The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 26th, 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
- On Tuesday, June 23rd, the release viewer updated to version 22.214.171.1243157, dated June 11th, formerly the CEF RC viewer.
- On Wednesday, June 24th, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, 126.96.36.1994024, was issued. This viewer uses Viewer Manager 2.0.538279.
- On Thursday, June 25th, the Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 188.8.131.524097. This viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.
The rest of the current official viewer pipelines are as follows:
- Release Candidate viewers:
- Love Me Render RC viewer, version 184.108.40.2063142, June 3.
- Project viewers:
- Mesh uploader project viewer, version 220.127.116.113141, June 11.
- Copy / Paste viewer, version 18.104.22.1683365, December 9, 2019.
- Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 22.214.171.1242999, November 22, 2019.
- Legacy Profiles viewer, version 126.96.36.1990836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
- 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 188.8.131.529111, July 16, 2019.
General Viewer Notes
- The CEF viewer supports live streaming into Second Life by You Tube and Facebook. Other services may also work, but further bug fixes may be required for them to work smoothly.
- The Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer should be the next viewer in-line for promotion, mostly likely in week #28, however, this is dependent on it getting some remaining priority fixes related to EEP.
- These fixes include the reported specularity issues and now include the reported HUD issues (BUG-225784).
- The Legacy Profiles Project Viewer had been awaiting a web update which may have gone through. If so, and it correctly addresses the issue, then it is likely the viewer will go to RC status.
- The Copy / Paste Project Viewer also shouldn’t be “too far” from an RC update.
- A new simulator version that includes a fix for the failure to deliver inventory offers to a user who is off-line is available for testing by TPVs.
- Viewer developers wishing to test the updates can do so on regions Preflight3, Preflight4 and Preflight7.
Texture Caching, HTTP and General Viewer Caching
- Work had been in progress to update texture caching and HTTP2 (the TCO viewer. That viewer has been split between the texture caching work and the HTTP2 work, so it has effectively become two viewers in development.
- The HTTP2 viewer will likely remain on hold until after the Uplift project work is complete.
- It is not currently clear when work on the texture caching (TCO) viewer will resume.
- In terms of revising viewer caching as a whole, this is liable to be a fairly large project.
- First item of business will be to completely replace VFS caching (the system used to cache information on in-world objects) with a new, more performant format.
- Once this has been done, other aspects of caching with the viewer will be looked at.
- Inventory caching is another area of work that may be looked at in the future.
- [9:36-12:02] Reports of low frame rates in EEP-enabled viewers continue, with the act of disabling Linden Water rendering (CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-7) continuing to be used as a temporary means of improving things. LL are continuing to investigate this, but at this point in time, the thinking is there may not be a single fix, so these investigations may not hold up the release of the LMR viewer.
- Currently, there remains a lot of dissatisfaction about EEP in terms of perceived benefits compared to things such as rendering changes, ease-of-use, performance hits (per above), etc.
- The current Firestorm preview EEP viewer has already generated a lot of negative feedback from the preview users, and there are concerns that any Firestorm release will generate a large-scale backlash against EEP.
- [21:15-22:15] In response to a question it was reiterated that Vulkan is being given serious consideration as the rendering API to replace OpenGL, given Apple’s intent to deprecate the latter.
- One potential issue is that a lot of older PCs used with SL do not have support for Vulkan.
- To assist in determining how big an issue this might be, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer includes logging code to detect Vulkan support within client systems.
- [22:45-26:07] the announcement by Apple that they plan to switch away from using Intel CPUs to their own ARM-based CPUs starting in 2020 was discussed. LL will be looking into this more once they get some dev kits from Apple.