2021 SUG meeting week #19 summary

Elvion, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The majority of the discuss was about the advantages of scripted ability to manipulate hover height.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, there had been no server deployment thread available for review.

  • Tuesday, May 11th saw no deployment to servers on the Main SLS channel previously updated to server maintenance package 558586, in week #18.
  • Wednesday, May 12th should see the RC channels updated to server release 559341 – for more on this, see below.

Server Update 559341

This update introduces a new Experiences-related LSL function, llOpenFloater();. When invoked, it sends  a message to the owning Agent’s viewer, instructing it to open a new browser floater pointed at the URL provided by the LSL script, if the owning Agent’s viewer understands that request.

However, it is important to note that the capability is restricted to Linden-owned Experiences – which are also called privileged experiences – and (in difference to Maestro Linden’s request for feedback on wider applications found in the deployment thread) is not being opened for general use, as the Lab is aware of the potential risks in doing so (e.g. DDOSing / doxing attacks).

As the deployment thread notes, the primary reason for deploying the function is that it will be used with the upcoming work related to the new user experience, which should be deployed this summer.

Group Chat

During the meeting, Simon Linden had this to say on the subject of Group chat:

We just updated the last set of chat servers for this round. I’m not going to promise this will fix group chat, I’ve done this enough times to know that’s not good to say. But I sure hope it helps.

SL Viewer

The start of the week has seen no updates to the current crop of official viewers, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23, promoted April 29 – No change.
  • Release channel:
    • Project UI viewer, version 6.4.18.558718, issued May 3.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

Video

The following video of the meeting is courtesy of Pantera Północy.

2021 CCUG meeting week #18 summary

Florence at Low Tide, February 2021 – 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, May 6th, 2021.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar and the venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire.

Content-wise, this was a short meeting, many of the usual attendees being absent, perhaps caught out by CCUG meetings over the last few months only taking place every other week, and this one following directly after Week #17’s meeting.

SL Viewer

There have been no further updates to the current crop of official SL viewers since the release of the Project UI viewer (see: Lab issues Project UI viewer aimed at new users), leaving the pipelines for the week as follows:

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd, promoted April 29th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Project UI viewer, version 6.4.18.558718, issued May 3rd.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22nd.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21st.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The current RC viewers – LMR 5 and Maintenance 2 – are currently awaiting new versions following their merges with the current release viewer code base. There has been a delay in testing due to members of the the lab’s viewer QA team being on vacation.
  • LMR 5 is now considered “complete”, so following the code merge, should be in a strong position to be promoted as the next de facto release viewer.
  • LMR 6, the next rendering focused viewer is still in development. So far a dozen bugs are being addressed to be a part of this viewer, and more are being added to the list. As such, it’s liable to be a while before this viewer appears as an RC.
  • It is hoped the Apple notifications fix viewer and the updated Voice viewer that helps with expected Voice drop-outs both available in the very near future.

Documentation and Resources

The core of this meeting focused on a a discussion about where “accurate” avatar skeletons can be obtained, as the current resources appear out-of-date (e.g. the Fitted Mesh resource page indicates the skeletons in the supplied link are pre-Bento), whilst the Bento page indicates one skeleton may be “broken”.

Whilst there are alternate reliable sources for skeleton information (e.g. via Machinimatrix), these are not always resources newer users may be comfortable using as they “are not Linden Lab” – even though the people responsible for them worked closely with other users and the Lab on projects such as Bento and helped define the Bento skeleton.

This highlights a particular issue in not having up-to-date “official” resources on matters such as content creation – which may in turn be a contributing factor in the development of poorly-made / poorly-optimised SL content. Two problems here are that:

  • LL  does not have the resources to manage and maintain the entire SL wiki (and in fact there had been murmurs in the past about consideration being given to deprecating the wiki in favour of other sources,   although this is currently not the case).
  • Due to issues of “bot griefing”, access to editing the SL wiki had to be restricted several years ago “pending” improved tools to prevent such events – but this has yet to happen. Therefore, it is much harder for users to help maintain the wiki, as tended to be the case in the past.

In Brief

  • Account / inventory syncing between Agni (the Main grid) and Aditi (the Beta grid) remains broken. No ETA on when this may be resolved, other than “watch the status page“.
  • Date of next meeting: Thursday, May 20th, 2021.

May 2021 SL Web User Group summary with video

The Web User Group meeting venue, Denby

The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. These meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month, with dates and venue details available via the SL public calendar. A video of the meeting, courtesy of Pantera, can be found at the end of this article.

