2018 SL UG updates 47/1: Simulator User Group and News

Winter Wonderland

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • On Tuesday, November 20th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server release 18#18.11.09.521593, previously deployed to the RC channels and comprising internal fixes.
  • There are no planned deployments to the RC channels.

Due to the Fact the Lab is closed from Thursday onwards, it is unlikely there will be any deployments in week #48 (commencing Monday, November 26th).

SL Viewer

The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 6.0.1.521759 on November 20th, bringing it to parity with the Animesh release viewer.

Currently, the rest of the viewers in the official pipeline remain unchanged. Given this is US Thanksgiving week, the remaining viewers due an update for parity with the current release viewer may not be issued until week #48.

  • Current Release version 6.0.0.520636, dated October 18, promoted November 14. Formerly the Animesh RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.0.1.521757, November 15.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, September 28.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, September 10. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
  • 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.

EEP

The next EEP function to see light of day should be llReplaceAgentEnvironment, that should allow an experience to override any environment setting currently being used by an avatar within that experience.

General News

Thanksgiving – Support Closed

Concierge Phone Support, Billing Phone Support, and Live Chat Support will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22nd & 23rd in observance of the US Thanksgiving holiday. Ticket submission will remain available, and support services will resume Saturday, November 24th, at 06:00 PST / SLT.

Winter Wonderland and 5 Weeks of Gifts

Winter Wonderland, the five-region activities area designed by Linden Lab and the LDPW, has reopened for the holiday season,, and the Lab is using it as the first swap on a gift hunt, which itself features the return of the Swaginator.  Find out more via Grab Your Winter Swaginator & Collect Exclusive New Gifts!

 

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2018 SL UG updates 46/1: Simulator User Group

Malaika Park; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrMalaika Parkblog post

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • On Tuesday, November 13th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server release 18#18.11.01.521329, previously deployed to the Magnum RC, and comprising a fix for Animesh land impact calculations – see below – and also internal logging fixes.
  • On Wednesday, November 14th, 2018, the three main RC channels should be updated with the same server update, 18#18.11.09.521593, comprising internal fixes.
  • There is no planned simulator update for EEP.

Land Impact Calculation Revision

The Land Impact update deployed to the SLS channel this week (and to the RC channels in week #45) is to correct an error in the Animesh code. In short, if an Animesh object has a conventional prim as its root, the required 15 LI for the Animesh skeleton is not applied.

This 15 LI is an aggregate value for Animesh arrived at during testing Animesh performance across a range of systems. It has also been subject to some alarmist blog posts about unexpected prim returns, but given Animesh products are not generally available as yet, this is unlikely.

SL Server

On Tuesday, November 13th:

All other viewers remain as per the end of week #45:

  • Current Release version 5.1.9.519298, dated September 5, promoted September 26. Formerly the Rakomelo Maintenance RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.520636, dated October 18th.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, dated September 28th.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, dated September 10th. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
  • Project viewers:
    • Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) viewer, version 5.1.10.521312,  dated November 2nd.
    • Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version 5.1.10.520711, dated October 29th.
    • 360 snapshot viewer, version 5.1.6.515934, dated June 6th.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 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.

Recalling Viewer 2.0

There is one thing I’d like to mention, and that today is the anniversary of a very special moment in Second Life history. November 13th is V2 Day. Nine years ago we released version 2 of the viewer, which many people mark as the beginning of the end of Second Life.

– Simon Linden, Simulator User Group

While I’d possibly dispute the date – I have blog posts from March 2010 marking the release of Viewer 2.0 as the “default” viewer available from the Lab, prior to that it was a Beta viewer (remember those?) – so perhaps “first issued” might have been a better term, it is nevertheless true that viewer 2.0 was subject to a lot of sturm und drang; I wasn’t a great fan when it arrived, although as it developed and improved, I did become something of a convert over time, and I also agree with Simon’s summation of the early work:

I know the intentions of V2 were good … the old SL viewer UI was a crazy mess of things patched on by engineers with no overall design. But personally I think they made the mistake of trying to meet a schedule date and not waiting until it was right.

And again, as Simon notes, at the end of the day and despite all the pronouncements of Viewer 2.0 heralding the end of SL, here we are, nine years later, still SL-ing!

Fake Firestorm Website

There are in-world IMs / notices, doing the rounds pointing to a fake Firestorm website. for details, please refer to my blog post here.

 

2018 SL UG updates 45/1: Simulator User Group

Florence Bay; Inara Pey, September 2018, on FlickrFlorence Bayblog post

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • On Tuesday, November 6th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server release 18#18.10.25.521081, previously deployed to the BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs, and comprising internal logging fixes. It is hopped that these updates will help with some crashing, particularly some regions that get into a crash loop.
  • On Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre will update to server maintenance package 18#18.11.01.521328, comprising a fix for Animesh land impact calculations – see below.
    • Magnum should be updated to server maintenance package 18#18.11.01.521329, also comprising a fix for Animesh land impact calculations – see below –  and also internal logging fixes.
    • Snack should also receive another iteration of simulator EEP support, release 18.11.02.521379.

