SL project updates 16 15/1: server, viewer, Aditi inventory syncing

Tatakai Tochi; Inara Pey, April 2016, on Flickr Tatakai Tochiblog post

Server Deployments

On Tuesday, April 12th, the main (SLS) grid was updated with the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels in week #14. This comprises a fix for (non-public) BUG-11163 llHTTPRequest returns 400 from some sims and not others, and some minor internal fixes.

Commenting on the llHHTTPRequest update at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, April 12th, Oz described the reason for the update as follows:

Some time ago I changed the code so that when LSL sends an HTTP request it is more explicit about what MIME types it will accept. That uncovered a much older bug in how the list of acceptable types was maintained; when a region updated its configuration, the list got duplicates. When all we were using the list for was checking a response, all that cost was a tiny bit of extra time, but when we started sending them it caused requests the servers sometimes didn’t like.

SL Viewer

There has been no change to the current list of official viewers since my last update.

  • Current Release version: 4.0.3.312816 (dated March 23), April 1 – formerly the HTTP / Vixox RC viewer download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer 4.0.4.313759 release on April 8 – fixes for iewer crashes, memory leaks, input/cursor issues, graphics bugs, invisiprims, formatting and notifications (download and release notes)
    • Quick Graphics RC viewer updated to version 4.0.2.312297 on March 11 – provides the new Avatar Complexity options and the new graphics preset capabilities for setting, saving and restoring graphic settings for use in difference environments / circumstances (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes and will not be promoted to release status (download and release notes)

Aditi Issues

Inventory Syncing

Work is continuing on the Aditi inventory syncing issues (see here for details). In terms of the local caching issues previously reported (see also BUG-11651) , the Lab is testing a build of the viewer which will create separate inventory .gz files for Agni and Aditi, and which appears to overcome the issues of “phantom” Aditi assets appearing in Agni inventory and Aditi assets apparently “vanishing” from Aditi inventory, both until such time as the viewer cache is cleared.

The updated test viewer creates individual inv.gz files for Aditi (red) and Agni (blue) inventories, thus avoiding the issues og BUG-11651 (with thanks to Whirly Fizzle for the pointer)
The updated test viewer creates individual inv.gz files for Aditi (red) and Agni (blue) inventories, thus avoiding the issues reported in BUG-11651 (with thanks to Whirly Fizzle for the pointer)

The Calling Card and Favourite folders are also being synced at the moment, although it looks like these will be excluded (as had been the plan) alongside the Current Outfit Folder.

Aditi log-ins

Some people are still having issues logging-in to their last location on Aditi. When attempting to log-in, people either have to wait an age or, when eventually logged-in, arrive an a random location on the Beta grid. Not all users logging-in to Aditi are affect, but for those who are, the problem is persistent, and has been for a number of months.  There is some speculation that the issue might be inventory related, as was the case a couple of years back (see BUG-7707), and the Lab are going to poke at this to see if something similar is again occurring.

SL projects updates Week 16 (3): server, viewer, and Aditi summaries

Server Deployments week 16

  • On Tuesday April 16th, the SLS Main channel received Monty Linden’s HTTP updates, which were deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre in week 15, after having previously been on Magnum for testing – release notes
  • On Wednesday April 17th, the three Release Candidate channels (BlueSteel, LeTigre and Magnum) all received the same package after a planned deployment to BlueSteel and LeTigre had to be abandoned due to scheduling issues. The package deployed included the new server-side LSL Animation Override capabilities, including a fix for BUG-2164 wherein the new capabilities could conflict with built-in animation poses in chairs, etc., as discussed in my week 15 updates. The Magnum release are linked to for reference.

Following the SLS Main channel deployment there were a number of reports of significantly higher ping rates with regions being reported on the deployment thread, which prompted Monty Linden to comment, “There was a significant networking event today that has cleared.  Back to normal at this point…” Other than this, and reports of animation issues, which again may have been the result of server-side work, the deployments appear to have rolled-out smoothly and without significant issue.

SL Viewer Summary

Materials processing: the project viewer gained a further update on April 17th, with the deployment of release 3.5.1.274082, which includes bug fixes and some work on alpha masks. The bug fixes are hard to relate to public MATBUG JIRA items, as they all reference NORSPEC issues, which is LL’s internal materials JIRA reference. A further update to the project viewer is anticipated on either Friday 19th April or Monday, April 22nd.

