2018 SL project updates week 27

The Vault – dare you enter? – blog post

Sever Deployments

Due to this week being July 4th week in the United States, there are no planned server deployments.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing, there had been no SL viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving things as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15, promoted June 21 – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Release channel cohort:
    • Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.516813, released on June 22.
  • 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.

Retrieving Grid Statistics Page via llHTTPRequest

There is a known LSL bug when trying to retrieve grid statistics via a script, which results in a 499 error – see BUG-216320. However, queries via web browsers will still succeed.

This Week

Project news will be in short supply, again due to it being 4th of July week.

 

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2018 SL project updates 26/1: Simulator User Group meeting

Oboeru; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrOboerublog post

The majority of the following notes come from the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

Sever Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, June 26th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.06.14.516450, previously deployed to the LeTigre and Magnum RC channels, comprising internal fixes and logging improvements.
  • On Wednesday, June 27th, the release candidate channels should be updated with server maintenance package 18#18.06.22.516968, which includes Animesh on a first-time deployment for LeTigre and Magnum (having been deployed to BlueSteel in week #25), and “new Main Channel code”.

Some SLS channel regions reported double restarts on Tuesday, June 26th, and these are being investigated by the Lab.

Animesh Deployment

Follow the Wednesday, June 27th, Animesh will be live on all the major RC channels – however, as previously noted in this updates, it is still in development, and not product-ready.

The Animesh project viewer, necessary for working with Animesh and rendering it correctly, can be obtained from the Alternate Viewers wiki page.

Animesh Resources

You can find further information on Animesh via the following resources.

SL Viewer

Recent updates:

  • The release viewer updated to version 5.1.6.516459 (dated June 15th) on June 21st, formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate.
  • A new Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.516813 and code-named Quinquina, was released on June 22nd.
  • The Animesh project viewer updated to version 5.1.6.516525 on June 22nd, and again on June 25th to version 6.0.0.516979.

The other SL viewers in the current pipelines remain as:

  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

The is still some confusion as to how EEP will work with different region / parcel windlight settings at altitude when compared to Firestorm’s parcel windlight capability. In short:

  • Firestorm allows the windlight within a parcel to be changed at any altitude using a command line construct in the About Land description floater.
    • However, this is purely a viewer-side change.
    • Anyone entering a region using a viewer that does not have the same windlight support will not automatically have the setting defined in About Land applied to their viewer.
  • EEP should ensure that windlight settings set by altitude will apply to everyone in a parcel, regardless of the viewer they are using.
    • However, windlight changes by altitude are limited to four heights: from ground level up wards; 1,000m and above; 2,000m and above; 3,000 and above.

Top Scripts and Region / Parcel Management

Some people are experiencing region performance issues  – notably around scripts, etc. It’s been suggested that making Top Scripts and Colliders visible to parcel holders within a region so they can see what in their parcel might be impacting performance has been suggested.

  • This isn’t a fresh request (see JIRA SVC-835), but it is one that hasn’t been discussed recently.
  • The concern was raised that allowing Top Scripts to be more widely visible could lead to harassment between parcel holders in a region.
  • There is also some concern that over-use of the capability could itself impact region performance, because Top Scripts is an intensive query to run.
  • Even so, it is something being take back to the Lab for further discussion, and is seen as “reasonable”, providing the ability to start / stop scripts isn’t included (griefing vector).

2018 SL project updates 25/1: Simulator User Group meeting – Animesh

Cape Florida Lighthouse and Park; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrCape Florida Lighthouse and Parkblog post

The majority of the following notes come from the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

Sever Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, June 19th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.06.06.516064, previously deployed to the RC channels. This release comprises:
    • Additional work to support localised Abuse Report categories.
    • Improvements to object updates as part of ongoing performance improvements.
    • Removal of the logging of a trivial message.
    • Internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, June 20th, the release candidate channels should be updated as follows:
    • LeTigre and Magnum should receive server maintenance package 18#18.06.14.516450, comprising internal fixes and logging improvements.
    • BlueSteel should received server release 18#18.06.14.516474, containing server-side support for Animesh.

Animesh Deployment

The deployment of Animesh support to the BlueSteel release candidate channel marks the first phase in testing Animesh on the Main grid. For those not up-to-speed with Animesh, the goal of this project is to provide a means of animating rigged mesh objects using the avatar skeleton, in whole or in part, to provide things like independently moveable pets / creatures, and animated scenery features via scripted animation. It involves both viewer and server-side changes.

