Milena Carbone’s Africa at Nitroglobus

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Milena Carbone – Africa
Milena Carbone is an artist who is constantly pushing at both the boundaries of her own creative means of expression and what might be regarded as the bounds of comfort of her audience.  Through her work, she has encouraged us to consider the world around us and challenged us to face up to the harm we, as a race, appear hell-bent on doing to it – even though that harm may ultimately bring about out own demise. She has also often held up a mirror to humanity’s arrogance and poked us with the conceit of gods created in the image of Man, and she has dared to encourage us to face the failures of religion, the threat of climate change, and more.

Almost all of this is touched upon and / or embraced in Africa, her new exhibition of art opening on October 31st, 2022 at Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, curated and operated by the marvellous Dido Haas; a complex and layered exhibit, comprising images, interactive 3D elements, and external elements that present further depth to the installation, which takes as its central (but not exclusive) focus the subject of climate change.

The most obvious elements in the exhibition are the images. These are framed within the continent of Africa – a place of both unparalleled beauty and bio-diversity, and which has perhaps suffered more than most thanks to the uncaring hands of the so-called “developed” nations, and is set to do so even more unless those same developed nations are willing to actively work to reduce the global threat of climate change. They present two interwoven stories, those of Grace and Abel, which unfold as an almost Biblical journey from creation (symbolised by In the Beginning, located on the Gallery’s east wall to the right of the café building), to the end times and the fall of mankind, couple with latter-day plagues.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Milena Carbone – Africa

These are stories we can enter into by clicking on the title plague for each image, located just below its lower left corner. These can be used to open “chapters” on Milena’s website which both offer narratives on Grace and Abel and their respective journeys, and offer-up broader food for thought -notably on the realities of climate change – for consumption.

Within the images themselves – which are also hybrid art pieces, utilising background generated via the Midjourney AI art generator combined with avatar images – can also be found reflections and dualities. Take Deluge for example. In title and tone, it echoes the story of Noah and the flood, and the destruction of all that went before; but even as it does so, it suggests more of a foreshadowing then a look back: because as climate change increases, the people of Africa – as noted in the preceding Burn Them All! – will face some of the greatest outfalls, prompting a mass migration – a literal deluge of peoples that could wash away our comfortable civilisations to the north and east of that great continent.

Running along the centrelines of the gallery’s two arms is a series of plinths mounting models of African animals. Each bears a label which may at first appear nonsensically humorous, but in fact offers commentary on the nature of our global society, where the divide between humanity and nature is becoming ever wider and more harmful, thanks to the former’s self-indulgent demands for instant gratification in all things. These models also carry additional subtext on both the issue of climate change and on the nature of “god” – whether seen as an independent consciousness or as a construct formed in our own image -, and our relationship with it. To appreciate this, it is essential that visitors to Africa approach each of the plinths in order to trigger its transformation.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Milena Carbone – Africa
(There is also a further interactive element to the installation in the form of a dance video displayed at one end of the gallery, complete with dance positions visitors can use to join in with the performance.)

Further examination of our relationship with “god” can be found within the constructs of the images and the characters within them. Milena herself notes that “Abel” is drawn from the Biblical tale of Cain and Abel, whilst “Grace” is a name and a term often associated with “god”. The story of Cain and Abel is perhaps one of the clearest demonstrations of “god’s” fickleness whilst also presenting a metaphor for man’s inhumanity to man – something for which Africa, as a continent both straddling the equator and containing some of the world’s poorest and more in-need nations will perhaps pay one of the highest prices.

Nitroglobus Roof Gallery: Milena Carbone – Africa

From the above, it is hopefully clear there is a lot to unpack and interpret within Africa, and that it is an installation where interpretation should be guided via the artist’s words, and not an “interpreter” (or interlocutor) like me. As such, I will leave you with a recommendation that you visit Africa and allow yourself time to be immersed within the stories and flow of ideas lying within it.