Materials porject viewer: second update now available, third update to follow soon.
Materials project viewer: second update now available, third update to follow soon.

Server-side Baking / Appearance: speaking at the OpenDev meeting on Wednesday 17th April, Oz Linden indicated that SSB will have at least “one more spin” in the beta viewer before appearing in the SL release viewer. A further update was made to the SL development viewer (3.5.2.274273) on Thursday April 18th, so the beta update is liable to be appearing very shortly.

Further viewer updates: once SSB moves to the release viewer, it is likely that the FMODex update will move into the beta viewer; this should also include a fix for the issue with the Mac version of the viewer wherein it crashes whenever headphones are unplugged (and which, incidentally, is the most widely reported crash issue with the Firestorm viewer).

Aditi Issues

While Aditi has received attention recently in order to overcome logging-in and inventory issues, it still as a way to go before everything is “fixed”. Commenting on this at the Beta Server meeting on April 18th, Monty Linden commented, “[The] beta grid is going to get some attention in the login/inv area. But [I] don’t have a date. The problems are (mostly) understood.”

The password-change-to-update-your-Aditi-inventory might be changing as things are looked at and further updated / corrected. Commenting on this at the Beta Server meeting as well, Simon Linden said, “That trigger was done as a quick-and-easy way to stop having to ask a Linden to import your account.”

In discussing the asset system and inventories, Simon re-iterated that while there is a central asset system, it is really one very large storage system, and that, “The real magic isn’t the asset system, it’s your inventory database. Your inventory is what says which assets are yours.” It is syncing the inventory databases between Aditi and Agni which had become an issue, and also somewhat labour-intensive for LL but for the password change trigger.

Monty, with tongue firmly in cheek, suggested an alternative as to how the inventory / asset system works: “Inventory is recorded onto Post-ItTM notes and optically scanned at rez time.” Which, on reflection, is likely to confirm suspicions many have had!

Other Items in brief

Monty Linden
Monty Linden

HTTP Work

The next round of HTTP work is still being defined within the Lab. When asked what this might comprise, Monty replied, “Mesh download is going to get attention. It currently shotguns our services without really performing well.”

He went on, “Might do an experiment or two with pipelining. – but no promises, still setting priorities.”

It is the last remark which is important: things are still being decided in terms of further work and priorities where HTTP work is concerned. This was further underlined again by Monty when he indicated that “phase 3” of the work (the immediate follow-on to the last block of work) may well be “all viewer-side”, given that the initial work (texture fetching) was primarily viewer-side work and the last batch of work was exclusively server-side. So this appears to be a case of wait and see which route he and the Lab opt to take.

Advanced Creation Tools Permissions

July saw the launch of the first phase of the Advanced Creation Tools, also referred to as experience tools. Following problems with an initial deployment of the tools in June, which resulted them being exploited as a means of griefing, the “first phase” of the release saw the tools implemented with existing permissions system in place, with the intention of updating the permissions system to allow the tools to be more fully used “in the future”. Work on the new permissions system was stalled for a number of months, but has recently been getting more attention and work. The current situation appears to be that the permissions system may well be ready, but those working on the project are still, “sorting out how and when that’s going to be made available.”

Diagonal Region Rendering Issues

While fixes have been deployed to assist with issues with regions sometimes taking a long time to correctly handshake and cache with one another following a restart, this issue of regions which are diagonally opposite one another sometimes failing to render remains. Simon Linden had indicated that a potential fix for this issue was with QA as long ago as week 8; however it appears that the work may have hit problems or actually be stalled. In replying to a comment on the forum deployment thread relating to the issue, Maestro Linden replied with a simple, “Correct, that bug has not been fixed”.

No fix yet; status unclear
No fix yet; status unclear

 

SL project updates: week 10 (3): viewer, CHUI, SSB and HTTP work

SL Viewer Beta and Viewer Development  and CHUI

There have been updates to both the beta and development viewers. The beta viewer moved to release 3.5.0.271345, and development to 3.4.5.271386. Both releases were focused on CHUI, and according to Oz Linden, “Right now they are almost identical; different only in the viewer number I believe.” He went on to say, “There is significant uncertainty as to when CHUI will come out of the beta channels, and it’s very likely that will remain true for a while yet – that is, that the two will remain pretty similar.”