Web Properties Updates

[Video: 1:04-9:18]

  • General post-Uplift internal work is still continuing, but the end is coming into sight. Most of this work in non-user visible.
  • There is also some back-end / infrastructure changes in progress, which are again not visible to users, but are intended to “help in the future” in terms of deploying new feature,  etc.
  • Housekeeping work on tools related to the lab’s management of the Marketplace and other web properties has been continuing.
  • The revamped secondlife.com splash / join / login screen was revamped in April, and has been receiving a lot of (not always positive) feedback on the use of a person, rather than an avatar. My personal take on this is that:
    • a) The image is taken from the upcoming broadcast advert for Second Life, and thus is part of a broader strategy rather than a standalone decision, which some people seem to be missing.
    • b) Why not use a “real” person? After all, a good part of Second life is about setting your imagination free, so to me the image speaks to that and offers an enticement to click to find out more.
The secondlife.com splash page was updated in April, gaining a fair amount of attention in the process.
  • An issue with people receiving e-mail in a foreign language if they’d previously followed a link to an MP listing in that language has been fixed.
  • The issue of people being randomly logged-out of the Marketplace whilst browsing, trying to make purchases, etc., should now be fixed.
  • The April “limited Edition” Last Names  (the OwO and UwU names) have been removed from the Last Names list. These apparently proved to be very popular, so the Lab is considering more such “limited offers” on names with a specific focus (these two having appealed to the furry community in particular).
  • The What’s Hot part of the Destination Guide has been revised so it actually lists places where avatars are actually at when the section is being browsed.
  • Keira Linden is putting together a plan for Marketplace updates based on feedback from merchants / users. This work will not be immediate, but will be commencing at some point in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future. Those with specific Marketplace feature requests in mind are asked to check the Jira before filing, as a fair number are already recorded and Accepted.

Mobile Client

[Video: 11:58-12:24]

  • iOS Version:
    • The App still did not make it back to Apple in April for their testing as a result of LL’s QA finding more issues that needed to be addressed internally.
    • The hope is to get it back to Apple Soon™.
  • Android: nothing to report.

Place Pages

[Video 37:50-52:40 (text chat)]

  • Place Pages have been around for some four years now (see: Linden Lab announces Second Life Place Pages available).
  • They have not received a lot of TLC since they, and it is hard to determine how well they are used (I did provide a short tutorial on setting them up  in 2018 after some updates had been made – see:Tutorial: creating Second Life Place Pages, for whatever that is worth).
  • There is interest at the Lab in probing hold well they are used, and how they might be improved (one issue with Place Pages is that while they have a search capability of their own, they aren’t actually referenced by any of the other common search tools, such as web search in the viewer, which tends to limit their visibility). Some suggestions are made in chat during the meeting.

In Brief

  • Names Changes / Last Names: it is possible that thought may be given to how the Premium member Name Changes / Last Names capability might be enhanced.
  • No further updates on Premium Plus, other than it is still percolating in the background.
  • The question was asked why LL originally stopped allowing last names in SL.
    • The short answer is that studies of users sign-ups revealed that having to pick a first and last name as part of the sign-up process resulted in a high volume of potential users failing to complete the sign-up process – possibly because people didn’t like being limited in their choice of last name.
    • The decision was therefore taken to remove the last name selection process and introduce Display Names, they idea being people could quickly sign-up with an account name of their choice, and then use Display Names to freely create their preferred avatar name.
    • OK, so it wasn’t quite such a short answer…
  • Further language localisation of properties such as the Marketplace is being considered.
  • The ability for a single account to hold multiple Marketplace stores has been the subject of multiple requests over the years (see feature request BUG-226927, for example). Whilst not on the Marketplace roadmap, Keira indicated a willingness to explore the idea.
  • Jira status “Ready for Development” – this started appearing in a swath of bug reports and feature requests fairly recently (both those in progress and those that many have been completed). It appears to be related to a issue with the cloning tool LL uses when producing a duplicate of a report from the public Jira to their internal Jira,  and does not indicate a new workflow status for any given bug / request.
    • In fact, some reports said to be displaying a “Ready for Development” status appear to have reverted to the more usual “Accepted” in the last 24 hours.

Next Meeting

  • Wednesday, June 2nd, 14:00 SLT.

2021 SUG meeting week #18 summary

Curiosity Lake, February 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The majority of the discuss was about the advantages of scripted ability to manipulate hover height.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, there had been no server deployment thread available for review.

  • Tuesday, May 4th saw simulators on the Main SLS channel updated with server maintenance package 558586, comprising internal fixes.
  • There does not appear to be any RC channels deployment set for Wednesday, May 5th.
  • Week #19 (commencing Monday, May 10th) should see an RC deployment that will likely include new LSL functions – its not clear if these are the llOrd, llChar and llHash options Rider Linden spoke about a few weeks ago.

SL Viewer

On Monday, 3rd., the Lab issues the Project UI viewer, version 6.4.18.558718, primarily aimed at users new to Second Life – read more in: Lab issues Project UI viewer aimed at new users.

