2021 SUG meeting week #14 summary

Wythburn Village and Arts Community – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

  • There are no planned SLS Main channel deployments.
  • Wednesday, April 7th: the SLS RC channels should all be updated with simulator release 557694, defined as containing “internal fixes an tweaks”.
Last week we ran into an unanticipated glitch and had to push the RC roll back to this week. So, this week we’ll be pushing out the next Maintenance simulator to all the RC channels.

– Rider Linden on the upcoming deployment

SL Viewer

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: Custom Key Mappings RC viewer, version, dated March 24, promoted March 27 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer – Eau de Vie, version, dated March 25.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version, dated 23, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, dated July 16, 2019.

Group Chat

On Monday, April 5th, Maestro Linden posted on changes made to Group Chat to try to improve overall message handling. The change appears to have met with with mixed results, with some seeing no real change in how their group chat sessions are affected. There may also been some related unintended consequences, some some reporting the following:

  • Some people are finding they have to make multiple posts for group chat to finally open and their chat to be seen by everyone, otherwise their group chat remains silent. It is not clear if this happens across all their groups, or just some.
  • Messages for some still appear to be failing with a degree of measurable regularity.

Commenting on the situation, and in lieu of Jira reports, Rider Linden commented:

As far as group chat. We know that it is a problem and we’re going to continue to work on it from our end.

New LSL Capabilities?

This from Rider Linden:

I’m proposing the following three LSL functions llOrd, llChar and llHash. llOrd() will return the ordinal of the first character in a string, llChar() given an integer will return a single character string, and llHash() is a non-cryptographic 32 bit hash. I was looking for a way to just have an integer that had a reasonable change of being unique for an arbitrary string.
Use case I can see: Given an owner of two objects I want to select a chat channel with a low probability of colliding with other agents in the area.
This approach wouldn’t be cryptographically secure, but would be convenient.

This many be the start of ongoing work to provide new  / improved LSL capabilities, with it being indicated that feature requests BUG-227663 “[Feature Request] llGetInventoryAcquireTime()” and BUG-227641 “Play/Loop/Stop sounds in linked primitives other than the primitive where the script exists” may also be considered  for implementation.

In Brief

  • Some people are reporting Voice issues – Voice failing to start, or Voice simply not working in a region unless others are already there and using it. It’s not clear have widespread these issues are, or whether bug reports have been raised.
  • BUG-229871 “Unable to re-enter or teleport to a region that I’ve been to during same session” – Linden Lab is still trying to consistently reproduce this issue. In discussing the problem, Maestro Linden noted:
One interesting case was somebody reporting that they were able to reproduce the issue 100% of the time until they replaced a faulty coaxial cable  – which makes me think that packet loss could somehow be to blame (disconnecting from the simulator the first time in some unclean manner due to time-out?).
  • Getting inventory syncing between Agni and Aditi working once more is also being worked on, with the hope that the fix will be available Soon™.
  • Work on Map tiles is progressing, but still no ETA on when the remaining fixes are liable to be deployed. Again, in lieu of a fix, people can use the following alternatives, each with its own functionality:

Lab provides update on Group Chat

via Linden Lab

As many people are aware, Group Chat has had some problems of late, particularly with group chats failing, messages being dropped, etc.

One of the major causes of this has been known to be the manner in which the Group Chat member list updates – people in a group coming on-line, those going off-line and making the necessary updates to the group members list, then sending those updates to all the members of a group.

As you can imagine, all of this can take up a lot of time – in fact at a TPV Developer meeting before his departure, Oz Linden indicated that the service can spend more time managing these updates than in actually handling group chat messages. At the time, he indicated that Linden Lab was considering various ways in which the number of updates could be reduced to ease the load.

On Monday, April 5th, 2021, Maestro Linden provided an update via the Technology → Second Life Server forum on what has now been done to the Group member list updates  – and what the viewer will display as a result. In it, he describes the changes thus:

What changed, exactly?
Second Life has historically listed all the people on-line in a group or ad-hoc chat session.  In an effort to improve overall chat performance, we have limited when these updates are sent.
The Second Life group chat servers has been modified so that large group (over 10 on-line at once) will work so that only moderators get the full list of everyone on-line. Non-moderators now only see on-line moderators listed in the group chat participants list, for large groups.   Groups with 10 or fewer users on-line should not be affected by this change.
How does this change appear in the viewer?
The list of visible group chat participants shown in the Conversations panel, when the drop-down menu is expanded.  Before this change, the participants list would show all on-line members who were currently subscribed to the group’s chat session.  With this change, updates to list is limited for large groups, as described above, unless the “Moderate Group Chat” ability is enabled for the agent.
Will this change affect who can send or receive a group chat message?
No, regular chat messages are unaffected by this change – any group member with the “Join Group Chat” ability will be able to participate in group chat just as before.

– Maestro Linden in Group Chat member list updates, April 5th

While this change means general members of a group many not always be able to seen the full member’s list for the group, the change has been made in the belief that it is more important to be able to send and receive messages in a chat session rather than view the full group list.

How well the change works in practice remains to be seen; there have been response on the thread that indicate some are seeing no significant changes to their group chat sessions – although it’s not clear from the forum post quite when the change to the service was made, and whether or not it is something that will take time to propagate out sufficient for all all users to see benefits.

As well as indicating that additional back-end updates to monitoring tools have been made to allow Lab staff to better monitor SL systems and services, Maestro commented on whether or not this change will be “permanent”:

I would expect this change to remain in place in medium term – there are currently no plans to revert it. That said, I would not declare the change as “permanent” – group chat will continue to evolve as Linden Lab evaluates its performance and tweaks the design.

– Maestro Linden in Group Chat member list updates, April 5th.

For further information, please refer to the forum post, as linked to above.