SL project updates 38/1: server, viewer

Neive; Inara Pey, September 2017, on Flickr~Neive~blog post

Server Deployments for Week #38

As always, please refer to the server release thread for updates and the latest news.

  • There was no deployment / restart on the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, September 18th, leaving that channel running on 17#17.09.01.508236.
  • On Wednesday, September 19th, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre should receive a new server maintenance package, 17#17.09.14.508549, comprising improvements to address some problems that could degrade simulator performance in rare cases.
    • Magnum should receive a new server maintenance package, 17#17.09.14.508533, containing a fix for BUG-100505  “llGetEnv (“agent_limit”) is returning an empty string in Magnum, LeTigre and Blue Steel regions.”

Commenting on the RC releases at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, September 19th, Simon Linden said:

[we] have two very similar RCs out tomorrow, the later version just has one extra bug fix in it … which will either be really good or bad … we’ll see 🙂 … it involves an underlying library update … usually that’s all good [but] sometimes subtle changes cause all sorts of breakage. So far it looks good to us … but that’s what shipping updates is all about, I guess.

On a positive note, with these updates and some still in the pipeline, I think we’re making good progress against some of the bigger crash issues we recently had with system outages.

SL Viewer

On Tuesday, September 19th, the Maintenance RC updated to version 5.0.8.329065. The rest of the viewer pipeline remains unchanged from the end of week #37:

  • Current Release version 5.0.7.328060, dated August 9, promoted August 23rd – formerly the Maintenance RC
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Wolfpack RC viewer,version 5.0.8.328990, dated September 12th – this viewer is functionally identical to the release viewer, but includes additional back-end logging “to help catch some squirrelly issues”
    • Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer, version 5.1.0.508209, dated September 5th
    • Voice RC viewer, version 5.0.8.328552, dated September 1st
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8th, 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.

Other Items

AO / Animation Priorities

Over the past 3 weeks or so, some people have noticed changes to apparent AO / animation behaviours which appear to mimic priority conflicts. A typical example is someone sitting on an AVSitter item and finding after a few seconds that there AO suddenly overrides the sitter’s animation, forcing them to disable their AO where previously they did not, or someone joining a dance HUD / system and finding their AO overrides the dance animation, causing them to stand, again forcing them to turn off their AO, where previously the two played together nicely.

The problem seems to be more common with those wearing AO HUDs. In most cases I’ve heard about, there has been a claim of no user change to the AO system (i.e. using a new or updated AO) or in the furniture or dance system animations / scripts.

It has been suggested that a fix for BUG-11501 might be responsible, although there seems to be some confusion over the status of the fix for this bug.

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SL project updates week 37/1: week #36 region return issues

Mother Road; Inara Pey, September 2017, on FlickrMother Roadblog post

Server Deployments for Week #37

As always, please refer to the server release thread for updates and the latest news.

  • On Tuesday, September 12th, 2017, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the same server maintenance package,17#17.09.01.508236, as deployed to the BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs in week #36. It is described as comprising internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, September 13th, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • LeTigre and Magnum should receive a new server maintenance package, 17#17.09.08.508350 containing some internal HTTP fixes, described by Rider Linden as being, “pretty deep in the internals mostly having to do with how the server handles callbacks. [They]  mostly have to do with an issues on the response event. There was a rare case that could cause a crash.”
    • BlueSteel (and the smaller Cake RC) should receive a new server maintenance package, 17#17.09.08.508343, comprising some internal simulator changes.

Week #36 Region Return Issues

Following the RC deployments on Wednesday, September 6th, a number of regions across the grid experienced widespread object returns, resulting multiple forum threads (see here for an example). While some of the reports pointed a finger at the Magnum RC deployment as the cause, issues were also experienced on regions on other simulator channels as well.

The returns were triggered by objects within the affected regions having their physics shapes changed. This resulted in many objects undergoing an increase in their LI, prompting the returns as they exceed region / parcel allowances (see BUG-134270, and BUG-134271) and also meant that some objects which remained in-world, or which were placed out again by their owners could not longer be navigated by avatars (e.g. doorways appeared to be invisibly blocked, stairways couldn’t be climbed).

Commenting on the issue during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, September 12th, Oz Linden stated:

The problem is pretty well understood, and we’re working on it… it’s actually been around for a long time, but some bad luck has triggered it a couple of times lately it’s a timing thing, and the window where it can happen is narrow … It can happen on any restart, but only if there are other simultaneous back-end problems; fortunately, those are usually rare – or rather, they had some root causes in common.

We do have a change in progress that we think will prevent that kind of large-scale returns … or at least that particular way of triggering them.

One of the critiques in this situation has been the apparent lack of response to the issue by the Lab – and it is one that could have perhaps benefited from a blog post or a response through one of the forum threads to the effect that the matter had been noted and the underlying cause being looked into. Responding to similar criticism made during the SUG meeting, Oz also said, “Actually, I just came from a meeting in which we were discussing how to respond more quickly to things like that on the forums.” Hopefully, the discussions will result in more positive responses to major issues raised through the forums in future.

Week #36 Outage

Week #36 also saw a further significant outage with Second Life services involving the platform, log-in services and so on. So far, there has been no definitive explanation as to what happened, but hopefully a post-mortem blog post will be forthcoming from April Linden or one of the Ops team in the near future.

SL Viewer

On Monday, September 11th, the Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.0.8.328951.

