2023 SL SUG meetings week #5 summary

Oshu, November 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, January 31st 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were updated with simulator release 577734, comprising both the HTTP custom headers update described above andthe updates previously deployed to BlueSteel and Le Tigre in week #3), comprising: stability improvements, fixes for a number of bugs, including the one preventing 30-second sound loops from being played back, and introduces new functions to the LSL API to allow for sound playback across any prim in a linkset. The new LSL functions include:
  • On Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, the RC channels should be updated with simulator release 577942. This version adds additional LSL functions for generating RSA and HMAC hashes, and another for replacing a substring of a string, as well as augmenting some existing functions with new parameters.

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers on January 24th, 2023:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12, 2022 – 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).
    • Maintenance R RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577678, January 30.
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577581, January 18, 2023.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577251, January 4, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577780, January 25, 2023 – this viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8, 2022.

In Brief

  • Removing the LSO bytecode compiler (non-Mono) / forcing all compilers to use Mono:
    • While this would make it easier for LL to improve the language, after hearing back that LSO was still heavily used (and the uses that it’s put too), nothing is likely to be changed until after BUG-233084 has been implemented.
    • Even then, LSO may not be entirely turned off.
  • The above sparked a discussion on BUG-227303 “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status”, float points,  script compiling, and more. Please refer to the video for more.
  • Rider Linden is looking into trying to fix BUG-233015 “Objects will fail to rez or attach if LinkSetData has any key/value containing certain characters”, which is seen as an encoding dependency issue.
    • This could lead to a breakage in LSD (Linkset Data) during any fix deployment, as servers using the older formatting will not be able to read the newer formatting.
    • A possible way to avoid this might be update decoding first, and deploy that, then fix the encoding issue.

2023 SL SUG meetings week #4 summary

Otter Lake, November 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, January 24th 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were updated with simulator release 577628, comprising an update for HTTP_CUSTOM_HEADER usage in llHTTPRequest(). Previously, a maximum of 8 custom headers were allowed, and each header had a hardcoded limit of 253 bytes. With this update, both of these limits
  • On Wednesday, January 25th, 2023: the RC simhosts should be updated with simulator release 577734, comprising both the HTTP custom headers update described above andthe updates previously deployed to BlueSteel and Le Tigre in week #3), comprising: stability improvements, fixes for a number of bugs, including the one preventing 30-second sound loops from being played back, and introduces new functions to the LSL API to allow for sound playback across any prim in a linkset. The new LSL functions include:

Week #5 should see the deployment of a fresh simulator RC. It will have a fix for key sorting in LSD Find Keys. llVerifyRSA and llSignRSA and llHMAC. A region_rating for llGetEnv and a few more stats in llGetSimStats.

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers on January 24th, 2023:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12, 2022 – 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).
    • Maintenance R RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577678, released January 19 – translation updates and the return of slam bits.
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577581, January 18, 2023.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577251, January 4, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577610, January 19, 2023.
      • This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8, 2022.

In Brief

  • BUG-233107 “Objects failing to render is happening more frequently of late” – is rising slowly up the priority list, however, from the discussion at the meeting:
    • There may actually be two issues at work, with some conflating them into a single problem, and / or there is an issue impacting both the viewer and the simulator.
    • Both issues may additionally be cause a race condition with messaging, leading to rendering / rezzing problems.
    • It is suggested, pending an actual fix, alt-camming out a good distance, waiting several seconds and then ESC-ing the camera back to its default position can fix both issues by forcing the viewer to call for a complete scene update.
    • One of the problems is most persistent on either initially logging-in or following teleporting into a region; it rarely happens on crossing between regions via foot or vehicle.
  • Please refer to the video below for further discussions at the meeting.

2023 SL SUG meetings week #3 summary

Aoi-ike, November 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, January 17th 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were restarted with no deployment, leaving them on simulator version 576542.
  • On Wednesday, January 18th, 2023: the RC simhosts should receive two new simulator updates:
    • 577628 – (Le Tigre RC Channel) an update for HTTP_CUSTOM_HEADER usage in llHTTPRequest(). Previously, a maximum of 8 custom headers were allowed, and each header had a hardcoded limit of 253 bytes. With this update, both of these limits have been removed; the only limitation is that the total custom HTTP header size must be under 4096 bytes.
      • The cryptographic signing utilities – potentially llHMAC (per BUG-233005) and llSignRSA and llVerifyRSA (per BUG-233009) had to be delayed due to “last minute snag” requiring a further look at the functions.
    • 577595 – (Bluesteel and Magnum RC channels) contains  stability improvements, fixes a few miscellaneous bug. It also fixes the bug preventing 30-second sound loops from being played back, and introduces new functions to the LSL API to allow for sound playback across any prim in a linkset. The new LSL functions include:

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers on January 17th, 2023:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12, 2022 – 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).
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577418, January 4, 2023.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577251, January 4, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577486, January 11, 2023.
      • This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8, 2022.

