2023 SL SUG meetings week #5 summary

Oshu, November 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, January 31st 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were updated with simulator release 577734, comprising both the HTTP custom headers update described above andthe updates previously deployed to BlueSteel and Le Tigre in week #3), comprising: stability improvements, fixes for a number of bugs, including the one preventing 30-second sound loops from being played back, and introduces new functions to the LSL API to allow for sound playback across any prim in a linkset. The new LSL functions include:
  • On Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, the RC channels should be updated with simulator release 577942. This version adds additional LSL functions for generating RSA and HMAC hashes, and another for replacing a substring of a string, as well as augmenting some existing functions with new parameters.

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers on January 24th, 2023:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12, 2022 – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself).
    • Maintenance R RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577678, January 30.
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577581, January 18, 2023.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577251, January 4, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577780, January 25, 2023 – this viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8, 2022.

In Brief

  • Removing the LSO bytecode compiler (non-Mono) / forcing all compilers to use Mono:
    • While this would make it easier for LL to improve the language, after hearing back that LSO was still heavily used (and the uses that it’s put too), nothing is likely to be changed until after BUG-233084 has been implemented.
    • Even then, LSO may not be entirely turned off.
  • The above sparked a discussion on BUG-227303 “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status”, float points,  script compiling, and more. Please refer to the video for more.
  • Rider Linden is looking into trying to fix BUG-233015 “Objects will fail to rez or attach if LinkSetData has any key/value containing certain characters”, which is seen as an encoding dependency issue.
    • This could lead to a breakage in LSD (Linkset Data) during any fix deployment, as servers using the older formatting will not be able to read the newer formatting.
    • A possible way to avoid this might be update decoding first, and deploy that, then fix the encoding issue.

Seanchai Library: Jan 29th – Feb 3rd, 2023 in Second Life

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.

Monday, January 30th, 19:00: Lewis Padgett’s Open Secret

Lewis Padgett was the joint pseudonym of science fiction writing husband and wife Henry Kuttner and Catherine Lucille Moore (wrote wrote as C. L. Moore).

The name was formed by combining their mother’s maiden names, and was one of several pseudonyms the couple used (along with Lawrence O’Donnell and C. H. Liddell) – although they also worked together using their own names.  Together, they are regarded as influential in bringing about the Golden Age of Science Fiction when they wrote for Astounding Science during the second World War. They were said to be so close that one would be able to continue writing where the other one left off.

As Lewis Padgett, the couple were known for many humorous science fiction short stories published in the 1940s and 1950s. Open Secret was a short story written by the pair in 1943,

With Gyro Muggins.

Tuesday, January 31st, 19:00: Cold Clay

The second book in the Shady Hollow series, in which some long-buried secrets come to light, throwing suspicion on a beloved local denizen.

It’s autumn in Shady Hollow, and residents are looking forward to harvest feasts. But then a rabbit discovers a grisly crop: the bones of a moose.

Soon, the owner of Joe’s Mug is dragged out of the coffeeshop and questioned by the police about the night his wife walked out of his life–and Shady Hollow–forever. It seems like an open-and-shut case, but dogged reporter Vera Vixen doesn’t believe gentle Joe is a killer. She’ll do anything to prove his innocence. . .even if it means digging into secrets her neighbours would rather leave buried.

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads the second book in the Shady Hollow series by Juneau Black, in which some long-buried secrets come to light, throwing suspicion on a beloved local denizen.

Wednesday, February 1st, 19:00: Seanchai Flicks

Films, popcorn and fun at the Seanchai cinema space.

Thursday, February 2nd, 19:00: Selections from The Crystal Cave

Born into a time shortly after the Romans have departed Britain, now once again divided into a series of kingdoms, Myrddin Emrys, also known as Merlin, is the illegitimate son of a Welsh princess, who refuses to name his father. Small for his age and often abused or neglected, Merlin occasionally has clairvoyant visions which, together with his unknown parentage cause him to be referred to as “the son of a devil” and “bastard child”.

After being taught to harness his abilities by the hermit, Galapas, Merlin eventually find his way to Brittany, who teaches him to use his psychic powers as well as his earthly gifts, Merlin eventually finds his way to Brittany and the court of Ambrosius Aurelianus, where he joins the war leader’s plans to invade Britain and defeat Vortigern and his Saxon allies, and unify the nation as its High King.