The viewer updates required to see / use Animesh are currently only available in a project viewer, and are still undergoing update and improvement. As such, this initial deployment of Animesh should be regarded as experimental, and may see further viewer / server-side changes. TPVs are – as usual with project viewers – encouraged not to adopt the viewer code for Animesh until it reaches release candidate status.

So Animesh will be enabled on BlueSteel. You have to be running the Animesh project viewer and be in one of those regions. Server support for animesh involves adding a new message and some new LSL functions. [The] viewer will go through the usual cycle of RC viewer and then release, [and I] don’t know exact timing yet. We have a content creators meeting on Thursdays. Talking about it today because it’s about to go to part of Agni.

Since it will now be possible to have Animesh content on Agni, that also means you can try to rez it in non-Animesh regions. If you do that, (a) content won’t look right because the server won’t be sending you the appropriate messages, and (b) you’ll get script errors because the region doesn’t like the new LSL calls.

Vir Linden discussing Animesh at the Simulator UG meeting, Tuesday, June 19th.

At the time of writing the Animesh project viewer was at version 5.1.6.516525, dated June 18th, 2018.

As well as TPVs being asked not to adopt the current Animesh viewer code, content creators are being encouraged not to start marketing / selling Animesh items at this point in time.

For the sake of customers, it’s probably NOT a good idea to start offering any products that are no-mod or such on the marketplace. I know there will be really cool things available soon, but with the limited servers and viewers and confusion that will cause, please wait a bit.

Simon Linden on selling Animesh content

Animesh Resources

You can find further information on Animesh via the following resources.

Furthermore, I provide regular updates on the Animesh project via my Content Creation User Group updates, so you can keep up with Animesh development through these.

SL Viewer

The Animesh viewer updates to version 5.1.6.516525, on June 18th. Otherwise the remaining viewers in the current SL pipelines were, at the time of writing, as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.5.515811, dated May 31, promoted June 1 – formerly the Love Me Render Release Candidate – 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):
    • Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer, 5.1.6.516459, dated June 15.
    • 32-bit Windows Unloop RC viewer, version 5.1.6.515965, dated June 5 – specifically for 32-bit Windows users caught in the 64-bit install loop (see here for more). Otherwise, the viewer is functionally identical to release version 5.1.5.515811.
  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project

This is a set of environmental enhancements, including:

  • The ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level.
  • New environment asset types (Sky, Water, Days – the latter comprising multiple Sky and Water) that can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others.
  • Experience-based environment functions
  • An extended day cycle (e.g a 24/7 cycle) and extended environmental parameters.
  • There are no EEP parameters for manipulating the SL wind.

This work involves simulator and viewer changes, and includes some infrastructure updates.  The latter include a new build of the inventory service in order to handle the new windlight assets. At the SUG meeting, Oz indicated this build in now with the Lab’s QA team.

Also, as well as supporting the new EEP, the simulator will provide the old style settings values in the same way it does now for any viewer that lacks support for the new windlight settings objects.

Cloud Move

Not a lot to report, other than Oz indicated there have been some early experiments with placing some some inventory databases  – those supporting Lab staff avatars – into the cloud, and things seem to be working. No end users have heir inventory in the cloud as yet, but when – in time – things do start to expand to include user-related data, it should be completely transparent, with users unable to tell if their inventory is being managed on the back-end by hadrware at the Lab’s data centre or via cloud-based infrastructure.

2018 SL project updates 24/1: Simulator User Group meeting

Italian Village of Ciampi, Italy; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrItalian Village of Ciampi, Italyblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • There was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, June 12th 2018, leaving the channel running server maintenance package 18#18.05.25.515749, containing internal fixes and server-side support for the upcoming new Estate Management ban list management changes.
  • On Wednesday, June 13th, the three main RC channels – LeTigre, BlueSteel and Magnum – should be updated with a new server maintenance package, 18#18.05.30.516064, comprising:
    • Additional work to support localised Abuse Report categories.
    • Improvements to object updates as part of ongoing performance improvements.
    • Removal of the logging of a trivial message.
    • Internal fixes.
    • Note that the majority of this updated is the same as 18#18.05.30.515812, initially deployed on Wednesday, June 6th, and subsequently rolled-back.

The reason for the RC channel roll-backs was described by Simon Linden at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, June 12th:

We had some excitement last week as we rolled a new version out to the RC channels, discovered a crasher bug we didn’t catch in testing, and had to revert back to the main version. That was fixed real quick and we’ll get the updated server again tomorrow … It was basically “go to a region with a crowd”; I’m not sure of the exact frequency, but the new code was in sending attachment updates … it probably happened one in a million times. Put that on a few thousand regions and it becomes noticeable.

