2018 SL UG updates 38/1: Simulator User Group

Bellefleurs; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrBellefleurs blog post

Not a lot to report.

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates.

  • On Tuesday, September 18th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.09.04.519319, previously deployed to the main RC channels in week #37 and comprising Logging improvements.
  • The three main RC channels were not updated on Wednesday, but remained on release 18#18.09.04.519319.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current round of official viewers in the various pipelines, leaving the list as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.8.518593, dated August 14, promoted August 20. Formerly the SL Voice RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, September 10. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Rakomelo Maintenance RC, version 5.1.9.519298, September 5.
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.518949, August 24.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518751, released on August 20.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Region Crossings

Firestorm 5.1.7 introduced a workaround to better handle vehicle-based region crossings  viewer-side, largely as a result of Joe Magarac (animats) investigations into region crossing issues (see Experimental Region Crossing Code  in my Firestorm 5.1.7 review for more). It’s not a perfect solution, but it can help. Since then, Joe has been looking at similar issues relating to avatars being “half unseated” on region crossings, particularly when the avatar appears to “jump” between 25-100 metres into the air on a crossing, or get pushed sideways.The effect is akin to sitting on an object and the viewer sometimes briefly something you at 0,0,0 in a region before bouncing your view back to your actual seated position.

It’s thought this issue might be related to how the messaging for region crossings is handled: the avatar and vehicle data get packaged and transferred between regions separately to one another, and things can go awry in trying to put them back together if the messages containing the data are received “in the wrong order”. It’s one of several issues with regions crossings that might be improved through viewer-side updates, and Simon Linden suggest the viewer team would be glad to look at contributions aimed and fixing any of them.

 

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2018 SL UG updates #37/1: Simulator User Group

Kekeland - Bardeco; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrKekeland – Bardecoblog post

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates.

  • There was no SLS (Main) channel deployment on Tuesday, September 11th.
  • On Wednesday, September 12th, all three primary RC channels should receive server maintenance package 18#18.09.04.519319, comprising logging improvements. This deployment should have been made in week #36, but never actually made it, due to a late-breaking issue with the code.

SL Viewer

The Bugsplat RC viewer updated to version 5.1.9.519462 on Monday, September 10th. All other viewers in the pipeline remain as per the end of week #36:

  • Current Release version 5.1.8.518593, dated August 14, promoted August 20. Formerly the SL Voice RC viewer – No Change.
  • 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:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

BUG-7084 is a long-standing issue with prim properties reverting, which appears to be related to the Interest List and updates between the simulator and server being incorrectly handled. The matter was raised at the SUG meeting as now affecting hovertext, notably with objects requiring feeding / watering. For example, an object with a feed total of 45/100 could be replenished to raise the total – to, say, 47/100, but after moving the object outside the field of view (so culling it from the Interest List updates), camming back to it would revel the total has reverted to its early value (45/100). It’s not clear if this particular problem is related to BUG-7084, and the suggestion has been for a new Jira to be filed with a workable reproduction.

 

2018 SL UG updates #35/1: server, viewer, bugs

Black Kite; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrBlack Kiteblog post

Server Deployments

Update: the RC channels received a new server maintenance package on Wednesday, August 28th. Maintenance package  18#18.08.24.519036, comprises an update for the new land auction system.

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • There was no SLS (Main) channel deployment on Tuesday, August 28th. Regions on the channel, however, were restarted.
  • At the time of writing, it is unclear as to the status of any deployment to the three RC channels, which are listed as “TBD” in the deployment thread. As nothing was mentioned at the Server User Group meeting, I’m assuming there will be no deployment.

It there is no RC deployment, it will leave all of the main grid channels om server release 18#18.08.10.518612.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing this update, there had been no viewer SL viewer updates at the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.8.518593, dated August 14, promoted August 20. Formerly the SL Voice RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.518949, August 24.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518751, released on August 20.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518305, August 7. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

It is anticipated the Love Me Render and Bugsplat RC viewers will be updated this week to bring them to parity with the release viewer code base. It is also anticipated that the next Maintenance RC viewer could be appearing during the week.

EEP / BOM / AIS

As I’ve noted in my most recent CCUG and TPV Developer meeting summaries, it had been anticipated that a new AIS (Advanced Inventory Service) update would start to be deployed in week #35.This would include the necessary support for the new asset types to be used by both the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) and the Bakes on Mesh (BOM) project. However, at the Server User Group meeting, Rider Linden had indicated that a last-minute bug had cropped-up with the AIS update, was has delayed its deployment. However, it does not appear that this is related to the server RC channels having a “TBD” status against them.

