2019 viewer release summaries week #7

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 17th

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

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • The BugSplat RC viewer updated to version 6.1.0.524348 on February 13th.
  • Project viewers:
    • The Bakes on Mesh project viewer updated to version 6.0.2.524367 on February 15th.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5/V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No Updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

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Elvion: an elven sanctuary in Second Life

Elvion; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrElvion – click any image for full size

The suggestion we visit Elvion, which recently opened its doors to the public, came to us via Miro Collas, another reader who always keeps can eye out for regions in Second Life we might find appealing, and to whom I again offer my thanks for doing so 🙂 .

Occupying a quarter region parcel on a Homestead region, Elvion has been designed by Bo Zano (BoZanoNL) as an elven style sanctuary, rich in atmosphere and with a suggestion of mystic magic; and it is a quite breathtaking place to visit: simple but elegant in its presentation, rich in detail without feeling overcrowded.

Elvion; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrElvion

Aside from a single tower towards the north-east of the parcel, not far from the landing point, the entire location is open to public exploration and enjoyment.

To help with this, a single track runs through the parcel from the south-east corner through to the north-west. A short distance, perhaps, but a good start to explorations. From its starting point was the edge of a small bay, it skirts around the water, passing the entrance to the glade where the private towers resides. Past this, it passes over a little bridge to pass along the edge of another glade to reach a  second bridge pointing back to the tower.

Elvion; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrElvion

This second glade is bordered on its far side by high falls and is home to a large pavilion. It is here that a further sense of fantasy is presented to visitors: a dragon circling slowly over the grass of the glade, sharing the space with gossamer butterflies as rabbits hop around below. Sunlight filters through the trees at the edge of the glade, while lights dangle from branches in strings, adding a further ethereal look to the parcel.

This is far from all there is to Elvion, however, wander across the glade or follow grassy trails through the trees, and you’ll find elk grazing at the edge of the water and just beyond, a rocky arch offering a way to where a further mystical element can be found: a stone carved with glowing runes with unicorns just before it.

Elvion; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrElvion

Another aspect to the parcel is the wildlife; elk graze, heron and egret watch over the waters, birds sing from trees and sit on rocks while swans patrol the waters and a woodpecker keeps himself busy on a tree trunk. These all bring the place to life, and a further depth and attracts the ear and eye.

I’ve often commented that when it comes to designing somewhere special, be it a private home or a place we can share with others, it is all too easy to focus on the space and land capacity offered by an entire region, be it full or Homestead. Elvion, however, is one of the wonderful gems in Second Life that demonstrate this is not the case, and that with care and attention to detail, it is possible to present a special, photogenic place worthy of sharing with others and which is an absolutely delight to visit and spend time within.

Elvion; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrElvion

SLurl Details

  • Elvion (Lateralus, rated: Adult)

Firestorm 6.0.2: Animesh release

On Sunday, February 17th, 2019, Firestorm release version 6.0.2.56680 of their viewer, marking the official release of Animesh support within Firestorm.

This release is essentially a follow-on to the Animesh Early Access release made in December 2018.

Table of Contents

As I covered this in Firestorm 6.0.1: Animesh Early Access, aside from highlighting some of the more user-visible updates in that release, this article provides information on those updates specific to Firestorm 6.0.2.

Please use the table of contents above right to jump to any specific topic of interest. Full details of all changes, and contributor credits can be found in the official release notes.

The Usual Before We Begin

As per my usual preamble:

  • 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 6.0.2.
  • Please refer to the official release notes for a full breakdown and changes, updates and credits associated with this release.

Notable Firestorm 6.0.1 Updates

The following is a short update of some of the more user-visible updates present in the Firestorm 6.0.1 Early Access release, presented for the benefit of users who may not have downloaded that version.It includes both Lab-drived and Firestorm-specific updates. For a more detailed overview on that release, please refer to Firestorm 6.0.1: Animesh Early Access.

