2021 CCUG and TPV Developer meetings week #39 summary

Mousehole, June 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, September 30th 2021 at 13:00 SLT, and the TPV Developer’s meeting of Friday, October 1st, 2021 at 12:00 noon SLT.

With the meetings once again falling on the same week, and with the degree of overlap in content between the two, core discussion points from both have been combined into this one summary. The TPV meeting was also recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video is embedded at the end of this article, for those wishing to refer directly to that meeting.

Meeting Details

  • CCUG meetings are held on alternate Thursdays each month (generally the 1st and 3rd Thursday, subject to the vagaries of month length), with dates available via the SL Public Calendar. The venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire.
  • TPV Developer meetings are generally held on alternate Fridays each month, although dates are not currently listed in the SL Public Calendar. The venue for meetings is at the Hippotropolis Theatre.
  • Both meetings are generally chaired by Vir Linden, and are led using Voice, although attendees can use either Voice or text to provide input / feedback (with text generally being the preferred medium).

SL Viewer

Viewer Updates

  • Release viewer: version version, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Apple Notarisation Fix RC viewer, version, issued September 24 – this should remove the warning messages which are currently popping up.
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version, on September 21.
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version, dated September 17, issued September 20
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Apple Notarisation Fix RC viewer is liable to be the next viewer promoted to de facto release status.
  • The combined Maintenance RC viewer will likely be the viewer to follow it to release status in a couple of weeks.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer is still awaiting some simulator-side updates that have (again?) dropped back behind other simulator work. As such, it is described as being “kind-of on ice” at the moment.
  • The focus on viewer work is squarely on performance improvements.
  • With the initial deployment of multi-factor authentication (see here and my own blog post for more), the Lab’s viewer teams are discussing how it can be added to the viewer without massively impacting the user experience.

Let’s Encrypt Certificates Issue

As per this Grid Status Report, an expiration issue with Let’s Encrypt certificates resulted in in-world LSL scripts making HTTP calls to websites secured with a Let’s Encrypt certificate failing. This particularly impacted a number of popular Second Life merchants and assorted pet / breedable systems, etc.

After extensive investigation a fix was deployed to a small number of simulators overnight on Thursday, September 30th / Friday October 1st, which appeared to work. As a result, the main grid (Agni) has been subject to a rolling restart to fully deploy the fix to all regions. At the time of writing, this deployment was still in progress.

In Brief

  • Vir Linden was out for both meetings, each of which was somewhat briefer than usual, with the CCUG in particular primarily being a WIBNI style of meeting (WIBNI = “wouldn’t it be nice if”), rather than dealing with actual projects / work in progress.
  • [CCUG] The Graphics team currently remain primarily focused on drilling down into the data being gathered by the Tracy debugger / system analyser, which is available internally to the Lab.
    • This has already revealed a number of high latency artefacts within the main loop rendering code, which the graphics team will be looking to eliminate or move to their own threads or update loop so they no longer interfere with the core rendering loop.
    • The code for Tracy is liable to be merged into another viewer rather than appearing in a dedicated project or RC viewer.
  • [CCUG] Some of the discussion was around improving performance / simplifying clothing options. In the latter regard, Mayastar 7.0 will include an automatic alpha baking for clothes. Some final touch-up (by the creator) may be needed via Maya after the option has been used, but it offer an improvement in wearing clothes made via Maya / Mayastar.
  • [TPVD] The Catznip team have been continuing to work with adjusting the viewer so it simply does not render Linden Water where it is not visible (e.g. when hidden by terrain), which has been yielding significant viewer FPS increases. LL have indicated they have found it difficult to get a good occlusion culling result with horizon water and also in trying to programmatically deal with water that may / may not be visible (Catznip appear to have “just” gone for across-the-board occlusion culling). Both LL and Catznip will discussing ideas / approaches.

Paradiso’s peaceful waters in Second Life

Paradiso, October 2021 – click any image for full size

In January 2019, I dropped into -Paradiso-/Cor meum, a quarter Homestead region designed by Cain Evergarden as a restful setting mixing water and islands to create a place of escape for those who needed (see: A quiet corner of Second Life). Some time after that, the setting apparently vanished; so I was delighted to recently learn, courtesy of Annie Brightstar, that it has once again returned, this time occupying an entire Homestead region of its own and offering a very different environment.

Paradiso has always been a personal setting for Cain,  as he explains in a note card available within the current region:

I made the region for my Grandfather who passed away  two years ago. I offer my condolences to him and Reproduce my own heart. The region is always raining because the rain in my heart has not stopped yet. It’s a sad story, but I hope you can feel it and enjoy it freely.

– Cain Evergarden

Paradiso, October 2021

This is a heart-rending statement, and one with which any of us who have lost a loved family member will identify. Thus it presents Paradiso as a place where we might allow memories to flow free. However, even for those who might not have such memories, Paradiso is also a place for anyone who simply wishes to find a moment of peace, or who loves water-based settings will also appreciate.

The primary landing point lies towards the middle of the region, alongside one of several points of interest that rise from the sapphire waters and reside under a midnight sky that is itself in part cut through by the path of the milky way.  Ringed by clouds that clouds that tick their way around the region with a steadfastness that is mindful of the second-by-second passage of time – and life -, this is a setting without recognisable landform, but with water shallow enough the wade through.

Paradiso, October 2021

The grassy setting with its single tree alongside the landing point sits as a field of blue roses over which pale butterflies fly spirit-like. Rain patters the water, perhaps encouraging visitors to scuttle over the water to the nearby looming mass of a run-down theatre. Hidden within this is what appears to be a dance club of a most unique styling. The stage stands as a melding of stage, equipment and giant roses, a pair of hands to either side raised almost in supplication towards the projection of a white dove flying against the rear wall. Taken as a whole, it suggests a place of both remembrance and celebration.

A second roofed structure lies to the west of the landing point, a pavilion that is home to  the region’s guestbook in which comments on the setting and / or notes of remembrance might be left. Further off to the west lies a more surreal setting: a portal rises from a bank of wildflowers watched over by a large bird cage whilst a school of fish circles overhead, perhaps ensuring the clouds of hovering fireflies do not stray far from the portal.

Paradiso, October 2021

This portal – which I’ll return to in a moment – is somewhat mirrored by cloud formation that sits on the northern edge of the region. Forming a vertical ring encircling a shimmering ring that suggests it is a gateway to heaven, awaiting the souls of those who have passed as the continue their journey.

But to return to the stone portal: touching this will allow visitors to teleport up to a small sky platform. This presents a town setting put together by NEOs Klaar. This is a very different setting to the ground level, offering a place that is dominated by the presence of shiro0822’s Matsuri cats – characters who remain as cute as when I first encountered them a year ago – as they run an open-air marketplace with a second DJ stage. It’s a space that offers an interesting melding of Japanese and Chinese influences, with the latter in particular carrying my to Hong Kong and childhood (more than adult) memories of Wan Chai thanks to the billboards to one side of the setting.

Paradiso, October 2021

With several places to sit and pass the time, and backed with the hissing sound of falling rain, Paradiso’s current appearance is very different to the quarter region I visited in 2019; however, it retains that certain touch of attractiveness that tends to both encourage a visit and to spend time within the region once you’ve arrived.

SLurl Details