The Wolfpack RC updated on Tuesday, September 12th to version 5.0.8.328990.  This viewer is functionally identical to the release viewer, but includes additional back-end logging “to help catch some squirrelly issues”.

The rest of the official viewer pipeline remains unchanged from the end of week #36:

  • Current Release version 5.0.7.328060, dated August 9, promoted August 23 – formerly the Maintenance RC
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer, version 5.1.0.508209, dated September 5
    • Voice RC viewer, version 5.0.8.328552, dated September 1
  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project

Rider Linden has recently been pulled away from the Environment Enhancements Project (EEP, aka “Windlight updates”). However, he notes that he is making progress on the viewer side of things. Commenting on his current work with the project, Rider said:

The changes I’m making right now are adding some new classes that can handle the .settings assets. I’m wiring them into the environment on the viewer side. I’m trying to clean up the entire environment manager and the location that the windlight parameters are used/calculated/stored as I go (currently it is spread across about 1/2 a dozen source files for skys alone.).”

He also noted that he has yet to start on the scripted support for EEP, and it is likely that both the new Windlight assets and a project viewer will appear before the new scripting capabilities make their appearance. Quite when the assets and viewer will appear isn’t certain, and Oz Linden noted that there is a certain amount of infrastructure work to be done in connection with EEP.

In Brief

  • There has been some criticism of the server release notes being somewhat vague (e.g. “internal fixes”), the reason given for this is that the Lab prefers to be obscure about some changes rather than offering potential clues on possible griefing vectors / fixes for griefing vectors.
  • The keen-eyed may have noticed that the number of server release packages has changed, from ##.##.##.3##### to ##.##.##.5#####. The “5” signifies the package has been built on the Lab’s new simulator build system, with the increase made to avoid possible collisions between build versions.

SL project updates week 36/1: server, viewer

Savor Serenity; Inara Pey, August 2017, on FlickrSavor Serenityblog post

Server Deployments Week 36

Please refer to the deployment notice for the week for latest updates and news.

SL Viewer

  • On Tuesday, September 5th, the Alex Ivy 64-bit RC viewer updated to version 5.1.0.508209.
  • On Friday, September 1st, the Voice RC viewer updated to version 5.0.8.328552.
  • On Thursday, August 31st, a new version of the Maintenance RC viewer was released, version 5.0.8.328812, replacing the earlier version, pulled shortly after release due to BUG-134213, [Maint: Moonshine] breaks clickable functionality for certain HUDs.

The rest of the viewer release pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #35:

  • Current Release version 5.0.7.328060, dated August 9, promoted August 23 – formerly the Maintenance RC
  • 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.

Feature Request

The Lab  welcomes well thought-out and present feature request via the Second Life JIRA. Not every feature request is accepted – which is not the same as saying they aren’t looked at / considered. Commenting on how and when requests are taken up, coming out os a conversation about script functions, Simon Linden had this to say:

We have a long list of “it would be nice to do” script features. We don’t make final decisions on anything until we get to the point where we’d actually work on them. There’s always a tough choice which one is the best thing to spend limited time on.

When we look at features, we have to juggle how hard it might be to implement, if it’s going to affect a narrow or broad set of customers, if it’s really a new thing or something you might already be able to do (most often with scripting features), potential for lag, griefing or privacy problems, how much would break, etc.

 

 

SL project updates week 35/1: server, viewer

Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdusblog post

Updated, September 2nd: to reflect the Maintenance RC viewer 5.0.8.328612 being replaced by version 5.0.8.328812 on Thursday, August 31st.

Server Deployments Week 35

Please refer to the deployment notice for the week for latest updates and news.

  • On Tuesday, August 29th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels in week#34, #17.08.11.328152, comprising the MIME type changes for HTTP.
  • On Wednesday, August 30th, the RC channels were updated with a new server maintenance package 17#17.08.22.507928 comprising some tool changes made to the simulator software build systems, which should not change functionality anywhere.

Dual Region Restarts

For around the last month, it appears that some regions have been undergoing unintended double restarts: the first sees the region comes back on-line on the same simulator version as before the restart, but on a new host. The second restart – occurring roughly an hour later – sees the region restart on the new simulator version, but still on the same host as the first restart.

This is not normal behaviour, and JIRAs are request – with logs – from anyone witnessing their region doing this following a weekly deployment,.

SL Viewer

On Thursday, August 31st, 2017, the Lab released a new Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.0.8.328812, comprising a wide range of bug fixes.

This RC has been pulled due to BUG-134213, [Maint: Moonshine] breaks clickable functionality for certain HUDs.

The rest of the viewer release pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #34:

  • Current Release version 5.0.7.328060, dated August 9, promoted August 23 – formerly the Maintenance RC
  • 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:
  • 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.

Animation Syncing

Much of the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, August 29th, focused on animation syncing. Animations are largely handled by the viewer, and there are minimal user control over how animations sync (e.g. couples animations when dancing, except when loaded. There have long be calls for more granular levels of user control over animations – such as a scripted means of pre-caching (such as can be done with sounds) to help with smoother playback, and better syncing control.

Firestorm offers a degree of individual user control of animations through the resync animation command / button. However, there’s no easy way to synch animations between viewers to ensure everyone is seeing the same thing – which can be an issue when dealing with the likes of games and things, and could complicate matters with animated objects / animesh.An interim suggestion might be for the Lab to adopt the Firestorm resyc function, were it to be contributed.