2021 SUG meeting week #29 summary

* Nourish *, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, July 20th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary.

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for updates.

  • There was no planned deployment to servers on the SLS Main channel on Tuesday, July 20th.
  • Wednesday, July 21st should see all servers on the RC channels re-started. Due to the manner in which simulator deployments are made, this will show as a updated release number (2021-07-16.561609), although there are no changes to the code itself. However, during the restart process, approximately 1/3 of RC servers (not the simulator code) will see changes designed to improve performance “in some situations”. In addition, the deployment notes further state:
As mentioned in some of our recent deploy plans we’ve been investigating the effectiveness of region restarts at the ten day limit. We believe some of the issues Residents are encountering with regions that have long uptimes are due to issues at the machine level, not the simulator level. Our instance refresh for Second Life RC channels this week is an attempt to gather data as to whether this is correct or not.

The two RC updates had been planned for the week have now been altered as follows:

  • The ability for estate owners / managers to set a default EEP environment across an entire estate has been pushed back to a future release.
  • Opening custom chat ranges to estate managers through the simulator debug console has been put on hold as a result of “privacy concerns” – primarily that people might not be aware how far their local chat is carrying on regions where the range has been increased over the “usual” 20m. As such, consideration is being given to adding a viewer-side change to inform people of the local chat range.

SL Viewer

The Fernet Maintenance RC, version 6.4.21.561414, dated July 14th, was updated to de facto release status on Monday, July 19th.  This leaves the rest of the currently available official viewers as:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • None.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

Agni / Aditi Account Syncing

This has been an issue for some time, causing pain for many creators who wish to use Aditi (the beta grid) for testing, due to significant issues in trying to log-in.  The matter has been under investigation for several months, and a solution new appears close, with Simon Linden commenting:

We’ve tossed together some code and stuff and now have the ability to copy your account from production SL (here) to our beta grid. If any of you would like that, send me an IM. We’ve tested it a bit and are ready to try the first volunteers. 
There are a few things to note, however: you should clear your viewer cache before logging in to Aditi; when you log in, your outfit may look messed up. Just change it. We’d love to get some feedback on this.

So, if you are interested in regaining access to Aditi, drop an IM to Simon, stating your reason for requiring access and willingness to participate in testing.

HTTP-Out Warnings

To quote Monty Linden (making a long-awaited return to SUG meetings!):

A refresh to a component of the HTTP-Out system, our HTTP proxy, is underway. Changes are meant to be transparent involving operational improvements, but we’re letting everyone know so if you see issues having to do with reachability of external servers or reliability of HTTP access, please speak up. Jira’s always appropriate for reporting issues but be specific in the details. We’re currently serving about 200K requests per minute via LSL so if you tell me “it happened last Thursday,” I’m not going to find anything. Time, place [region], target – details matter.  At some point soon, this will go out to Aditi as a non-simulator deploy. [I] Want to encourage reports of issues if anyone sees problems. Especially blockages of things that should not be blocked.

In Brief

  • The meeting includes a general discussion on teleports. teleport failures, region crossings issues and how they might be related and one (physical region regions via forced unseat / teleport) might help in diagnosing force TP failures – and whether or not this is the case.
  • There has been a question on whether texture transfer via UDP through the simulator is still / again possible. Commenting on this, Monty Linden stated:
Texture delivery was to be blocked for UDP but not certain that happened. They won’t enjoy it. Would like a capture of a shift-ctrl-3 screen. texture asset delivery via simulator is one of our most pessimal systems. Will check on the UDP status – that’s curious.
  • Refer to the video below for additional information.

2021 SUG meeting week #28 summary

Summer of ’42, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary.

Server Deployments

There are no planned deployments for the week.

SL Viewer

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the official pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520, dated June 14, promoted June 23 – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

Week #29 (commencing Monday, July 19th should see a new RC deployment that includes the following:

  • Opening custom chat ranges to estate managers through the simulator debug console (apparently requires a viewer update as well).
  • Ability for estate owners / managers to set a default EEP environment across an entire estate.

In Brief

  • A general discussion on EEP and possible fixes improvements, including:
    • A brightness slider for the Sun.
    • Possibly adjusting the relative sizes of the Sun and Moon to reflect their actual size ratio (see as possibly a content breaker).
    • Adjustments to cloud density, cloud detail (making it relative to the world) and bumping the maximum value on the cloud scale slider up to 5.
    • One (or more) feature requests have been suggested for these ideas, as well as raising them for discussion at the Content Creation meetings.
  • There was further discussion around the potential to use the Nimble capabilities originally found in Windlight to provide rain, snow etc., with the ability to avoid entering closed structures.
    • Weather systems have been a discussion topic within the Lab, with no commitment on implementing anything.
    • Generating the data server-side is seen as possible, but to use Simon Linden’s words, “the real magic is rendering it on the viewer”.
    • The main issues may come down to the robustness of viewer-side physics and the effort required to get the viewer so it can render weather and the potential impact on performance (although pseudo-weather systems using ray casting, mesh faces, etc., are already either indirectly (waiting on the simulator calcs) or directly (rendering) impactful on viewer performance.
  • There was also a discussion on dealing with AFK avatars at Linden Info / safe hubs, and the complaints that new users tend to make when arriving in one that no-one will speak to them:
    • One suggestion is to have an experience that sits inactive avatars after a period of time – that is, moves them away from the landing point and sits them on a seat, freeing space at the landing point.
    • A counter suggestion was to simply use a landing point mover, given the avatars that are seated are still effectively in the same space (although could in theory be moved to a separate “room”).
    • A further problem with the experience idea is that it assumes all those arriving will opt to join it at least once.

