2020 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 16th

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 6.3.6.535003 and dated January 22nd, promoted January 27th, formerly the Xanté RC viewer, – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • The EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.536347 on February 11th
    • Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.3.7.536179 on February 10th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices)

via the Speedlight website

During the Open-Source development meeting on Wednesday, February 12th, my ears picked up at the mention of Speedlight, a browser-based means of accessing Second Life from different devices and with the need for any downloads. Curious, I trotted off to find out more.

Developed by long-term Second Life resident Glaznah Gassner, who is responsible for the SmartBot group / bot management application, SpeedLight potentially offer users an alternative means of accessing Second Life from the browser of their choice, and which has been optimised for both statics and mobile displays, making it an entirely OS agnostic means of accessing Second Life to carry out various tasks.

At the time of writing, the core functionality offered by Speedlight comprises:

  • View a map of your current location and list all nearby avatars.
  • Send and receive local chat and IMs (and view your IM history when off-line).
  • View your friends list, groups, and avatar profiles.
  • Search for other avatars.
  • Use group chat.
  • View your inventory, and carry out basic inventory tasks.
  • Send / L$ amounts amounts to others and view your recent transaction history.
  • Teleport via SLurls.

In addition, Speedlight offers two account types:

  • Free – all of the above capabilities, but:
    • Users are limited to 1 hour on-line, after which a re-log is required.
      • Note that this can be avoided, if preferred, by paying for additional hours at the rate of L$10 per hour from within the service.
    • Avatars are automatically logged out if the browser is closed.
      • Note that closing the active Speedlight browser tab will not log you out, only closing the browser as a whole.
  • Gold monthly subscription: all of the above capabilities plus:
    • Avatars can remain on-line for an unlimited time.
    • Avatar can remain on-line even if the browser is closed.
    • Send “mass” IMs.
    • Further Gold capabilities as they are added.

The application’s website also notes that capability availability for each account type may change any any time, and also lists planned enhancement to the service. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Group notices: regular and scheduled Status: alpha, the regular notices.
  • Group chat moderation.
  • 3D world view in a browser.

The ability to send regular group notices and the 3D world view are both defined as being in an “alpha” state, although the latter doesn’t render avatars at this point.

The rest of this article is designed to provide a general overview of Speedlight and its available functionality at the time this article was written.

Sign-up and Accessing Second Life

Sign-Up

Signing-up to use Speedlight  is a two-stage process:

  1. Create a Speedlight Account, requiring a user (avatar) name, e-mail address and acceptance of the Speedlight Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
  2. Link an avatar to your Speedlight Account – a step that requires acceptance of the Speedlight Terms once more.
    • Note that you can link more that one avatar to your Speedlight account if you wish. Click or touch the +panel in the pre-log-in avatar list in order to do so.

Accessing Second Life

Once you have linked one or more avatars to Speedlight, and you have one or more avatars linked to your Speedlight account:

  1. Go to you Speedlight Account page (logging-in to the service if required).
  2. Click / touch on Avatars in the top left of the page to display the avatar panels for all of your linked avatars.
  3. Click /touch the log-in button associated with the avatar you wish to log-in.
  4. Supply you avatar log-in credentials (you can have Speedlight optionally save these).
  5. Confirm you are not a robot (one time only).
  6. Click / touch the Login Now button.
  7. You will be returned to the avatar panel – click / touch Open to access the Speedlight display for that avatar.
When you have linked one or more avatars to your Speedlight Account, you can log into SL using any of them by clicking /touching the Login button on the avatar’s panel (l), then entering your log-in credentials (c), then clicking the Open button when you are returned to the avatar button (r). Note that the button with the gear icon of the avatar panel (outlined in red on the left) accesses the SL settings you’ve set for Speedlight (e.g. your default log-in location, shown in the avatar log-in credentials panel (c)).