Discovering he is Ambrosius’s son, Merlin returns to Britain and is captured by Vortigern, who believes the only way his new fortress can remain standing is through the sacrifice of the “child with no father” – Merlin. The latter, however, discerns the real reason the walls of Vortigern’s fortress keep collapsing and plays into the king’s superstitious nature, and commences his life as a king’s advisor, even whilst seeking to support Ambrosius in his goal. Thus begins the adventures of a young boy who will eventually become the advisor to Britain’s Once And Future King.

2023 SL viewer release summaries week #4

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

Updates from the week through to Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577968, January 30, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577780, January 25, 2023 – reflection probes update; linear colour space; improved VRAM utilisations. This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer updated to Maintained versions: 1.30.0.36 (Stable), 1.30.1.19 (Experimental) January 29, 2023 – release notes.
  • Genesis Viewer updated to version 1.3.622 January 29, 2023 – release notes.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

A touch of sci-fi at WQNC in Second Life

WQNC, January 2023 – click any image for full size

Update: well, that went well. As noted by Gino Wanderer Elf in the comments, it appears that as of Sunday, January 29th, WQNC is no more, and the region has reverted to Dream Seeker Estates. As a result, SLurls have been removed from this article.

It was back to  WQNC – formerly Wo Qui Non Coin -, the region held and generally designed by Maasya and which I first visited a year ago, and then again at the end of 2022. The reason for so recent a return is that the design for the region is updated every two months, and the first iteration for 2023 is available for people to enjoy.

Every iteration of the region brings something new and different, and for the start of 2023 Massya presents an engaging take on the world of science fiction / fantasy with a little hint of Roswell thrown into for good measure. For purposes of my own – and as teleports are open in the region – I’ve opted to give an arrival point for visitors going there from this post which stands apart from the region’s landing point.

WQNC, January 2023 – “Are these the droids you’re looking for?”

Instead, my choice of landing point sits on the black surface of a road stretching across a desert landscape, high mesas and mountains standing around it like sentinels. An advertising hoarding for the SL equivalent of a popular lemon-lime soft drink. However, this is not what holds the attention for those arriving here.

That belongs to the scene spread across the landscape: a town-that-is-not-a-town; a place with a high-rise of stacked cargo containers and towers pointing into the sky topped by parabolic and microwave dishes and large wind turbines provide power.

WQNC, January 2023

And that’s just the start of things. This is a place watched over not only be the surrounding peaks, but also giant steel balls cut to form mask-like faces and marked by aged roads with equally aged road vehicles close by, huge and heavy power cables, hover cars and hover bikes.

This is a place of strange residences and and businesses; a place where gigantic vents sitting above the sand have been turned into homes, where a bric-a-brac store sits sells R2 units alongside of Nintendo games consoles, old PCs and television sets, somewhat lewd arcade games and more.

WQNC, January 2023

Two crashed flying saucers sit within the “town’s” boundaries, one of them possibly responsible for downing one of two warp gates that once faced one another along the length of the dust-saddled main road. Now toppled and smashed into the road’s surface, the broken gate appears to retain some power running through it, but it leaves its twin at the other end of the road as the only remaining fully powered gate for suitable vehicles to use.

Exactly what this place may be and where it might exist is up to your imagination. Answers might be found at the bar sitting under the tallest of the towers within the setting. Or perhaps you’ll only find cool alien or oriental beverage awaiting you, served by the bar’s interesting mix of staff.

WQNC, January 2023

“Interesting” is probably the best term to define the fusion of ideas and influences apparent here. As well as elements from Star Wars, the Roswell-like aliens, and the oriental touches, visitors might again a hint of Ernest Cline in the shipping containers in their “high rise” and an echo of Ghostbusters in the presence of Mr. Stay-Puft, and so on. All of which made careful eyeballing of the small details within the region worthwhile.

 

WQNC, January 2023

The NO Cottage Bizar in Second Life

The NO Cottage Bizar installed at Isla Myvatn

Courtesy of a visit to Clifton Howlett’s Highland Retreat (see: A Highland Retreat on Second Life), I became acquainted with an absolutely engaging (for me) building design by Marcthur Goosson, which immediately set my little mind churning as to the possibilities lying within it for a little kitbashing.

