Server Deployment – Week 52
On Tuesday, December 22nd, the Main (SLS) channel received the same server maintenance project previously deployed to the three RC channels. This comprises crash and internal simulator fixes; LSL HTTP requests accessing data sources that require non-text Accept headers (such as the Destination Guide); and updates to group member counts to help deal with recent group database issues.
With the no change window now in effect, no updates are anticipated with any of the current crop of official viewers until after Monday, January 4th, 2016. These are:
- Release viewer, version: 188.8.131.529247, dated December 17th – formerly the Chromium Embedded Framework RC viewer – release notes
- Project Azumarill (HTTP updates) RC viewer, version 184.108.40.2068134 dated November 25th – release notes
- Vivox (voice fixes) RC viewer, version 220.127.116.117744, dated November 17th – release notes
- Quick Graphics (Avatar Complexity and graphics presets) RC viewer, version 18.104.22.1686758, dated November 12th – release notes
- Maintenance RC viewer, version 22.214.171.1248556, dated December 3rd – release notes
- Project Bento (avatar skeleton enhancement) viewer, version 126.96.36.1999171, dated December 17th – release notes
- Oculus Rift project viewer, version 188.8.131.525296, dated October 13th – release notes
- Obsolete platform viewer (for users of Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7), version 184.108.40.2060847 dated May 8th – release notes
It is anticipated the HTTP RC viewer and the Vivox RC viewer will be released as a single RC viewer very early in 2016.
Commenting on the video at the last Simulator User Group meeting for 2015, Simon Linden said, “that video is cool :)”!
Bone Translation and Rotation
As reported in my week 51 project updates, I reported how the Lab was asking for more detailed feedback on specific requirements animators and creators felt they might need with the Bento skeleton. The comment, made by Oz Linden, came after Vir Linden responded to feedback relating to bone translation through animations, rather than relying purely on rotation with the facial bones (as is currently the case).
These comments have led to more comprehensive feedback through the Bento discussion forum thread, including two videos by Raz Welles, and animated GIF examples from others, demonstrating the need for translation as well as rotation to achieve various results with facial expressions. However, the Lab would still prefer specific examples to be reported in detail (e.g. on the JIRA), with the appropriate files supplied, as Oz Linden again notes on the forum. He goes on to point out as well, that it isn’t just “new stuff” the Lab is looking to offer through Bento:
I’ve seen a number of posts here that include some variation on “we have always had to do XYZ this way because of the SOMETHING bug, and so we can’t do SO-AND-SO” (for example, joint offsets not loading correctly). If there are existing issues that are directly related to Bento (like joint offsets not loading correctly), we’d like to get them fixed so that we can get some of these obstacles out of the way. So, if you’ve got one, please describe it (see previous paragraph – concrete examples we can experiment with) by filing a BUG in JIRA (put [Bento] in the Summary). References to long-standing issues are ok; we’re not only trying to do new things, we’re trying fix at least some old ones too.
Other Bento Bits
The Project Bento Skeleton Guide is now available on the SL wiki.
Some attending the Simulator User Group meetings have expressed a hope that Bento might offer (or pave the way for) animated objects which could use the skeleton. This would provide a means to provide NPCs and creatures which are not necessarily reliant on bots (see SH-2642 as a rough example of this kind of suggestion as well). responding to this at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, December 22nd, Oz said:
Skeletons for non-avatar objects are out of scope for this round. It’s an obvious improvement that would be good to do someday; whether and when is not currently knowable.
Asked if filing a feature request would be appropriate, he added, “I’m pretty sure we’ve got several variations on that request, but one more certainly won’t hurt.”
Overall the Bento discussion is healthy, although how it all translates into actionable items with regards to the new avatar skeleton extensions remains to be seen. As the Lab has indicated, hopefully there will still be plenty of opportunity to put forward and test further ideas, examples and suggestions during the first part of the New Year to help improve what is currently being offered.
Object_Rezzer_Key is a new parameter which is to be added to llGetObjectDetails() early in the New Year. It will allow a rezzed object to find the key of its parent rezzer, then use llRegionSayTo() to chat back to that parent. It’s an option which has come up for discussion at User Group meetings a number of times, and at the meeting on Tuesday, December 22nd, Simon Linden indicated that it is something he is currently working on.
The parameter will only work with new objects within a region (existing objects will return a null_key when queried), but it should work after restarts and region crossings (incl. teleports), and with objects which are initially attached and then dropped. Full details will be available when the parameter is officially added to llGetObjectDetails() – Simon offered this news at the User Group meeting by way of being a small gift to those who have been requesting it.
Further Scripting Options for Experiences?
Another set of requests frequently put forward is for further scripted capabilities to be added to Experiences – such as more permissions, camera function additions / fixes further attach / detach / switch object options and an increase in memory for compiling Experience scripts. On these, Simon would only say that he has been looking into increasing script memory for Experience, “and ran into a really sticky problem … how to deal with it when the object goes outside the experience… how it should behave when you go outside the experience area.”
Oz Linden also stated, “Without trying to guess which changes we might make (because I have no idea yet), it has been noted that Experiences gives us some more latitude to provide script capabilities we would not have before because of griefing potential.”
So, it will be interesting to see what might lie in store for Experiences once the Lab are willing to reveal more about what they have planned, and what actually made it into those plans.