2019 SL User Groups 12/1: Simulator User Group

The Missing Whale; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Missing Whaleblog post

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • On Tuesday, March 19th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 19#19.03.07.525089. Previously deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre, this update contains:
    • Internal fixes.
    • The Environment Enhancement Project code and all bug fixes for it.
  • On Wednesday, March 20th, the server RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre will remain on server maintenance package 19#19.03.07.525089.
    • Magnum will update to server maintenance package 19#19.03.15.525315, containing:
      • The new operating system update.
      • The Environment Enhancement Project code and all bug fixes for it.

These deployments will mean that server-side support for EEP will be grid-wide. However, the viewer is still at RC status and awaiting some final updates (including the Chrome / Chromium / CEF) fix noted below). The version with the fixes is due to go to the Lab’s internal QA later on March 19th.

SL Viewer

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

  • Current Release version 6.1.0.524670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13, promoted February 28. No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • 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.

Chrome and Chromium Exploit

As noted in my TPV Developer meeting summary, an exploit within Chrome / Chromium which affects all versions except the very latest, 72.0.3626.121. This is being addressed by Linden Lab, but it will take time for the patch to filter out to all viewers – both the Lab’s own and TPVs (note that neither the Linux Spur viewer and the obsolete OS viewer will not be updated with a patch to fix this issue).

In the meantime, the current internal SL web browser is potentially vulnerable; do not use it to browse non-LL websites on it, and avoid using media on a prim from untrusted sources.

Inventory Maintenance

There will be a period of scheduled inventory maintenance between 05:00 and 07:00 SLT on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019:

During this time, residents may have issues with any inventory related activities including building, logging in, as well as avatar and object rezzing. Please refrain from rezzing in-world, in addition to transacting in-world, on the Marketplace, or on the Lindex during this time.

– SL Grid Maintenance notice

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2019 SL User Groups 11/1: Simulator User Group

Chesapeake Bay; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrChesapeake Bayblog post

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • There was no deployments to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, March 12th, leaving it on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656. Regions on the channel were, however, restarted.
  • On Wednesday March 13th, the RC regions should be updated as follows:
    • The BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs should receive a further EEP  update with server maintenance package 19#19.03.07.525089.
    • The Magnum RC channel should remain on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656, comprising internal fixes. Region on that channel should, however, be restarted.

SL Viewer

  • The Environmental Enhancement Project RC viewer updated to version 6.1.1.525044 on March 7th.
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.1.1.524929 on March 6th.

These updates bring these viewers to parity with the release viewer. The rest of the SL viewer pipeline remains as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.1.0.524670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13, promoted February 28 New.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.2.0.524909, March 5.
  • 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 Notes

The meeting suggested a few misconceptions / misunderstandings with the EEP project. While I plan to have an in-depth tutorial on the subject available shortly (with the very welcome assistance of Rider Linden), it’s worth making a few points here:

  • As is widely known, EEP makes in possible for region / estate holders and parcel holders to apply EEP settings to their land (subject to region / estate level permissions, in the case of parcels).
  • However what may not be more widely recognised is that EEP also allows environment settings to be directly applied to your own avatar. When this is done, the applied settings will override any in-world settings when seen in your own viewer. This means for example:
    • Aviators can apply an environment to themselves and experience that environment across multiple regions / parcels where they might otherwise encounter multiple environments affecting their viewer during their flights.
    • Photographers can easily apply their preferred settings when taking photos no matter where they are.
    • Once applied, setting will apply until either you re-log (local settings do not persist across sessions) or you set your viewer to use shared settings (i.e. those of regions/estates and parcels).
  • Further, there are some 15 LSL commands that can be used with EEP. The majority of these can be used without restriction; however two of them – llReplaceAGentEnvironment and llSetAgentEnvironment must be used in an experience.

The Question of Script Load III

At the last two SUG meetings (March 6th  and February 27th), there were reports that the percentage scripts run seems to be falling across Mainland without a noticeable increase in script count. If true, this would indicate something is going wrong. However, making an evaluation of possible causes is difficult, and there have been requests to make some of the script-related monitoring available at region / estate level more accessible. A feature request on this has now been raised – see BUG-226501.

2019 SL User Groups 10/1: Simulator User Group

The Four Villages; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrThe Four Villagesblog post

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • There are no planned deployments to the SLS (Main) channel or the three major RC channels, these sees all four remain as follows:
    • The SLS Main channel remains on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656.
    • The BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs remain on EPP server maintenance package 19#19.02.27.524820.
    • The Magnum RC channel remains on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656, comprising internal fixes.
  • The current small Cake RC on Agni that is being used to iron out some transient network issues with the newest server operating system update, should receive an updated on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019.
    • There are reports that teleporting out of regions on Cake can result in a viewer disconnect.