SL Viewer

The Pálinka Maintenance RC updated to version 5.1.6.516121 on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018.

At the time of writing, the remainder of the SL viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.5.515811, dated May 31, promoted June 1 – formerly the Love Me Render Release Candidate.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • 2-bit Windows Unloop RC viewer, version 5.1.6.515965, dated June 5 – specifically for 32-bit Windows users caught in the 64-bit install loop (see here for more). Otherwise, the viewer is functionally identical to release version 5.1.5.515811.
  • 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

Client-Side Scripting Discussion

During the Simulator User Group meeting, the discussion turned towards client-side scripting support. This is something the Lab looked at several years ago, with Babbage Linden working on a possible C# implementation. Tis could enable things like scriptable UI elements, eliminating the need for HUDs, etc.

There are practical benefit to such an approach – be it with C# or something like Python; but there are also risk with the potential for exploiting the capability, as Simon Linden pointed out:

There’s also a really ugly trust issue with viewer-side code … do you trust someone so you’ll install their code, with the potential they might look into your inventory and such … we could probably sandbox an interpreter, but yes that kind of thing would have to be locked down, or it is definitely scary if it can read/write files … also preventing a viewer interpreter from loading outside modules … which of course are very useful, but can do scary things.

Also during the meeting, Oz Linden didn’t rule out the possibility of looking at the project again at some point in the future. However, it is important to note that currently, there is nothing on the SL roadmap with regards to this kind of work – or anything like it – at this point in time.

 

2018 SL project updates 23/1: Simulator User Group meeting

ONI Zen; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrONI Zenblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, June 5th 2018, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.05.25.515749, containing internal fixes and server-side support for the upcoming new Estate Management ban list management changes.
  • On Wednesday, June 6th, the three main RC channels – LeTigre, BlueSteel and Magnum – should be updated with a new server maintenance package, 18#18.05.30.515812, comprising:
    • Additional work to support localised Abuse Report categories.
    • Improvements to object updates as part of ongoing performance improvements.
    • Removal of the logging of a trivial message.
    • Internal fixes.

Week #23 should see the decommissioning of the RC Cruller channel, established to help those experiencing issues with the use of media URLs for data storage (see BUG-216032). Those affected by the update who are unable to complete their unpacking of data stored in media URLs by the end of the week, should use the deployment thread to indicate how much longer they need.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current group of viewers in the pipeline at the start of the week, although merges and updates following the recent promotion of the Love Me Render viewer are expected. At the time of writing, the list reads as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.5.515811, dated May 31, promoted June 1 – formerly the Love Me Render Release Candidate – NEW
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer, 5.1.5.515527, dated May 21.
  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

EEP is coming along. There is a possible fix for the back-end issue we were seeing. I’m wiring up some of the UI so that people can start to use it… Just pulled in a couple of the shader updates that one of the other Lindens has been working on.

– Rider Linden, discussing EEP progress, Simulator User Group, June 5th, 2018

Other Items

Region Crossings

I am making small steps … for example, tomorrow’s update has better logging where the target region you cross into is tracking everything and logs when it has re-seated an AV on a vehicle, and sent updates for all attachments … I’m not aiming for a big system monitoring region crossings in real-time, but I’d like to know better stats on how long they take and the failure rate … I know it would look ugly but it really would make sense technically if crossings forced you to stop, get across, then keep going and not estimate movement and all that.

– Simon Linden, discussing region crossings at the Simulator User Group, June 5th, 2018

The last of Simon’s points is something Joe Magarac (animats) has been working with through the use of scripts, as previously discussed in these pages.

llName2Key

llName2Key is one of two new LSL deployed in connection with the upcoming return of Last Names (see this blog post and this blog post for more). It’s been noted that the wiki page (linked to above) lacks proper information (its companion, llRequestUserKey as a wiki page which is also a little brief).

The function should return the Agent ID for the named avatar (based on it seeking the first name or the first name and last name), if the avatar is in the region where the function is run. If the last name is omitted, “Resident” is assumed. However, there appears to be a bug some search criteria work when they should fail (e.g. “Firstname R” (or “@R”) seems to work when “Resident” avatars on a region, when it should fail. A bug report is to be raised.

 

2018 SL project updates 22/1: Simulator User Group meeting

A Little Bit of Soul; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrA Little Bit of Soulblog post

Server Deployments

The was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018.

RC Roll-back and Deployments

On Friday, May 25th, the deployments to the Magnum and BlueSteel RCs channels were rolled back from update #18.05.14.515432, which included server-side support for an upcoming capability to deliver estate information to estate owners and managers, to #18.05.07.515224. the roll-back was due to an unspecified bug.  The updates have remained deployed to the LeTigre RC.