SLurl Details

2022 viewer release summaries week #43

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates from the week through to Sunday, October 30th, 2022

This summary is generally published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: version – formerly the Maintenance M RC viewer –  promoted October 26.
  • Release channel cohorts::
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers


  • Kokua updated to versions (no RLV) and (RLV variants) on October 29 – release notes.


Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: launches and rockets

A rendering of the Tiangong Space Station as it appears ahead of Mengtian’s arrival. Centre right is the Tianhe core module with the Tinazhou 14 resupply vehicle on its aft docking port. To the left, the Wengtian science module and the Shenzhou 14 crew vehicle are attached to the starboard and nadir ports of the main docking hub, respectively. Credit: Shujianyang

This coming week should see the launch of two rocket behemoths from very different parts of the world and with.

On Monday, October 31st, at approximately 07:30 UTC, Long March 5B (Y4) should depart the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the island of Hainan, off the south-east coast of the mainland, carrying aloft the ~20 tonne Mengtian laboratory module en route for a rendezvous with the Tiangong space station.

The massive Long March 5B, China’s most powerful launch vehicle, departed the vehicle integration facility at the launch complex on October 25th, carrying the space station module enclosed in its payload fairings, the combination sitting on their mobile launch platform.

The Long March 5B Y4 booster and payload sitting on its mobile launch platform within the vehicle integration building at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site. Credit: Xihu News

At 17.9 metres in length and 4.2 metres in diameter, Mengtian – Chinese for ‘Dreaming of the Heavens” – is in many ways similar to the Wentian (“Quest for the Heavens”) module which launched and rendezvoused with the space station’s Tianhe core module in July 2022. In all, the module will provide three science experiment facilities:

  • A pressurised environment for researchers to conduct science experiments.
  • An unpressurised experiments / cargo module with doors that can be opened to space.
  • A series of external experiment racks.

To reach the unpressurised elements, the module includes its own dedicated airlock, and has a single docking port for connecting to the Tinahe core module and two robotic arm, the first 5 metres in length and a smaller unit called an “indexing robot arm”. Mengtian will initially rendezvous with Tiangong “head-on” relative to Tianhe,  allowing it to dock with the core module’s axial port on  its main docking hub, minimising the risk of setting the entire station into an unwanted rotation.

The Mengtian science module. Credit: Leebrandoncremer

The axial port was, up until the end of September 2022, occupied by Wentian, however this used its own “indexing robot arm” to move itself to the starboard docking adapter on Tianhe, temporarily giving the space station a lopsided “L” shape. Some time after initial docking, Mengtian will similarly use its own small but powerful indexing arm to disconnect from the axial port and swing around to connect with the hub’s portside docking ring, leaving the station in its final T-configuration.

Mengtian’s arrival at the space station will signal the end of Tiangong’s main construction phase, as there are currently no plans to add further modules permanently to the 60-tonne station. Instead, the fore and aft axial docking ports on Tinahe will be used primarily by crew-carrying vehicles and by Tianzhou automated re-supply vehicles.

However, China does plan to launch a free-flying space telescope called Xuntian (“Space Sentinel”) in December 2023. This will by roughly equivalent to the Hubble Space Telescope in size, but have a field of view 300–350 times larger, coupled to a 2.5 gigapixel imaging system. Xuntian will periodically dock with Tiangong to allow for servicing of its equipment and systems and to allow its propellant tanks to be topped-up.

The launch is also liable to result in controversy. By design, Long March 5B’s 21.6 tonne (unfuelled) core stage and engines are designed to reach orbit. However, China has thus far made no attempt to equip it with the means to make a controlled re-entry into the upper atmosphere so that any parts surviving that re-entry (such as the engines) do not strike any populated areas of Earth.