In Brief

  • As well as the crypto signing noted above, there are a couple of new functions coming down the pipe dealing with cryptographic hashing which are described as being useful for things like JWT or other HTTP auth schemes:
    • String llSignRSA(string privateKey, string msg, string digest);
    • Integer llVerifyRSA(string publicKey, string msg, string signature, string digest).
  • It has been suggested that the server-side of Pathfinding might be in line for a re-visit, although no time frame for when this might be or what it might comprise has been determined as yet.
  • It is reported that llRequestAgentData(id,DATA_NAME); is failing with increased frequency (the issue was first reported in BUG-231884), with other request functions also reported as having issues (e.g. llRequestSimulatorData incorrectly reporting a region’s online status until the region is restarted). It’s not clear at this point in time what is causing these problems, but server-side caching errors might be the cause of some.
  • A request has (again) been made for the servers to have valid SSL certificates. A Jira has been filed on this, and the engineering team are going to try to get it moved forward with TPTB.
  • BUG-227303 “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status”, is now described a “high on the list” of things to be addressed.
  • BUG-10442 “llGetHTTPHeader does not accept custom headers” has been raised as something to be addressed given the upcoming release of Simulator RC 577628.
  • BUG-233107 “Objects failing to render is happening more frequently of late” continues to be an issue, an might be occurring more frequently for some, and its priority has been raised.
  • BUG-233140 “LSL Feature Request: PSYS_PART_TEXTURE_ANIM” a feature request relating to animated particles has been raised and accepted. Whilst seen as a 2nice to have”, and something that might spark renewed interest at poking at the particle system (viewer performance permitting) – it generated interest and discussion at the meeting.

2023 SL SUG meetings week #2 summary

Le’eaf and Tinsel Café, Heterocera – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 10th, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, January 10th 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were restarted with no deployment, leaving them on simulator version 576542.
  • On Wednesday, January 11th, 2023, the simhosts on the RC channels should see the deployment of the ability to to play 30-second sound clips and the new sound functions llLinkPlaySound, with llLinkStopSound llLinkAdjustSoundVolume and llLinkSoundRange which allow sounds in child prims of a linkset to be played without the need for a supporting script.

It is hoped that week #3 will see a deployment of an RC simulator update comprising custom HTTP headers (total space for headers will increase to 4k and the limit on the number of headers will be dropped), and new cryptographic signing utilities – potentially llHMAC (per BUG-233005) and llSignRSA and llVerifyRSA (per BUG-233009). These updates will be available for testing on the Juggly Puff region within Aditi (the beta grid) during the rest of week #2.

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers at the start of 2023:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12, 2022 – 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).
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577418, January 4, 2023.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577251, January 4, 2023.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577157, December 14, 2022.
      • This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8, 2022.

In Brief

  • An update to Linkset Data to fix the sorting for LSDFindKeys is being targeted for a maintenance release in early February. Further LSD updates and fixes are being considered, but Rinder Linden would like to get this update out ASAP, rather than waiting to bundle it with other LSD updates.
  • BUG-232037 “Avatar Online / Offline Status Not Correctly Updating” – LL may have a fix available by earlier March.
  • BUG-233107 “Objects failing to render is happening more frequently of late” – is still believed to be an Interest List issue, although that code has not been directly touched in a while. One theory is the server is unsubscribing users from certain objects for reasons unknown (and which would impact entire linksets were the root to be unsubscribed). However, further investigation is required.
    • This issue leads to an extended discussion on passible causes and on the Interest List in general – please refer to the video below.

 

2023 SUG meetings week #1 summary

Tempelhof, November 2022 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were restarted with no deployment, leaving them on simulator version 576542
  • On Wednesday, January 4th, 2023, the simhosts on the RC channels should be restarted without any deployment or change to the current release.

Early 2023 Simulator Updates

AS per the previous SUG meeting:

  • I believe the RC deployment from week #50 (with 30-second sound loop support) was rolled back. If so, this is liable to be one of the first simulator updates for 2023 (targeted for January 11th, 2023), and / or possibly an update comprising a number of HTTP updates, including the accounting for custom HTTP headers (total space for headers will increase to 4k and the limit on the number of headers will be dropped).
  • Also early 2023 LSL will be updated with new cryptographic signing utilities: llHMAC (per BUG-233005) and llSignRSA and llVerifyRSA (per BUG-233009). These should be useful for script to script and script to external web service communications. These may be included in the above release.
    • BUG-226463 “llRequestSecureURL() uses self-signed cert” is also “on the radar” but no target date for potential delivery / deployment.
  • Further (unspecified) improvements will be coming to the Linkset Data (LSD) capabilities.

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers at the start of 2023:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12, 2022.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself).
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577220, December 16, 2022.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.8.576737, November 28, 2022.
    • VS  2022 RC viewer, version 6.6.8.576310, issued November 4 – utilises Visual Studio 2022 in the Windows build tool chain.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577157, December 14, 2022.
      • This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8, 2022.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 6 graphics improvements project viewer 6.6.2.573263, July 21, 2022.

