2021 SUG meeting week #41 summary

Perpetuity, July 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, October 12th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

Server Deployments

The planned deployment for this week has been postponed due to late-breaking issues, and so will not be deployed for a week. However, regions that have not been restarted in 10 or more days will be restarted. See the (“lack of”) deploy plans notes for more.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current crop on official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Apple Notarisation Fix RC viewer, version 6.4.23.564172, issued September 24 – this should remove the warning messages which are currently popping up.
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.23.564063, on September 21.
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version 6.4.23.562623, dated September 17, issued September 20.
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.4.23.563579, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.4.23.562614, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

Region Crossings

  • The subject of region crossings came up again, specifically in reference to multiple sequential crossings via vehicle, and the problems that can occur (passing from one region to the next, and then on to the next before all relevant data between the first two has been fully transferred). There should be code in place to handle this, but the Lab acknowledges there may be cases there this doesn’t work well.
  • Rider Linden acknowledged that more work is required on the entire physical region crossing protocol, but that, “it may involve starting from scratch and rethinking how the entire protocol works. That’s going to be a big job.”
    • The question here is, how best to delay interpolation to ensure all information on a vehicle and its passengers is received by one region so all of it can be passed on to the next. User Animats submitted a code contribution to Firestorm in 2018 (which has since been further revised) to help with this, but it is not perfect. The problem here is, too much delay  – say more than around 1/2 a second – is noticeable and can impact immersion; a second problem is, what may help ease some types of region crossing may make others more noticeable.
  • Another problem is that physical / vehicle region crossings are such that there is little opportunity for any kind of “pre-transfer” of vehicle and avatar data, until the vehicle is on top of / crossing the actual region boundary (the 1m boundary). This is because there is no guarantee that a vehicle will turn away from a crossing without actually moving between regions – so simulator time (on both sides) is taken up in handling the pre-transfer without no point to the exercise.
Another option (again, to stress **as an example**) would be to always have up to date data on all adjacent regions. But that would cost us real money. How do we recoup that increased cost in a way that is fair to the people who actually make use of the increased data availability? I’m just trying to give examples of why none of these solutions are “free” or “simple”.

– Mazidox Linden on region crossings + potential solutions

  • The suggestion was made to run regions on virtual machines, such that adjacent regions are on the “same machine”, removing the need for transferring data between different physical simhosts. The problems here are:
    • a) The number of “adjacent” regions can be huge (e.g. Blake Sea and the surrounding private estates + Mainland continents, and the Mainland continents as a whole).
    • Even if broken down into more manageable groups of regions all on the same hardware, but this again doesn’t entirely eliminate problems, an will result in some region crossings appearing smoother, and others (where they remain between different hardware) appearing “worse” by comparison.
    • Also, if the hardware fails fails running a batch of virtual machines, that’s potentially a larger number of regions that go with it than is currently the case. And while hot shadowing is possible so that if a server does fail, it’s shadow can automatically take over, that’s doubling overall hardware requirements + associated costs, which would have to be met somehow.
  • As it is, the move to AWS has seen an overall improvement in region crossings, primarily because the hardware and infrastructure available via AWS is a lost more recent, and so more powerful (hardware) and faster (network) than the Lab’s old infrastructure.
  • Whilst not just related to region crossings, an experiment on the Lab’s to-do list is to try to group clusters of regions by hardware, something that has not been tried in some time.

In Brief

  • A major focus on the server  / simulator side of Second Life remains the work in updating the tools the Lab has at its disposal, which is to be followed by / overlap with a major operating system upgrade (not to 64-bit, which is viewed as a “humongous” piece of work, but one that will eventually need to be addressed, depending on the platform’s continued longevity).
  • There is a brief discussion at the end of the meeting concerning mesh decimation, avatar meshes, rendering, and possible improvement, much of which is a subject of CCUG meeting discussions.

2021 SUG meeting week #40 summary

Adored – For Bambi, June 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

Server Deployments

There are no planned deployments or restarts this week, due to the rolling restarts made on Friday, October 1st to correct an expiration issue related to Let’s Encrypt certificates that resulted in failures for in-world scripts making HTTP calls to websites secured with a Let’s Encrypt certificates.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current crop on official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Apple Notarisation Fix RC viewer, version 6.4.23.564172, issued September 24 – this should remove the warning messages which are currently popping up.
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.23.564063, on September 21.
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version 6.4.23.562623, dated September 17, issued September 20.
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.4.23.563579, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.4.23.562614, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26, 2020.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

In Brief

  • The next maintenance update for the simulator will include a longer read for notecard lines (1024 bytes) that will be retroactive.
  • PRIM_PROJECTOR is a new parameter for llSet/GetPrimitiveParams. Documentation is already on the wiki, but the simulator code isn’t ready to deploy for using testing on Aditi yet.
  • It still has not been indicated when the Land team will flip the switch to ease the issue of some Mainland regions having darken default EEP settings.
  • The simulator engineering team is “finishing up” some retooling, and will be moving on to starting to address performance improvements “in the next few months”.
  • BUG-229205 “Re-enable PRIM_CAST_SHADOWS” – this has been seeing some discussion within the Lab, but no inform as to when it might be actioned.
  • An interesting question was asked about using EEP to create an aurora effect that would be seen across the sky when used. The suggestion is to try using a texture in place of clouds, which would give a degree of motion (but whether this could mimic the “motion” of aurora streams would be interesting).
  • Monday, October 4th saw a log-in update that “caused some issues for Firestorm”. The main fix is in place, but the issues is still being worked on for Aditi (the beta grid).