The Speedlight Display and Options

When you are logged-in to SL, the Speedlight display can be split into three sections:

  • The options menu on the left, providing:
    • Access to all of your available in-world options: avatar search, Friends list, Chat, IM, Groups, Inventory, L$ and transactions.
    • An option to purchase additional hours for Free account use or to sign-up for a Gold subscription.
    • An option to access or Speedlight account settings for the avatar (default log-in location, etc.).
    • An option to log-out of SL.
  • A central information display. By default this displays the Avatar Summary providing:
    • Your avatar’s name, account balance and location at the top,
    • A map of the region showing your avatar’s position and direction of view.
    • A list of nearby avatars and their distance from your avatar.
      • Note that clicking / touching an avatar name will open the avatar search display, with the avatar in question selected and their profile displayed.
  • Two options on the right:
    • A modal displaying the avatar’s name, on-line status and the current time in SL (closed by clicking / touching the X in the top right of the modal).
    • A Wish List tab:
      • When opened, displays a list of user-requested enhancements to Speedlight, which can be voted up or down, and the option to add further ideas for enhancements.
      • Includes two additional tab – IM and Inventory, which I admit to not experimenting with.
      • Click / touch the X in the top right of the Wish List panel to close it.
The Speedlight application window, as it should appear in any browser, and with the Avatar Summary option selected

Search

Search allows avatars to be searched via a full or partial name.

  • A full name search, if valid will display the avatar’s Profile.
  • A partial name search will return an unsorted scrollable list of potential matches. Clicking / touching a name in the list will open the corresponding profile.
Speedlight Avatar Search

Continue reading “Speedlight: access SL via a browser (incl. mobile devices)”

2020 Simulator User Group week #7 summary

La Clef des Champs, December 2019 – blog post

The following notes were taken at the Simulator User Group meeting held on Tuesday, February 11th.

Simulator Deployments

As always, please refer to the week’s deployment thread for updates.

SL Viewer

On Monday, February 10th, the Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version, 6.3.7.536179.

At the time of writing, all remaining viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.6.535003, formerly the Xanté Maintenance RC, dated January 22nd, promoted January 27th – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Yorsh Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.3.7.535996, February 7th.
    • EP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.535668, February 4th.
    • Camera Presets RC viewer, version 6.3.6.535138, January 24th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22nd, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th, 2019.

Brief Notes

  • Work is continuing to try to clear the last blockers staying in the way on the Name Changes deployment.
  • BUG-228162 “Issue with experience_permissions_denied() and XP_ERROR_NOT_PERMITTED triggered when experience permissions are granted by more than one person” – appears to report an issue in granting permissions if dialogue requests are simultaneously open.

2020 viewer release summaries week #6

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 9th

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 6.3.6.535003 and dated January 22nd, promoted January 27th, formerly the Xanté RC viewer, – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Yorsh Maintenance RC viewer, released on February 4th, updated to version 6.3.7.535996 on February 7th.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.3.6.535087 on February 6th.
    • EP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.535668 on February 4th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • Kokua updated to version 6.3.6.43664 (non-RLV) and 6.3.6.46311 (RLV variants) – February 4th – release notes.

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Radegast updated to version 2.31 on February 9th – release notes.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2020 TPVD meetings week #6 summary

Greenhouse, December 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on February 7th, 2020. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks to Pantera for recording and providing it. As always:

  • Time stamps are given with links that will open the video at the appropriate point.
  • Core points of the meeting are listed below. Other subjects of lesser import may have been discussed, please refer to the video.

This was a relatively short meeting, information-wise, with much of the actual meeting time given over to general text chat.

SL Viewer News

[0:27-2:21]

  • The Yorsh Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.3.7.535996 on February 7th.
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.3.6.535087 on February 6th.

The remainder of the current SL viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.6.535003, formerly the Xanté Maintenance RC, dated January 22nd, promoted January 27th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22nd, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The three potential candidates for the next release promotion are quoted as being the Yorsh Maintenance RC, the Love Me Render RC and (even though it is still a project viewer at the moment) the Legacy Profiles viewer.
  • The Camera Presets RC viewer is experiencing a higher than average crash rate, with investigations on why still ongoing.
  • [19:47-20:30] As noted in my week #6 CCUG summary, EEP is now in burn-down mode – which means more bugs are being fixed than are being reported. It is anticipated that the formal deployment is now weeks, rather than months, away.
  • [28:06-28:41] The cache replacement viewer project is once more making progress, but there is no date as to when a public version of the viewer is likely to surface.

