2023 SL SUG meetings week #3 summary

Aoi-ike, November 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 17th, 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 17th 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were restarted with no deployment, leaving them on simulator version 576542.
  • On Wednesday, January 18th, 2023: the RC simhosts should receive two new simulator updates:
    • 577628 – (Le Tigre RC Channel) an update for HTTP_CUSTOM_HEADER usage in llHTTPRequest(). Previously, a maximum of 8 custom headers were allowed, and each header had a hardcoded limit of 253 bytes. With this update, both of these limits have been removed; the only limitation is that the total custom HTTP header size must be under 4096 bytes.
      • The cryptographic signing utilities – potentially llHMAC (per BUG-233005) and llSignRSA and llVerifyRSA (per BUG-233009) had to be delayed due to “last minute snag” requiring a further look at the functions.
    • 577595 – (Bluesteel and Magnum RC channels) contains  stability improvements, fixes a few miscellaneous bug. It also fixes the bug 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:

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers on January 17th, 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 (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577418, January 4, 2023.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577251, January 4, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577486, January 11, 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

  • As well as the crypto signing noted above, there are a couple of new functions coming down the pipe dealing with cryptographic hashing which are described as being useful for things like JWT or other HTTP auth schemes:
    • String llSignRSA(string privateKey, string msg, string digest);
    • Integer llVerifyRSA(string publicKey, string msg, string signature, string digest).
  • It has been suggested that the server-side of Pathfinding might be in line for a re-visit, although no time frame for when this might be or what it might comprise has been determined as yet.
  • It is reported that llRequestAgentData(id,DATA_NAME); is failing with increased frequency (the issue was first reported in BUG-231884), with other request functions also reported as having issues (e.g. llRequestSimulatorData incorrectly reporting a region’s online status until the region is restarted). It’s not clear at this point in time what is causing these problems, but server-side caching errors might be the cause of some.
  • A request has (again) been made for the servers to have valid SSL certificates. A Jira has been filed on this, and the engineering team are going to try to get it moved forward with TPTB.
  • BUG-227303 “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status”, is now described a “high on the list” of things to be addressed.
  • BUG-10442 “llGetHTTPHeader does not accept custom headers” has been raised as something to be addressed given the upcoming release of Simulator RC 577628.
  • BUG-233107 “Objects failing to render is happening more frequently of late” continues to be an issue, an might be occurring more frequently for some, and its priority has been raised.
  • BUG-233140 “LSL Feature Request: PSYS_PART_TEXTURE_ANIM” a feature request relating to animated particles has been raised and accepted. Whilst seen as a 2nice to have”, and something that might spark renewed interest at poking at the particle system (viewer performance permitting) – it generated interest and discussion at the meeting.

Firestorm 6.6.8: Profiles, Local Mesh and more

On Monday January 16th, 2023 (PDT), the Firestorm team released version 6.6.8 of their viewer.

This is another release which might be described as more a maintenance update, intended to keep Firestorm in step with the current official viewer code base, together with  focus on bug fixes more than new features.

However, that said, there are some significant updates to be found in this release, both from Linden Lab (as with the incorporation of Legacy Profiles) and also from the Firestorm Team (notably the Mesh Preview Upload by Beq  Janus0.

So, without further ado, lets get into things and see what’s what. And please note that as per all my articles on viewer updates and releases, this is not a full blow-by-blow breakdown of absolutely everything in the release; rather, it is intended to highlight the more significant updates and fixes people are liable to find useful, and offer some general notes .

Table of Contents

 

For a complete breakdown of changes, please see the official release notes for Firestorm 6.6.8.

Installation

  • There is no need to perform a clean install with this release if you do not wish to.
  • Do, however, make sure you back-up all your settings safely so you can restore them after installing 6.6.8.

Linden Lab Updates

Firestorm 6.6.8.68380 is fully merged up to the  Linden 6.6.7 code-base, plus some cherry-picked items from upstream, per the notes below.

Hotfix Releases

  • MFA / ToS Hotfix, viewer version 6.6.7.576223, November 2022 – ensures the viewer correctly required a double-entry of MFA tokens on launching the viewer and on accepting a Terms of Service update.
  • Modal Hot Fix, viewer version 6.6.4.575022, September 2022 – correcting a crasher within the viewer code.