With one CHUI update having just gone to the beta viewer, the Lab anticipates there will be at least one more update for the project while in beta before it makes any more to the viewer release channel.

Server-side Baking (SSB)

Server-side Baking saw the release of a further viewer update – 3.4.5.271419 – on March 7th, which was partially in response from information gained from the first public pile-on / load test for SSB, held on Thursday February 21st.

Commenting on the ongoing work to integrate SSB into TPVs at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday March 8th, Oz linden thanked the TPVs for their work to date on trying to integrate the viewer-side SSB code into their offerings in order to keep the project on track. “I’m very pleased to say that right now it does not look like support for it [SSB] in third-party viewers is going to end up being the limiting factor on when it can be deployed,” he said, although he did caution against showing any complacency in getting the code to a deployable condition.

Merge with CHUI

Also at the TPV Developer meeting, Nyx indicated that overall, the project viewer for SSB is becoming more and more stable, and that his team now has and initial merge with the CHUI code, which they are going to be “hammering on”, prior to pushing it to the internal Sunshine branch. As such, the most recent release of the SSB project viewer is possibly the last push prior to CHUI appearing in the viewer.

Given there are concerns over the merger and its possible impact on TPVs, Nyx is going to see if it is possible to maintain a side branch of the SSB viewer code which does not include the CHUI merge, which could continue to receive fixes and make it easier for TPVs to obtain them, however, until this has been looked into in more detail, he is unwilling to commit to how easy it would be to achieve and maintain – or how long for.

Second Pile-on  / Load Test

Serer-side baking - further testing on March 14th
Serer-side baking – further testing on March 14th

Attending the Server Beta meeting in week 10, Nyx Linden announced that the updated viewer will be required  for a further pile-on / load test, which has been scheduled for Thursday March 14th. The test is liable to be in much the same format as the first test, and those wishing to participate are advised to attend the Server Beta meeting on Aditi ahead of time (the meeting commences at 15:00 SLT on Thursdays).

Those wishing to take part in the test should also ensure they are using the latest version of the SSB project viewer linked-to above, as this as this has been specifically set-up to enable correct logging of data, etc., for the test. Nyx hopes that the latest updates to the logging parameters, coupled with the recent inventory fixes applied to Aditi should do much to both lessen the impact of Aditi issues should they occur and make them easier to identify when analysing feedback. However, Nyx suggested that those who have experienced Aditi inventory issues and who wish to join-in the test on March 14th should log-into the Sunshine test regions ahead of time and confirm that they can access their inventory using the project viewer.

Continue reading “SL project updates: week 10 (3): viewer, CHUI, SSB and HTTP work”

SL projects updates: week 10 (1): server, materials and SSB

Server Deployments Week 10

A full set of server deployments this week.

On Tuesday March 5th, the Second Life Server (SLS) channel received the server maintenance project that was deployed to all three RC channels in week 9. This update only contains a fix to a single crash mode.

On Wednesday March 6th, the three Release Candidate channel should receive the following code deployments:

  • BlueSteel and LeTigre: a new server maintenance project, which fixes a fairly common crash mode, together with Baker Linden’s large (as in file size) object rezzing project aimed at improving simulator performance (see below)
  • Magnum: a new server maintenance project, which includes a mix of bug fixes and stability improvements. Specific fixes mentioned in the release notes are:
    • BUG-1612: region Owners and estate managers finding they are unable to teleport back to their region after disabling direct teleports to the region
    • SVC-8019: region visibility delays following region restarts. This may help with the problem of diagonally adjacent regions failing to render
    • VWR-786: if a friend does not have ‘See my online status’ permission, they will now see “User is not online ..” message following IM or inventory offer.

Large Object Rezzing Project

Baker Linden has been looking to improve how objects with large file sizes are handled by the simulator software when being rezzed. He describes the work thus, “What I’ve been working on is hopefully significantly decreasing lag spikes when rezzing large, complex objects [such as those with lots of scripts]. Large does not necessarily imply size, but size of the files being read. When an object is rezzing, we have to parse the object / mesh files and create our in-world objects with that data.”

