2020 SL project updates week #38: TPVD summary

Winter Moon, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, September 18th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

The second half of this meeting was fairly text intensive, covering things like the water performance impact on EEP, together with subjects that are unlikely to become Lab projects / activities in the near future.

SL Viewer News

[3:41-6:49]

The Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.8.548890 on September 18th.

The remaining official viewer pipelines were unchanged through the week, leaving them as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • It is likely the Bormotukha Maintenance RC will be promoted to de facto release status in week #39 after being delayed for further updates.
  • It is possible that the Mesh Uploader RC may be promoted to release status in a shorter period than the usual 2 weeks between release promotions (so possibly in week #40), as it is also in “good shape” for promotion.
  • As  noted in my previous CCUG summary, there is now only one significant EEP-related fix the Lab would like to clear (related to alphas in local edit mode) prior to promoting the Love Me Render (LMR) RC to release status, so this again could be ready to be lined-up for promotion to release status in the very near future – although the next update to this viewer will still be an RC version.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer is still awaiting a back-end update to the feeds, which may be being worked on.

Aditi Cloud Testing

[0:13-3:00 and 9:05-13:00]

On September 15th, Linden Lab published a blog post asking users to log-on to Aditi, the beta grid, and play linden Realms there to help with testing region performance on  simulators running in the cloud (see:  We Need Your Help Testing Performance on Uplifted Simulator and also Play Linden Realms in the cloud and help the Lab).

However, these are not the only regions on Aditi operating via AWS cloud services: there are also a number of test regions that have been set-up, comprising (at the time of writing):

  • All of the Blake Sea regions on Aditi.
  • Cloud Sandboxes 1-4.
  • Ahern, Mauve, Morris.
  • The Testylvania Sandbox (restricted access).

At the start of the meeting, Oz Linden requested TPV developers (and possibly by extensions script creators) use the likes of the sandbox regions to test performance and general operations to help in the overall testing of simulator and simulator / viewer performance with regions running in the cloud and help identify configuration or other changes that may be required. Those testing the regions should be prepared to note any unexpected / unusual behaviours, unexpected outcomes, etc., and be prepared to file with with Linden Lab via Jira.

The Lab is making “very, very good progress” on ensuring simulators and regions are able to run within the AWS environment (there are also a number of Linden-only regions on Agni now running in the cloud), and this testing is seen as a key aspect of building confidence to start transitioning further regions on Agni to AWS and allowing people to test them. However, there is already a list of issues the Lab wants to deal with before this happens, and the above testing may add to this.

The focus is (as has oft been stated) on getting the simulator code to a state where it can be uplifted relatively smoothly and dealing with issues arising from uplift tests (such as with HTTP messaging), rather than dealing with bug fixes (unless they are particularly troublesome), and / or implementing features.

In  Brief

  • [10:05-13:49, as a part of the Uplift discussion] Bug BUG-202943 “Group notice text is truncated by the simulator”: this is a somewhat complicated issue to initially grasp, but is clearly explained in Kitty Barnett’s comment on the bug report. This is of concern to the Lab, but due to the uplift work, a fix may not be immediately forthcoming.
  • [13:50-18:35 with further discussion in text beyond]  The in-viewer log-in cookie issue (non-public BUG-226643) referred to in my previous TPV Developer meeting summary  (see the In Brief section) has been looked at and may not require a server-side change to rectify, and is flagged as a web issue. However, it’s not clear on where it sits in the list of priorities.

 

2020 Content Creation User Group week #38 summary

Glitch Social, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, September 17th 2020 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

EEP Fixes

There is now only one major EEP issue out of the current batch that has been undergoing work that remains unresolved, and it is being worked on. This means the current Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer (version 6.4.8.547427 at the time of writing) is close to being ready for update and promotion – although it is likely the current Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer (version 6.4.8.548394) will be the next viewer to be promoted to de facto release status.

Project Jelly  – Jelly Dolls Improvements

  • Vir’s work in updating Jelly Dolls is now available in the Project Jelly viewer, version 6.4.8.547487 at the time of writing).
  • A number of bug reports have been filed on this, and fixes are currently with QA, so the hope is the project viewer will be updated “fairly soon”.

