
  • [20:15-21:53] The texture caching work in the viewer in on-going, alongside all other viewer-side work, as none of this conflicts with the cloud uplift work.
    • The first step will be to re-implement the VFS in a “simpler, cleaner way”.
    • After this, work will extend into revising the texture cache.
    • Also, “behind” the texture cache work, there is further work on texture fetching via HTTP2.
  • [22:02-26:25 (inlc. text chat)] BUG-227179 “All offline inventory offers from scripted objects are STILL lost” – LL are still “trying to figure out” the cause of this long-term issue. Firestorm reverted the problem, and requests have been made for LL to do the same, but the Lab would rather “fix” the problem – which doesn’t entirely help those who are victim to inventory loss resulting from it.