 

2021 SUG meeting week #27 summary

Cravone City, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, July 6th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and the video is embedded at the end of this summary.

Server Deployments

See the server deployment thread for any most recent updates / changes.

  • Tuesday, July 6th saw the SL Main channel servers updated with simulator release 560819. This includes internal fixes, a fix for BUG-202864 – “Change Mesh Uploader to preserve Scene File object names when a full linkset is uploaded”. and a fix for BUG230881 – “llHttpRequest(): HTTP_CUSTOM_HEADER flag is ignored”.
  • Wednesday, July 7th will not see any planned deployment to the RC channels.

SL Viewer

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the official pipelines as:

  • Release viewer: Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520, dated June 14, promoted June 23 – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

Region Crossings

During region crossings, vehicles and avatars are packaged and transferred separately to one another, before being unpacked and put back together by the receiving region. Due to the fact that vehicles are generally less complex than avatars, then tend to arrive first, and this can cause issues as the scripts on the vehicle resume and make calls (animations, etc.), on avatars that have yet to “arrive”, which can result in vehicle errors.

While there is an event flag – CHANGED_REGION – triggered when the vehicle has correctly arrived in the new region, allowing its scripts to resume, there is no equivalent flag for arriving avatars.  So user Animats has suggested the creation of such an additional event flag: CHANGED_REGION_COMPLETE.

This would be sent once the receiving simulator has unpacked and seated the avatars using the vehicle. Should this additional event flag not be received, then it is indicative that something has gone wrong, allowing vehicle scripters to use it to determine how they’d like to handle the situation.

See BUG-230934 “Add event bit flag CHANGED_REGION_COMPLETE to “changed” script event” for more.

It has also been suggested that LL give thought to a way in which vehicles can detect upcoming parcel settings. A major issue of vehicular travel is encountering parcels where object entry is disabled – resulting in the vehicle being auto-returned to the owner and all those aboard violently unseated.

A means for the viewer to be forewarned of the access settings for a parcel would potentially allow vehicles to be scripted so they can respond to “unfriendly” parcel such as stopping at the parcel border (presumably with a test notification to the driver) in a similar manner to when they encounter ban lines, thus potentially preventing vehicle return and avatar dumping.

There are again complexities to this idea (e.g. what happens when the parcel(s) being checked are in the next region, and thus on a different simulator to the one the checking script is currently running on?). However, LL have requested the idea be filed via Jira to allow proper assessment and discussion.

2021 SUG meeting week #26 summary

Riding Zany Zen’s Railway, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. The meeting was recorded by Pantera Północy, and is embedded at the end of this summary.

Server Deployments

See the server deployment thread for any most recent updates / changes.

  • There was no deployment to the SLS Main channel on Tuesday, June 29th. At the time of writing, an investigation was underway to determine why some of those simulators on the SLS Main channel due an automatic re-started hadn’t received it.
  • Wednesday, June 30th should see the RC channels updated with simulator release 560819. This includes internal fixes, a fix for BUG-202864, an a further fix for BUG230881 – “llHttpRequest(): HTTP_CUSTOM_HEADER flag is ignored”, which caused an attempt to deploy the internal fixes + BUG-202864 in week #25 to be rolled back.

SL Viewer

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the official pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520, dated June 14, promoted June 23 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • The issue of scripted objects rezzed by other scripted object experiencing a 2-3 second delay in start-up is still being felt, and the Lab continues to investigate the problem. Commenting on the situation, Rider Linden stated:
It is frustrating, and we are looking at a few things that we hope will make the issue better. But no ETA on when to see the changes. I have a test object that has been running for quite some time to try and catch that problem. It’s gone through roughly 3M rezzes at this point and seen one failure (which I was able to correlate with a region crash). 

It has been noted that if the parent object is *not* in the land group, it will work so long as the owner is nearby and wearing the group tag, but will stop working in the owner leaves the region / parcel.

  • Region crossings: LL plan to carry out a “re-evaluation” of region crossing, but this may not happen until 2022.
  • The engineering team was asked what is being worked on (a common question at SUG meetings), and Mazidox Linden (QA lead for the simulator / servers) replied thus:
Plenty is in the works right now.. Most of it is still under wraps, and a fair bit of it is on backend services that you’ll never notice, except for “Oh, I don’t crash as much” or “Oh, my inventory fetches faster/more reliably” (just as random examples of backend work that we don’t generally broadcast).

In addition, Rider Linden re-iterated that a major area of work is upgrading all of the back-end tools the Lab have at their disposal for system management / monitoring (and presumably better leveraging the additional tools / monitoring AWS offers).