Until now, reading and parsing of any files related to objects which require rezzing has been on the main thread. When several such objects requiring rezzing at the same time, the simulator stalls. Baker has been moving the reading / parsing operation to a background thread in the expectation that this will prevent the simulator being choked.

The key point about this work is that it is specifically aimed at preventing the simulator processes from choking and a region stalling when there are a number of large object files being read / parsed, not at actually “speeding up” the physical rezzing process. As such, it is unlikely that objects will appear any faster in people’s in-world view as a result of this work. However, what it does mean is that the simulator code will be better able to handle rezzing multiple “large file” objects without the attendant region lagging which can occur as a result of the simulator being unable to process messages from viewers and other simulators, etc.

Materials Processing

In my last update on this work, I reported that the Lab believed they had one more issue to resolve with the materials processing project, after which the way should be clear for a project viewer to be made publicly available. At the time, it wasn’t clear exactly what the problem might be. However, on Monday March 4th, I was able to ask Oz about the problem, and it appears that it is with the project viewer itself.

“We’ve got a viewer, but it’s so crashy, and the crashes are mostly in material property editing, that I don’t want to distribute it yet…. I’m concerned that doing so would result in a lot of broken content lying around,” Oz informed me.

Materials processing: viewer issues delaying project viewer release (image courtesy of Geenz Spad)
Materials processing: viewer issues delaying project viewer release (image courtesy of Geenz Spad) – click to enlarge

I asked Oz if the crash problems were related to physically applying maps to objects and / or object faces. He confirmed that this is indeed the case – and that the latest (non-public) version of the project viewer can crash if even the parameters for maps applied to an object / object face are modified. However, he went on to say, “Hopefully we’ll get the worst of the crashes dealt with soon, and then we can start giving it to a wider audience. We’ve already solved a bunch of them, but it’s not quite ready for even open alpha testing.”

So, for those who commented on the lack of any update following my last SL project update from week 9, I’m afraid the situation still appears to be one of, “Hurry up and wait.”

Continue reading “SL projects updates: week 10 (1): server, materials and SSB”

SL project update: week 9 (2): servers, HTTP, SSB

Server Deployments – week 9

Server Life Server (Main) Channel

As noted in part 1 of this report, the Second Life Server (SLS / Main channel) received the server maintenance project which was on all three RC channels in week 8, comprising miscellaneous bug fixes, and the improved region restart notification. Deployed on Tuesday 26th February, the roll-out was followed by a number of issues being reported via the deployment forum thread.

Issues have included:

  • Parcels / regions vanishing from search for a period of time following the restart (an issue WolfBaginski Bearsfoot gave some thought to in commenting on part 1 of this report)
  • Further region crossing issues, with loss of control followed by “broken” camera positioning after recovery. This issue has been reported at some of the Simulator and Server Beta meetings previously, and Eric Gregan has produced a video demonstrating the problem as it occurs on some aircraft, although he’s also come up with a means of avoiding the issue which may or may not work for people.

  • Problems with Dwarfins attachments.

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday February 27th, all three Release Candidate channels received a new server maintenance package which includes a fix for a crash mode (see the release notes (BlueSteel)). No significant issues have been reported for this deployment.

SL Viewer

The Communications Hub User Interface finally made its debut in both the SL development and SL beta servers, arriving as release 3.5.1.270826 for the development viewer on Tuesday 26th February, and 3.5.0.270825 for the beta viewer on Wednesday 27th. I’ve provided a brief introduction to CHUI, and there is also a video from Torley Linden.

CHUI is liable to remain in beta for a “Good long run”, to quote Oz Linden. Hopefully, this may mean that materials processing will be the next significant viewer update to arrive as a project viewer.

Interest List

The recent updates to Andrew Linden’s interest list work are apparently won’t reach a RC channel in week 10, but should see deployment in week 11 (week commencing Monday 11th March). This work includes fixing issues with avatar appearance teleporters which use llSetRegionPos(), as well as correcting problems where objects which change appearance behind the camera ‘snapping’ into place when you rotate the camera back.