Maintenance Nomayo Viewer Updates

Viewer version 6.6.5.575749, October 2022.

  • New Mini-Map options: Right click Mini-Map → North at top, Camera at top.
  • Hovering over the Mini Map now shows ownership information for the given parcel.
  • Fixed the right click freeze – BUG-232466FIRE-31927.
  • Fixed Texture position changes while using a HUD only updates after zooming out, BUG-232364.
  • Landmarks should now work more like other assets for cut/copy actions.
  • Animation uploads have joint name fixes.
  • Improved media playback responsiveness.
  • Crash fixes.

Nomayo Hotfix

Viewer version 6.6.6.575990, October 2022.

  • Fix for a transparency “alpha” blending issues in the above viewer release. In cases of many layers of textures that included transparencies, this would cause some of the lower layers to not render at all.

Maintenance Izzara Viewer Updates

Viewer version 6.6.4.574885, September 2022.

  • Improved reporting of spam and phishing attempts from the Group Chat and IM window with the addition of Report Abuse right-click option
  • Improved land sale option: when selling land, Sell land to “specific person” will show your own name in the “Near Me” list in the people picker – BUG-231954.
  • Ability to restrict media on a prim to this parcel via World → Parcel Details → Sound → Obscure MOAP – BUG-10416.
  • Media on a Prim fixes: media will no longer loop when it should not; audio for media no longer plays when the object is edited.
  • Fixed the Search floater opening without appropriate search results after performing a search from the NavBar
  • Fixed the “360 snapshot” floater not being refreshed after second clicking on the “World” → “360 snapshot” menu item.

Legacy Profiles

In 2022, Linden Lab made the formal transition back to present avatar profiles through an integrated floater within the viewer with the promotion of viewer version 6.6.3.574158 was promoted to de facto release status in August of that year (although the web-based version of profiles can still be accessed – with reduced functionality – via my.secondlife.com).

With Firestorm 6.6.8, Firestorm incorporates the Lab’s Legacy Profiles code into their existing Profiles floater, with some changes to the latter as noted below.

Firestorm Profiles floater: as it was (l) and as it is with Firestorm 6.6.8 (onwards) (r)
  1. These tabs / options / buttons have been renamed, but the functions remain the same, unless noted below. Note that Interests has been removed.
  2. The Web tab is renamed Feed and displays the user’s Second Life Feed (under my.secondlife.com).
  3. 2nd Life and 1st Life tab images:
    • The 2nd Life Profile picture has a revised aspect ratio.
    • Within your own profile: clicking the image swatch in either will open a texture picker, allowing you to select an image for either.
    • Within your own 1st Life tab are three buttons:
      • Upload Photo – allows you to upload an image from your computer to the 1st Life Tab to preview it (image must still be uploaded to inventory and applied, if it is to be saved & used).
      • Change Photo – opens a texture picker, allowing you to select an image from inventory to add to your 1st Life tab.
      • Remove Photo – removes any displayed image from the swatch.
  4. Display Name / Multi-option button:
    • When viewing your own Profile, the tool button to open the Display Name edit fields is opened.
    • When viewing the Profile of a Friend, displays a pop-up with the following check-box options:
      • See when I’m online.
      • Find me on the world map.
      • Edit, delete or take my objects.
      • Note that active options will appear in white on the displayed profile, and inactive will appear greyed out, for eas of reference.
    • When viewing the Profile on a non-Friend, this area is blank.
  5. Unknown: a new status option (alongside Online and Offline), displayed when the person concerned is not someone you have friended, and who has their viewer set to only show their on-line status to friends.
    • In addition, and to reduce drama, if a Friend is hiding their status, they will show as Offline, rather than the status in their Profile being blank.

Firestorm Updates and Improvements

Github Actions

Firestorm 6.6.8 is the first set of releases built through the GitHub Actions infrastructure rather than depending on individual developers. This is a significant shift in emphasis for viewer development – and one mirroring moves being made in the same direction by Linden Lab. Benefits include removal of single-person for feature development and providing a more reliable, repeatable build mechanism.

