2021 CCUG meeting week #40 summary

Ilha Do Sol, 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, October 7th, 2021. These meetings are generally chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar and the venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire.

A *very* short meeting, as Vir was unavailable, so the Graphics team could only update on their work.

SL Viewer

No updates to the current official viewer thus far through the week, despite hopes the Apple Notarisation viewer would be promoted to de facto release status. This leaves the current pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: version version, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • 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.

Graphics Work

  • 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.
  • The focus of the most recent work has been to either eliminate these or move them to secondary threads so they do not impact the primary rendering loop.
  • This has seen some “pretty good results” in improvement performance, but the internal testing is still at too early a stage for stats to be made public, and it is felt there is at least another month of work to be done before the work will start to come closer to being ready for a public appearance.
  • In difference to the last meeting, to now appears this work could well be surfaced in a project viewer of its own, rather than being merged with other in-development viewers. However, and as noted above, there is no time frame on when it may made a public debut.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, October 21st.

Terrygold’s Horror Museum in Second Life

Solo Arte October 2021: Terrygold – Horror Museum

I’ll say up front that I’m not a great fan of the “Halloween season”. Not because I dislike horror or anything; it’s just that I sit just on the side of the age divide (and also the Atlantic) where I look upon all the fuss and things like trick-or-treating as a dubious import¹. However, every so often something comes along that is related to the “season”, and which catches my eye – such as the first iteration or two of Linden Lab’s Haunted House or the odd region design.

One such place that did this for 2021 is a modest but engaging art installation by Terrgold, which is now open at Solo Arte  to form both an immersive art space and precursor to an event space that will likely see activity throughout the month.

Solo Arte October 2021: Terrygold – Horror Museum

Horror Museum is a small semi-interactive exhibit in which you can witness scenes associated if not with Halloween per se, then most certainly the annals of cinematic and written horror. The core element of the installation is a visit to a museum – or perhaps gallery would be a better description – offering a series of images drawn from the worlds and legends of horror. In one hall, for example, we can peer into a scene of Frankenstein’s laboratory; and another, Nosferatu stands as if in greeting as we pass, whilst others offer images of nightmare characters and creatures – clown and giant spiders – with more beside.

Solo Arte October 2021: Terrygold – Horror Museum

But these are not ordinary images; each is in fact a 3D setting in which visitors are invited to step and become a part of the story that has been captured. Most are fairly straightforward in their presentation of a scene, but one takes you a little further than the others, opening as it does into a chamber beyond its frame.

As well as the 3D images by Terrygold, the halls of the gallery include models of monsters and posters from a number of horror films, some of which compliment Terry’s art.

At the end of the gallery spaces is a picture called The Forest, a walk through what is often the favourite setting for horror films, a mysterious forest, this once complete with strange figures and creatures. A path winds through this forest, providing the way to the event space mentioned above.

If I’m totally honest, I’d have liked to have experienced poses within the various vignettes Terrygold provides that are more in keeping within each theme. But at the same time, producing custom poses is no easy task, and its not as if this diminish the content of  Horror Museum nor the fact it is an engaging installation. When visiting, do make sure you follow the instructions at the landing point to set your environment correctly.

1. Yes, you’re allowed to shout “bah! humbug! at me for saying this (even if that does belong to the end-of-year season!).

SLurl Details

October 2021 SL Web User Group summary

The Web User Group meeting venue, Denby

The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021.

These meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month, with dates and venue details available via the SL public calendar. A video of the meeting, courtesy of Pantera, can be found embedded at the end of this article (my thanks to her as always!), and the following is a summary of key topics / discussions.

Web Properties Updates

  • Back-end / infrastructure work is still on-going and has taken up a lot of time through August.
  • A focal point of the above has been trying to make the Profiles system a little more robust, work that needs to be completed before the necessary changes can be made is support of moving profiles back into their own floater in the viewer (as per the current Legacy Profiles project viewer available through the Alternate Viewers page).
  • Marketplace improvements:
    • A number of “small” fixes have been implemented through the past month.
    • New feature: the ability to move items from your Shopping Cart to your Favourites (and thence to your Wishlist).