The Long March 5B Y4 and Mengtian science module and mobile launch platform move by rail from the vehicle integration building towards the launch pad, October 25th, 2022. Credit: Xiahua News

This cavalier attitude has caused consternation within the international community. In 2020, for example, debris from a Long March 5B core landed in Cote d’Ivoire, damaging several buildings; then in July of 2022, parts of the vehicle used to lift the Wentian module to orbit, came down uncomfortably close to populated areas in Indonesia and Malaysia. In this, China does itself no favours by refusing to share details regarding specific trajectory information related to these launches with the wider global community, even though doing so would allow a degree of forewarning in areas at risk from debris.

The second big launch for the week should then follow on November 1st, when A SpaceX Falcon Heavy – currently the world’s most powerful rocket vehicle – is due to depart Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. It will mark the first Falcon Heavy launch in more than three years – and only the fourth overall for a vehicle which at one time was to have become the backbone of the SpaceX fleet (the company now intends for its Starship / Super Heavy combination to replace both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy).

The launch is the first US Department of Defense mission for Falcon Heavy. Designated USSF-44, it will deliver at least four satellites directly to geosynchronous orbit. In order to achieve this, the core of the vehicle – A Falcon 9 booster core – will be expended, rather than attempt a landing. The two booster segments – also Falcon 9 booster cores – will be return for an attempted simultaneous landings at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

The Falcon Heavy booster performs a static fire test on Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre on October 27th, 2022. Following the test, the rocket was lowered back onto its side and returned to the processing facility at Pad 39A so that the payload can be integrated prior to the vehicle being returned to the pad ready for launch. Credit: SpaceX

The lack of Falcon Heavy launches since 2019 illustrates a potential problem SpaceX may have with its plans for Starship / Super Heavy.

Simply put, with its ability to lob 63.8 tonnes to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and 26.7 tonnes to geosynchronous transfer orbit, Falcon Heavy was supposed to lower the cost of lifting payloads to orbit. However, in order to get close to this, it needs to launch relatively close to its payload capacity, and in an age of increasingly smaller and lighter satellites and payloads, its capabilities are seen as too excessive for most customers. Even in a rideshare capacity, where the costs can spread among multiple payload providers, the additional lead time involved in waiting for sufficient customers to sign-on to a Falcon Heavy launch have made it unattractive to potential customers, thus limiting its commercial viability; something that may prove to be the case with Starship / Super Heavy, with its much greater capacity.

Roc Shows off Stratolaunch’s Talon

Stratolaunch, builder of the world’s largest airplane, flew a prototype of its planned air-launched Talon hypersonic vehicle for the first time on Friday, October 28th, 2022, slung beneath the massive Roc aircraft, which uses two modified 747 fuselages, lifted the Talon-A TA-0 vehicle into the Mojave desert sky in captive/carry flight lasting over five hours and designed to pave the way for more extensive test flights.

The Stratolaunch Roc takes to the air with Talon-A TA-0 prototype mounted on its central launch pylon, marking the first time the latter as been flown. Credit: Stratolaunch

At 8.5 metres in length  and weighing 3.7 tonnes, Talon-A is an air-launched, automated hypersonic aircraft capable of flying at speeds of Mach 5 through Mach 7 (6,100–8,600 km/h). Previously known as Hyper-A, the vehicle is designed to offer a reliable test-bed for hypersonic research and experiments. It  is intended to be used by the US the government, the US Department of Defense, the commercial sector, and academia, and can carry both internal and external experiment payloads.

The massive Roc aircraft is designed to act as an aerial launch vehicle for a range of vehicles being developed by Stratolaunch,  including the orbit-capable Talon+ (formerly Talon-Z) and  even larger Stratolaunch spaceplane (previously called Black Ice), which is intended to deliver larger payloads – and possibly humans – to orbit in the future. In addition, Stratolaunch are in discussions with a number of potential customers to use the aircraft as a launch platform.