Building and Scripting – Local Mesh (Beta)

Firestorm 6.6.8 introduces Local Mesh as a beta implementation. Developed by Beq Janus, Local Mesh is intended to allow users able to upload mesh to preview their objects in-world (using a “surrogate” object, which can be as simple as a cube prim), and also see edits made to the .DAE file in real time.

  • The primary aim of this capability is to allow creators check their creations without having to go through the unpredictability of access to Aditi (the Beta grid) for such checks / tests, as well as presenting that real-time viewing of edits to the .DAE file.
  • The capability works for unrigged mesh, worn rigged mesh and Animesh, and once rendered, the object can have textures and materials applied for testing, as required.

Local Mesh follows the same basic principles as Local Textures, notably:

  • Meshes are only visible to you through the viewer instance used to apply them.
  • Meshes only remain visible to you during the current log-in session. A relog will both clear the list of Local Mesh Assets and reduce the “surrogate” object for any local mesh you have “rezzed” in-world to a basic shape.

Local Mesh is accessed via the Build menu: Build → Local Mesh, which in turn opens a new floater, comprising 3 tabs.

The Local Mesh floater. Credit: Beq Janus
Local Mesh Assets Tab

Displays the current list of .DAE files obtained from your computer which are available for potential rendering in-world to view. Objects are listed in the middle section of the tab, together with their assigned LODs. When more that one file is listed, the highlighted file name is the one that will be acted upon.

This tab includes the following buttons:

  • Add: opens a file picker and allows you to navigate to and select a .DAE file from your computer. When the file is selected and Open in the picker is clicked, the file is added to the list of available .DAE files.
  • Remove: will remove the highlighted .DAE file from the Local Mesh Assets list and should clears any corresponding in-world object.
  • Reload: Re-loads the selected file in the Local Mesh list and reapplies it to the Mesh object inworld so use this to applies the most recent edits to your .DAE file to your in-world object.
  • Clear: Reverts a selected Local Mesh object inworld to it’s normal state (so, if a cube prim was used, the object will revert to a cube).
  •  Apply: if you have a suitable mesh in-world yo can select it and click this button to apply the properties of the file highlighted in Local Mesh Assets to it.
  • Rez Selected: will prompt you to rez a primitive in-world (via the Build floater, and then applies the properties of the file highlighted in Local Mesh Assets to the rezzed prim.
The Local Mesh workflow
Log Tab
  • Logging for Local Mesh
  • If the status of your Local Mesh file in the Local Mesh Assets list shows “Error” instead of “Active”, check the log for the cause of the error.
Settings Tab
  • Assume scale is in metres:- Ignore the cm scale units used by tools such as Maya,
  • LOD Suffixes: Choose a standard or manually edit
    • SL Standard – Lowest is LOD0, High has no suffix
    • Game Engine Standard – Unity.UES etc, Lowest is LOD3, High is LOD0
    • LOD names – English LOD names, Lowest is LOWEST, High is HIGH
Converting a Local Mesh to a Local Animesh
  • Right-click → Edit the required local mesh (in-world or worn).
  • Add your animations and control scripts to the object.
  • Select the Features tab in the Build floater and check the Animated Mesh option.
Additional Information

For a complete overview of Local Mesh functionality, please refer to Announcing Local Mesh, by Beq Janus, principal developer of the capability, and which can be found on her blog – which is a must-read for anyone interested in content creation and the technicalities of Second Life. In addition, the ? button of the Local Mesh floater will display web-based Help pages based on the floater tab in which the ? button is clicked.

Building and Scripting – General Updates

  • Build Floater: 
    • Face selection cycle now starts at face 1 instead of face 0 – FIRE-32282.
    • Shift+clicking the link/faces button now includes the next face/link into the selection (Build → Select Elements → “Include next part or face” / “Include previous part or face”) – BUG-232757.
  • Physics updates:
    • Mesh physics options in mesh upload preview floater
    • The bounding box now sets a physics cube around the entire mesh even if it is multi part in the mesh uplaoder.
    • eshes with a hull based (non triangle) user physics will not be convexified when scaled to below 0.5m – BUG-232869 and FIRE-32359.
  • Animation upload preview on own avatar should no longer fail when the Firestorm AO is enabled – FIRE-32315.

Continue reading “Firestorm 6.6.8: Profiles, Local Mesh and more”