2022 SUG meetings week #4: Restart issues +Andrew Linden returns

Hanging Gardens of Babylon, January 2022 – blog post

The following summary notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting; where there is something to report, the video should be referred to should full details of the meeting need to be reviewed.

Server Deployments – Main SLS Channel Restart Issue

Despite being updated in week #3 with simulator version – 567269  – and with no RC update available for deployment, the SLS Main channel simhosts went through a restart on Tuesday, January 25th – and ran into a problem, with many regions remaining down for far longer than expected.

  • No detailed explanation for the issue has been given as yet other than, “one of our internal systems got a bit confused about what was started and what needed to be started.”
  • However, the issue was not in any way related to the simulator version itself, so no danger of the improvements it contains being rolled back.
  • Wulf Linden noted that the situation has provided LL with a lot of data that will hopefully allow them to “smooth out the pavement for the future.”

At the time of writing, any deployment to the RC channels for Wednesday, January, 26th was still TBA. Check the Second Life Server section of the forums for any possible announcement.

Available Viewers

This list reflects those official viewers available.

  • Release viewer: version version 6.5.2.567427 – Mac Voice hotfix viewer, January 13 – 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 RC viewer, version  6.5.3.567451 issued on January 20th, combining the Jenever and Koaliang Maintenance viewers.
    • The Tracy Integration RC viewer version 6.4.23.563771 (dated Friday, November 5) issued Tuesday, November 9.
  • Project viewers:
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.5.2.566858, dated January 5, issued after January 10.
    • Performance Improvements project viewer version 6.5.2.566967, dated December 17.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

The Return of Andrew (Leviathan) Linden

The first person Philip Rosedale hired when establishing Linden Research (aka Linden Lab) was one Andrew Meadows. As Andrew Linden, he was pretty much the lead engineer for the server side of things, hosting what was the Tuesday Server and Scripting Meeting, (alongside Simon Linden) which later became the Simulator User Group Meeting. Andrew departed Linden Lab at the end of 2013 to join Rosedale at his (then) new venture, High Fidelity Inc.

Following news that High Fidelity had invested in Linden Lab (in what is increasingly looking like an informal merger) and that around seven High Fidelity staff were moving to work on Second Life, I pondered whether Andrew might be among them – and even publicly mused if indeed he would be in a later post on that subject.

Well, turns out he has, but under a new Linden name, that of Leviathan Linden. Appearing at the Simulator User Group Meeting on Tuesday, January 25th as Leviathan, Andrew has some trying to guess (good naturedly) at the reason for the name change – including having forgotten his old password! However, the explanation was simple, as he indicated whilst also noting the areas he’ll initially be working on.

Leviathan was the name I wish I had picked years ago. It seemed like a good pick for a new beginning. I’ll be working on simulator stuff. I’m getting back on my feet by fixing bugs and implementing small features.

Leviathan Linden (formerly known as Andrew Linden)

His appearance at the SUG meeting was positively received, as was the news he’ll once again be working on simulator-related projects. Which just leaves me room to say, “welcome back, Leviathan!”

In Brief

  • Following the reports of teleport disconnects / general region crossing issues, a further Jira has been filed noting recent events – BUG-231683 – in keeping with the request made at the last meeting, and this is now being investigated by members of the QA team.
    • Monty additionally noted other reports on crossings have also been filed and he is digging through them and the associated server-side logs.
  • User testing around BUG-231582 ” [Simplified Cache] Newly rezzed objects are invisible after relog under certain circumstances” suggests the issue is not cache related, but might be related to the Interest List, with it being noted the problem may have surfaced around the time back-end changes were made to the Interest List in preparation for the 360-degree viewer.
  • A question was asked on whether the tools update would impact anything with Key Frame Motion (KFM) behaviour on animations, with it being noted – anecdotally at this point in time – that the moving_end event seems to happen while the animation is still underway. None at the Lab appear to be aware as to why the updated server code should impact animation events, and a bug report has been requested if the issue is found to be reproducible.
  • The latter part of the meeting delving into a discussion involving a future implementation of HTTP/2, updates to libcurl, etc., and issues around them. Again, rather than me mangling things – please refer to the text in the video.

Happy 20th rezday to Second Life’s humble Prim!

