2020 SL project updates week #28: TPVD summary

A Favela, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 10th, 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.

SL Viewer News

[0:00-3:10]

  • On Monday, July 6th, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, updated to version 6.4.5.544465.
  • On Tuesday, July 7th, the Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544474.

The rest of the current official viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • 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

  • Love Me Render (LMR) viewer: work is continuing to try to address rendering fixes – notably those for issues with EEP. As this work is taking longer than anticipated to complete, this viewer has been pushed down the list iin terms of promotion.
  • The Tools Update viewer is apparently undergoing regression testing with Bakes on Mesh.
  • This means that week #29 (commencing Monday, July 13th) will likely see the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer promted to de facto release status.
  • Both the Legacy Profiles Project Viewer and the Mesh Uploader Project Viewer are “close” to being promoted to release candidate (RC) status, although the latter may await the incorporation of an additional patch from Firestorm developer Beq Janus.

In Brief

  • Media issues:
    • [3:50-4:48] BUG-229036 “Parcel media cannot be played if Media auto-play is set to No” – athis is said to be specific to the CEF release viewer, and a fix has cleared QA testing, and may make it into the Arrack Maintenance RC, or if not will be in the Maintenance RC viewer to follow it.
    • [8:11-8:26] BUG-22838 “Media on a prim – loops when it should not” – is still awaiting attention, but will be added to the Maintenance queue for testing repos.
  • [5:39-7:20] SL Mobile app:
    • It’s believed the current limited testing of the iOS version of app is drawing to a close, and work is moving forward on getting an updated version ready for a broader round of testing.
    • The Android version is still “some way behind” iOS development, and there is currently nothing available for initial testing.
  • [11:09-12:01] Apple OpenGL / ARM CPU announcement: LL are still investigating options for moving away from OpenGL, and awaiting further news from Apple on their plan to move to ARM CPUs for systems. However, LL is still planning on providing continued support for Mac users.

2020 Simulator User Group week #28 summary

The Woods of Whimsy, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes were taken during the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, July 7th, 2020.

Simulator Deployments

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

  • There was not main channel deployment on Tuesday, July 7th, leaving the servers on server release 543526, comprising further infrastructure updates to support Group chat improvements / support of the cloud uplift work.
  • On Wednesday, July 8th, the RC channels should be updated with server release 544419, which should resolve issues with off-line inventory offers and group notice attachments
    • Note that this requires a viewer-side update, which should currently be in all the Viewer RC versions.

SL Viewer

  • The Arrack Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544465 on July 6th.
  • The Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544474 on July 7th.

The rest of the current range of official viewers remains as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF 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):
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • 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 Restarts and Region Crossings

The server deployment threads generally reference rolling restarts being performed if channels have been running for 10 days or longer, regardless as to whether there is an accompanying deployment (e.g. so at least once every 14 days).

However, during the Simulator User Group meeting, comments from the Lab suggest this is not an absolute. For example, if agents (avatar or scripted) are in a region, a restart may not occur. As it is, there is currently a fair number of mainland and private regions that have not seen a restart in 2-3 weeks.

This is causing some consternation among road vehicle users who see region restarts as (currently) the main panacea for their region crossing woes; there may well be fair mileage in this – no pun intended; but equally, there are reasons why restarts may not resolve issues, but as they are a non-trivial matter, could be disruptive to other users, requiring a balance to be struck.

The fact is the physical region crossings involving vehicles are a complicated issue. There is no single point of failure – and issues can be exacerbated by factors external to SL; it might even be argued that as script load plays a role in bad region crossings, loading vehicles up with scripts to monitor / log crossings could actually exacerbate the problems being encountered by those using said scripts. However, Given that rolling restarts are expected every 14 days, regardless of deployments, it might not be a bad idea to try to ensure this is a regimen that is more rigorously held to, in that restarts can be seen as calming region crossing issues.

2020 viewer release summaries week #27

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, July 5th

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 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11th, promoted June 23rd, formerly the CEF RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544028 on June 30th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, issued on June 30th.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2020 Content Creation User Group week #27 summary

Yes – Endless, May 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, July 2nd 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.

SL Viewer

  • A Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, was issued on Tuesday, June 30th.