  • Some people still seem to be under the impression that texture and object data is passed to the viewer via the simulator. This actually hasn’t been the case since the Lab introduced asset data handling via CDNs in 2014 and later expanded to include all asset types, as Simon Linden noted:
The server doesn’t really do much with texture [or other asset] transfers It sends the IDs and lets the viewer decide what to download or read into the texture pipeline
  • Responding to a question, “Do server still host multiple regions in the same fashion as before uplift? One CPU for full regions, 4 for homesteads?” Simon Linden responded:
I’m going to be really vague to answer that, but it’s both mostly the same thing and also totally new. Comparing a CPU from our old servers to what’s in AWS … from the start, it’s hardware CPUs vs their  [AWS}‘virtual CPU [vCPU].

While Rider Linden added:

That is mostly unchanged… but we’re not looking at the same kind of CPU so it is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.

The use of vCPUs, coupled with Amazon’s overall approach to billing for services, is a big part of why *it’s complex” is a general reply to question on how things operate and are billed within the AWS environment.

  • There have been requests for larger script sizes to be allowed in Second Life. While this hasn’t been entirely ruled out (although there are currently no plans to introduce anything), Mazidox Linden noted:
Larger scripts would probably come with trade offs that would make them unpalatable, like a small limit on the number you could have in a linkset or only region owners being allowed to use them, just as examples off the top of my head.

2021 SUG meeting week #25 summary – updated

IMAGOLand, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting.

Another party week, so not a lot of practical discussion.

Server Deployments

See the server deployment thread for any most recent updates / changes.

  • There was no deployment to the SLS Main channel on Tuesday, June 22nd.
  • Wednesday, June 23rd should see server update 560618 deployed to the RC channels. This includes the required server-side support to complete a fix for BUG-202864 “Change Mesh Uploader to preserve Scene File object names when a full linkset is uploaded”. This release was rolled back as a result of issues – see BUG230881 – “llHttpRequest(): HTTP_CUSTOM_HEADER flag is ignored”.

SL Viewer

The Fernet Maintenance RC updated to version 6.4.20.560398 on Tuesday, June 22nd.

The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain unchanged at the time of writing:

  • Release viewer: LMR 5 viewer, version 6.4.19.560171, dated May 27, promoted June 7 – 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:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • BUG-230589 “Issue with region restart taking over an hour while the majority of the time showing status of “starting”” has been a sporadic issue with individual mainland regions. Initially thought to have been a hang-over due to infrastructure maintenance during an April rolling re-start, it has been acknowledged as a potential issue. Anyone coming across regions exhibiting the same behaviour are asked to comment on the Jira, providing dates of the region, time, date, etc.

2021 SUG meeting week #24 summary

Bella’s Glade, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. These notes relate to the core points of discussion; other topics may have ben raised without specific feedback from LL as actionable items, so  please refer to the video at the end of this report for the full meeting and all points covered.

Server Deployments

No deployments are planned for the week, other than those related to the SL18B regions. Restarts will be taking place for those servers that have not done so for the last 10-ish days. The (non-)deployment notes are here.

Week #25 (commencing Monday, June 21st) should include a deployment to the RC channels.

SL Viewer

The Project UI RC viewer updated to version 6.4.20.560520 on June 14th.

The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release viewer: LMR 5 viewer, version 6.4.19.560171, dated May 27, promoted June 7 – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.19.559726, dated May 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

In Brief

  • Group chat remains unsteady, but the Lindens are planning for additional work in an attempt to stabilise things further.
  • The Aditi inventory syncing / log-in issues continue. The root cause appears to have been identified, but fixing it has been referred to as “complex”, although the hope is the issue fixed Soon™. Mazidox Linden further added:
I can’t really get into details because it involves the insides of how logins work. But the best thing you can do on Aditi is log in using an alt with a tiny inventory. That’s more likely to succeed than your account with all the stuff you have on Agni. (The actual issue has nothing to do with inventory, but that’s the only thing you can control from your side to make it more likely to succeed.)
  • Scripts and resources: the core of the meeting revolved around the issue of script usage and its impact on server resource use and simulator performance – notably, but not exclusively – with regards to in-world scripts and the impact of idle scripts. In brief:
    •  Onus tends to be put on avatar scripts (which do have an impact – most notably when an avatar is entering a region and all the data related is being unpacked and all its associated scripts are re-started.
    • However, in-world scripts, even those that are idling, can have an impact on performance. Whilst action has been taken to ease some of this, the impact of have thousands of scripts in a region can and will have a cumulative effect on simulator performance.
    • How better to manage things is a matter of much debate. Should script resources be increased? Would it be better to allow larger scripts rather than making people split functionality across multiple scripts? Do large, multi-function scripts  run better (or worse) than a plethora of smaller scripts doing the same thing? Would it be possible to restructure script handling / LSL capabilities such that scripts that only need to be active in the presence of an avatar can be automatically be disabled when no avatars are within a (creator-defined) proximity, etc.
    • This discussion starts around 22 minutes into the meeting, and full context can be gained through the meeting video below.

Video

The following video of the meeting is courtesy of Pantera Północy.