20 years of the prim by SarahKB7 Koskinen

It All Starts with a Cube

Those six words used to be one of the tag-lines associated with Second Life. Six words that – long before mesh or even sculpties entered our consciousness – summed up the unique magic of Second Life: the ability to create almost anything you might imagine, just by taking simple geometric shapes and playing with them – shaping, sizing, bringing them together, etc., – to produce something either individually or collectively, right there within a virtual space.

Of course, things like scripts and tools were required to get things to do things or to make the shapes that were needed, but at its heart, SL’s creativity lay within the humble primitive shapes offered to users through the viewer.

I mention this because January 25th, 2022 is officially the 20th anniversary of the first prim ever being rezzed within Second Life (or rather, its precursor: LindenWorld) – something marked by SarahKB7 Koskinen, who has produced a celebratory sculpture (seen at the top of this piece) which can – for the 25th of January 2022, at least, be seen at the Ivory Tower of Primitives sandbox.

Touching the sculpture will present you with a notecard about the prim cube it contains explaining that whilst a reproduction, like the very first primitive rezzed in 2002, it has no listed creator. Why? Because the rezzing of the first primitive predated the database that would be used to record information such as object creator names!

Avi Bar-Zeev

But exactly howdid SL’s primitive originate?

Well, their creator is one Avi Bar-Zeev.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Avi has been a pioneer, architect and advisor in Spatial Computing (AR/VR/MR/XR) for nearly 30 years. He’s worked for some of the biggest corporations including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft (where he pioneered the HoloLens, whilst in the 1990s, he worked for the Disney Corporation, working on what he refers to as “novel VR experiences”, including Aladdin’s Magic Carpet, the Virtual Jungle Cruise and Cyberspace Mountain.

Speaking on the January 25th, Avi describes the arrival of primitives thus:

About 10 years into that [his early work in the eXtended Reality space] I met Philip and we worked together on some things in Second Life. And early on, [Philip] had said, “let’s figure out this prim thing; let’s figure out how to build the world”. An I just so happened to have studied computational geometry in a college, and so I said, “I know how to do that!” and wrote a couple of hundred lines of code to make all the primitives in the world, with various knobs and capabilities to stick them together. So that was my claim to fame back then! 

– Avi Bar-Zeev talking with Philip Rosedale during a Twitter Spaces event, January 25th, 2022

Whether or not Avi had any idea back when he wrote those “couple of hundred” lines of code that they would still be in use 20 years later, I’ve no idea. But it cannot be denied that his code was, throughout the early years of Second Life, one of the mainstay reasons people kept up with their engagement with the platform; the joy of shaping simple shapes and learning how to cut and shape them and then bring them together and then going on to texture and (perhaps) script them to make something you can point to and say, “I did that!”.

Even today within the world of mesh, prims building offers opportunities for in-world collaboration, for fun and / or indulgence that simply cannot be matched by the more solitary world of mesh design, and primitives continue to hold a certain magic with anyone who learns to work with them.

So, happy rezday, primitives, and thank you to Avi Bar-Zeev for enriching our world!

Science Fiction and music 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. 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.

January 24th, 19:00: A World Out of Time

After being cryogenically frozen in the 1970s to await a cure for his (then) incurable cancer, Jaybee Corbell awakes after more than 200 years – to find his own body destroyed and his mind and memories transferred into the “mindwiped” body of a criminal. And that’s is not all that has changed: the Earth is now overseen by an oppressive, totalitarian global government called “The State”, and Corbell’s existence is to be determined by a “checker”; if he is found wanting, he will be discarded.

However, Peerssa, the checker, recommends Corbell as ideal fodder in The State’s attempts to seek out exoplanets suitable for terraforming – whether he wants to join the programme or not. Disgusted by his treatment, Corbell works out a way to take control of his one-person ship on its otherwise one-way mission, and heads toward the galactic core. Entering suspended animation, he is unaware his vessel skims close enough to the super-massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy to experience time dilation.

Emerging from his suspended state, and believing only 150 years have passed, Corbell returns to the solar system to find it again vastly changed: more than three million years have passed, and the Sun has become a bloated red giant, and Earth – well, Earth appears to have been relocated to an orbit around Jupiter, whilst humanity itself had endured extensive changes; and Corbell must face an entirely new set of challenges if he is to survive.

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads the 1976 novel (and originally a short story) by Larry Niven.

