2021 SUG meeting week #4 summary

Aqua Breeze, November 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing,the release notes for the week had yet to be produced. However, Rider Linden described the RC release planned for the week thus:

So, this week we are rolling to all of the RC channels tomorrow. The main feature we added is the extended error reporting.There is also some extended handling when origin servers return 5XX errors to a script that should reduce some load on the simulator.

– Rider Linden

SL Viewer

The Dawa Maintenance RC viewer updates to version on Monday, January 25th. The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as:

  • Current release viewer version, formerly Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer promoted on November 12 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Dawa Maintenance RC Viewer, version, January 25, 2021.Project Jelly viewer (Jellydoll updates), version, January 7, 2021.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version, January 7, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version, issued on January 7, 2021.
    • Simple Cache project viewer, version, November 12.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, July 16, 2019.

Group Notices

  • BUG-229936 “Group Notices not expiring after 14 days”: this is a known issue for the Lab, which in the words of Mazidox Linden means: “We’re troubleshooting [it]. By which I mean we’re finding the root of the trouble, and shooting it.”
  • BUG-230116 “Sorting group notices by date disconnects the viewer”: this is a new issue, but one that is potentially causing some serious issues for those who attempt to carry out such searches (which Firestorm apparently does by default).
  • BUG-229075 “VWR-4137 / SL-13093 Missed opportunity to fix group notice date sorting” has now been accepted.
  • Beq Janus has been carrying out an extensive investigation into Group notice issues, the short form of which is that notice culling needs to be re-enabled (which the Lab to do “soon”) lest a lot of people start being impacted with failures in handling group notices, and she also have code contributions she may be submitting to the Lab to assist with group notice issues.

Deep in the heart of (west) Texas via Second Life

MARFA, January 2021

Note: This is a Preview article; until Saturday, January 30th, access to MARFA is restricted to members of the [Valium] group  and invited guests of Vally Lavender.

Up in the high desert lands of the Trans-Pecos (and more specifically within the the Chihuahuan Desert) sits the town of Marfa. It’s not a particularly big place – the 2010 census put its population at around 1,900-2,100 – but it is a place of romance and mystery. Founded in the early 1880’s, even the town’s name has an air of romance about it.

“Marfa” is the Russian form of “Martha”, leading to the hypothesis the town is named for a character in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. However, this is apocryphal – the town is actually named after Marfa Strogoff from Jules Verne‘s novel Michael Strogoff.

MARFA, January 2021

The town started as a watering point for trains travelling the Southern Pacific Railroad and for most of its life, never grew particularly large. It reached its zenith in the period between 1920 and the end of World War 2 – the former decade marking the start of a period of rapid growth that included the establishment of military training facilities through the war years.

Following the closure of those facilities in 1945, the town gradually shrank both in the number of residents and its actual size: by 2010 it was said to cover just 4.1 square kilometres. It did, however, enjoy a period of movie making popularity in the 1950s with various western films made in and around the town – most notably Giant (released in 1956), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean – the film being the last Dean made before his death in a car accident.

MARFA, January 2021

In the last two decades Marfa has again become a popular location for films – notably There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men both filmed in 2006 – and for television, even featuring in an episode of The Simpsons (Mad About the Toy).  However, the town has perhaps become most famous for two things: the growing arts community within its borders, and the mysterious Marfa Lights.

And now it has a further claim to fame, being the inspiration for the latest ValiumSL region design – MARFA – instigated by Vally Lavender, who sent me an invitation to visit the region ahead of its Group opening on January 22nd, 2021.

The work of Vally, together with Fred Hamilton (frecoi), Lotus Mastroianni and Sofie Janic, MARFA captures several iconic elements of its west Texas namesake – the railway line, the surrounding desert prairie, a homage to the Presidio County Courthouse that dominates the centre of the town, the aforementioned arts community – as well as the general feel of “small town USA”.

MARFA, January 2021

Arts first came to Marfa in the 1971 when Minimalist artist Donald Judd relocated from New York to the town. Initially he displayed his work in two large hangers, but over the ensuing years he expanded his presence in and around the town, indoors and out. Following his death in 1994, two foundations took over the work of maintaining Judd’s legacy, with one of them – the Chinati Foundation – now occupying 30 buildings in the town and providing space for 13 artists in residence.

Chinati was also responsible in launching an open-house arts event that attracted – and still attracts – people from across the USA and around the world to visit it as a centre for contemporary arts, with more artists moving to the town in recent years to establish workshops and galleries. The town has also seen a writers-in-residence programme launched, together with a new theatre company, with pop art installations such as Prada Marfa being established within driving distances of the town.

MARFA, January 2021

This arts influence is fully reflected in MARFA, with reproductions of Prada Marfa (artistically relocated to the edge of the town)  and Judd’s unmistakable concrete “boxes”, while a trailer park that offers a bit of a nod towards Ready Player One sits as the venue for music and performance arts. I was a little disappointed the town’s high water tower was not presented, but this was countered by the presence of the large cut-out of James Dean, part of a display at Marfa celebrating the town’s connection with Giant.

Alongside the trailer park sits the MARFA observatory. Based on the Marfa Lights Viewing Platform, it allows visitors to the region a vantage point from which to witness the digital version of the mysterious Marfa Lights which routinely appear to the south / south-west of the town, attributed to everything from UFOs to ghosts or spirits – although science suggests they are the result of odd atmospheric reflections of vehicle lights or the light of camp fires. Legend has them dating back to at least the time of the town’s founding, although the first actual published record of the phenomenon wasn’t made until 1957 (the references to the 1880s only appeared in print in 1985).

You might just see mysterious orbs of light suddenly appear above desert foliage. These balls of light may remain stationary as they pulse on and off with intensity varying from dim to almost blinding brilliance. Then again, these ghostly lights may dart across the desert … or perform splits and mergers. Light colours are usually yellow-orange but other hues, including green, blue and red are also seen. Marfa Mystery Lights (MLs) usually fly above desert vegetation but below background mesas.

Marfa resident James Bunnell

MARFA, January 2021

Rich in photographic opportunities and offering several opportunities to appreciate art (including the Empty Chair Gallery), MARFA additionally offers a number of small rentals for those who fancy they’d like to experience life in the town.

SLurl Details

Open access from Saturday, January 30th at 11:00 SLT.

  • MARFA (ValuimSL, rated Moderate)