Animesh

For a detailed overview, see my Firestorm Animesh notes.

Animesh allows the avatar skeleton to be applied to any suitable rigged mesh object, which can then in turn be animated using suitable scripts and animations contained within the object’s Contents. This opens up a whole range of opportunities for content creators and animators to provide things like independently moveable pets / creatures, and animated scenery features.

While Animesh is likely to primarily be used by content creators, it has been designed so that any suitable rigged mesh can be converted to Animesh directly from the Build / Edit floater . Do be aware, however that simply converting an object will not cause it to start animating – you’ll need suitable animations and a script to run them. Like any other object utilising animation, this is done by adding the animations and scripts via the Edit > Contents tab for your converted object.

The best way to get started with Animesh is to use the available resources. These include:

Firestorm Animesh Additions
  • Derender Animesh: depending on your system, Animesh may impose some performance impacts, particularly where a lot of Animesh is active within a scene. To help mitigate this, Firestorm 6.0.2 includes an option to derender all Animesh in a scene (Developer menu > Rendering > Derender All Animesh). Note that this is only temporary, and derendered Animesh will reappear after a teleport or re-logging.
  • Auto-scaling amortisation of the new Animesh dynamic bounding box calculations. This fix limits the overhead of the new dynamic bounding box calculations to AvatarExtentRefreshMaxPerBatch per AvatarExtentRefreshPeriodBatch frames. The default is 5 avatars per 4 frames, so in a busy region, 25 avatars would take 20 frames to refresh the bounding boxes.
  • Performance tweaks by reducing Matrix operations per render pass.
  • More JointMatrix Palette caching tweaks:
    • The cache has been moved to drawable for more benefit (reduces CPU overhead when rendering shadows and materials by caching the jointmatrixpallette).
    • Sacrifices some potential cache locality but savings seem to outweigh this.

Other Notable 6.0.1 Updates

Additional updates in the Firestorm 6.0.1 pre-release worth noting are:

  • Mesh Uploader (for full details on the mesh uploader changes, please refer my Firestorm Mesh Uploader notes): Beq Janus has overhauled the mesh uploader to improve its use and the information it provides. She has also provided comprehensive documentation on these updates, which are summarised below:
    • Upload cost and physics cost calculation breakdowns – see image below for more.
    • Physics details, the costs of the different types of physics (convex hull, prim).
    • Resizable preview window with higher resolution image and improved shading/lighting.
    • Correct highlighting of degenerate mesh.
    • Improved error handling for physics models (avoid some MAV errors).
    • UV Guide overlay.
    • Note Firestorm 6.0.2 includes further updates to the uploader
  • Experimental Teleport Attachments Fix (Debug Settings > FSExperimentalLostAttachmentsFixKillDelay): a timer delay designed to prevent attachments from being detached temporarily after a teleport has completed.  Works with FSExperimentalLostAttachmentsFix when set to TRUE; set to 3 seconds by default.
  • Left-click None option (Build Menu):  allows transparent prims / mesh to be clicked-through that might otherwise be in the way when trying to touch other objects (via LL).
  • Auto Replace for Note Cards: dynamic replacement of text within note cards when the Auto Replace function for spelling is enabled via Preferences > Chat > Typing > Auto Replace (see the Firestorm wiki on Auto Replace).

Linden Lab Derived Updates in Firestorm 6.0.2

This version brings Firestorm up to parity with Linden Lab release viewers through to release version 6.0.1.522263 (formerly the Spotykach RC viewer, promoted on December 13th, 2019. Major updates in that release include:

  • Voice Server:
    • Second Life: Vivox version 4.9.0002.30313 (Mac and Windows) (Opensim: Vivox version 4.6.0017.22050 (Mac and Windows); Linux: Vivox native voice version 3.2.0002.10426, Firestorm only).
  • Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) Dullahan:
    • Dullahan: 1.1.1080
    • CEF: 3.3325.1750.gaabe4c4.513446
    • Chrome: 65.0.3325.146
    • Page of test URLs for Dullahan. With the Developer Menu enabled (Ctrl Alt Q) press Ctrl-Shift-Z then the Home page button.