The rest of the official viewers in the pipeline remain as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544028, June 30.
    • Tools Update RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544097, June 25 – this viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.
    • Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, 6.4.5.544024, issued on June 24 – this viewer uses Viewer Manager 2.0.538279.
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • 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

  • The Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer is still absorbing fixes for EEP and rendering issues. Version 6.4.5.544028, dated June 30th includes a fix for BUG-225784 “BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting”. This viewer will hopefully in time include a fix for specularity issues (see BUG-228781 and BUG-228581).
  • It looks like the Legacy Profile viewer could be getting promoted to RC status very soon.

ARCTan

Project Summary

An attempt to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering either in the viewer. 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:

  • 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.
  • 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’s updates to jelly dolls have hit a couple of issues whilst in QA, but should still get rolled into the ARCTan project once he’s had a chance to fix them.

In Brief

Pathfinding Navmesh

  • A request was put forward to allow scripted access to rebaking a region’s navmesh (used with Pathfinding).
  • A use case for this would be something likes a procedural game where elements of the scene may be placed via script in accordance with progress.
    • As alterations to a scene impact the navmesh, this can upset NPCs using it.
    • Currently, the only way to rebake is via manual intervention, which can be missed.
    • Offering a scripted means would ensure the navmesh is automatically updated when required.
  • This type of scripted update has been requested in the past, and generally frowned upon due to the risk of potential abuse. However, risk could be mitigated by limited the scripting option to estate owners / managers, and using a throttle on the number of allowed requests.
  • That said, multiple rebakes of the navmesh can themselves have a cumulative impact on simulator performance and resources (particularly on Homestead regions), such that a region restart is required to correct matters, which might in some cases be as disruptive, so this would likely need to be re-examined.
  • Currently, there are no plans to work on Pathfinding in the short-to-medium term, however, it has been requested that the idea is written up as a feature request for review by the Lab.

Other Items

  • There as been a request for the viewer to support Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) image format (see: BUG-229007). However, this would require an extensive overhaul of the graphics pipeline (which currently uses JPG2000) in order to ensure all texture handing had a code path for running SVG. So this is not a likely target for a project.
  • There was a general discussion on the animation system and file formats (.ANIM and .BVH) including long-standing requests to overhaul the system and provide overrides for priority, speed, start / stop frame, etc., and more informed control of easing out/in to the animations. Currently, there is no work being planned for the system, however.
  • A request has been made to allow for scripted interrogation on how people are using EEP. The specific use case would be a game or similar, where a specific environment has been set (e.g. fog / reduced visibility) and the system could query incoming systems to ensure the viewer is set to Use Shared Environment, and if not, advise the user they need to change their setting. Not clear if / how this will be addressed.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, July 16th, 2020.

2020 Simulator User Group week #27 summary

Cherishville, May 2020 – blog post

The Simulator User Group meeting held on Tuesday, June 30th was a relatively brief meeting in terms of actionable news.

Simulator Deployments

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

  • There was not main channel deployment or restart on Tuesday, June 30th, leaving the servers on server release 543526, comprising further infrastructure updates to support Group chat improvements / support of the cloud uplift work.
  • On Wednesday, July 1st, there should by an RC server update that includes a fix for off-line inventory offers failing. However, this update requires a viewer-side fix that should be in all RC versions of the official viewer, and TPVs will need to pick it up. Please refer to the deployment thread for further information on this update, when available.

SL Viewer

  • The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544028. Among its updates and fixes, this viewer includes:
    • A fix for BUG-225784 “BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting”.
    • Additional logging for detecting Vulkan graphics support on Windows clients.

The rest of the current range of official viewers remains as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, 6.4.5.544024, issued on June 24 – this viewer uses Viewer Manager 2.0.538279.
    • Tools Update RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544097, June 25 – this viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.
  • Project viewers:
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • 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.

In brief

  • The was some general discussion on region crossings. However, as LL are not currently working on these, here is nothing solid to report in terms of updates.
  • The second half of the meeting was dominated by comparisons between the the Lab’s Copy / Paste project viewer and a similar parameters capability that has long been a part of editing objects in  Firestorm.

2020 viewer release summaries week #26

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

Updates for the week ending Sunday, June 28th

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 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11th, promoted June 23rd, formerly the CEF RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, 6.4.5.544024, issued on June 24. This viewer uses Viewer Manager 2.0.538279 and contains logging to check for Vulkan graphics support in Windows systems.
    • Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544097, June 25. This viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

  • Cool VL viewer stable branch updated to 1.28.0  on June 27th. Deprecates all previous stable / experimental versions – release notes.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Speedlight updated to support name search (Friends/IMs). No version number available.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links