Stratolaunch Talon-A. Credit: Stratolaunch

As it stands, the success of the captive / carry flight means the Stratolaunch will now likely move to a vehicle drop test – releasing the TA-0 test vehicle in flight so that it can glide to an automated landing – which may occur in December 2022. Assuming that flight is successful, testing will switch to the first Talon-A production model (TA-1), which will likely undertake the first powered flight test in early 2023. Providing flight testing with TA-1 is successful, Stratolaunch  plan to start offering commercial, payload-carrying flights with fully reusable version of the vehicle designated TA-2 and TA-3 before the end of 2023.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: launches and rockets”

Seanchai Library: Stories of Halloween

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library – and this week previews the launch of a very special event.

As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home in Nowhereville, unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Sunday. October 30th, 13:30: The Halloween Tree, Conclusion

On All Hallows Eve, young Pipkin is due to meet his eight friends outside a haunted house on the edge of town. But as he runs through the gathering gloom, Something sweep him away.

Arriving at the house in expectation of meeting Pipkin, his eight friends instead encounter the mystical Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, who informs them that Pipkin has been taken on a journey that could determine if he lives or dies.

Aided by Moundshroud and using the tail of a kite, the eight friends pursue Pipkin through time and space, passing through the past civilisations – Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Celts – witnessing all that has given rise to the day they know as “Halloween”, and the role things like ghosts and the dead play in it.

Then, at length they come to the Halloween Tree itself, laden with jack-o’-lanterns, its branches representing the confluence of all these traditions, legends and tales, drawing them together into itself.

With David Abbott, Faerie Maven-Pralou and Caledonia Skytower at Haunted Hollow in Chestnut Hills.

Monday, October 31st

13:00: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

On All Hallows Eve, how better than to get in the mood than with some classic tales of horror and spookiness from literature?

Perhaps one of the most well-known (and well-loved) stories of dark hauntings is Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which is also one of the earliest examples of American literature of enduring popularity.

While setting his tale in post-revolutionary America in the year 1790, Irving in fact wrote the sorry tale of school teacher Ichabod Crane and his ill-fated encounter with the Headless Horseman in 1819 while visiting England, where his also penned Rip Van Winkle.

Both The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle first appeared in print in his serial The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, which also marked Irving’s first use of that pen name. As with Rip Van Winkle, Irving claims he first heard about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from “Diedrich Knickerbocker”, a fictional “Dutch Historian”.

19:00:  The Wolfen

Gyro Muggins reads Whitley Strieber’s 1978 debut novel.

Two New York Police Department detectives investigate a series of suspicious deaths across New York City. These are revealed to be the work of a race of intelligent beings descended from canids, called the Wolfen.

The novel is told from the point of view of the human characters as well from the Wolfen themselves. The savage killing of two New York City policemen leads two detectives, a man and a woman bound together by a strange, tough passion, to hunt down the wolfen – once called werewolves.

Tuesday, November 1st 12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym

With music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.

Wednesday, November 2nd:

19:00: Seanchai Flicks – Dia de los Muertos

The Seanchai cinema space shares Halloween-themed video adventures.

21:00: All Souls

With Shandon Loring.

Thursday, November 3rd, 19:00: Cursed

Stories from the Anthology edited by Christina Henry. With Shandon Loring.

Bamboo’s Personal Aspect in Second Life

Bamboo Barnes: Personal Aspect

October 28th, 2022 saw the opening of an extensive retrospective exhibition of art by Bamboo Barnes at the Akiniwa region, a part of the Akipelago, operated and managed by Akiko Kinoshi (A Kiko), supported by 3D sculptures by Kerupa Flow. And when I say extensive – I mean just that: Personal Aspect occupies for main gallery buildings, at well as featuring three “outdoor” displays of her work.

Hailing from Japan, Bamboo is, as I’ve frequently noted, one of the most vibrant, evocative, provocative, and emotive artists displaying her work in Second Life. She is also an artist unafraid of plumbing the depths of emotion and introspection – as can be witnessed in some of the pieces in this exhibition.