Firestorm 6.0.2 Updates

Appearance and Inventory

  • The Avatar menu includes new short cut for the Avatar > Avatar Health > Refresh Attachments option (Alt-Shift-R).
  • Replace Links – Delete links check box

    Inventory: Delete Links: the Replace Links inventory option now includes the ability to delete all links to an object:

    • Open your inventory.
    • Locate the object which has links you wish to delete (or one of the links themselves). Right click on the item / link and select Replace Links.
    • The Replace Links dialogue box opens, recording the object link name, the option to replace it with a new name and a new Delete Links Only check box.
    • Click the Delete Links check box to activate it. The Replace field in the dialogue box is replaced by the warning Links To This Item Will Be Removed.
    • Click Start to delete all links.
  • Experimental Lost Attachments Report (Debug Settings > FSExperimentalLostAttachmentsFixReport): when enabled, this reports attachments that were attempted to get detached during a teleport or region crossing to nearby chat.
  • Inventory should no longer automatically opening to show new items regardless of settings (FIRE-23476).
  • Enabling Disable Random Eye Movements (Preferences > Firestorm > Avatar > Disable Random Eye Movements) will no longer cause the avatar’s hands to splay (FIRE-23457).

Build Updates

  • Revisions and updates to the mesh uploader introduced in Firestorm 6.0.1
    • Allow intentional degenerate placeholders – this fixes the problem of “Physics mesh too dense” false positives (FIRE-23367 and FIRE-23387).
    • Allow override of client side mesh validation as a workaround for edge cases and different grid validation.
      This effectively restores previous server-side MAV error dialogues alongside client-side warnings.
    • Fixed up 3-point lighting (so it has 3 points) that was messed up in a rogue merge.
    • Fixed up black bar in mesh preview when the mesh uploader is used with low resolution screen (FIRE-23340).
    • Increased panel height to avoid warning message overlapping.
Mesh Uploader: new cost calculations breakdown elements by Beq Janus – see Firestorm 6.0.1: Animesh Early Access

UI Updates

  • Texture picker should no longer open the wrong floater when pressing space in preview mode (FIRE-23582).

RLVa Updates

Firestorm is still using RestrainedLove API: RLV v3.2.1 / RLVa v2.2.0.56680.

@setgroup Throttle

With Firestorm 6.0.2 @setgroup is throttled to one (unowned) call every 60 seconds across all objects. An object a @setgroup lock may bypass this throttle once, to allow @setgroup=n,setgroup:[;]=force to succeed regardless of any/other objects’ command history.

This will break all animated group tag cyclers introduced after the @setgtoup feature was added to Firestorm 5.1.7. However, it has been introduced at Linden Lab’s request due to the performance issues multiple frequent @setgroup calls were causing (each call generates a database write). Further, Linden Lab will shortly be introducing a server-side throttle to active group changes and group role changes, and so @setgroup will be broken in any viewer using it.

Please do not blame Firestorm or any other TPV using @setgroup for this change. There is nothing that can be done about it, given the forthcoming server-side throttle. We did attempt to contact all the sellers of these group title animators on the Marketplace many weeks ago to warn them that the feature had to be removed & sadly only one creator removed their listing.

Other RLVa Changes
  • New ‘RLVaSplitRedirectChat’ setting: splits long chat lines when @redirchat restricted.
    • Debug: RLVaSplitRedirectChat) – set to TRUE.
    • Menu bar > RLVa > Split Londe Redirected Chat
  • Fixes for:
    • @setoverlay_alpha causing a diagonal line to appear on the rendered texture.
    • @shownames exceptions should not have their name anonymised in nearby chat.
    • @shownames exceptions not having the correct colour on the minimap (FIRE-23473).

