2023 week #11: SL TPV Developer meeting summary

The Great Library of Eruanna, January 2023 – blog post

The following notes were taken from m y audio recording and chat log transcript of the TPV Developer (TPVD) meeting held on Friday,  March 17th 2023 at 13:00 SLT.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, and their dates and times can be obtained from the SL Public Calendar; also note that the following is a summary of the key topics discussed in the meeting and is not intended to be a full transcript of all points raised.

Official Viewers Status

  • Release viewer: Maintenance Q(uality) viewer, version Thursday, February 2.
  • 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:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version, March 15 – This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version, December 8, 2022.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Performance Floater / Auto FPS viewer is still being worked on in the hope that performance can be further improved on lower-end systems.
  • Work is also being carried out to have the viewer work with a broader cross-section of translation tools.

Inventory Enhancement Project

  • The work to provide thumbnail images of  folders and items in Inventory is progressing on the viewer-side, but deployment will be dependent on both viewer availability (project / RC to release) and assorted back-end service and simulator updates to handle the new data.
  • Once the thumbnail preview work has been completed, it is possible the Lab will look to further enhancements to inventory management. One future enhancement under consideration is support for folders to be included in the Contents inventory of individual objects.

In Brief

  • See also my CCUG meeting summary, as this meeting crosses topics with that.
  • Estate Level Scripted Agent Controls (aka “Ban the Bots”): per my SUG meeting notes, there is a new simulator release due to be deployed which will provide estate / region holders and their managers limit access to their regions by scripted agents (bots).
    • This work will initially be console-based in the viewer until UI updates can be made and a viewer update with them deployed.
    • However, a bug has been found in the simulator code, which is currently being worked upon. The hope is this will be fixed without any delay to the code being rolled-out.
  • It was re-iterated that the next major new graphics project following glTF materials is likely to be support for Vulkan / MotenVK as the graphics API of preference (Windows / Mac). No time frame on when this work will commence, tho.
  • As I reported in November 2022, Atlassian has announced it will be restructuring how it licenses the Jira bug reporting product from 2024 onwards.
    • No decision on the direction LL will take as this change in made has as yet been taken, but there are ongoing internal discussions on options.
    • However, at this point it appears as if whatever route LL decides to take, they will need to review how public issues are raised and passed to them, etc.

 Next Meeting

  • Friday, April 14th, 2023.

An oriental Dragonfly in Second Life

Dragonfly, March 2023 – click any image for full size

Dragonfly is a Full private region designed by the Mad Ninjaz, offering a fascinating setting built along vertical lines and which – on first arrival – can appear deceptive to the eye.

The landing point sits within what at first appears to be a rocky landscape, close to a Japanese style of house built over an artificial pool of water. It looks for all the world like an ordinary setting – until one starts to look around, and the floating islands with water falling free to reach nearby pools come into view. A further indication of the strangeness to the land comes in the form of the large hole in the ground behind the landing point (be careful if stepping back too far on landing!) which reveals another world; one which I’ll come to.

Dragonfly, March 2023

A Torii gate marks the entrance to the house, and more march away to the east, following the water flowing away from the pool over which the house has been built. Crossing a small bridge over the water, the gates turn south, marking the way where large basalt blocks sit as oversized stepping stones across mist-covered waters to large to stone steps curving up a hill.

The hill top is marked by more basalt rock forms and patterns of pools fed by waterfalls dropping from more floating islands. Torii gates continue to mark a path over around and between all of these to lead visitors to  where a path winds its way up a naked table of rock to where more pools of water – these made by humans – can be found, forming hot baths for relaxing, with little hideaways sitting with them.

Dragonfly, March 2023

Down below, sheltered under the table of rock supporting the gardens is a waterlogged town, a place of many focal points. How you get down is something I’ll leave to your to discover – although jumping down through the hole in the land is perhaps the quickest!

Here, along flooded streets can be found a curious mix of shops, event spaces, industrial units, giant pipes, elevated tramways, all mixed together in a strange mix that is both vibrant and filled with neon, but also edged with a sense of dystopia and the alien in the form of the basalt/crystal rock formations.