Bamboo Barnes: Personal Aspect

Bamboo began her artistic journey within Second Life in 2011, initially working with  with avatar screenshots. In 2013, she became enamoured by in-world 3D art installations, a factor which dramatically altered her artistic trajectory, her work shifting to a format that often presents a 3D depth through the two-dimensional form of the artist’s canvas.

With this shift in direction also came an opening of style and structure to her work; there is a focus of emotional self-reflection within many of them, often expressed through the use of vivid colours. She also sought explore the more esoteric through her art – the nature of self; metaphysics; what constitutes reality; the nature of art itself – particularly her own art, and more.

Bamboo Barnes: Personal Aspect

Within this exhibition – which features pieces Bamboo has selected as her “favourites” from her extensive portfolio – we are invited to join Bamboo on her journey through art, a journey that extends from Second Life landscapes and reflections on the world of 3D art within the platform, through to pieces offering insight into her examination of the themes noted above, onwards to her original digital art and experiments with motion (animation) in art to offer further dimensional depth.

Art is never finished, just abandoned.

Bamboo Barnes

Bamboo Barnes: Personal Aspect

One of the many beauties of Bamboo’s work is that she doesn’t not offer her own thoughts on it; rather, she prefers to allow her art to speak directly to those viewing it. As such, I don’t plan to offer much of a personal exposition on this retrospective. What I will say, however, is that this is an exhibition that should be seen – and appreciated with the time it deserves; to hurry through the halls risks missing the depth of expression awaiting discovery.

In  this, Kerupa’s 3D work is the perfect accompaniment to Bamboo’s. Also hailing from Japan, Kerupa shares that heritage, while her art plumbs similar depths of expression and theme.

Kerupa Flow at Personal Aspect

Not to be missed.

SLurl Details

2022 week #43: TPVD meeting summary – with PBR updates

Raion No Su, August 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from Pantera’s video recording of the Third-Party Viewer Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday, Third-Party Viewer Development meeting held on Friday, October 28th, 2022 at 13:00 SLT. My thanks to her for recording it, and it can be found at the end of this article. Times stamps to the video are included where relevant in the following notes. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and their dates and times can be obtained from the SL Public Calendar.

This is a summary of the key topics discussed in the meeting and is not intended to be a full transcript.

Official Viewers Status

[Video: 0:00-2:00]

Available Viewers

The Maintenance (N)omayo Hotfix viewer was promoted to de facto release viewer on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022.

  • This is an urgent fix for transparency “alpha” blending issues. In cases of many layers of textures that included transparencies, this would cause some of the lower layers to not render at all. There are no other functional changes.

The rest of the current crop of official viewers remains as:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version September 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Puppetry project viewer, version,  issued on October 12.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS project viewer, version, October 4.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 6 graphics improvements project viewer, July 21.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Performance Floater project viewer (which includes UI updates and the Lab’s new Auto-FPS feature) has been undergoing a lot of work to reconcile the Lab’s auto-FPS work with that of Firestorm is still expected to appear as a RC viewer Soon.
  • The Windows viewer built using Visual Stood 2022 is now awaiting its debut as a RC viewer, also expected Soon.

Github Changeover and Streamlining the Code Contributions Process

[Video: 2:56-8:08]

Github Work

As previously announced, there is an initiative to improve continuous update integration in the viewer and improve the viewer deployment process.

  • For TPVs and developers, the most visible aspect of this is moving the viewer repositories from BitBucket to Github. This includes the viewer code base and the other public code bases currently in BitBucket (Autobuild, LLCA, etc.).
  • There is still no firm date as to when the actual switch-over to using the new repositories will occur, but the viewer development team is working steadily towards it, and the plan remains to provide plenty of advanced warning to TPVs on when LL plan to cut over to the new repositories before making a clean cut-over.