Tuesday, January 25th

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym

With music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat

Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks (think about it if you need to!), an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But then he is stripped of his feline throne and sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small green-blue planet that is, as they say, “far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy”, known to its dominant bipedal race as “Earth”.

On that planet, Raj is a young man who had everything: a cool apartment in Brooklyn New York, his three best friends living in the same apartment block and comics and pizza always within easy reach. Then, courtesy of his mother taking a job on the other side of the country, he finds himself exiled to the community of Elba, Oregon.

These two lost souls, one seeking friendship (and, hopefully, pizza and comics) but forced to join a nature camp, the other a cunning, brilliant feline emperor, both exiled and seemingly lost, are destined to meet. And when they do – whether Klawde likes it or not – the emperor cat will find his plans for revenge on those who would oust him from his empire running somewhat secondary to becoming Raj’s new Best Friend as the two of them become bound by a series of new and hilarious adventures.

With Caledonia Skytower.

Wednesday, January 36th: Dark

No reads for this week.

Thursday, December 27th 19:00: Thursday Night Sci-Fi

With Finn Zeddmore.

2022 viewer release summaries week #3

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

Updates from the week ending Sunday, January 23rd, 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: Mac Voice hotfix viewer 6.5.2.567427, dated January 13 – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.5.3.567451, issued on January 20th, combining the Jenever and Koaliang Maintenance viewers.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

A trip to France in Second Life

Bordeaux, France, January 2022 – click any image for full size
On this grid I actualize the worlds I imagine, conjure my wildest daydreams, and walk a path unknown. I am here to create a fantasy for others to enjoy. Landscaping is my medium, my love language, and my story.

– TONAL (Avalyn Aviator)

I recently had cause to visit two adjoining Full regions design by TONAL which offer a rich mix of environments combined by what is clearly a love of France: its architecture, its history and its sweeping countryside and landscape.

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

Within Bordeaux, France, TONAL offers visitors a cityscape worthy of historic Paris. Here stand buildings one might easily encounter in a walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysée and the streets running back from it and to either side of its long arm. Like that broad avenue, the buildings here present shops (some spaces available for rent) and apartments above (some of which are available for rent and cleverly hidden with in the façades of the various buildings, reached via the region’s experience teleport option (if available for rent).

The streets may not be as broad as the likes of the Champs-Élysée, but they are perfectly navigable on foot and offer the opportunity to explore this city-like setting and discover its secrets and places of interest, such as the neighbourhood supermarket, the little children’s playground or the more ostentatious Jardin et Salon de Thé.

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

As with Paris, this is a cosmopolitan centre marked by open spaces and terraces looking down towards a body of water albeit is a lake rather than a river!), and fountains and statures add grace and a timeless sense of history to the setting. Unlike Paris, however, this is a cityscape market by tall medieval-like towers topped by conical roofs of a kind more commonly seen gracing many chateaux across France rather than in the heart of a metropolis. Even so, they add a sense of place here.

Placed at various points around the city are maps (some of which can be found inside public spaces and resemble oversized iPads). These provide a map of the city and the adjoining countryside (of which more below), and include click-to-teleport markers for those wishing to quickly hop around the setting’s major points of interest, such as the aforementioned Jardin et Salon de Thé or the rooftop restaurant or the grand stables, to name but three. Oddly, a map isn’t placed at, or close to, the landing point – but a wander around the streets will quickly reveal it.

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

With a westward perspective, the city looks out towards the countryside of Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn, the second Full region comprising this location.  Between countryside and city sits a large lake around which sits a part of the town far older than that around the landing point, the buildings clearly harking back to medieval times. Guarded to one side by an old (and unfurnished) fortified chateau, the majority of these aged building are façades designed to give a further sense of depth and place to the setting – which they do so admirably – although a walk around them will bring visitors to a cosy tavern.

Across the lake and reached via bridge or by following the cobbled ways either side of the water, the land opens out into hilly woodlands. Here, as the region’s name suggests, there is the opportunity for hunting, with part of the region only accessible on the purchase of the “hunting pass” (L$200 for 24 hours). I confess I didn’t give this a try, so am unsure of what to expect, but I did take the public track up and around the wooded hills, passing some of the cottages and country houses that are also available for rent here.

Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn, January 2022

At the time of my visit, it appeared some remodelling was underway – I caught sight of a couple of exposed plywood boards and at least one building within Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn was still set to track any movement of its rezzing box. However, none of this detracts from the appeal of either region or the opportunities for photography to be found throughout. That said, within Bordeaux, France, there is a lot for the viewer to rez and render, so those on more moderate system may need to adjust settings / reduce Draw Distance to a more comfortable level to assist in their explorations.

Warning aside, I enjoyed wandering through both Bordeaux, France, and Village des Chasseurs de la Valle de Londyn, so why not hop along and have a wander yourself?

Bordeaux, France, January 2022

SLurl Details

Lori Bailey and Lam Erin at Kondor Art Garden in Second Life

Kondor Art Garden, January 2022

Now open at the Kondor Art Garden, located within the Kondor Art Centre operated by Hermes Kondor, is double-header exhibition featuring the landscape art of Lori Bailey (Ishtara1) and Lam Erin.

The Garden has been a regular exhibition space at Kondor since the centre opened, but it has been recently given a completely new look by Naru Darkwatch on behalf of Hermes to present a striking new exhibition space. Gone is the central event space surrounded by a path and a space for images to be places, with a stage at one end and an additional open display space at the other. Instead, the gardens present a central events space, bounded by two pools of water around which gravel paths loop. Predominantly constructed using Alex Bader’s Zen Garden building kit, it is a space I immediately felt at home within, both because Alex’s kit is a personal favourite of mine and because the design reminded me of the open-air area display spaces I built using it and on behalf of the Phoenix Artists Collaboration.

Kondor Art Garden: Lori Bailey (Ishtara1)

This much larger design means that the garden can now easily feature two exhibitions of art, each centred on one of its two halves, or potentially a single large exhibition by an artist, their being plenty of room on the outside of each path as it loops around its respective water feature to display both 2D or 3D art as the need arises. Given both Lori and Lam specialise in landscape works, the garden is especially well suited to this joint exhibition.

I believe this is the first exhibition I’ve been to in which Lori’s art is very much centre stage. Occupying the northern end of the gardens, it presents some 15 pieces, all with a focus on water, and most taken during the later part of the day when the Sun is low on the horizon. However, what makes all of them particularly engaging is the manner in which Lori has used light, shadows and reflections, together with a very considered hand in post-processing to give us images that, while shot within the digital realm of Second Life, could so easily have been captured in the wilds of Canada or the United States or perhaps Scandinavia or northern Europe – and in one case, somewhere in the far south Atlantic.

Kondor Art Garden: Lori Bailey (Ishtara1)

These are pieces which, in terms of tone, balance and colour, capture a natural beauty that is far from the world of pixels and rendering engines. In looking at Dawn for example, it is hard not to think we are looking at a picture taken from aboard a survey vessel cruising along the coast of Antarctica (or maybe somewhere like South Georgia).

Sitting further along the same side, Remoteness, Duo and Transparency bring forth thoughts of a long walk along the banks of one of Canada’s wilderness rivers and what might be encountered along the way. Each image offers a scene so beautifully composed, it is hard not to get lost within it, whilst within others, narrative stir and entice us – perhaps the most evocative laying curled within Childhood Memories of Winter and Golden Hour.

Kondor Art Garden: Lam Erin

Lam Erin is an individual whose work I have covered numerous times in this blog, both as the holder / creator of his Cherishville region designs and as a master of Second Life landscape photography. His work is almost always immediately recognisable due to the richness of colour he tends to present – a deliberate over-saturation of the colours of the Sun – and the processing of the clouds within his images to give them an often brooding sense of presence, so often stirring thoughts of Nature’s power and her sometimes capricious nature.

This is very much evident within the majority of the 11 pieces Lam offers here, images perfectly composed to convey a mood within their setting, the cloudscapes most clearly hinting at the narrative each picture contains. And even in those where the colour has been removed, leaving us with a monochromatic view of Lam’s world, the clouds continue to speak out and frame the image and its story.

Kondor Art Garden: Lam Erin

Were I to critique this joint exhibition at all, it would be in the size of the individual images. They are pieces whose beauty deserves to be writ large, but within the expanse of this garden, there is a risk that, without close examination, they might be overwhelmed. However, this does not detract from both halves of this exhibition from being thoroughly engaging and well worth the time taken to visit them.

SLurl Details