RC Land Impact Calculation Revision

The Land Impact update being deployed to the RC channels is to correct an error in the Animesh code. In short, if an Animesh object has a conventional prim as its root, the required 15 LI for the Animesh skeleton is not applied.

This 15 LI is an aggregate value for Animesh arrived at during testing Animesh performance across a range of systems. It has also been subject to some alarmist blog posts about unexpected prim returns, but given Animesh products are not generally available as yet, this is unlikely.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates from the Lab at the start of the week, leaving the various pipelines as per the end of week #44.

  • Current Release version 5.1.9.519298, dated September 5, promoted September 26. Formerly the Rakomelo Maintenance RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.10.520686, October 30.
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.520636, October 18.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, September 28.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, September 10. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518751, released on August 20.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

In Brief

HTTP “throttles”: there have been questions on what any  throttles on incoming / outgoing HTTP communications might be. In reply,  Simon and Oz Linden stated:

We don’t want to block any “reasonable” use of http in with throttles, for whatever that really means. Don’t expect to write anything fast and high-load with http in, however. I’d just generally say “keep it slow”. I think the original idea for http in (and out) was it was going to be web-page speed, not a twitch game.

– Simon Linden

The amount of impact incoming http has can also vary depending on what else is on the system your region(s) are shared with (which you can’t easily determine). We have had times when we have asked users to modify how they use http-in to prevent problems.

– Oz Linden

Key binding: there have often been requests for broader / more configurable options for key binding within the viewer / SL, a subject raised at the meeting, with Oz Linden again commenting:

I have a standing offer to accept a contribution that will provide a complete key binding editor for the viewer.

Scriptable UI: another long-standing request is for a more scriptable UI for SL.  This could help with a range of capabilities – such as the viewer taking over actions that are currently dependent on simulator intervention, which and slow things down. However, viewer-side scripting support brings within it a number of issues – such as the code being unprotected, for example. So, not something liable to happen in the foreseeable future.

2018 SL UG updates 44/1: Weekend issues

Little Havana; Inara Pey, September 2018, on FlickrLittle Havanablog post

Unfortunately, the clock change in the UK / Europe meant I was unable to make the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, October 30th.

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, October 30th, nor was the channel restarted. It remains on server release 18#18.10.04.520268, comprising internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, October 31st, 2018, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre will update to server maintenance package 18#18.10.25.521081, comprising internal logging fixes.
    • Magnum should be updated to server maintenance package 18.10.25.521075, also comprising internal logging fixes.
    • Snack will be updated to EEP release 18.10.24.521013.

SL Viewer

There have been two SL viewer updates to start the week:

The remaining viewers in their pipelines remain unchanged from week #43:

  • Current Release version 5.1.9.519298, dated September 5th, promoted September 26th. Formerly the Rakomelo 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):
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.520636, October 18th.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, September 28th.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, September 10. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518751, released on August 20.
  • Project viewers:
    • Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) viewer updated to version 5.1.10.520819, on October 19th.
    • 360 snapshot viewer, version 5.1.6.515934, June 6th.
  • 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.

Weekend Issues

Shug Maitland kept an eye on the ups and downs of log-ins during the DDOS attack via https://etitsup.com/slstats/ through Sunday, October 28th, 2018 and into the early hours of Monday, October 29th, sending me this above capture

As most are aware, Sunday saw some significant issues with Second Life, with users in particular have log-in issues.

It appears the problems were directly the result of a prolonged / vicious distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, as April Linden confirmed in the forums, stating:

Heya Folks.

I can confirm it was a DDoS attack, and yes, the folks on my team had a rough weekend.

We do our best to fight DDoSes, but this one took quite a bit more effort than normal.

I’m sorry people’s plans got interrupted over the weekend. It was a rough weekend for all of us… including those of us on this side of the grid, too.

I’ve no idea if there will be a more formal blog post on the matter or not.

2018 SL UG updates 43/1: Simulator User Group

Ashemi Reprise; Inara Pey, September 2018, August 2018, on FlickrAshemi Repriseblog post

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • On Tuesday, October 23rd, the SLS (Main) channel updated to server release 18#18.10.04.520268, comprising internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, October 24th, 2018, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel will apparently remain on server maintenance package 18#18.10.04.520268.
    • Magnum and LeTigre were “TBD” at the time of writing.
    • Note that the deployment information for Snack in the thread (version 18.10.19.520844) is incorrect – see below for more (this may be removed after these notes are published).

SL Viewer

The start of week #43 has seen no change to the current viewer pipelines:

  • Current Release version 5.1.9.519298, dated September 5, promoted September 26. Formerly the Rakomelo 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):
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.520636, October 18.
    • Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.10.520444, October 11.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, September 28.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, September 10. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518751, released on August 20.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Environmental Enhancement Project – EEP

  • The Snack RC channel has been updated with a new EPP release, 18.10.20.520891, which seems to fix the issue of EEP skies looking weird (black skies, fast-moving clouds) when seen on non-EEP viewers.
  • Rider Linden is now working on adding LSL support to EEP.