Mesh Uploader

  • It is likely the Mesh Uploader RC, version 6.4.8.548061 at the time of writing) will move towards release more-or-less as it is now, rather than being held over for significant updates.
  • There have been concerns over the design of the new tabs within the updated uploader and how discoverable some of the added controls really are.  However, the consensus opinion at the lab is to leave things as is, and if there prove to be significant UI issues with the updated uploader, to deal with them in a future update.
  • Things like the ability to specify pivot points within a mesh (e.g. for hinging doors, etc., rather than having the pivot point aligned through the centre of the object), requires simulator-side support, and so this won’t be dealt with until after the cloud uplift work has been completed.
  • So, as it stands, it is felt the Mesh Uploader RC is also in line for possible promotion alongside the Maintenance RC.

Bakes On Mesh

While Bakes of Mesh has seen the introduction of BoM clothing to a degree, the take-up has perhaps not been as widespread as might be the case, with some body / head makers yet to fully embrace it.  Two of the most commonly-cited reasons for this are:

  • Lack of full specular / normal map support (something that would require a further large-scale overhaul of the avatar Bake Service, so not easy to implement at this point in time).
  • The problem of established user behaviour and an unwillingness to change from that behaviour, It is claimed that people have become used to mesh bodies having multiple alpha cuts (which add to their complexity) and being able to “hide” specific parts of the body at will via a HUD-based, scripted system, and are unwilling to switch to the direct use of alphas, which need to be located and applied manually.
    • Some mesh clothing designers do actually provide a means to “auto hide” parts of a mesh body when their clothing is worn, but they appear to be in a minority of mesh clothing makers.

Cathy foil has been brainstorming how both of these issues might be resolved without the need to necessarily dramatically overhaul the Bake Service in the case of specular and normal maps, and so as to allow the easier application of alpha textures to mesh bodies that would enable more fluid “hiding” of body parts when wearing mesh items or BOM layers. Her solution is to both increase the number of alpha channels available for use with mesh bodies (which would not impact the Bake Service) and Linden Lab “borrowing” from RLV / RLVa to allow a HUD to be used to  apply clothing / alphas to a body directly from inventory, as she explains in the video below.

The alpha solution offered is perhaps not entirely ideal (what about alpha conflicts when mixing / matching clothing from different makers?), and it might be argued that – insofar as the use of the Outfits folder + the WEAR + ADD options for general folder use, that the wearing / applying alphas may not be as significant an issue as might seem to be the case – but again, this can depend on the user behaviour / the clothing itself and how it is worn.  Any “official” adopt of RLV capabilities, even if restricted to just your own avatar, would also seem to be questionable in terms of adoption by LL (if nothing else, the code would need to be contributed).

However, as there was little time at the meeting to go through the video thoroughly, this is a subject that is liable to be further discussed at future meetings – although for any work to proceed from it (or in relation to BOM in general), a feature request Jira will be required.

In Brief

  • There was an extensive (and theoretical, at this point), discussion on mesh bounding boxes (e.g. allowing different sized bounding boxes – with certain constraints – per LOD). However, I’ll save further reporting on this until there is a feature request Jira to which I can refer readers (hopefully by the next CCUG).
  • Vir asked a general question on whether people would like to seen the animation uploader receive and update pass, and if so, what they would specifically like to see.
    • Suggestions included:
      • Improvements to the preview panel for better tracking of offsets.
      • Running .ANIM files through the uploader (as long as this is not made compulsory, as some animators prefer not to use the uploader).
      • Suggestions focused more on being able to either edit uploaded animations or to use the uploader as a means of exporting your own animations to make change.
    • The conversation also encompassed animation priorities, and the ability to either change them or constrain them better. As priorities can be baked into a mesh, Vir suggested rather than a greater ability to edit and change priorities might be to have them set at runtime, rather than being an object attribute.
    • General feedback on animation improvements included the ability to made adjustments to animation speed on the fly, better pre-loading of animations in a sequence, etc.
    • Jiras on specific features / improvements have been requested to help determine what might need to be done, what the scope of work might be, etc., to help determine feasibility.
  • Date of next meeting: Thursday, October 1st, unless otherwise indicated on the CCUG wiki page.

2020 Simulator User Group week #38 summary

Mount Campion, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the September 15th Simulator User Group meeting.

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for news and updates.

