2021 TPV Developer meeting week #29 summary

La Vallee, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 23rd, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

SL Viewer

The Fernet Maintenance RC viewer, version and dated July 14th, was promoted to de facto release status on July 19th. This leaves no current RC viewers in the pipeline and the official project viewers unchanged, thus:

  • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26, 2020.
  • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9, 2019.
  • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, dated November 22, 2019.
  • 360º Snapshot project viewer, version, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The next RC viewer that should be appearing is likely to have the next round of Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) media handling updates.

360º Snapshot Viewer

Work has now officially re-started on the 360º Snapshot viewer, and there will be some simulator-side updates in support of this will be going out in a simulator RC release in week #30 (commencing Monday, July 27th, 2021). it is to ensure the simulator sends the viewer all of the information it needs to correctly render a 360º field of view around the camera prior to the 6 snapshots being taken (which are then stitched into a completed 360º image). No date is available for when the updated 360º Snapshot viewer will be available.

Alexa Linden offered a peek of playing with the updated viewer via Twitter.

Graphics Work

  • The focus for the Graphics team continues to be on integrating the Tracy debugger / system analyser for cross-platform graphics development into the viewer.
  • This will be used to look for performance “hot spots” in the rendering code. This is liable to continue to be the case for the next couple of weeks.
  • When completed, the work will be compiled into a static library within viewer repositories, but will not be enabled by default – it will require and explicit command line call during a viewer build process.

In Brief

  • Apparently, script-to-viewer messages sent via llRegionSayTo that start with “@” are never displayed in local chat. It’s not clear if this is by accident or design, but the request has been made to leave the functionality that way to assist with RLVa-specific commands send via llRegionSayTo not being spammed in open chat.
    • The broad response from Vir and Rider Linden was that the history behind the code in question (CHAT_TYPE_DIRECT) is unclear to them, but if changing it would potentially be damaging to existing content, then it is unlikely to be changed.
  • It’s again been noted that there can be a significant performance impact on the viewer due to the presence of Linden Water “that isn’t there” (that is, you cannot see it, because it is overlaid by terrain, for example). It is hoped that improved occlusion capabilities (i.e. “if you can’t see it, just don’t render it”) might eventually be a performance win in overcoming this.
  • Not strictly viewer-related, but Rider Linden proposed a new function via the forums – llIsFriend – on July 22nd, which sparked a lot of discussion via the forum thread, specifically around the question of privacy (having scripts from others – say a merchant or club owner  – able to read your Friends list) and the potential for abuse. Having had time to consider it, Rider noted the following during the TPVD meeting:
The more I think about it, the more a perms check is called for on that; [it is] probably not a perm that would be auto-granted in an experience, either. I’d set-up a new permission [that would] ask the person running the script, “may this script have access to your friends list?”
The more I think about it, the more I think it is not something that should be allowed invisibly behind the scenes under any circumstances … the added complexity does push it further back, tho. If a script wants to access your Friends list, it needs to be up-front about it. 

Next Meeting

  • The next meeting should be on August 6th, 2021.