Dragonfly, March 2023

The tram keeps itself busy trundling back and forth along the short length of elevated track, stairs from the shallow waters leading up to two little platforms where people can board it for the short ride if they wish. A further Torii gate sits close to one of the tram stations, marking the maw of what might be a cave, neon-lit steps rising into the darkness. Step through them into the cave’s mouth and visitors arrive in a huge cavern and a strange mix of shopping mall and suggestions of clubs and hidden spots.

There is more to be found at or near water level awaiting cameras and explorers, perhaps the more obvious of which is the glowing tree of a large pagoda again lit and limned in neon. Called the Jewel Box, it is a strange mix of old, modern and futuristic, water again forming a central feature – together with a Chinese dragon. Stairs climb between the various floors, allowing the building to be thoroughly explored.

Dragonfly, March 2023

A second pagoda sits across the region from the Jewel Box, but while it is watched over by a guardian of its own – one perhaps a little more frightening in visage than the dragon at the Jewel Box, it is a shell without interior, offered as a potential focal point for photographs.  Some of the other buildings rising from the water are also shells in form, but equally, other have interiors, some of which are again diverse in form – such as a winter garden sitting between apartments. As such, time should be taken with wanderings and looking.

Very much a place of two halves, Dragonfly is richly diverse and wee-presented with a lot of small details waiting to be found. The local sounds can be a little intrusive in places, but overall a very different style of place to explore in Second Life.

Dragonfly, March 2023

 SLurl Details

2023 week 11: SL CCUG meeting summary

Gothbrooke Forest, January 2023 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log transcript of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, March 16th, 2023 at 13:00 SLT. 

These meetings are for discussion of work related to content creation in Second Life, including current work, upcoming work, and requests or comments from the community, together with viewer development work. They are chaired by Vir Linden, and dates and times can be obtained from the SL Public Calendar.


  • These meetings are conducted in mixed voice and text chat. Participants can use either to make comments / ask or respond to comments, but note that you will need Voice to be enabled to hear responses and comments from the Linden reps and other using it. If you have issues with hearing or following the voice discussions, please inform the Lindens at the meeting.
  • The following is a summary of the key topics discussed in the meeting, and is not intended to be a full transcript of all points raised.

glTF Materials and Reflection Probes

Project Summary

  • To provide support for PBR materials using the core glTF 2.0 specification Section 3.9 and using mikkTSpace tangents, including the ability to have PBR Materials assets which can be applied to surfaces and also traded / sold.
  • To provide support for reflection probes and cubemap reflections.
  • The overall goal is to provide as much support for the glTF 2.0 specification as possible.
  • In the near-term, glTF materials assets are materials scenes that don’t have any nodes / geometry, they only have the materials array, and there is only one material in that array.
    • It is currently to early to state how this might change when glTF support is expanded to include entire objects.
  • The project viewer is available via the Alternate Viewers page, but will only work on the following regions on Aditi (the Beta grid):  Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
  • Please also see previous CCUG meeting summaries for further background on this project.


  • The PBR Materials project viewer updated to version, on March 15th 2023. Note that this viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
  • Texture handling / management:
    • As a result of data gathered by the Lab revealing a lot of users only have around 1 GB of texture memory, Dave P (Runitai Linden) has been making another pass through texture handling to making loading faster and memory use more efficient.
    • VRAM management has been improved to more selectively release texture memory on systems which might otherwise “run low” on available VRAM.
    • The hope is these will reduce texture trhashing issues (texture blurring, clearing, blurring, clearing) in the future for those so affected.
  • Geenz Linden continues to work on the Mac side of the PBR work; Comic Linden is finalising UV treatment  and Bed Linden is working on the one remaining server-side bug the team is aware of and  is working on atmospherics and issues with rendering them in linear space.
  • Brad Linden is working on a series of bugs in PBR materials handling where editing via LSL or manually sees the updates (changes) dropped rather than applied in various edge-cases and situations.
    • The simulator-side fixes for this issues are in place; fixes within the viewer are awaiting inclusion in a upcoming viewer update.