The build in question carries the rather awkward name of NO Cottage Bizar, which really doesn’t do the building justice – although the tag to the name does help illuminate things: medieval restored ruin with modern materials. In short this is a structure that evokes what may have started as a medieval castle or fortified house, which as the years passed was extended as the need for fortifications faded prior to being abandoned, only to be rediscovered in more recent times and once again built-out using modern materials to form a unique home.

The original build – it is delivered as a complete 99 LI build, without a rezzing box, and the Copy-Mod version includes a set of shadow maps to help with the production of custom textures. There is also a full permissions version

This sense of history is imbued through the care in which this 99 LI design has been put together, notably with the use of textures and maps. Stand before the building, and it is possible to see the most aged part of the building, with its irregular stonework and masonry to the left, gradually giving way to later elements with their faced and squared stonework and more managed mortar, some of which bricks-up what might have been older parts of the building’s lower level, before returning to an older wall once more, something resembling a curtain wall that might have once enclosed a courtyard.

Within these elements are the “modern” aspects of the building: the courtyard (if that is what it was) has been full enclosed with cement walls and roofed over to turn it into a large room, the roof forming a balcony reached via the stairs of a still-standing tower which may once have opened onto the original wall. Elsewhere, the interior spaces have been built-up with brick and cement walls, new cement beams keyed into them or the original stonework, in places supported by upright beams in order to support new upper floors. These can be accessed either via the old tower stairs or by iron stairways which, with the iron reinforcements visible in places, give the rebuild something of a post-modern industrial look.

Some of the original rooms within the NO Cottage: two on the lower floor, linked by the large wooden doors. Below these are pictures of the two upper floor rooms

All of this provides a total of five rooms – two up and three down; two of the latter linked by imposing wooden doors which perhaps marked the limit of the original keep, and more modern glass doors. Together, these rooms provide living accommodation of a highly individual kind, whilst the care of the design means that if the finish on the internal walls is not to your liking, you can safely replace them; something I’ll come back to in a moment.

“But hang on a minute!” I hear you cry, “didn’t you blither on about kitbashing a new house just a few days ago? And now you’ve got another one?” Well, yes I did, and no, I haven’t. The modified Tromp Loeil Noa Ranch Cottage I recently reviewed / documented is still the main house; but I have a thing for old ruins in the grounds of my homes, as I’ve mentioned in the past, and on seeing the NO Cottage, I was stuck by a) how marvellous it looked, and b) how it it could make an interesting focal point for the island home, not as a house but as … a swimming pool / summer house. And once the idea entered my head, it became and itch I had to scratch.

Top: the original entrance to the NO Cottage and delivered to a purchaser. Bottom: my conversion as a part of installing the swimming pool – an area with sunken jacuzzi and a shower, with the walls re-textured in an off-white and a new partition added for the jacuzzi

As I’ve previously noted when discussing kitbashing, before starting any project, the first step is to ascertain exactly whether or not the end goal can be reasonably achieved. So off I toddled to the Marcthur’s in-world store and play clicky-click on surfaces, checking faces, parts, etc., to satisfy myself what I wanted to do could be done.

Fortunately, Marcthur designs his builds with the intention that they might be modified (he even sells full perm versions of structures like the NO Cottage so that, subject to a license agreement, they can be made a part of another build and sold); as such, I quickly confirmed this build could be modified and so went ahead and picked up the “standard” Copy / Modify / No Transfer version (L$1499).

The upper levels of the NO Cottage as delivered (top) and after my mods. I kept the original walls in one, but retextured the floor and duplicated the supplied fireplace and resized it to fit (this room is still a WIP at the time of writing). Top open-out the pool area, I removed the floor of the second room entirety, and di some minor touch-up / fixing around the iron stairways

I’m not going to bore you with a blow-by-blow account of the transformation; hopefully the images here will explain. Suffice it so say, with the add of a few prims, the removal of a few parts (the bars over some of the windows, the internal doors an upper floor, the replacement of the lower floors (with the aforementioned prims, and some duplication of parts to provide additional detailing + some re-texturing of a room and the addition of some internal lighting, I ended up with something that I think worked out quite well, and which fits with the rest of the garden and which only increase the base build’s LI by 4.

All-in-all the The No Cottage Bizar is a genuinely eye-catching design and well-put-together build, one which makes the L$1,499 price very reasonable. It is evident thought has gone into designing it to be both flexible in use as well as ready-to-use. While the shadow maps are something of a specialised inclusion (the full maps – diffuse, normal and specular – are available with the full permissions version), they do offer the means to provide your own textures for use in the Copy / Modify version, and making the finished look more unique to yourself.

