Note: with the exception of the server deployment review, the majority of this update has been taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday 21st August. A video of the meeting, recorded by panterapolnocy, is available at the end of this article
Server Deployments Week 34
As always, please refer to the week’s forum deployment thread for news, updates and feedback.
- On Tuesday August 20th the Main channel had Server-side Appearance (SSA) enabled, as per this blog post from the Lab.
- On Wednesday 21st August, the Magnum RC received a new maintenance package with “under the hood” changes which should be invisible to residents, while BlueSteel and LeTigre received an update to the package deployed to BlueSteel in week 33. This includes a fix for the “grey box” attachment issue which affected multiple avatars riding an object over BlueSteel region crossings. Additionally, these channels also saw SSA enabled, meaning the entire main grid is now running SSA.
For information on the Server-side Appearance deployment, please see my separate report.
SL Viewer Updates
A new release candidate debuted on August 20th with the name “CHUIStorm” (126.96.36.1990048). This is a merging of the CHUI and Snowstorm RC viewers with the latest de facto release code base. The reason for merging the two RCs is because the Lab felt there were “too many RCs in flight”, making it difficult to determine which one should be promoted to the release viewer if several appeared ready simultaneously. In future, the Lab hopes to keep the total number of RCs in the channel to around two or three.
Interestingly, the Google Breakpad RC has vanished from the list of RC viewers in the Release channel.
The Materials project viewer was promoted to the Release channel on August 21st (RC 188.8.131.520083), leaving the current total number of RC viewers in the channel at three (CHUIStorm, Cocoa (Mac) and Materials).
Next in the Pipeline
While the order in which they appear or the overall time frame for their release is not clear, there are a number of project viewers which will be appearing in the near future. These include:
- A further Snowstorm project viewer (third-party developer contributions) – currently with LL’s QA team
- A new Interest List project viewer (which has had trouble passing QA – see below)
- A further SSA project viewer – for details see my SSA Update
- A Group Bans project viewer (see below)
- An HTTP project viewer (see the HTTP update below)
In addition, Oz Linden hinted that he may have a surprise announcement at the next TPV Developer meeting in two weeks. While he said absolutely nothing further on the subject, the resultant speculation was that he might have been referring to the arrival of an Experience Tools project viewer. Linden Lab accidentally exposed such a viewer a few weeks ago, but quickly moved it back to a private status, so there is an awareness that a viewer is in development. Whether the speculation is right or wrong will be revealed in the fullness of time!
Interest List Update
As noted above, the viewer-side updates to the Interest list project continue to evade a project viewer release, but are expected to appear “soon”. While the code does not contain any mandatory changes TPVs must adopt, there are obviously optimisations within the code which will be beneficial for TPVs to pick-up once the repository is public.
Group Ban List
Baker Linden continues to make good progress with the group ban list project. He is currently working on what he sees as the last major part of the initial work: getting the viewer connected to the server. After that, he reports he has “a lot of security checks, and some minor additions”. There’s still no date for a project viewer, but it would appear that it is not that far from reaching a status of “real soon now”.
Monty Linden is continuing to work on his HTTP updates, although he has most recently been trying to get the ” bureaucratic details” sorted and getting a QA pass on both the server-side and the viewer side work. He’s also trying to get a DNS fix in as well, which he describes as the “great DNS look-up failures problem” which the Lab has had for a number of years. He thinks he has a fix for the issue, but he’s not 100% certain.
In terms of the HTTP work, Monty is trying to get a project viewer lined-up, and describes the major feature within it as being the reduction of the number of connections used by mesh so that it will be possible to start using keepalives with mesh as well.
As I’ve previously reported, Monty has already reduced the number of mesh connections from 32 to 8. Going forward, eight will be the new default (rather than 32), with the aim being to cap the total number of mesh connections used by the viewer, with adaptive throttling and two different re-try schemes. The hope is that this will further improve network utilisation by creating more effective viewer / server connections; it should also help less capable routers.