2021 CCUG and TPV Developer meetings week #9

Wildwood Gardens, January 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, March 4th 2021 at 13:00 SLT, and Pantera’s video recording of the TPV Developer’s meeting of Friday, March 5th, a copy of which is embedded at the end of this article.

The majority of the TPVD meeting was given over to a discussion of the texture cache issue, together with a general discussion on the simplified cache structure and also on Jelly Doll avatars.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar. The venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire, and the TPV Developer meeting is held at the Hippotropolis Theatre.

SL Viewer

[From the CCUG meeting & TPVD Meeting]

Release Roll-Back & Issues

  • The Simple Cache viewer, version, had to be rolled back following its March 2nd promotion due to a number of bugs (e.g. cache location not being adhered to – BUG-230337; uploads of textures above a certain size were failing – BUG-230295).
  • The roll-back saw the Jelly Doll improvements viewer, version (originally promoted on February 17th) revert to being the de facto release viewer.
  • However, the roll-back resulted in some users who had updated to the Simple Cache viewer users experiencing a corrupted texture cache when using an older version of the viewer.
  • Unfortunately, LL are having problems consistently reproducing the texture caching issues, so it is unclear how matters will be resolved.

This means that for the meantime:

  • Those experiencing texture issues on the official viewer as a result of having used the Simple Cache viewer and then rolling back to, or installing, another version should try clearing cache and re-starting the viewer.
  • Until the Lab have more of a handle on the texture cache issues:
    • Those RC viewers that had been internally merged with the Simple Cache viewer will also be rolled-back to an earlier version.
    • Internal viewer testing procedures will be reviewed.
    • TPVs that have also merged the Simple Cache code will also likely need to roll back their code.
  • One suggestion for resolving this issue is for the official viewer to increment the texture cache version number, forcing a complete wipe / reset of the cache
  • Independent of the texture caching issues, and due to BUG-230337 and BUG-230295, the Simple Cache viewer will go back to a development status so the issues can be fixed.
    • Firestorm apparently has fixes for these particular issues, and these may be contributed to LL.

General Viewer Notes

  • A new Maintenance RC viewer – Eau de Vie, version, was released on March 4th.
  • The Custom Key Mappings viewer updated to version, also on Thursday, March 4th.

The rest of the official viewers in the pipeline remains as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version, February, 23, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • 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.

There may be a viewer promotion during week #10 (commencing Monday, March 8th).  While no final decision has been made, it is possible the LMR 5 may be the viewer that gets promoted.

Viewer Rendering

[CCUG Meeting]

  • Euclid Linden continues to work on separating UI rendering from general scene rendering in order to improve overall viewer performance.
    • Currently the UI is completely redrawn every frame, along with the rest of the scene, whether or not it requires update.
    • This can take up to 40% of the rendering time, depending on the complexity of the scene being rendered, with around 10-20% being an average, so it is hoped the changes will particularly help those on less-capable systems.
    • There may be some subtle / slight reduction in UI responsiveness under certain circumstances, so a means to tweak the UI update rate may be provided via something like a Debug setting.
    • Note: this work is not physically altering the appearance of the UI, only the frequency with which it is drawn.
  • Ptolemy Linden continues to work on more general rendering performance improvements and rendering bug fixes.

In Brief

  • [CCUG] Map tiles are still being worked on. In the future the lab may look to implement a new means of generating the Map tiles in a more robust way.
    • The Lab has an internal proposal for updating terrain textures, but it has yet to be formally adopted.
  • [CCUG] Allow upload of ground  constrained animations – on the LL’s list,  but has not been looked at as yet.  Vir believes that as the capability is already supported (but undocumented) is should only require an alteration to the simulator animation code to ensure the constraints are correctly understood.
  • [TPVD] Firestorm has entered QA, with a release planned for mid-March.

Date of Next Meetings

  • CCUG: Thursday, March 18th, 2021.
  • TPV Developer: Friday, March 19th, 2021.

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