Server-side Baking

On Friday March 1st, Linden Lab unexpectedly released an updated version of the SSB project viewer (release 3.4.5.271118), which includes their approach to overcoming the problems of the Z-offset capability common to many TPVs being broken as result of the SSB code. The new approach, which I was able to outline when it “launched”, introduces an additional shape slider into the Edit Shape floater; as such, the ease-of-use of the approach, particularly for those who may swap between different avatar shapes (e.g. “normal” and petite) is very questionable.

The new "Hover" option in the Edit Shape panel for adjusting avatar height offsets in the Sunshine project viewer. Not the most elegant solution
The new “Hover” option in the Edit Shape panel for adjusting avatar height offsets in the Sunshine project viewer. Not the most elegant solution

Continue reading “SL project update: week 9 (2): servers, HTTP, SSB”

SL project news 9 (1): servers, SSB, materials and Aditi

Deployments for Week 9

It’s a “lightweight” week for deployments, with all channels receiving one of two maintenance packages.

Server Life Server (Main) Channel

Region restart notifications: the "old" stayle (top), and the "new" style (bottom)
Region restart notifications: the “old” style (top), and the “new” style (bottom)

On Tuesday February 26th, the Second Life Server (SLS / Main channel) received the server maintenance project which was on all three RC channels last week.  This project has miscellaneous bug fixes, along with an impoved restart notification (which will only be apparent when this new version restarts for the next update) – see the image on the right.

While this is much better than the previous notification, it does suffer from the fact it will still fade from the viewer’s window and become a chiclet whether or not the OK button is clicked – and thus can still be missed if attention is not on the screen when it appears. To help avoid this, it is possible to set a sound for the alert using the Debug Setting UISndAlert, which requires the UUID of the sound, which coule be one you’ve uploaded to inventory yourself (Firestorm additionally has UISndRegionRestart, which can be set through Debug Settings or Preferences > Sound & Media > UI Sounds 2).

This release  means the until the RC channel deployments take place (see below), almost the entire grid is running the same server code – the only exceptions being a few “special” regions (such as the Linden Realms regions) – release notes.

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday February 27th, all three Release Candidate channels should receive a new server maintenance package which includes a fix for a crash mode – release notes (BlueSteel).

As always, there is a forum thread for discussing the deployments.

Server-side Baking

Following-on from his initial feedback given at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday 22nd February, Nyx Linden gave a further update on the recent Sever-side Baking (SSB) pile-on / load test when chairing the Content Creation User Group meeting on Monday 25th February

Thanks all for everyone who helped out with the pile-on test of server appearance last Thursday. The results tended to be that when the system worked, it was nice and speedy, however there were a number of issues that prevented it from working for everyone all the time. We got a good bit of data on the bugs we knew were there as well as a couple new ones. we’ve been crunching on the results and are starting to attack the issues, so it was definitely successful in achieving what we wanted: more data :). There will be future rounds, so thanks in advance for anyone who comes back to help us test again.

Z-offset Issue and SUN-38

As noted in the comments following my quick SSB test using currently available TPVs with SSB enabled, there is an issue with the “Z-offset” capability common to many third-party viewers, which allows the vertical height of an avatar above the ground to be adjusted, such that sits and kneels don’t leave the avatar apparently floating in the air, and which allow those with very tall / giant avatars or very small / petite avatars and those wearing full body mesh to similarly adjust their vertical placement relative to the ground / floor.

The problem was reported to Nyx in week 8, and SUN-38 was subsequently raised by Henri Beauchamp on February 24th to officially log the matter. Commenting on the problem during Content Creation meeting, Nyx Linden stated. “It hasn’t escaped our notice. We’re considering a couple different approaches … we’re considering a few different options. Suggestions appreciated, but we haven’t officially settled on an approach we’re going to commit to publicly just yet.” He also suggested that any questions on the subject be asked again next week, presumably by which time LL will have had time to consider the problem in detail, and hopefully consult with TPV developers.

Interest List Updates

Andrew Linden is continuing to work on the interest list code, with more refinements to come, as well as looking at a number of bug fixes. The updates about to go to LL’s QA include changes which should make scenery load faster  / more correctly when first logging-in to SL or teleporting to a region.

Aero Pines Park
Future updates to the interest list code should see scenery in your world view rezzing a lot faster

Continue reading “SL project news 9 (1): servers, SSB, materials and Aditi”