SL Viewer

The EAM RC viewer updated to version 6.2.0.524909 on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019.

The rest of the SL viewer pipeline remains as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.1.0.524670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13, promoted February 28 New.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • EEP RC viewer version 6.0.2.524683 released on February 27.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16.
  • 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.

The Question of Script Load II

The subject of script and script run time returned. As notes in my previous SUG meeting summary, there are some reports that the percentage scripts run seems to be falling across Mainland, without a noticeable increase in script count, which if true, would indicate something is going wrong. Speaking at this week’s meeting, Oz Linden indicated that the Lab hasn’t done anything to their knowledge that should impact script performance. One theory is that child agents could be causing issues (see BUG-225729, BUG-226298).

As also noted in the previous meeting notes, there have been requests to make Top Scripts in a region visible to parcel holders, as well as estate owners / managers. It has been pointed out that this could result in privacy / drama issues and add to simulator processing loads. A compromise idea suggested this meeting would be for parcel owners  to see script time for in-world scripts be aggregated by parcel; this would allow people to have (hopefully friendly) words with neighbours if they see issues. A request has been made for this idea to be submitted as a feature request.

Oz Linden also indicated that allowing users see their own script usage through the viewer UI is on the roadmap.

 

2019 SL User Groups 9/1: Simulator User Group

Endless; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrEndlessblog post

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, February 26th, leaving it on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656. As regions on the channel were restarted in week #8, there was no restart this week.
    • The planned deployment was cancelled due to a list minute issue being found, and also led to the planned RC deployment(s) being postponed.
  • No deployments are planned for Wednesday, February 27th, 2019, leaving the RCs on the following simulator versions:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre: server maintenance package 19#19.02.16.524516 EEP).
    • Magnum: server maintenance package 19#19.02.16.524515, comprising further internal fixes.
    • Simon indicated at the SUG meeting that regions on the RC channels might be restarted, although this is unclear, as the channels have not hit the 14-day restart barrier.

SL Viewer

There have been two recent RC viewer updates:

  • On Tuesday, February 26th, the BugSplat RC viewer updated to version 6.1.0.524670.
  • On Friday, February 22nd, the Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer updated to version 6.1.0.524240.

The rest of the viewer pipeline remains as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.524348, February 13th. 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.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th 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.

Inventory UDP Messaging Deprecation

The planned deployment to Magnum (cancelled for this week) should include the updated simulator code that removes all asset fetching UDP messaging from the simulator code. Once deployed, this will mean anyone using really old viewers that do not have HTTP asset fetching on regions running on the Magnum RC channel will no longer be able to obtain responses to asset requests – and this will increase as the code is deployed to the remaining channels.

It’s not clear yet if the two “legacy” viewers currently offered by the Lab (the Linux Spur viewer and Obsolete Platform viewer) will remain available after the update has been fully deployed, as both will be unable to fetch assets.  Those wishing to test older versions of viewers against the updated simulator code can do so on Mesh Sandbox 3 on Aditi.

The Question of Script Load

The core of the SUG meeting revolved around the question of scripts and simulator loads. The discussion started with a request to make scripts run % data accessible to SLS, so scripters might coder periodic, intensive scripts hold off loops of execution if they can see a region is busy.

This spun out to a discussion of making information on scripts (as seen at the region level via Top Scripts) available at parcel level. However, a concern here is the risk of unnecessary drama: if X on parcel Y can see top scripts across the region, and sees A’s scripts on another parcel gobbling script time, it could lead to an assumption (right or wrong) it is the scripts that are responsible for all issues X is experiencing, resulting in potential local drama.

Another idea put forward is to make script use tied to parcel size (as is the case with land capacity / impact) in an effort to make script usage fairer within a region (see BUG-225391). While potentially good in theory, such a “fair use” approach has some potential issues:

  • Script usage isn’t balanced by parcel within a region. It is possible to have multiple parcels using little or no script time, and one using more than its “fair share”. Currently, this means things can balance out within a region, but with a capped script use, the “high use” parcel could be penalised when there is no need. As Oz Linden noted, “We could do that, but suppose we did. In many places people would see a big script performance drop even though the region had lots of idle time.”
  • Scripts are the only thing that can impact local performance: Physics Time, for example, can be over-used and impact performance, leaving very little script time per frame.
  • There is a difference between in-world scripts and attached scripts, so there is a question of how would the latter be accounted for? Making them part of the parcel allowance isn’t necessarily fair, as the parcel owner has no direct control over others without something of a draconian approach (depending on parcel size) – upping the potential for drama / upset.