There is due to be a further RC deployment on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018, but at the time of writing, details were still TBA. Commenting on the overall situation at the Simulator User Group on Tuesday, May 28th, 2018, Simon Linden said:

Let’s see … for server news, we had a roll-back last week of the RC channels for a bug. we’re going to have updates out tomorrow that have that fixed … and possibly another release that has a few other items in it. It’s all internal changes, as far as I know.

Upcoming Server-Side Maintenance Periods

The Lab has announced a series of upcoming server-side maintenance periods over the next several days (including the RC deployments these are set for:

  • Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 from 06:00 SLT (and rolls into the RC deployment window).
  • Thursday, May 31st, 2018 from 06:00 SLT.
  • Monday, June 4th, 2018 from 06:00 SLT.
  • Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 from 06:00 SLT (and presumably rolling into any planned Main (SLS) channel deployment planned for week #23).

During these maintenance periods residents may be logged off and will not be able to log in until maintenance is complete. In addition, residents may temporarily be unable to send messages or initiate group chats until the maintenance is complete.

Please refer to the Grid Status Page for more.

SL Viewer

There have been no further updates to the current SL viewers in the pipeline for the start of the week, leaving the list as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.4.515016, dated May 7, promoted May 16 – formerly the Ouzo Release Candidate.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.5.515528, dated May 22.
    • Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer, 5.1.5.515527, dated May 21.
  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

I’m plugging away at the first project viewer for EEP, and as soon as I get a blocker out of the way we’ll be able to get something into people’s hands.

 – Rider Linden, discussing EEP at the Simulator User Group meeting, May 28th

We have a blocking problem on the back-end at the moment … once we’ve gotten that fixed, we’ll deploy the back-ends that it depends on (simulator and inventory at least), and then put out a Project Viewer. y hope/expectation is that the Project stage will go well and we’ll get feedback quickly … Once we’ve responded to that, it’ll advance to RC, and at that point we won’t object to TPVs integrating it … The good news with respect to that is that the closer we get, the higher its priority gets, and the blocker is even higher priority for other reasons, so prospects are good.

– Oz Linden discussing EEP at the Simulator User Group meeting, May 28th

The meeting exhibited some lack of understanding on how EEP will operate. In brief EEP is a set of environmental enhancements, including:

  • The ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level.
    • Includes  arbitrary paths for both the sun and the moon.
    • Day cycles consist of a series of fixed skies. Each sky has a sun and a moon position.
    • In transitioning from sky to sky the sun or the moon will follow the great circle from one position to the next.
    • Can, howver be overrideen by the viewer (as per current “local” windlight settings.
  • New environment asset types (Sky, Water, Days – the latter comprising multiple Sky and Water) that can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others.
  • Experience-based environment scripted functions.
  • An extended day cycle (e.g a 24/7 cycle) and extended environmental parameters.

This work involves simulator, as well as viewer changes, and includes some infrastructure updates. The document linked to above (by Rider Linden) provides a summary of the document, and I attempt to offer updates through these Simulator User Group meeting notes and my Content Creation User Group meeting notes, as and when updates from the Lab are made available.

Grid-Wide Experiences

Work on grid-wide experiences is currently at a lower priority that other work currently being carried out (e.g. EEP), and so progress is slower. As with existing experience creation, only Premium members will be able to create grid-wide experiences. However, anyone will be able to accept and participate in them.

On-Line Friends Not Showing as On-Line

The is a recurrent bug that can affect people at different times and on different regions – all friends for the affected person appear as off-line. sometimes it can be rectified by IM’ing someone known to be on-line,forcing the Friends list then re-populates itself correctly. Simon Linden acknowledged the bug with the following comments:

It’s not caps fail – it’s a lost packet. There’s work going on to convert that to a cap so it’s more reliable, I believe. A work around is to tell folks to open up the web site and look at the friends on-line list there – that should be more reliable … The fact that you get an inaccurate list when you log in, and maybe a different one if you log out/in again, is due to packet loss. When you first land at a region, it needs to look up all your friends and status and send (or not) them the “is on-line” message, and also send a list to you. At the same time you’re getting updates for all the world around you, all your off-line IMs, etc. So there’s way too much traffic at once.

– Simon Linden, Simulator User Group meeting, May 28th

There also appears to be a similar issue that can be region-specific (see BUG-7557). This generally requires a region restart to resolve, and the underpinning causes still seems to be unknown.