2021 SUG meeting week #39 summary

Hazelnut’s Kingdom, June 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, September 28th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

Server Deployments

See the deployment thread for updates.

  • There are no planned deployments for the SLS Main channel.
  • The RC channels will be subject to a rolling restart on Wednesday, September 29th. Due to technical constraints this, will update the simulator version number to 564195, however there are no changes in code or configuration from the currently deployed version 563375.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current crop on official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Apple Notification Fix RC viewer, version 6.4.23.564172, issued September 24 – this should remove the warning messages which are currently popping up.
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.23.564063, on September 21.
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version 6.4.23.562623, dated September 17, issued September 20
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.4.23.563579, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.4.23.562614, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

In Brief

  • Some are reporting an uptick in 502 responses to outgoing HTTP requests that is described as “not common, but common enough” to cause concern, although the requests usually go through as expected on retry. The uptick appears to coincide with the updates to HTTP-out proxies. The usual Jiras on target URL, source regions/objects, owners, etc., have been requested from those experiencing these issues.
  • Some are also reporting issues with texture loading taking longer of late, including textures that should be locally cached by the viewer. The simulator and messaging is being pointed to as a potential culprit, although a) this shouldn’t affect cached textures; b) aside from the initial object and texture information, textures (as with all assets) come via the CDN, not through the simulator.
    • It’s been suggested that changes to the Interest List in support of the 360º Capture project viewer could be the cause, and this hasn’t been ruled out.
    • Similar issues had been noted with Firestorm following its release. However these have tended to be in terms of initial viewer start-up at the start of a session (when VFS load seems to take abnormally long), but these do not appear to be related to this issue, as this appears to occur across all viewer flavours – official and TPV.
    • Again, Jira reports on the issue giving viewer details, locations and actual timing snapshots (using ALT-CTRL-3 to display the texture queue) would be useful to the Lab. Also tests using the TextureTest2 and MeshTest2 regions on Aditi (which are structured to test exactly this sort of thing) that can be reported would also be useful.
  • BUG-231113 “PRIM_POINT_LIGHT sets the wrong colour (not a duplicate)” has been accepted (and pending more detailed investigation). It is not clear if the viewer is amending the script-supplied light parameters prior to sending them to the simulator, or whether the change is on the simulator side of things.
  • The last part of the meeting comprised grumbling about blog reports apparently not being addressed (or possibly more correctly, not being addressed in a time frame those experiencing an issue – which may not be everyone or even a majority or users – want it to be addressed). In response, it was pointed out that there is a lot of working going on under-the-hood that is not user-visible, but nevertheless is of a high priority.

2021 SUG meeting week #38 summary

Elvion, June 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

There is little to report, given the meeting was also another Solstice party.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, the server deployment thread had not been published.

  • All remaining simhosts were updated to simulator release  563375 on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, the maintenance release containing changes related to llChar(), llUnsit() and extended internal logging.
  • There are no planned RC deployments during the week.

HTTP-Out Proxy

Monty Linden deployed the new HTTP-out proxies in week #36. It wasn’t entirely glitch-free (but not as bad as the August attempt), with issues occurring in a part of the configuration that didn’t allow for immediate correction. Monty hopes that the lessons learnt with make future deployments smoother.

SL Viewer

  • The Simplified Cache viewer updated to version 6.4.23.562623 on Friday, September 17th (issued Monday, September 20th).

The rest of the pipelines remain as:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • 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 version 6.4.23.563789, issued on September 16 – combines the Grappa and Happy Hours RCs.
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.4.23.563579, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.4.23.562614, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

In Brief

  • Some are reporting issues of not being able to easily teleport back to a location previously visited in a session, a similar problems that manifested for some using Malwarebytes. In this case, the issue seems to be exceptionally slow teleport when trying to go back, with some incidence of the viewer shutting down.

2021 SUG meeting week #37 summary

Missing Melody, May 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, the server deployment thread had not been published.

  • Tuesday, September 14th: no deployment to the Main SLS channel.
  • Wednesday, September 15th all simhosts should be updated to the same revisions to the new server configuration that was deployed to the Ferrari RC in week #36.