In Brief

  • glTF format for geometry (mesh), animations, etc., this is something the Lab does want to do, but will take the form of follow-on project(s) from the current glTF PBR materials work.
    • supporting glTF geometry imports is seen as a major project as it will likely require handling of arbitrary hierarchies, which is not something SL currently handles – although it is acknowledged that once done, will offer a lot of benefits.
  • There  was a general discussion on terrain improvements. This is something that LL had been considering, but content creators attending the CCUG meeting favoured the PBR work and graphics updates, so the terrtain updates have just to be put back onto the road map. Where it would slot, is not clear, as the desire from creators is to see the glTF work continue with geometry import support, etc., as noted above.
  • Another major graphic project waiting in the wings is the introduction of support for the Vulkan graphics API / MoltenVK (for Mac). This would likely take priority over any significant terrain work.

Next Meeting

  • Thursday, March 30th, 2023.

SL20B: theme, music festival & performer applications

via Linden Lab

June 2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of Second Life opening to public access – and as we’ve all come to expect, a portion of the month will be given over to celebrations at the Second Life Birthday (SLB). On Thursday, March 16th, Linden Lab officially announced the 2023 Birthday event and its theme, and also opened applications for the (now traditional) Music Fest that kicks-off the official celebrations, and also applications for those wishing to perform during the celebrations as a whole.

Dates and Theme

This year the SLB festivities will open on Thursday, June 22nd, through until Sunday, July 2nd. Thing will launch on June 22nd with the start of the 3-day Music Fest, with the rest of the festivities and events running from June 25th.

We are pleased to announce our Birthday theme for this year: Our Fantastic Future. The cornerstone of this idea is what we would define as eco-futurism including sustainability, a focus on our environment, and the next generation of our world. Some might call this science fiction, but what is science fiction except a dream for a possible future? In Second Life we build worlds. Our worlds, our way. For SL20B, we invite you to show us your worlds of the future!

– From the official SL20B blog post

Music Fest

Since its inception, the Music Fest has become the traditional opener for the official celebrations, and this year it will provide three days of live music entertainment between Thursday, June 22nd and Saturday, June 24th inclusive.

The Lab is seeking at least a dozen performers, both veteran Second Life musicians and those new to the scene, to provide the music for the festival. Full details on requirements / policies can be found in the Music Fest application form; however, and in brief:

  • Sets at the festival run to an hour in length including any required set-up time.
  • There is a 350LI allowance for props and rezzable items for your show, which must be set-up as a part of the performance time.
  • Accepted acts are requested to be at the venue one hour ahead of their appearance, in order to complete final check-out with SLB personnel to ensure everything is ready for their set.
  • There is no payment for participation – however performers will be permitted the use of tip jars, subject to the festival policy notes.
  • All performances and song lyrics must be G-rated.
  • Applications will close on Sunday, April 9th, 2023.
  • Submission of the application and acceptance of event rules is the responsibility of the performer and may not be done by a third party.

Performer Applications

Linden Lab is looking for all types of performers to join the week-long festivities taking place between June 25th and July 2nd, inclusive. DJs, live performers, dance troupes, particle performers and more are welcome to apply.

Performers for the week are asked to complete the official performer application form. Note that applications must be made by the end of Sunday, May 14th, 2023.

Related Links

A trip to Plumpton on Sea, Second Life

Plumpton on Sea, March 2023 – click any image for full size

I’m going to start this piece with a reference that is only going to resonate with people from the UK of a certain age group, for which I apologise to everyone else. However, whenever I hear the name “Plumpton” a little voice from my childhood years starts up in the back of my head, “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb,” followed by mental images of a stop-motion fire engine and its crew trundling along little streets – and it’s a reaction I had when visiting Plumpton on Sea.

The most obvious explanation is the alterative nature of Plumpton and Trumpton, a children’s TV series made in the 1960s and repeated right through the 1970s and into the 1980s as a staple of BBC children’s television. However, it’s also likely to be because of the legend (urban or otherwise) that the actual Plumpton – a village in East Sussex, England was the inspiration name for Trumpton and that both nearby Plumpton Green and Chailey being the inspirational names for Trumpton’s sister shows, Camberwick Green and Chigley.

Plumpton on Sea, March 2023

Within the physical world, and regardless of any connections with television shows of my childhood, the real Plumpton, East Sussex is perhaps best known for its horse racing course, and (again for me personally) for being close to a number of Bronze Age sites which have been the targets of visits for me when visiting friends based down on the south coast.