Top: the original “main” rooms of the NO Cottage, and bottom, how things look post pool conversion, complete with the installation of beams to properly support the archway and stairs

More broadly, I hope this piece shows that there are some superb builds available which, with time and imagination, can be made into ideal homes or – with a little application and care for modding, can be made into something personal and unique, be it simply decorating it as a home, to getting ambitious and looking for a way to fit something more unusual – such as a swimming pool!

And, of course, for my part, I now have another unit I might one day convert into a house 🙂 .

The four shots of my lower floor mods put together

Related Links

Erotic Art in Second Life

Heartsong Erotica Galleries
Note: as the title of this piece – and the gallery – should reveal, the art on display at Heartsong Erotica Galleries is of an erotica / adult nature, in places featuring nudity. As such, the images at the gallery and in this article should be treated as NSFW. 

Heartsong Erotica Galleries is a venture new to me, and which I believe has only recently opened. Operated by Luanamae Heartsong, it is located on a sky platform and offers four gallery spaces built around an open square displaying 3D art, all of which is defined by the description four galleries dedicated to elegant and sensual erotic art.

Heartsong Erotica Galleries: Kitten (Joaannna Resident)

Erotica in art is not new, and certainly not exclusive to Second Life; however, it is a subject which can draw looks of distaste among some and / or be considered antithetical to Second Life. Yet while the terms “erotica” and “erotic” are most commonly used to define subject matter intended to be found sexually stimulating, it doesn’t necessarily mean either nudity or sexual acts. Just take John William Godward’s The Old, Old, Story (1903) as an example; both characters within it are fully clothed, but the manner in which the woman teases the man through the simple act of dropping flower petals as she regards him was, for the time at which it was painted, charged with eroticism.

And herein lies another truth; as  Honoré de Balzac once noted: eroticism is dependent not just upon an individual’s sexual morality, but also the culture and time in which an individual resides; as such it is not only – as the hoary old quote about beauty goes – in the eye of the beholder, it is also fluid and changing with time.  And it is this latter point which is ably demonstrated within the collections of images offered at Hertsong Erotica Galleries for the current (as of late January 2023) exhibition.

Heartsong Erotica Galleries: Tatiana Easterwood

Within the four galleries are collections by Dante Helios (Gallery One), Tatiana Easterwood (Gallery Two), Emeline Laks (Gallery Three) and Kitten (Joaannna Resident). (Gallery 4). Each offers a different perspective on erotica in art (although there are some overlaps here and there – notably between the images presented by Tatiana Easterwood and Emeline Laks).

Within Kitten’s pieces (some of which have been previously offered through her 2022 Noir exhibition within the Annex of Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (see: A Kitten’s Noir world in Second Life), there is neither nudity nor overt sexuality. What there is, however, is a subtle shading of sensuality imparted in several ways: the classic noir style within several of the images through their use of greyscale to evoke a cinematic era where eroticism and sensuality were more more obliquely referenced (ibncluding through the use of smoking, something also seen in these images); the suggestions of vulnerability through pose and the use of a veil, etc. Thus, within these pieces is a sense of erotica of times past.

Heartsong Erotica Galleries: Dante Helios

Tatiana and Emeline, by contrast, offer what might be considered “erotica of times present”, many of their pieces offering as they do sensual depictions of sexual acts between adult avatars (not that art depicting sexual acts ins confined to modern times – by which I loosely mean post WW II onwards; rather that the public exhibiting of art depicting sexual acts is more broadly tolerated in the west than had been the case during the early 20th century and before).

Within Gallery One, Dante presents images which (for the most part) might be said to reflect another lasting element of erotica: the fetish of clothing and footwear, particularly when applied to the female form. However, it is also perhaps the more discomforting of the four exhibitions, given the manner in which some of the pieces in the left and centre sections of the gallery might be seen as leaning into themes of puberty and sexuality; in this, I admit to finding these latter images personally disquieting.

Heartsong Erotica Galleries: Emeline Laks

Overall, with the exhibits rounded-out by 3D pieces produced by Pit Banx and Phenix Rexen within the square linking the four galleries, Heartsong Erotica Galleries is an interesting new venture for the display of art of a more erotic nature within Second Life.

SLurl Details