Aditi Account Set-up Reminder

Given EEP is available for testing on Aditi, a quick reminder on how to log-in to that grid if you have not done so before or in a long while:

  • File a support ticket requesting access to Aditi.
  • Wait for support to confirm your account has been set-up.
  • Log-in to Aditi. This may not give you a full copy of your inventory, however it will flag your inventory for syncing with Agni.
  • Syncing operations are run daily at roughly 02:00 SLT, so if you wait about 24 hours (depending on the time of your initial log-in to Aditi), your inventory on the beta grid should be synced with your Agni inventory.

The EEP testing region is: secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/EEPTesting/247/44/23.

2018 SL UG updates 42/1: Simulator and Governance

Lost Unicorn Forest Sanctuary; Inara Pey, September 2018, August 2018, on FlickrLost Unicorn Forest Sanctuaryblog post

Simulator User Group

Server Deployment Plans

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

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018, leaving the simulators on that channel running on server release 18#18.09.20.519894, comprising the simulator update for Bakes on Mesh. However, regions on the channel were restarted, per the Lab’s 14-day restart policy.
  • On Wednesday, October 17th, 2018, the RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • The three core RC channels, Magnum, LeTigre and BlueSteel should all be updated with server maintenance package 18#18.10.04.520268 containing internal fixes.
    • The Snack RC channel should be updated with server release 18.10.09.520401, containing server-side EEP support. This will be an initially limited deployment to regions under LL’s management.

SL  Viewer

There were two SL viewer updates at the end of week #41:

  • The Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) project viewer updated to version 5.1.10.520475, on October 12th.
  • the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.1.10.520444 on October 11th.

The rest of the official viewers remain unchanged at the start of week #42:

  • Current Release version 5.1.9.519298, dated September 5th, promoted September 26th. Formerly the Rakomelo 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):
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.520211, October 8th.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, September 28th.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.9.519462, September 10th. 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 5.1.8.518751, released on August 20th.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 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.

Non-HTTP Asset Fetching

For some time now, all SL assets have been fetched using HTTP via the Lab’s CDN provider(s), avoiding the need for the simulator to handle all asset transfers and associated messaging directly. While the viewer code has long had the necessary code to support asset fetching via HTTP / CDN, the code for the old, non-HTTP fetching has remained in place in the simulator, allowing much older viewer versions to continue to fetch assets by way of the simulator.

However, Linden Lab has announced that as from January 6th, 2019, they will be removing the old non-HTTP fetching methods from the simulator code. Any viewers still fetching the affected asset types via UDP after this date will not longer work correctly.

The specific asset types affected by this change are: system body parts, system clothing, gesture, animations, sounds, and landmarks (mesh, textures and avatar appearance having long been HTTP only).

Operating System Update

The Lab is working on another major operating system update for the simulators and their back-end services. Part of this work is being deployed to the Morris region on Aditi, the beta grid, on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018. As OS updates can lead to some unanticipated outcomes, the deployment to Morris is very much a test of the new code. Those who routinely use the beta grid and the Morris region are asked to raise a beta grid Jira on any issues or other “oddness” they note subsequent to the deployment – “oddness” in this case being anything outside of the usual / expected behaviour of things.

The Cloud and “On Demand” Regions

Questions continue to be asked about the use of “on demand” regions following SL’s eventual move to cloud infrastructure. That is, regions that are only spun-up and active when one or more avatars are in them.

As Ebbe and others from the Lab has indicated, making regions “on demand” is not a priority at present with the move. Rather the focus is on shifting SL to the cloud “as is”, without significant changes to how the simulators and their region appear to operate.

While an “on demand” region offering might be possible in the future, it will most likely be an entirely new product offering when compared to the current Full and Homestead region types, and would probably only by suited to a standalone use, rather than such regions being part of any contiguous land mass, simply because of the complexities of  access (imagine trying to fly across multiple regions and having to stop at each border for 60+ seconds while the next region is deployed and spun-up) and in handling LSL scripts that assume all regions are running all the time, etc.

So , don’t expect anything like these immediately after the move – although such a product might surface at some point in the future, one the Lab have built up confidence in running SL in the cloud.

In Brief

  • BUG-216320 “Error when retrieving grid statistics page via llHTTPRequest”: no fix as yet.
  • BUG-7084 “Prim properties visually revert to an earlier state since Interesting”: again, no progress to report at present.
EEP is coming! server-side support is being deployed in week #42 on a limited basis to the main grid (Snack RC), and Simon Linden has been having seasonal fun with his home parcel. Expect EEP to gain wider simulator availability in the coming weeks. Credit: Simon Linden

Continue reading “2018 SL UG updates 42/1: Simulator and Governance”