Code Contributions Process

Alongside of this work, Linden Lab would like to streamline the current open-source code contribution process for the viewer. Under consideration for this are:

  • Simplifying the language within the contributor licence agreement (CLA) from the current version to something very much like this Github preview (top level here) – which has the backing of the Lab’s legal department.
  • Automating the acceptance / signing process, potentially by implementing a new pull process for contributions such that:
    • If the contributor has not signed the CLA, the request will be flagged as requiring a CLA and the contributor will receive a request to review and sign the new CLA using a bot process (possibly this one).
    • Once the CLA has been signed, the flag is cleared, the pull request is accepted, and the contributor’s details are securely recorded as having signed the agreement so there is no further need for them to review / sign the agreement on subsequent pull requests.
    • Note: as this will be a new CLA process with revised wording in the agreement, anyone who has previously signed a CLA with the Lab will also be required to sign via the new process the first time they submit a pull request.
  • The work is being led by Signal Linden, who has requested that anyone who contributes code to LL for the viewer contact him with any questions / concerns they may have with the proposed approach / language in the revised CLA.
  • Documentation on the new approach will be provided once the process has been finalised and is ready to be introduced.

Linkset Data (LSD)

[Video: 8:24-10:50]

  • As noted in my week #43 Simulator User Group (SUG) update, the planned deployment of the Linkset Data capability had to be postponed during a fall at the final QA hurdle.
  • At the time of the TPVD meeting, the deployment – the simhost RC channels – looks set to go ahead in week #44.
  • Additional notes:
    • A JIRA feature request has already been submitted asking for Linkset Data to be viewable through the viewer, and this will likely be added at some point in the future.
    • There will be an article on the significance of this change appearing in this blog following the RC deployment.

PBR: Materials and Reflections

[Video: 11:02-13:50]

  • Please also see previous CCUG meeting summaries for further background on this project.
  • Issues have emerged in messaging between the viewer in which materials are being manipulated and the simulator, and between the simulator and other viewers (so everyone is seeing the same thing), together with colour matching issues. These are currently being looked at by Runitai Linden.
  • The hope is that once these issues have been cleared, the viewer code should be in “pretty good order” for a formal project viewer to be made available for “open alpha testing” by all who wish to test the capability and offer feedback.
    • As with the “closed alpha” versions of the viewer, this will only work on the simulators on Aditi (the Beta grid) which have been updated with the PBR back-end support.
  • During the entire “alpha test” period on Aditi, LL reserves the right to completely wipe the test regions & desynchronise any viewers using them (to force viewer updates as bug are fixed / changes are made), so it is important the regions are only used for testing.
  • Once LL is confident with the back-end support and the stability of the viewer, then the simulator code will be extended to all of Aditi.
  • Once there is high confidence that the asset format will not have to change, the permissions system is being respected and there are no security issues, then deployment on Agni (the Main grid) will commence.

Reflection Probe Mutability

[Video: 15:15-28:00]

As per my week #42 CCUG meeting summary, there are concerns about reflection probes being used incorrectly / causing issues, particularly in the case of objects using their own reflection probes being sold as No Modify.

  • In summary:
    • Because the use of reflection probes is arcane and there is no guarantee those trying to employ them will do so “properly” – that is, creators will start adding them to all of their in-world products because they “look good”.
    • The issue here is, when all such products are put in one setting – such as a room – they effectively “compete” with one another, demanding viewer resources (whereas a single reflection probe within the room would do the same without being resource-heavy).
  • The above isn’t a problem where goods are sold with Modify permissions (allowing the user to make adjustments), but has been seen as potential problematic in the case of No Modify items sold with a reflection probe.
  • Therefore, the suggestion has been made to have reflection probes (and also lighting sources, which suffer a similar problem) mutable via check boxes within the build floater’s Features tab, so that users can disable what they see as unnecessary object-related probes and lighting within their scenes, even for No Modify items.
  • The general feedback during the week #42 CCUG meeting leaned towards this being viewed positively – although no conclusion was drawn; the idea was also looked upon with favour at this meeting.
  • In terms of disabling lighting, Runitai noted that disabling Full Bright would not be a part of making reflection probes / lighting sources mutable, as Full Bright has its own complexities.
    • This lead to a discussion on the pitfalls of Full Bright objects within scenes, breaking the visual fidelity of a setting (in the eyes of the observer) and the need to offer those viewing them a degree of control to eliminate them from their world-view, issues of how to control at the parcel level & the additional problem of dealing with avatar-attached Full Bright objects (although muting the avatar wearing the objects should eliminate this issue). Please refer to the video for specifics.