Other Updates of Note

  • FMOD Studio updated to version 1.10.10.
  • KDU updated to version 7.A.6.
  • Firestorm application icon should no longer randomly flash on the Windows 10 taskbar (FIRE-23498)
  • Fix for the camera floater zoom glitch (FIRE-23470).
  • Firestorm should no longer crash when adding a large number of users to a contact set.
  • Firestorm should correctly request microphone permissions on OS X Mojave (FIRE-23405).
  • The context menu in scroll lists (LLScrollListCtrls) can now be opened with the Windows keyboard (FIRE-19933).
  • Skinning and translation updates – see the release notes.

Feedback

Not a major update, unless you skipped the 6.0.1 early access. As with that release, the core element for 6.0.2 is Animesh, together with the revised mesh uploader for content creators.

Performance-wise, I’ve found Firestorm 6.0.2 to be equitable to Firestorm 6.0.1. Other than this, not a lot to report.

Links

Of men, mice, morgues and the wild

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, February 17th,

13:30: Tea Time with The Saint

Adventure came to him not so much because he sought it as because he brazenly expected it. He believed that life was full of adventure, and he went forward in full blaze and surge of that believe…

So reads The Man Who Was Clever, billed as the first graphic novel about Simon Templar, aka The Saint, aka The Robin Hood of Crime, as it describes the man himself.

The creation of Leslie Charteris, Templar first arrived in literature in 1928, his career in print spanning almost six decades, with later books and stories being written in collaboration with other writers. Templar’s career in other media started in 1938 with the release of the motion picture The Saint in New York, and in radio in 1940 – with none other than Vincent Price most famously providing him with a voice from 1947 to 1951, on no fewer than three US radio networks.

However, it is probably as personified by the late Sir Roger Moore on television between 1962 and 1969 that Simon Templar is familiar to most. This series actually added to the library of The Saint’s literature, with a number of original scripts for the series – with Charteris’ approval – becoming short stories using his name as the author.

The Man Who Was Clever first appeared in 1930 as a part of the first collection of short stories about The Saint published under the title Enter The Saint. In it, Templar, the man who robs from the evil and heartless rich, and gives to the wronged and deserving poor, entered the world of graphic novels thanks to a story adaptation by Mark Ellis with David Bryant serving as illustrator. It marks the start of a new series of Tea Time adventures for Seanchai Library, with David Abbot, Corwyn Allen, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower.

18:00 Magicland Storytime

Caledonia shares selected tales from the Classic Fairytale past: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, live on stream at the Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park.

Monday, February 18th 19:00: Hanta Yo: An American Saga

Gyro Muggins reads Ruth Beebe Hill’s extraordinary novel that is either loved or hated – and has certainly proven controversial since its first publication.

Lyrically written, the story is, at its core, a multi-generational saga follows the lives of two Indian families, members of the Mahto band of the Teton Sioux, before and during their first contact with the white man and his “manifest destiny.” Within its sweeping story, Hill attempted to fashion an epic, Native American version of Alex Haley’s Roots.

Allegedly based in part on writings translated from a Lakota Sioux winter account translated by a First Nation Sioux, the story is certainly cohesive and vivid. For those unfamiliar with the lives and rituals of the Plains Indians of North America, it makes for a fascinating and enlightening read.

However, to some in the Lakota, the book is seen as demeaning and misrepresentative – a fact Hill herself finds baffling. Whilst she fully acknowledges the story is a “documented novel” – a fictional story based on actual events – she also notes that she spent some 20 or more years researching Hanta Yo and carrying out hundreds of interviews with representatives of the Sioux, Kiowa, Omaha, Cheyenne, and Navajo tribes, including allowing them access to her manuscript to verify the historical elements from their standpoint.

Event today, in the year of the 40th anniversary since its first publication, Hanta Yo divides opinions. So why not settle down with Gyro to hear the tale first hand?

