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.