Premium Name Changes

  • A number of Last Names have been retired: Aviator, Caboose, Knickers, Orlando and Primless.
  • New “seasonal” Last Names have been deployed for Halloween: Ghostly, Lecter, Pumpkin, Treat and Trick. These will be available through until November 1st, 2021.

Upcoming Work

  • Once the infrastructure work has been completed, the web team will embark on a complete refresh of all web properties.
    • First in line for this is Search (search.secondlife.com), which includes in-world search as well.
    • The work will include both cosmetic improvements to how Search looks, and improvements to things like search results – relevance, etc.

In Brief

  • No updates for Mobile in the past month.
  • A reminder that multi-factor authentication is now active cross key Account options available through the Second Life dashboard.
  • A question was asked about having separate login names and user names, so the former need never be revealed. While not entirely ruled out, this would require some significant changes to the current log-in methodology and infrastructure (and likely widespread back-end changes across multiple services), ergo, it is not something that is likely to be undertaken in the immediate or medium-term future.
  • The subject of having more general in-world meetings with Lab staff, rather than just the current specialised user groups (e.g. with a mix of people  from the product teams, the engineering teams, the land team, etc), in order to encourage greater attendance by users.
    • This is something that would likely be welcomed by users, but if taken up, unlikely to be a monthly event.
    • Several years ago, LL did re-instigate quarterly Town Hall meetings (to the extent of re-vamping a set of regions to host them), which were immensely people and featured both the CEO at some, and a cross-section of senior staff at others. These were popular at the time, and could be beneficial if reinstated.
  • SL wiki updates (or the lack thereof in the case of many pages):
    • LL re-iterated that the policy is still to move more generic / maintained information to the Knowledge Base, and to focus just on maintaining those wiki pages of particular technical importance (and as the entire scripting portal and pages).
    • A problem with the Knowledge Base is that it is not as relevantly searchable as the wiki. There is also, frankly a vast trove of information on the wiki that, while useful, is becoming increasingly outdated or confusing appearing in multiples places and with different levels of information – a subject oft raised at Content Creation User Group meetings in relation to good building  / design practices, avatar-related information, etc.
    • It was pointed out that those with knowledge and understanding of capabilities, etc., can still apply for wiki editor access via support.
    • As an alternative, those who have specific updates that should be made to wiki pages, these can be e-mailed to Alexa Linden, who has headcount to help with wiki updates as time allows.
  • E-mail notifications based on on log-in location: a lot of web services will send a log-in notification if an attempt is made to access your account from outside of your “normal” location. This is something that could be done with SL web properties, but would require scoping and work. A feature request has therefore been requested for the idea.
  • A request has been made for “official” support for shopping events through the SL web properties. This would require careful work in terms of ensuring fair representation (including for non-shopping events) and how / where it would be presented, and as such a feature request has been asked for, although the matter will be raised internally at the Lab.
  • Marketplace related:
    • Categories and sub-categories were raised. Again, those who feel there should be additional categories or categories that could be better broken-out by sub-categories, are asked to raise a feature request with specific details.
    • As per the September meeting: a feature request, BUG-231142 “Questions and Answers’ tab for marketplace product pages” has been received and accepted by the Lab.
      • This would essentially allow questions to be asked of a product that can be answered by (for example) the listing owner, their appointed store manager(s) or perhaps even a customer who has actually purchased the item.
      • If this were to be implemented, LL would consider some supporting tools – e.g. the option for listing creators to explicitly indicate if they do not want the feature enabled for some of their products, or automatically disabling the option on free items listed on the MP, etc.
    • Animated gifs on the MP: another frequent request. The short answer is that this is not on the roadmap, simply because of the infrastructure required to store the (invariably) large file sizes & make them available to product listings.

Next Meeting

  • Wednesday, November 3rd, 14:00 SLT.