In Brief

  • [2:46-11:30] The new Premium Plus subscription level requires viewer-side changes. These predominantly relate to logging-in, where a user’s account level (Basic, Premium and – in the future – Premium Plus) is obtained from the back-end via a received block of LLSD code containing benefits tags and values.
    • This code is now in a public repository, and will be seeing some changes to various values specified within it prior to Premium Plus being launched.
    • The server-side code supporting the new LLSD code block will be made available on some Aditi servers soon, so TPVs can ensure the code doesn’t interfere with their ability to connect to the SL servers with their current viewer versions, and to start testing the viewer-side code in non-public versions of their viewers in preparation for the launch of Premium Plus.
    • At some point the server-side code will be deployed to the main grid, where it should not impact current viewer versions.
    • As side notes to this:
      • Once Premium Plus has been launched, the new code will refuse to connect if the required data is missing, but the system will let a viewer that ignores it to connect.
      • However, under the current roadmap, Premium Plus will not be going live until some time after Name Changes has been released (as per statements made at the monthly Web User Group meetings).
  • [14:42-14:50] Work on migrating viewer repos from Mercurial to Github is progressing.
  • [21:38-26:08] The SL system requirements page no longer references Windows 7 as this is no longer a supported operating system version. However, a broader update to the requirements page is being considered, as the current information is considered “woefully to aged.”
    • As part of this discussion, it was reiterated that when EEP does go live, it removes the option for turning off basic shaders, which will prevent systems than cannot support basic shader operates from accessing Second Life. The fixed function OpenGL code that supports the disabling will then be removed as a part of a future viewer code clean-up pass.
  • [15:19-17:20 (incl. text chat)] Both Singularity and Alchemy have been working towards making formal releases Soon™. Singularity has an up-to-date beta available to users, and Alchemy is close to making an updated beta available as well.

2020 Content Creation User Group week #6 summary

The Rusty Nail, December 2019 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, February 6th 2020 at 13:00 SLT. These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and agenda notes, meeting SLurl, etc, are available on the Content Creation User Group wiki page.

Note: this meeting was called at short order after the the usual start-of-month Linden Lab internal All Hands meeting was delayed a week. This means that a) the meeting was slightly shorter than usual; b) there will not be a CCUG meeting on Thursday, February 13th.

Environment Enhancement Project

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements (e.g. the sky, sun, moon, clouds, and water settings) to be set region or parcel level, with support for up to 7 days per cycle and sky environments set by altitude. It uses a new set of inventory assets (Sky, Water, Day), and includes the ability to use custom Sun, Moon and cloud textures. The assets can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others, and can additionally be used in experiences.

Resources

Current Status

  • EEP is now in burn-down mode – which means more bugs are being fixed than are being reported.
  • Again, as this project is drawing ever closer to a possible full deployment, now is the time for those who use windlights for photography or within their regions to test the EEP RC viewer and see if they can identify any potential issues / bugs.

ARCTan

Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

As of January 2020 ARCTan has effectively been split:

  • Immediate viewer-side changes, primarily focused on revising the Avatar Rendering Cost (ARC) calculations and providing additional viewer UI so that people can better visibility and control to seeing complexity. This work can essentially be broken down as:
    • Collect data.
    • Update ARC function.
    • Design and provide tool within the viewer UI (i.e. not a pop-up) that presents ARC information in a usable manner and lets users make decisions about rendering / performance.
  • Work on providing in-world object rendering costs (LOD models, etc.) which might affect Land Impact will be handled as a later tranche of project work, after the avatar work.
  • The belief is that “good” avatar ARC values can likely be used as a computational base for these rendering calculations.

Current Status

  • Vir has been working on the apparent Bake service issue noted in my last CCUG summary. Unfortunately, while he has ascertained it is something that can occur, it seems to do so entirely randomly and with no real consistency, making reproducing the issue in order to track down probable causes very difficult.

In Brief

  • BUG-228153, “FAO Vir: Possible cause of greyness in bakes” reports a Bake Service issue, which is due to be looked at by the Lab. This is probably not related to the issue Vir has been seeing with complex attachments.
  • A side on on the Bake Service: it is not only responsible for handling appearance bakes (textures), but also include calculations on shape, vertical positioning, etc., some of which must be calculated regardless of whether or not wearables are being used, and which can be affected by attachments containing position offsets.
  • There have been a number of feature requests for follow-up Bakes on Mesh work. Some of these have been accepted. However, there are no plans to re-open BoM for further work in the immediate future.