Bug Hunting

Sim Surrounds Issue

BUG-225295 “Sim Surrounds often fail to rez” indicates that some people are having problems seeing region / sim surrounds render in their viewer. The problem was first reported by Firestorm 5.1.7 users, but also reproduces on the SL 5.1.7 viewer code-base, and it is thought the issue might relate to changes made in the previous Love Me Render viewer.

“Bug of the Week”: Animations Issue

The superbly named Hexadeci Mole has raised a curious bug report in the form of BUG-225288, “llStopAnimation is stopping all animations on detach instead of only the one specified”. This occurs when a scripted object starts an animation when worn, and stops the animation when detached (as intended) also causes all other animations to stop, and stops animations played from inventory. The bug appears to be a duplicate of SVC-7596, and as Whirly Fizzle observes, only seems to reproduce when the attached objects instance key is lower than the wearing avatar’s own avatar key!

Simon Linden has had a look at this issue and commented:

Fwiw I did an initial investigation into that bug — and was surprised. It’s actually pretty simple code, removing the current animation and sending an update. It may be a more fundamental design problem … SL isn’t set up to cleanly stack and merge animations and then remove parts of it.

Retrieving Grid Statistics Page via llHTTPRequest

BUG-216320 has been causing problems for a while. Essentially, trying to retrieve grid statistics via a script results in a 499 error, although queries via web browsers will still succeed. Oz Linden summed-up the status of work on this thus:

It turns out that it was two independent problems. We’ve fixed one, but the other is still pending.

 

2018 SL UG updates #34/1: server, viewer, and mobile SL rumours

Erebos Harbor; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrErebos Harborblog post

There was no Simulator User Group meeting for week #34 2018, so the project notes are pretty brief.

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • On Tuesday August 21st, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with sever maintenance package 18#18.08.10.518612, comprising an update to the HTTP delivery of off-line IMs and notifications that should ensure group notices and Friend requests are correctly delivered. This release was deployed to the main RC channels in week #33.
  • There is no planned deployment or restart for any of the RC channels, also leaving them on server maintenance package 18#18.08.10.518612.

SL Viewer

  • The Second Life Voice viewer, version 5.1.8.518593 and dated August 14th, was promoted to de facto release status on August 20th, 2018.
  • A new Love Me Render viewer, version 5.1.8.518751, was released on August 20th, containing assorted viewer rendering fixes for the following issues / requests:
    • Applying planar texture alignment to prims with diffuse and normal maps fails.
    • Align Planar Faces does not work on normal or specular maps.
    • Handle dual-graphics systems more robustly.
    • Derendering Avatar type also derenders some rezzed mesh objects.
    • Selecting mesh objects make several HUD-related items invisible.
    • Negative horizontal & vertical offset values for normal & specular maps always revert when closing build floater.
    • Add info to text debug display for cache hit rate and fetch timing.
    • Grids.xml with a single grid instead of an array in LLSD can crash viewer.
    • Objects with Alpha Masking > 0 do not rendering correctly on avatar.
    • With transparent texture and alpha masking at cut-off 1, the underlying colour shows through in small patches.
    • [DRTSIM-383] Changing the horizontal offset value also changes the vertical offset while editing specular maps in the build floater.
    • Incorrect values of Rotation degrees field with checked Align Planar Faces check box in different tabs.

The remaining SL viewer pipelines are currently unchanged:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.518579, August 13.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518305, August 7. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, 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.

SL iOS / Android Clients / Streaming SL

Speculation is running rife in some quarters that the Lab is developing a mobile client for iOS / Android following the publication of a job opportunity for a Second Life Senior Mobile Engineer.

The potential for offering a mobile (or even a streamed viewer experience through a browser) was most recently publicly discussed by both Ebbe Altberg and Oz and Grumpity Linden at the SL15B Meet the Lindens events in June 2018. I’m embedding the audio from those sessions here, together with links to the summaries of what was said, for those who prefer reading over listening:

2018 SL UG updates #33/1: Simulator User Group – Animesh in viewer RC

Cloudbreak; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrCloudbreak blog post

Server Deployments

as always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest update.

  • The Main (SLS) channel was updated on Tuesday, August 14th with server maintenance package 18.07.20.518086, previously deployed to the RC channels and containing internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, august 15th, all three RCs should be updated with server maintenance packager 18#18.08.10.518612. This comprises an update to the HTTP delivery of off-line IMs and notifications that should ensure group notices and Friend requests are correctly delivered.

SL Viewer

Animesh RC Viewer

The Animesh release candidate viewer arrived on August 13th, with the release of version 6.0.0.518579. For those not familiar with Animesh (anyone?) please see the viewer release notes and the links within them, or check my updates on Animesh, provided as a part of my Content Creation User Group meeting summaries.

