2020 TPVD meeting week #42: summary

Isolation’s Passengers – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, October 16th, 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. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

Another exceptionally brief meeting, with some discussion in chat, so please refer to the video as well.

SL Viewer News


As per my CCUG meeting notes, the Mesh Uploader RC was promoted this week to de facto release status – refer to the release notes (link below) for details of the cosmetic and informational changes made to the uploader (which are in part based on contributions by Beq Janus of the Firestorm team). This leaves the current official viewer release list as follows:

  • Current release viewer version, formerly the Mesh Uploader RC released October t and promoted on October 14 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer, version, issued October 1.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version, October 1.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • As per this week’s CCUG meeting, Vir is hopeful that the Legacy Profiles project viewer may be able to move forward soon using a workaround to get it past the current blocker of needing some web-side updates.
  • The Custom Key Mappings project viewer is being considered from promotion to RC status with its next update.
  • There is an upcoming RC viewer featuring some UI changes – possibly including the update to give HUD items in inventory their own inventory icon, as discussed by Steeltoe Linden in the CCUG week #40 meeting. Thus might be appearing in the next week or so.
The proposal UI change to distinguish HUD items from other objects in inventory.Left: how things are now, with HUDs using the same cube icon as other objects. Right: the proposed new HUD cog icon.
  • [5:24-6:54] There have been some issues with viewer documentation not appearing on the relevant web pages, leading to concerns that such documentation might be “going away”.
    • The problem has actually been caused by the mechanism used to generate the information not having been updated for some time (and also not even using current information), so when it was migrated to AWS services, it “fell apart”.
    • Rather than try to fix the issue, the decision has been made so that once uplift has been completed, the mechanism will be replaced with an easier to maintain process. However, it does mean that for the time being, some viewer related documentation may not be available.

In Brief

  • [9:20-10:00] BUG-228679: Media-on-a-Prim doesn’t register keystrokes correctly on Mac – unfortunately, no progress to report.
  • [12:12-13:40] A couple of TPVs have been holding off making a formal release of the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) updates beyond their current beta releases in case LL make further EEP update releases like the recent Love Me Render #4 viewer release. However, the advice from the Lab to these TPVs is:
    • To consider the high-priority EEP fixes as being “done”, as the Graphics team is now focused on priority long-term architecture work (including moving the viewer beyond OpenGL).
    • That future EEP fixes, when made, will form a part of the regular Maintenance RC viewer releases, rather than having any dedicated RC viewer updates.
  • [13:49-16:58] EEP performance issues:
    • Some TPVs have reported significant performance / FPS drop-off with EEP (around 15%). However, the Lab is not seeing anything close to this with the official viewer.
    • Unless there are detailed reports filed on the issue – using the official release viewer – that provide information on where / when / how the issue is being witnessed (e.g. the kind of test carried out, where in-world, the hardware configuration and viewer settings used, the results obtained, etc.), that allow LL to reproduce the problems, they do not see what can be done by way of investigation / fixes.
      • It was pointed out that comparable testing on the official viewer is difficult due to the limited amount of video memory available (512 MB compared to a minimum of 1 GB on most TPVs), which also affects performance, and so might skew results / how results are seen (e.g. are they EEP or are they due to texture load issues?).
      • Vir indicated that the amount of assigned texture memory is something the Lab will be looking at in the future.

A Wooley Swamp in Second Life

The Legend of Wooley Swamp, October 2020

Amaya Mavinelli dropped me a line recently suggesting a visit to The Legend of Wooley Swamp. It came alongside an invitation from Mathias Laurent, one of the region’s designers, to also pay a visit – so off I hopped!

Occupying a Full region with the additional private region bonus, Wooley Swamp is the work of Matt and his SL partner, Aleriah Laurent (Aleriah Huntsman), and it takes as its inspiration The Legend of Wooley Swamp, the 1980 recording by The Charlie Daniels Band that forms the second track on their album Full Moon. It’s a story about a man – the song’s narrator – who hears a fable about a ghostly place called Wooley Swamp, and ignoring the advice of others, determines he has to confirm the truth of the story for himself.

The Legend of Wooley Swamp, October 2020

If you ever go back into Wooley Swamp son you better not go at night
There’s things out there in the middle of them woods
That’d make a strong man die from fright
There’s things that crawl and things that fly
And things that creep around on the ground
And they say the ghost of Lucias Clay gets up and it walks around.

– Charlie Daniels, The Legend of Wooley Swamp

Through the song, we learn of the fate of Lucias Clay, a miserly old man who cared more for money than people, at the hands of of the Cable brothers, and the turnaround fate meted out to them after they’d murdered him for his jars of money. What the narrator discovers is left open, but it leads him to state, there’s some things in this world you just can’t explain.

The Legend of Wooley Swamp, October 2020

The old man lived in the Wooley Swamp way back in the gurgling woods
And he never did do a lot of harm in the world
But he never did do no good
People didn’t think too much of him
They all thought he acted funny

– Charlie Daniels, The Legend of Wooley Swamp

It was a popular song of the day, following on from the success of The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and remained popular at the Band’s concerts. What might be less known to those not so familiar with Charlie Daniels, is that Wooley Swamp is a place where he used to hunt at night as a youngster. Thus, The Legend of Wooley Swamp – the region – could be said to be not only inspired by the song, but also a little bit of a homage to the singer / songwriter, who passed away earlier this year.

The Legend of Wooley Swamp, October 2020

In keeping with all this, the region presents a swampy environment, dank, dark, and with sluggish water through which alligators can be sighted. Rotting houses and cabins and an old houseboat are scattered about, the paths and trails misted, whilst a partially-flooded graveyard adds to the spooky mix. Which one might be old man Clay’s cabin is up to you to decide; none look particularly homely, although there are occupants and hints of occupancy to be found – together with one or two nods to the season. There are also signs of mysterious goings-on as well: strange noises, orange and red eyes glaring menacingly out of the darkness at passers-by, human skulls  gathered together in a fire bowl…

Those visiting are asked to accept the local experience on arrival (you need only do so once, lest you later opted to remove it through the viewer). This adds a level of interaction to a visit.  As you explore the region, you may come across Mason Jars (normally for preserving food, but in the song, old man Clay filled them with money and buried them in the grounds around his cabin). Touch them, and you get an extract of the song and a gold coin. Beware, however, you can also get yourself killed – but as Aleriah noted to me, this can only happen just once a day!

The Legend of Wooley Swamp, October 2020

Coupled with a rich sound scape, lending itself to a range of windlight settings as well as its own default, and with plenty of little touches – some with a horror edge to them, some not – The Legend of Wooley Swamp makes for an interesting, photogenic and slightly different visit for Halloween.

Slurl Details