Tuesday, February 19th 19:00: The Mouse of Amherst

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads Elizabeth Spires’ inspired tale designed to introduce young readers to the works of Emily Dickenson. Regarded as one of America’s most prolific and significant poets of the 19th Century, Dickenson’s work only gained public recognition following her death, as she was very private about her writing.

Mouse of AmherstIn Spires’ tale, a mouse finds s a place to live behind the wainscoting of Emily Dickinson’s bedroom. however, Ms. Dickenson’s constant writing at her desk becomes a source of fascination for her new “lodger”. Venturing forth when it is safe, the mouse – Emmaline – make her way to the writing desk and discovers Emily’s poetry.

Inspired by what she reads, Emmaline writes a poem of her own, leaving it on Emily’s desk. On finding it, Emily replies, and thus a poetic correspondence between the two is established.

Featuring eight of Dickenson’s actual poems, together with seven “replies” from Emmaline, Elizabeth Spires gently draws young readers through a charming story into the power of poetry to express our deepest feelings, and perhaps start them writing poems of their own.

Wednesday, February 20th 19:00: The Jennifer Morgue

Corwyn Allen reads the second volume in the Laundry Files by Charles Stross.

Bob Howard is an IT expert and occasional field agent for the Laundry, the branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service that deals with occult threats. In this second outing, Bob Howard finds himself dragged into the machinations and conspiracies of megalomaniac multi-billionaire Ellis Billington, The Black Chamber and The Laundry…

Dressed in a tuxedo (what else for a globe-trotting British Secret Agent?) and sent to the Caribbean, Bob must infiltrate Billington’s inner circle via his luxurious yacht. His mission? Prevent the Billington from violating a treaty that will bring down the wrath of an ancient underwater race upon humanity’s head.

Offering a wonderful pastiche on both the world of James Bond and a wonderful mimicking of Ian Fleming’s style of writing, Stross produces a novel that also evokes Lovecraftian overtones that is delightfully entertaining to read. In true Bond style, Bob is (reluctantly) partnered with an American agent – in this case a stunningly beautiful woman who also just happens to be a soul-sucking succubus from another dimension. Which, being the case, marks Bob’s mission somewhat differently to those of Bond: not only must he stop the bad guys and come through this at best shaken, he must totally avoid being stirred towards getting the girl…

Thursday, February 21st:

19:00: The Call of the Wild, Part 1

First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece.

Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.

With Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

Contemporary science fiction and fantasy with Finn Zeddmore.

The Missing Whale in Second Life

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whale – click any image for full size

We were recently passed the landmark to The Missing Whale by Shakespeare, and decided to pay it a visit. Designed by Lotus Mastroianni and Fred Hamilton (frecoi), it’s a homestead region with a touch of the wild side about it, complete with an eclectic mix that adds to its depth.

Backing directly onto a lush green sim surround, the region presents a feeling of being somewhere in a rain forest; a place built on the edge of a modest lake that feeds into a river that meanders away westward into the hills, and which is in turn fed by the broad falls that tumble from the hills to the east.

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whale

The landing point is in a small fishing shanty built out over the water. Music drifts through the air, the tunes and quality of which might suggest we’re caught in the 1930s; however, the televisions inside the huts of the shanty suggest a much later period. Perhaps the music is from a record player and innocent enough; but the contrast between the music and the presence of the televisions (and surfboards!) is the first in a series of mixes that make the Missing Whale such an interesting curio awaiting exploration.

Raised board walks links the various huts and buildings of the village, and provide a route up onto dry land in one direction and, by way of a river crossing to the local store in another. The store is stacked with a range of produce, western meats and cheeses, oriental beer – and the opportunity for a game of pool. It appears to sit as the Last Friendly Store where explorers can gather supplies before delving into the interior.