Remaining Pipelines

Outside of the Animesh update, at the time of writing, the remaining SL viewer pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #32:

  • Current Release version 5.1.7.517973, dated July 30th, promoted August 3rd. Formerly the Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518305, August 7th. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Second Life Voice RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518310, August 7th.
  • Project viewers:
    • EAM project viewer, version 5.2.0.518362, August 9th – improved region access control tools; see my overview for more.
    • Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version 5.1.7.518013 August 3rd.
    • 360 snapshot viewer, version 5.1.6.515934, June 6th.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and  offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Region Crossings

Region crossing have been somewhat rougher recently than had been the case of late. Simon Linden had been poking at the code in the hope of making some updates, but has been diverted but other working, and is hoping to get back to things soon.

I know the viewer has very similar messaging code as the simulator and there are tweaks I want to make to that which  should help crossing issues caused by packet loss … it doesn’t always recover when a crossing goes bad, as we all know. We’re looking at that from two ways … ideally fix things so it doesn’t go bad. But if it fails, be more graceful about it … and there’s a certain amount of hope that the way we force the error is actually what happens in the random normal case.

Part of it now is even having the 2 regions and the viewer agreeing on what happens and how to deal with it … where an AV and vehicle end up and confirming all parties know the same state… I’m hoping this can at least get better if the target region can at least report to the viewer and 1st region a status for how it works out.

Simon Linden discussing region crossings at the Simulator User Group meeting, August 14th, 2018

The question was asked if part of a multiple region crossing (e.g. from the corner of one region to another, passing through the corner of a region adjacent to both) could result in the viewer talking to the “wrong” simulator, to which Simon replied, “I haven’t seen it have issues with talking to the wrong simulator, but then I’m not looking yet at the issue of a corner crossing that might quickly move to a 3rd region.”

So, no changes for the present, but the problem is still getting attention at the Lab, and there is an appetite for trying to improve things from the server-side of the equation, with Simon also noting, “It’s also a classic case of working on SL … we always want to fix things with a minimum disruption. Being able to make something better only by touching the server is a lot better than requiring a viewer update.”

 

2018 SL UG updates #32/1: Simulator User Group

Ravenwold; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrRavenwoldblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, August 7th, the SLS (main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.07.20.518082, containing the server-side Animesh support, and “logging tweaks”. This release was previously deployed to the LeTigre and Magnum RCs.
  • On Wednesday, August 8th:
    • LeTigre and Magnum will be updated to server maintenance package 18#18.07.20.518086, previously deployed to BlueSteel.
    • BlueSteel will remain on  18#18.07.20.518086, which contains Animesh support and internal fixes.

The SLS (main) channel deployment saw regions off-line for a longer than usual time between being taken down for the simulator code deployment and being brought back up. This was expected. According to the deployment thread, several people saw their regions restarted at least twice; this isn’t the first time this has been reported, and the situation has been referred to the Second Life Ops team.

SL Viewer

In week #31 the Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.517973 and dated July 30th, was promoted to de facto release status on August 3rd.

As a result of this update the RC viewers were updated on Tuesday August 7th, as follows:

  • Bugsplat RC viewer: updated to version 5.1.8.518305.
  • SL Voice RC viewer: (originally released on August 1st) updated to version 5.1.8.518310. This viewer updates SLVoice with new codecs, fixes some problems with selecting audio devices, and other voice related bug fixes. It should be noted that the SLVoice executable in this viewer is not compatible with most older viewers and should not be copied to such viewers.

Also at the end of week #31 the Bakes on Mesh project viewer updated to version 5.1.7.518013, on August 3rd.

At the time of writing, the remaining viewers in the official viewer pipelines are unchanged:

  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

EEP Delay?

The Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) appears to have had a slight delay…

EEP is moving forward. There was a last-minute hiccup on the back-end and I’m tightening up some last-minute things about parcels specific settings. Rider Linden: I’m eager to get this into people’s hands.

– Rider Linden on EEP progress.

Those unfamiliar with the project, which it to provide parcel and region windlight management, as well as some additional server-side goodies, can find out more in Second Life Windlight environmental enhancements. I also provide update summaries via my Content Creation User Group summaries.

Attachment Limit Increase – Premium Perk?

It’s been indicated in some recent meetings that the Lab is hoping to reach a point where the attachment limit for avatars can be increased (currently set to 38 items). If and when this happens, it might be made a Premium membership perk.

It most likely will only be for Premium. but we’re still not ready to increase it anyway, so it’s still moot. It’s unusual for anything to be “set in stone” until it’s in the past (and not always then), but improving Premium is a major strategic goal for us, so … 

Oz Linden, commenting on the attachment limit increase at the Simulator User Group meeting,
Tuesday, August 7th, 2018