2021 CCUG and TPV Developer meetings week #17 summary

Poison Rouge, February 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, April 29th 2021 at 13:00 SLT, and the TPV Developer’s meeting of Friday, April 30th.

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

The Eau de Vie Maintenance RC viewer version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd, was promoted to de facto viewer release status on Thursday, April 29th.

The remaining viewers in the pipeline comprise:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Legacy Profiles viewer should be getting an update that will include some cosmetic tweaks to the UI, but will be functionally identical to the current project viewer version.
  • The LMR 5 viewer is being readied for promotion to release status, and work on LMR 6 is continuing.
  • The revised Simple Cache viewer is back with LL’s QA team, and should be re-emerging fairly soon.
  • The improved UI viewer that is primarily intended to help new users looks like it will be issued during summer.
  • A viewer with a fix for the Mac notarisation fix (currently OS X users have to jump through some additional hoops to get the operating system to run the viewer) should be appearing Soon™.
  • Voice viewer: the Lab has been working to try to address the more annoying aspects of voice cutting out when someone is speaking. A viewer with various fixes / tweaks is currently being tested by Lab staff, and may be available for wider use also in a Soon™ time frame.
  • A further viewer in the works will include further updates / fixes for the Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF – used in media playback and streaming into SL).

One of the issues LL are running into is that thanks to the SNAFU following the release and roll-back of the original Simple Cache viewer, there is a growing number of official viewers stacking up waiting to enter the RC and project viewer pipelines.

RLV/RLVa and Experiences

Most people are familiar with the RLV and RLVa protocols / API functionality that is available in various third-party viewers. Whilst originally developed for more adult-oriented activities in Second life, these API options do have a wide range of other potential uses, some of which might be said to now be matched by Experience functionality (for example: automatic teleports).

While there is currently no specific project in the works to extend Experience functionality, the Lab has actually had internal discussions about the potential to provide various RLV-like options that could help improve Experiences. As such, the suggestion was made that if there are various (and generic, rather than adult-specific) use cases that might be achieved using RLV but would be useful to have as Experience functionality, these are noted in Jira feature requests so that they might be considered in due course.

 

Note: it was brought to my attention that not everyone is aware of the Soon™ joke. It is a play on the use of “Soon™” by Blizzard Entertainment, and the fact that, given LL’s preference not to present what might be taken as “tablets of stone” dates for the delivery of any given feature or bug fix, Oz Linden would refer to upcoming features / capabilities / fixes being available as “Soon”, “Pretty Soon” and “Real Soon / Real Soon Now”, which all become generally defined by the catch-all idea of “Soon™”.

Dropping into Inspira Gallery in Second Life

Inspira Gallery of At, April 2021 – Rachel Magic

I recently had occasion to drop into the Inspira Gallery of Art operated and curated by Mark Uladstron. At the time of my visit, the gallery was advertising itself as being in a “new waterside location” – although I have to admit, it is not a gallery I’d previously come across, so my apologies to Mark for not having done so sooner.

Occupying a two-storey building, the gallery also presents itself as a museum of art, combining exhibitions of art from both the physical world and created through the medium of Second Life, the Former coming in presenting reproductions of works by some of the most influential artists  – east and west – of their respective ages, These are all presented on the lower floor of the gallery, and at the time of my visit featured Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Gu Kaizhi (Changkang).

This is the first gallery museum I’ve visited in quite a while that offers an audio tour of some of the works on display (the very first art museum I visited that did so was the Vordun back in 2016 – see: The Vordun: a new art experience in Second Life). Here, the audio tour is provided for the exhibits of Picasso’s and da Vinci’s works. It is facilitated by a HUD which should be offered as you enter the gallery, but if not, it can be obtained by clicking the blue globe at the reception desk, and while not a necessity for a visit, I would recommend using it.

Inspira Gallery of At, April 2021 – Leonardo da Vinci

Once added to your screen, and unlike other tours of this nature, the HUD isn’t tied to a local experience, but is triggered by simply entering a hall where the tour in enabled. When you have done so, the palyback buttons are activated, and you just need to tap ESC on your keyboard a couple of ties to ensure your camera is free, then press the central Play / Stop toggle button in on the HUD. Doing so will trigger the HUD’s scripts and focus your camera on the first image within the exhibit  and trigger the associated audio track, together with a text display in local chat. In addition:

  • Clicking the “fast forward” or “rewind” buttons on the HUD will position your camera at the next painting in the sequence (or the previous, if moving back through an exhibit), again, triggering an audio / text exposition.
  • Clicking the Stop / Play button will re-centre the camera on your avatar, halting the audio / text. Providing you do not leave the hall, clicking the PLAY / STOP button again will centre the camera back on the last painting examined by the HUD and resume the audio / text expositions from there.
  • If you prefer, you can disable the text display or the audio by clicking either the Closed Caption or Audio toggle buttons directly under the main playback buttons.
  • Two further buttons will invite you to join the Inspire art group or receive a landmark to the gallery respectively.
Inspira Gallery of At, April 2021 – Pablo Picasso

The audio files appear to be drawn from a variety of sources, with some sounding slightly artificial / electronic in nature. The alternate between various male and female speakers, and the provided information strikes a good balance between being informative whilst avoiding going on too long.

As the audio doesn’t extend to the hall featuring Gu Kaizhi’s work, traditional museum-style information displays are provided for in-world reading. It would perhaps be nice to see these information plinths also offering a note card when clicked to help thought who might find reading such in-world text difficult, but again the information that is provided in informative and adds to the experience of a visit.

A noted politician, painter, poet, calligrapher and author – he wrote three influential books on the theory of painting – Gu is most noted today for his silk scroll paintings, which form the focus on the exhibit at Inspira.

Inspira Gallery of At, April 2021 – Gu Kaizhi

Stairs hidden behind the reception desk offer the way to the upper floor of the gallery, where two halls are devoted to Second Life artists. At the time of my visit, these were showing landscape images by the always captivating Rachel Magic (larisalyn) and pieces by Thomaz (Thomaz Blackburn). Between the halls is a cosy café / venue area, where images by Mark’s SL partner, Lisa Cruise (lisacruise), might be appreciated / purchased.

I will admit to being surprised that the reproductions of the images by da Vinci, Picasso and Gu are offered for sale. While I appreciate galleries, etc., in-world need to cover the cost of tier, seeing the images available via right-click buy did raise concerns (e.g. the potential for transgressing copyright on owned works or contravening any established Creative Commons (or other) licence that might be applicable, etc).

Inspira Gallery of At, April 2021 – Thomaz

However, this discomfiture duly noted, I will say that the Inspira Gallery of Art does makes for an engaging visit, and I particularly enjoyed becoming acquainted with Thomaz’s SL art, and the opportunity to see more of Rachel’s work on display.

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