Removal of Forward Rendering and Possible Project Impact

[Video: 42:49-46:15]

  • As per past CCUG meeting summaries, LL had planned to disable all forward (non-ALM) rendering from the viewer with the release of the PBR Materials viewer.
  • Due to feedback voicing concern of this move, LL now plan:
    • To use November for further viewer rendering optimisation in order to try to ensure deferred (i.e. ALM enabled) rendering offers decent frame rates on as broad a selection of client hardware using SL as can be reasonably accounted.
    • At the end of this period of optimisation, a final decision will be made on whether or not to push ahead with disabling forward rendering or to maintain it.
  • If the decision is in favour of keeping forward rendering, then:
    • This will “almost certainly delay the release of the PBR Materials viewer”.
    • Should forward rendering be maintained, it will not have any PBR support going forward, and the Forward renderer itself would likely be changed so it is more like Forward+, and less like OpenGL Fixed Function.

In Brief

  • [Video 15:33-20:16 – via text] with the promotion of the official Legacy Profiles viewer, LL removed the means for uses to update their Profile pictures via the web feeds. This led to some upset among TPV users as the latter merged and released the code, as no forewarning of the change was given by LL for TPVs to pass on to their users. LL has noted the issue & will attempt to ensure clarification of such changes is given in advance in future.
  • [Video 28:04-37:37] a discussion on the merits (or otherwise) of trying to decrease the number of deltas between LL’s core viewer code and TPVs code bases in order to make merges and general code modification easier, particularly with core functionality.
    • This included a somewhat lengthy discussion on trying to standardise the use of things likes spaces and tabs in code headers, etc. (LL tend towards spaces and will likely continue to do so, at least some TPVs use tabs), and how best to achieve this – a discussion to be carried forward via the open source developers mailing list for discussion.
    • It was also noted that some of the deltas are the result of LL tending towards trying to keep the viewer “simple” to make it easier for newer users, and some TPVs trying to fulfil the needs of more established users by offering functions and capabilities LL have tended to retain as debug settings or turn down (if contributed), which can give rise to additional divergences in code, complicating merges – no definitive decisions were reached, and I refer readers to the video for the full context of the discussions.
  • [Video: 39:59-40:40] LL’s offices will be closed for the Christmas / holiday period from Friday, December 23rd through to start of business on January 2nd, 2023. This means week #52 of 2022 will be designated a No Change period without simulator official viewer releases, and a request the TPVs avoid releases that week. The US Thanksgiving No Change window is still TBA.
  • The last part of the meeting formed a general discussion on rendering, graphics, LL’s commitment to older hardware in common use as far as possible. Please refer to the video for the discussion;  however key points might be:
    • LL are not looking to “raise” the minimum specifications for minimum hardware required to run SL.
    • Rather, that are looking to revise the specifications to indicate what APIs are required in order to run SL (e.g.: Graphics: OpenGL 3.x (minimum); OpenGL 4.x (recommended).
    • The PBR Materials viewer will see OpenGL 2.x deprecated. However, it is estimated that less that 0.5% of Windows systems which use OpenGL 2 (OpenGL 4 has been available for more than a decade), and this is likely to be the result of a failure to update or the fact the hardware is being used by a bot service, rather than in any inability for it to support OpenGL 3 or later.
    • A reminder that Window 8.1 officially reaches end-of-life with Microsoft on January 10th, 2023, as so after that date will be regarded as no longer supported by LL.

Next Meeting

  • Friday, November 25th, 2022.