The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, November 4th 2021 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.
This list reflects those viewers available via Linden Lab.
- Release viewer: version version 126.96.36.1994172, formerly the Apple Notarisation Fix RC viewer, issued September 24 and promoted October 15.
- Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
- Project viewers:
- Performance Improvements project viewer, version 188.8.131.524530, dated October 12.
- Performance Floater project viewer, version 184.108.40.2062625, issued September 2.
- Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 220.127.116.112614, issued September 1.
- Legacy Profiles viewer, version 18.104.22.1680519, dated October 26, 2020.
- Copy / Paste viewer, version 22.214.171.1243365, dated December 9, 2019.
- As has been previously reported in my user group meeting summaries, a core focus of work at the Lab is on performance improvements, both on the back-end and in the viewer.
- With the viewer, the work is very much on improving graphics / frame rate performance (utilising the Tracy analyser). Much of this work has been to move non-rendering operations currently in the main rendering thread to their own / other threads.
- In October, the first cut of a project viewer featuring the fruits of this work was issue (see Performance Improvements Viewer in the list above), and an update to this viewer is expected in the next working day or so.
- Once the updated version of the viewer is available, users are encouraged to take it for a test and see if they can see improvements in rendering / FPS rates.
- Overall, the Graphics team plan to spend around two more weeks in general performance updates. before the work will shift to stabilising the changes so far made to the viewer (which has been acknowledged as being “crashy” at this point in time).
- Once the stabilisation work has been completed, the hope is that the viewer will be in a position to progress forward through the RC cycle to enter the queue for promotion to release status around the the end of the year, with actual promotion coming in early 2022.
- Separate to the above, Runitai is currently working on the fork of the render pipe inside the avatar draw pool that handles the rendering of avatar rigged meshes. The aim is to move this work to the same machinery that handles the other draw pools, and so hopefully enable rigged mesh rendering to be handled on a batch basis, rather than one face at a time as is currently the case, thus giving a potentially substantial performance boost.
- WRT to performance, it was pointed out that the baseline hardware specifications LL give for Second Life are route in hardware between 10-15 years old, and so many users tend to stick to outdated hardware. Thus the situation is somewhat double-edged: ending support for older systems would allow LL to focus more on updating and improving SL to run on more recent hardware; however, by the same measure, it risks “locking out” users who may be unable to move on to more recent hardware in order to stay reasonably “current”.
- Work is still in progress trying to overcome the Apple Notarisation / media issues and outlined here. Part of the problem was the result of LL using a very old VLC. However, getting a new VLC to be recognised by the notarisation process is also proving problematic.
- A request was made to all region owners to be able to automatically drop a general information package on preferred viewer settings, etc., on users arriving in a region. Given automated notecard givers can already do this, and many of the “recommendations” are completely over the top for many systems (e.g. “set your graphics to Ultra, enable shadows and set your draw distance to 500+ m”), no advantage is seen in providing a capability to provide this information (presumably via a chat channel).
- Similarly, pro-actively scanning viewer settings using LSL as visitors arrive and “advising” them about the recommended settings for a region should some of their own be “below” the recommendation, was also seen as not particularly advantageous unless it was somehow made an opt-in capability that those who do wish to receive such information can do so.
- It is recognised that Pathfinding is overdue for some improvements, and it *might* be that it gets looked at in the future; however there are no definite plans beyond considering what might be done, and poking at feature requests, etc., that have been filed for Pathfinding.