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whale

Beyond the little village, the landscape becomes more rugged  – and wet. Rain falls over a bamboo forest, water flows down over rocks and through pools to a broad channel cutting the land. Ruins lie close to this river, watched over by a tiger, offering a suggestion that perhaps we’re in the rain forests between India and Myanmar. But then, up on the rocky foothills beyond, African elephants bathe in the waters of the large, waterfall-fed pool. Thus we have another anachronism (although admittedly, it might simply be the result of Indian elephants being a little less popular with creators than their African cousins).

Even so, whether deliberate or forced by circumstance, the clash between tiger and elephant adds further mystery to the region. The Asian influences can be found elsewhere as well; there is more than one tiger in the region awaiting discovery, while stone and copper Buddha heads can be found as well. Similarly, the region has a number of oriental / Japanese style structures waiting to be discovered, both down among the trees and up on rocky plateaus, mixing things further.

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whale

There is also an edge of danger to the region – as evidenced by the wreckage of two downed aeroplanes in the hills and a boat driven against the rocks in one of the river channels. This channel holds within it a little beach; although the path to it is not entirely obvious, even if it is signposted when you find it 🙂 . As an alternative, the daring could scramble down from the high rocks holding the beach in their curve.

If I’m totally honest, I’m not sure the selected region windlight shows the setting to its best advantage, and I would suggest playing with options for photography. Also, there are one or two areas where the is a lot going on which can impact viewer performance (depending on your system & settings, obviously). I found the walk through the bamboo forest in the rain pretty heavy going thanks to the rain, the motion of all the bamboo in the breeze and the atmospherics; hence again why playing with windlights can help.

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whale

But, this shouldn’t deflect you from a visit; the Missing Whale makes for an attractive visit.

SLurl Details

2019 SL User Groups 7/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Petit Lac Des Cygne; North Providence, January 2019, on Flickr
North Providenceblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, February 15th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps are provided to the major topics of discussion, which will open the video in a new tab for ease of reference.

SL Viewer

[0:00-1:18 and 3:54-4:15]

The Bakes On Mesh project viewer updated to version 6.0.2.524367 on Friday, February 15th. The rest of the current viewer pipelines remain as per earlier in the week:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.524348, February 13. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, January 23.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

It is hoped that one of the current RC viewers will gain promotion to de facto release status, although there is one further issue in the Love Me Render viewer to be seen to. Also, the EEP viewer could see promotion to RC status in the very near future.

Viewer-Related Web Changes

Release Notes

[16:35-18:20] The Lab will be introducing a new system for release notes. In short:

  • It will use a new website for publishing release notes, and not the currently SL wiki pages.
  • Those release notes currently on the wiki will remain there for archival purposes.
  • Once visible, any issues should be reported via Jira.

User Profiles – Viewer and Web

[18:23-24:35] The current user profiles seen in the viewer, on the web, via various feeds, etc., are all currently powered by a single application. There is an upcoming system upgrade in the pipeline that might result in some breakage within this app. The Lab will therefore be moving viewer profiles back to using floater-style user profiles, as is seen with the like of Firestorm.

Upcoming changes will impact the current means of providing profile information. In particular, this means the official viewer will, in the future cease using the web format for displaying profile information (l) and will revert to a more “legacy” style, as seen in various TPVs (like Firestorm, shown r).

It is not currently clear what will happen to the current web profiles and feeds. It is hoped these will be able to continue to work, but the Lab is also contemplating a “worst-case” scenario that they may be retained for historical purposes (so snapshots uploaded to feeds are preserved and remain viewable, for example), but will no longer work as they do now – but this is not what the Lab is hoping to achieve.

This will not be an immediate change, as there may be issues along the way the Lab need to work through.

Weekend Issues

[5:27-6:31] The weekend of February 9th /10th saw some significant issues with Second Life, and extended periods of unscheduled maintenance. The problems that contributed to the issues are still being investigated, ut the Lab is close to understanding exactly what went wrong, and how to respond should a similar issue occur.

As an aside, the weekend issues result in inventory problem that caused some uses to see the “cannot remove protected categories” error. If you are still seeing this message, and have not already done so, file a support ticket.