  • There was no deployment to the grid’s main SLS channel on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020, leaving the simulators running on release 547626.
  • On Wednesday, September 16th some – or all – of the simulator on the RCs channel should be updated to simulator maintenance release 548903, containing updates related to the cloud uplift work which contain no user-visible updates.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates to mark the start of week #38. This leaves the current pipelines as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.8.548394, issued September 8.
    • Mesh uploader RC viewer, version 6.4.8.548061, September 8.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.4.8.547427,August 21.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

Cloud Uplift

Region Testing

As the Lab has announced, and I’ve reported – see Play Linden Realms in the cloud and help the Lab, the Linden Realms have been cloned to Aditi and are running on AWS  servers. Interested users are asked to help in testing the regions by logging-in to Aditi and spending time playing the game. Follow the links above to find out more.

LSL HTTP Changes

As a part of the move to AWS services, there will be changes to the use of HTTP once cloud-hosted simulator come into use. It is Linden Lab’s hope that these changes will not cause significant issues, however, in order to provide scripters with as much information as possible, Oz Linden posted a forum update providing an outline of the areas of impact: llHTTPRequest – Outbound HTTP and lRequestURL or llRequestSecureURL.

A number of regions on Aditi have been set-up to allow for testing, comprising:

  • Morris
  • Cloud Sandbox 1
  • Cloud Sandbox 2
  • Cloud Sandbox 3
  • Cloud Sandbox 4

Further information and the continuing discussion can be found within the forum thread.

Changes are coming to LSL HTTP calls – for details please refer to LSL HTTP Changes Coming

Group Chat

People continue to experience issues with group chat disconnecting / failing following a transition to a different region via vehicle or teleport (see BUG-229219). As per last week’s update, there is a potential fix for this issue in the works, but whether or not it solves all of the issues currently being experienced or not is an unknown until it is actually deployed.

2020 viewer release summaries week #37

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, September 13th

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 viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • The Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.8.548394, issued on September 8th.
    • Mesh uploader RC viewer updated to version 6.4.8.548061 on September 8th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2020 Simulator User Group week #37 summary

Eris Isle, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the September 8th Simulator User Group meeting.

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for news and updates. However, there are no planned deployments for week #37.

SL Viewer

On Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, the following viewers were updated:

  • The Bormotukha  Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.8.548394.
  • The Mesh Uploader RC viewer updated to version 6.4.8.548061.

The rest of the viewer pipelines currently remain unchanged from the end of week #36:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

Region Crossings

The recent updates to region crossings have generally improved things, but they’ve also led to a lot of “interesting” – to use Simon Linden’s term – side effects and some unpredictable behaviour.

  • Some are reporting a possible increase in avatar / vehicle collisions when crossing into regions with damage enabled.
  • Others are reporting issues of crossings “hanging” – the vehicle vanishes, the avatar is unable to move, communication, teleport, stand, etc., while the user is still able to cam around but is unable to to cleanly log-out.

This second issue apparently particularly noticeable when the region being entered is not visible at the time of the crossing (see BUG-229312), although this factor may be a separate issue to anything related to region crossings.

Group Chat

People continue to experience issues with group chat disconnecting / failing following a transition to a different region via vehicle or teleport (see BUG-229219).

There is a potential fix for this issue in the works, but whether or not it solves all of the issues currently being experienced or not is an unknown until it is actually deployed.

In the meantime, the group chat issue may be related to to issues being experienced with bots using group chat becoming unresponsive,sometimes after little more than an hour of running.

All of these issues appear to date from a period of back-end updates made in early August.

Cloud Uplift

Questions continue to be asked about changes that will / may be made to simulator services as a part of or immediately following the uplift work to get simulators transitioned to AWS services.

As has oft been stated by the Lab (and reported in these pages), the Lab’s focus is on successfully transitioning all of their services  – including simulators “as is”, without making substantive changes at this point in time. As  Oz Linden stated during the meeting:

Uplift is trying very hard not to make any changes we don’t _have_ to make … A big driver for getting simulators uplifted is that then we can start selling regions again … believe me, that’s pretty great motivation.  When and whether we’ll make other changes to optimize or exploit the cloud is later on.

–  Oz Linden, September 8th, 2020

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2020 viewer release summaries week #36

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, September 6th

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 viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Mobile Grid Client updated to version 1.25.1276 on September 2  – release notes.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links