Simon Linden also pointed out that there is pretty significant overhead moving between the scripts versus running actual bytecode (that is figuring out what to run against actually running it), so monitoring everything could add more of an overhead than actually letting scripts run – although there have been discussions on how to improve this. But, he also cautioned that adding further checks would have to be a “real clear win”.

There are some reports that the percentage scripts run seems to be falling across Mainland, without a noticeable increase in script count, which if true, would indicate something is going wrong. But as pointed out at the meeting, without data, it is hard to tell what is going on. Is a slow-down a case of having too much useful stuff going on for the available resources, or is it a case of someone going compute-bound in their script, lagging a region.

This is likely to be a discussion that will continue.

2019 SL User Groups 8/1: Simulator User Group and EEP oddities

A Way of Life; Inara Pey, January 2019, on FlickrA Way of Lifeblog post

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • On Tuesday, February 19th, there was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel, leaving it on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656; however, region on the channel were restarted. The planned update for the channel was again postponed due to a late-breaking bug.
  • On Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 the RCs are likely to be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre should receive EEP update server maintenance package 19#19.02.16.524516, comprising the following fixes:
      • BUG-226252 [EEP] Please create an internal error code for llReplaceAgentEnvironment() & llSetAgentEnvironment() that distinguishes whether an agent does not have the experience allowed and if the experience is not allowed at their location.
      • BUG-226246 [EEP] llGetEnvironment() reports SKY_LIGHT fade_color as a rotation instead of a vector. (SKY_LIGHT only returns vector light_direction and vector total_ambient. fade_color is removed https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LlGetEnvironment)
    • Magnum should receive server maintenance package 19#19.02.16.524515, comprising further internal fixes.

SL Viewer

The EEP Project viewer updated to version 6.0.2.524476 on Tuesday, February 19th. The remaining viewer pipelines remain as  follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th, 2018. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.524348, dated February 13th. 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.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, dated January 23rd.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, dated January 16th.
  • 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, dated May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

EEP Deployment Oddities

There are some oddities being witnessed while EEP is being deployed. These should all go away once the code is fully deployed on the servers and the viewer code has reached all release versions of viewers.

Day / Night Cycle Differences

With the EEP updates currently on around 20% of the main grid, it is possible for very different values to be returned to the viewer when travelling between adjacent EEP and non-EEP regions, and this has been causing some confusion. Rider explains it thus:

EEP changes how the time is calculated. llGetSunPosition is dependent on the environment. It was not before. Legacy regions determine the beginning of the day differently than EEP regions. So until [they] have been [updated] there will be some disruption.

The way the start of the day has changed. It is now GMT-8, this [also] may not align with neighbouring legacy regions.

Other Oddities

  • There are also reports of jarring region crossing transitions that can sometimes occur when moving between regions with different EEP settings – see BUG-225689.
  • Stars on EEP regions will appear black against the daytime sky when seen on a non-EEP viewer with Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled, or as white stars with ALM disabled.

Marketplace Gifting

There is an issue with the redelivery of gifts made via the Marketplace that (depending on the age of the original gift delivery) might result in the redelivery going to the sender, rather than the intended recipient – see BUG-226124. If you encounter this, please raise a support ticket.

2019 SL User Groups 7/1: Simulator User Group

Ponto Cabana; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
Ponto Cabanaclick any image for full size

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • On Tuesday, February 12th, there was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel, leaving it on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656; nor was there a restart.
    • The planned deployment was cancelled due to a last-minute bug.
  • On Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 the RCs are likely to be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre should receive EEP update server maintenance package 19#19.02.08.524296.
    • Magnum should receive server maintenance package 19#19.02.11.524360, comprising further internal fixes.

EEP Update

The EEP server update to be deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre comprises:

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates at the time of writing, leaving the current pipelines as:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523335, January 23rd. 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.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, January 23rd.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November, 2017 – 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.

In Brief

  • Viewer disconnects / crashes: some people on “older” hardware have been reporting what appear to be viewer disconnects / crashes of late after only being logged-on for around 15-30 minutes (see: this forum thread). This has been noted by the Lab, and a potential fix is being tested on Aditi. The problem here is that forum posts don’t always give the level of detail required for LL to really diagnose matters. Jira is always the preferred method of logging issues – and it is important to use the official viewer when doing so.
  • Name Change Issue: as reported in my last SUG meeting summary, a creator preparing for the upcoming Last Names / name changing capability encountered an unusual situation: the Lab had changed a user’s account name. However, when sending information to an external HTTP request (object UUID, object name, owner name of the object, etc.), to the creator’s customer database, a HUD used by the user was sending their original account name not their revised name. The issue is now believed to be a stale cache issues, as noted last time.