In Brief

  • [1:20-1:46] Visual Studio 2017 Build Process Update: work on this is progressing well, but will like pause in the coming week, due to the project lead being on vacation.
  • [2:09-2:40] EPP: As per my SUG meeting and CCUG meeting notes, the simulator EEP code is now on BlueSteel and LeTigre. This will not get a further promotion in week #8, as there is a fix for another issue the Lab wants to see get wider exposure on the grid.
  • [6:50-10:18] Avatar attachment issues: there have been reports of attachments belonging to other avatars randomly appearing to be attached to your screen when logging-in to / teleporting to busy regions. The underlying problem appears to be a race condition in which the object data for the attachment is received by the viewer ahead of the avatar / attachment point data (and should correct when the latter is received).
    • In the meeting, the issue is specifically reported as occurring with “jellydolled” avatars, but this appears to be purely coincidental.
  • [10:39-11:28] New EEP Assets causing log-in freezes: a default set of new EEP object types were added to the asset library recently for use with the EEP viewer. However, if pulled into a non-EEP viewer, they can cause log-in freezes, as the viewer repeatedly generates an error message for each individual asset it encounters in loading inventory, rather than simply throwing a single message of the asset type, and simply ignoring the rest of the individual assets. There is a fix for this, but it has yet to reach the current release viewer code base.
  • [11:37-14:10] Landmark assets getting fetched twice at log-in: this appears to be a new(ish) issue. Although landmark assets only appear once in inventory, the viewer appears to be fetching them twice; once around mid-way through the log-in process, and then again at the end. The cause is unknown at present, but it has been noted by the Lab.
    • An intermediate workaround if your logins are being delayed unduly is to delete you landmarks.
    • This can might cause the degraded performance message (see below).
  • [13:07-15:33] Degraded performance message: “Linden Lab has detected degraded performance on your connection”, with a suggestion you relog, is a message users might receive when the viewer is failing to acknowledge enough of the UDP messages exchanged with the simulator.
    • This can be the result of your router being overloaded by whatever else it might be doing, so responses from the viewer fail to reach the simulator.
    • It might also be the result of issues being experienced in the simulator.
    • While a lot of asset-related UDP messaging has been removed from simulator / viewer communications, there is still much that does require / well suited to UDP, particularly where information is changing, and the viewer needs the latest update, not a re-send of a now outdated updated (e.g. object updates), as would be the case using something like TCP, which attempts to re-send the data it has, rather than any new data.
    • See also BUG-225544.
  • BUG-226352 requests allowing users to define more than a single resolution when uploading a texture

    [30:21-31:37] In-Viewer Animation Creation: This is a project based on contributions from NiranV Dean (Black Dragon viewer). Vir and Nat Linden had been working on elements of the project, but are both also busy with other viewer-related projects (e.g. Animesh follow-on investigations for Vir, working on the VS 2017 update for Nat). Resources are also being swallowed by the under-the-hood work required for the transition to the cloud, which is also impacting assorted projects.

  • [32:18-32:35] Texture resampling & mipmap availability: this has been the subject of extensive blog and forum discussions – see my week #7 CCUG summary) One outcome of this is Beq Janus has filed a feature request so users can define more than a single resolution when uploading a texture (see the dummy uploader floater design, right). The hope is this might encourage more people to make better choices about texture resolution use (very high resolutions aren’t always required, depending on how / where they are used, but can result in unnecessary texture memory use if unwisely employed).
  • [32:39-32:50] Asset UDP messaging deprecation: Aura Linden is now engaged in this work. This will include removal of the GrantUserRights message (found in LL PropertiesProcessor::sendfriendrights() ), which has been completely disconnected in the viewer since 2.0 days.TPVs are asked to check their code to confirm removal of the message path will not cause them problems.
  • [34:37-35:19] Does SL use multi-threading: yes, in parts of the viewer and the simulator code, but not as extensively as the Lab would like.