In Brief

2023 – General Goals Set by the Lab

In their Review of the Year, Linden Lab outlined the following goals to be delivered during the year (nor all of which are the responsibility of the server / simulator engineering team):

  • Further performance improvements to increase the quality and visual fidelity of the Second Life experience through the viewer.
  • New LSL functions that improve the quality of life for scripters.
  • Initial deployment of physically-based rendering (PBR)  / glTF 2.0 specification support. This will initially comprise glTF materials support, together with the implementation of reflection probes.
  • Avatar customisation improvements to simplify creating your virtual identity, including inventory thumbnails to give a preview of what individual items are.
  • New user experience upgrades to better fuel retention, engagement, and growth across key parts of the new user journey.
  • New centralised “hubs” to better connect residents to the communities that match their passions and interests.
  • First peek at a world and avatar centred mobile-first Second Life experience.

In addition, Rider Linden is an LSL call to allow the replacement of sub-strings in a string call (e.g. non-RegEx behaviour). If implemented, this might most likely be called either llStringReplace() or llReplaceSubString(). As he was still on vacation at this meeting, it is something that will likely be picked up at SUG meetings going forward.

WIBNIs from Users

The following were suggested as a series of “wouldn’t it be nice if LL could provide” requests. Note these were only suggestions / discussion points not projects / ideas the Lab will necessarily implement in the short or long term:

  • The perennial request for a further focus on region crossing improvements.
  • A suggestion for an enhancement to Linkset Data (LSD).
  • A function which could be applied to Animesh objects to allow them to use the head/eye tracking that avatars use when focused on a target (so, for example, scripted scripted Animesh NPCs would “look at” avatars addressing them).
  • Suggested animation updates:
    • A procedural animation editor to allow creators / users to set the rules of how avatars walk, run, jump; their timings, how animations play priority wise and mixing wise in the series, all able to be packaged up into an item (a further suggestion for the in-development Puppetry project).
    • Improved animation formats and easier means of animation import into Second Life.
    • The ability to dynamically set animation priorities for more fluid animation integration (e.g. when you are holding and pointing a gun, you continue to point it as you walk, rather than the avatar’s arm dropping to a walking animation when moving).
    • All of these are liable to be topics for further discussion during Puppetry project meetings, but initiated a general discussion on animations and animating avatars which took up the majority of this SUG meeting – please refer to the meeting video below.

 

2022 SUG meetings week #51 summary

The Pillars of Hercules, blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Note: this was a “Winter solstice Party” event, so not a lot to report. The core of any discussions in in the first hour of the video embedded below.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, December 20th, the simhosts on the Main SLS channel were restarted with no deployment, leaving them on simulator version 576542
  • On Wednesday, December 21st, the simhosts on the RC channels should be restarted without any deployment or change to the current release.

Early 2023 Simulator Updates

AS per the previous SUG meeting:

  • I believe the RC deployment from week #50 (with 3-second sound loop support) was rolled back. If so, this is liable to be one of the first simulator updates for 2023 (targeted for January 11th, 2023), and / or possibly an update comprising a number of HTTP updates, including the accounting for custom HTTP headers (total space for headers will increase to 4k and the limit on the number of headers will be dropped).
  • Also early 2023 LSL will be updated with new cryptographic signing utilities: llHMAC (per BUG-233005) and llSignRSA and llVerifyRSA (per BUG-233009). These should be useful for script to script and script to external web service communications. These may be included in the above release.
    • BUG-226463 “llRequestSecureURL() uses self-signed cert” is also “on the radar” but no target date for potential delivery / deployment.
  • Further (unspecified) improvements will be coming to the Linkset Data (LSD) capabilities.

Available Official Viewers

This list reflects the current status of available official viewers at the start of the week:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance P (Preferences, Position and Paste) RC viewer version 6.6.8.576863 Monday, December 12.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance (Q)uality RC viewer, version 6.6.9.577220, December 16.
    • Performance Floater / Auto-FPS RC viewer, version 6.6.8.576737, November 28.
    • VS  2022 RC viewer, version 6.6.8.576310, issued November 4 – utilises Visual Studio 2022 in the Windows build tool chain.
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version 7.0.0.577157, December 14.
      • This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version 6.6.8.576972, December 8.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 6 graphics improvements project viewer 6.6.2.573263, July 21.

In Brief

Refer to the video below for more information on the following:

  • BUG-227303 “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status” has been filed and lead to further discussion on region crossings.
  • LL is mulling an LSL call to allow the replacement of sub-strings in a string call (e.g. non-RegEx behaviour). If implemented, this might most likely be called either llStringReplace() or llReplaceSubString().
  • The above lead to a more general discussion on LSL and LSL extensions / transpilers (helping to make LSD more accessible), etc.