The rest of the official viewers in the pipelines remain unchanged:

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd, promoted April 29th.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22nd.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21st.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16th, 2019.

In Brief

  • Some private regions / estates appear to be undergoing random restarts on a roughly weekly basis and outside of the normal deployment rolling restarts. It’s not clear why this should be, but outside of verbal reports at the SUG meetings and forum comments, no JIRA has been raised as yet.
  • BUG-230677 “llSetAgentEnvironment transition doesn’t work” is an EEP issue that may be related to how the code handles “partial” sky settings on transitions. Further investigations are required.
  • Setting region chat range limits: this is a project that has been in progress for around a year (see feature request BUG-230677, and also my May 15th, 2020 TPV Developer meeting notes and notes from the May 26th, 2020 SUG meeting). Support for the capability has been in the simulator code for some time, but the viewer-side support is pending UI updates.

2021 CCUG and TPV Developer meetings week #17 summary

Poison Rouge, February 2021 – 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, April 29th 2021 at 13:00 SLT, and the TPV Developer’s meeting of Friday, April 30th.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar. The venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire, and the TPV Developer meeting is held at the Hippotropolis Theatre.

SL Viewer

The Eau de Vie Maintenance RC viewer version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd, was promoted to de facto viewer release status on Thursday, April 29th.

The remaining viewers in the pipeline comprise:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Legacy Profiles viewer should be getting an update that will include some cosmetic tweaks to the UI, but will be functionally identical to the current project viewer version.
  • The LMR 5 viewer is being readied for promotion to release status, and work on LMR 6 is continuing.
  • The revised Simple Cache viewer is back with LL’s QA team, and should be re-emerging fairly soon.
  • The improved UI viewer that is primarily intended to help new users looks like it will be issued during summer.
  • A viewer with a fix for the Mac notarisation fix (currently OS X users have to jump through some additional hoops to get the operating system to run the viewer) should be appearing Soon™.
  • Voice viewer: the Lab has been working to try to address the more annoying aspects of voice cutting out when someone is speaking. A viewer with various fixes / tweaks is currently being tested by Lab staff, and may be available for wider use also in a Soon™ time frame.
  • A further viewer in the works will include further updates / fixes for the Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF – used in media playback and streaming into SL).

One of the issues LL are running into is that thanks to the SNAFU following the release and roll-back of the original Simple Cache viewer, there is a growing number of official viewers stacking up waiting to enter the RC and project viewer pipelines.

RLV/RLVa and Experiences

Most people are familiar with the RLV and RLVa protocols / API functionality that is available in various third-party viewers. Whilst originally developed for more adult-oriented activities in Second life, these API options do have a wide range of other potential uses, some of which might be said to now be matched by Experience functionality (for example: automatic teleports).

While there is currently no specific project in the works to extend Experience functionality, the Lab has actually had internal discussions about the potential to provide various RLV-like options that could help improve Experiences. As such, the suggestion was made that if there are various (and generic, rather than adult-specific) use cases that might be achieved using RLV but would be useful to have as Experience functionality, these are noted in Jira feature requests so that they might be considered in due course.

 

Note: it was brought to my attention that not everyone is aware of the Soon™ joke. It is a play on the use of “Soon™” by Blizzard Entertainment, and the fact that, given LL’s preference not to present what might be taken as “tablets of stone” dates for the delivery of any given feature or bug fix, Oz Linden would refer to upcoming features / capabilities / fixes being available as “Soon”, “Pretty Soon” and “Real Soon / Real Soon Now”, which all become generally defined by the catch-all idea of “Soon™”.

2021 SUG meeting week #17 summary

Skrunda-2, February 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, April 27th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The majority of the discuss was about the advantages of scripted ability to manipulate hover height.

Server Deployments

Please refer to the week’s server deployment thread for updates.

  • There was no deployment to the Main SLS channel on Tuesday, April 27th, although a couple of the smaller channels were restarted with thee latest simulator code version.
  • On Wednesday, April 28th, the RC channels should be updated with server update 558586, comprising internal fixes.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current crop of official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as possible.

  • Release viewer: Custom Key Mappings RC viewer, version 6.4.17.557391, dated March 24, promoted March 27th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer – Eau de Vie, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22nd.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21st.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26th, 2019.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16th, 2019.

In Brief

  • BUG-139309 – “Allow setting of Hover Height via LSL” – originally closed as “unactionable”, this feature request is seen  as having potential benefits (e.g. automatically adjusting the height of Animesh attachments such as a pets, so they appear to be on the ground, rather than floating above it as a result of a change of footwear on the controlling avatar) It has been suggested that the idea be re-submitted as a new feature request with examples, with Simon Linden noting:
We like the idea of making those adjustments easy to work with and use, and also don’t want to limit it to height. X and Y tweaks would be nice too.