HTTP-Out Proxy

Monty Linden deployed the new HTTP-out proxies in week #36. It wasn’t entirely glitch-free (but not as bad as the August attempt), with issues occurring in a part of the configuration that didn’t allow for immediate correction. Monty hopes that the lessons learnt with make future deployments smoother.

SL Viewer

No updates to the current batch of official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the current pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Grappa Maintenance RC, version 6.4.23.563012, dated August 24.
    • Happy Hour Maintenance 2 viewer, version 6.4.23.562602, issued August 23 (dated August 20).
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version 6.4.22.561873, dated August 9.
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.4.23.563579, issued September 3.
    • Performance Floater project viewer, version 6.4.23.562625, issued September 2.
    • Mesh Optimizer project viewer, version 6.4.23.562614, issued September 1.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.

In Brief

  • The question was asked on why, when set using llCollisionSound, the sound heard on colliding with an object will revert to the default if the script making the change is removed, rather than being retained as a prim property (like other sounds “scripted into” an object). This is because currently, the sound remains a property of the script, but there are plans to make it consistent with other prim properties.
  • LL are working on “stuff” (Mazidox Linden’s term) to help with more efficient script running within regions. The precise details remained unspecified, although some aspects of the work are already on at least some of the RCs channels, and the hope is to get more grid-wide by the end of the year.
  • The Percentage Script Run metric within the viewer stats (CTRL-SHIFT-1) is not seen by the Lab as a particularly useful metric when compared to something like total scripts run, as the Percentage Run metric can depend on circumstance, rather than being indicative of actual simulator performance.
    • Example: a region running 1000 out of 1000 scripts in a frame will report 100%, whilst a region running 1000 out of 10,000 will report 10% – but both are processing the same number of scripts, and so performing equally in this regard.
    • Monty Linden also pointed out that the Percentage Run metric can easily be warped simply by the behaviour of a single script, and noted he has some new internal metrics he is testing that he hopes might provide a better perspective of script performance within a region.
  • The above points led to an open discussion on script processing as a whole: the use of “fairness” policies to prevent parcels within a region making too heavy a call on simulator / simhost resources (including being swamped by heady script loads on avatars, etc.); allocating script memory size; general ideas on improving script efficiency through the use of things like regular expressions; etc.
    • This conversation included a comment from Rider Linden that LL would be interested in the Firestorm script pre-processor were it to be contributed.
    • The suggestion was made that LL could provide HTTP-out access using the AWS Dynamo DB for those who need bigger KVP databases – and it was pointed out that users can always rent their out Dynamo DB stack.
    • No specifics on what the Lab might or won’t do vis scripts and script management, although Monty Linden revealed he’s been personally speculating on the advantages (or otherwise) of “higher level functionality” in the LSL libraries so that “more could be done with less code” – although he has only general ideas of possible functions in this regard.
    • See the video for more on specifics.

2021 SUG meeting week #36 summary

Zephyr, May 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary. Note this summary focuses on the key points of the meeting, where there is something to report; the video video should be referred to should full details of the meeting wish to be reviewed.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, the server deployment thread had not been published.

  • Tuesday, September 7th: no deployment to the Main SLS channel.
  • Wednesday, September 8th should she all of the the remaining simhost on the SLS RC channels (Magnum, BlueSteel, Le Tigre and Ferrari) moved to the new AWS server configuration as mentioned here, which will cause some incidental changes to how mesh land impact is calculated, but the primary change will be a small but noticeable bump in speed for most regions.
    • The new configuration can also cause a slight variation on floating point rounding that can show up in Land Impact calculations under rare circumstances. However, LL believes the impact is going to be so limited, it’s unlikely most people will notice.
    • In addition, RC Ferrari may get an update to the simulator configuration, if cleared by QA.

HTTP-Out Proxy

Monty Linden is also going to attempt a fresh deployment of the new HTTP-out proxies. The original deployment in late August went sideways very quickly. The hope is that this deployment will go a lot smoother. HTTP listeners are not changed by this update.

SL Viewer

No updates to the current batch of official viewers to mark the start of the week, leaving the current pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: version version 6.4.22.561752, formerly the CEF Update RC viewer, issued July 24 and promoted August 10.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Grappa Maintenance RC, version 6.4.23.563012, dated August 24.
    • Happy Hour Maintenance 2 viewer, version 6.4.23.562602, issued August 23 (dated August 20).
    • Simplified Cache RC viewer, version 6.4.22.561873, dated August 9.
  • Project viewers:

In Brief

  • Work is still progressing on the tools update.
  • The majority of the meeting involved a general discussion (largely among users present) as to the merits of providing support for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and animated gifs; the cloning of regions, a concern that the lack of defragmentation in the KVP (experiences) database might lead to issues for those reaching the limits of their allowed space (to be investigated), and a texture issue apparently specific to a single Skill Gaming region (referred to support). As this discussion did not yield definitive news / options for action / response by the Lab, please refer to the video below for further information.