And it is as a coastal location – something not shared by the original – which forms the focus for Plumpton on Sea in Second Life, thus helping to establish it as a place of the imagination, rather than necessarily rooted in the physical. That said, as a place created by Dave Piss (Cherish Demonge), who hails from the UK, there may be a little physical world resonance in the choice of names for this setting – I’ll leave you to cogitate on that.

Plumpton on Sea, March 2023

Dave was one of the people responsible for Puddlechurch, a Second Life location I wrote about back in March 2019, and so the fact that Plumpton on Sea is his build was a reason for the region catching my attention. Caught in a summer shower – or “liquid sunshine” as my father used to call it – this is a setting primarily built with photography in mind, the region offering multiple backdrops suitable for creating small scenes. The core of the build is a little town square, rich in detail – if a little run-down, and at first glance seemingly without an exit – although looks can be deceiving.

The landing point sits on one side of the square, the rain falling gently from clouds which touch the rooftop. A short walk away is a small bus stop, one wall of which is festooned with posters, all of them celebrating (if I might use that term) some of England’s most popular seaside locations – and for those familiar with them, the tag-lines are bound to raise a smile (although I was surprised with the inclusion of Leeds…).

Plumpton on Sea, March 2023

Built around an overgrown garden, the square sits caught in a summer rain, some of its townhouses undergoing renovations – possibly conversion into individual apartments, and the cobble road itself is also under repair. Hidden among the buildings are a couple of ways out of the square – one for vehicles in the form of a false tunnel, the other a very real underpass passing below and behind one side of the square to reach a corner beach sitting below high cliffs.

Within the square many of the buildings are façades or shells, but some do have modest interiors which offer additional opportunities for photography, one of which is a small arcade of games, whilst a sense of life is provided by the construction / repairs going on and the presence of some NPCs (which, again for those familiar with the shows, perhaps have a slight Trumptonshire ring to them 🙂 ).

The little corner café offers perhaps the most obvious place for avatar photography, with the beach offering additional opportunities; however, the square and beach both having a run-down charm which is attractive in its own right. Those who might want something more interactive can additionally find a trio of table-top games set out on the beach.

Plumpton on Sea, March 2023

Completed by a matching sound scape, Plumpton on Sea can be a little hard on the viewer if you have all the bells and whistles enabled, so do use good judgement when visiting and tweak your viewer settings accordingly if you encounter issues with running shadows, etc.

SLurl Details

2023 SL SUG meetings week #11 summary: “Ban the Bots” Simulator Update

Lyric, January 2023 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, March 14th, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, March 14th, the SLS Main channel servers were restarted without any deployment, leaving them on simulator version 577734.
  • On Wednesday, March 15th:
    • The BlueSteel & Magnum RC channels will receive the Estate Level Scripted Agent Controls (aka “Ban the Bots”)
      simulator update.
    • The Ferrari and LeTigre RC channels will be started without change.

There was no promotion to the Main SLS channel as a bug on the RC deployment made to Ferrari and LeTigre causing issues for some breedables.

Estate Level Scripted Agent Controls (aka “Ban the Bots”)

This is the simulator update referenced in the March 10th Lab Gab session – see: Lab Gab summary: Grumpity, Mojo & Patch – SL Mobile, land, bots & more – Bots and Policies).

  • The update includes a console variable that can be set by estate managers to either True or False. When set to True it will prevent Scripted Agents from entering regions in an estate.
  • This will be supported in time by a viewer UI update to allow the option to be managed more directly – but it will still be a while before this UI change surfaces in the viewer.
  • There will be a policy change update published soon which will further cover these changes and the operation of Scripted Agents.

Further changes have been suggested within the Lab – notably to traffic – but it has yet to be decided on whether / when these will be implemented.

Viewer Updates

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the various pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance Q(uality) viewer, version Thursday, February 2.
  • 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:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version, March 10 – This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version, December 8, 2022.

In Brief

  • A general discussion on scripting – such as adding a TypeScript-style support for writing LSL to script memory, use of C#, use of containers for services, LL selling AWS services through SL for scripters / scripted services, etc. This took up most of the meeting, so please see the video for reference.
  • BUG-227303 – “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status” – this bug is still awaiting work by LL.