2019 SL User Groups 4/1: Simulator User Group

Bay of Dreams; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
Bay of Dreamsblog post

Update: Magnum and LeTigre did not see a deploy on Wednesday, January 23rd, leaving them on server maintenance package 18#18.12.05.522294.

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 19#19.01.09.523003, comprising logging to gather baseline information on simulator performance in various areas of interest together with additional logging.
  • On Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 the RCs will be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel will receive server maintenance package 19#19.01.18.523336, comprising the simulator support for the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP), and which will see the Snack channel currently used for EEP rolled into the BlueSteel RC.
    • Magnum and LeTigre were still TBD at the time of writing. I’ll update this article when more is known.

Region holders who wish to test EEP can contact support and ask for their region to be moved to an RC channel once the deployment has been made. Rider Linden currently has a request to have the SL wiki updated with the LSL functions for EEP, and has offered to provide a forum post on them, if required.

Remember, to work with EEP, you need the EEP project viewer, available from the Alternate Viewers wiki page.

SL Viewer

There have been no SL viewer updates to start the week, leaving the pipelines, at the time of writing, 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):
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16th.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19th.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18th. 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 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.

General

The SUG meeting was dominated with questions when upcoming features – grid-wide experiences,  new premium benefits, etc – may appear, and when the Lab anticipates completing the migration to the cloud. As always, and given the fact that SL is a dynamic environment with a lot going on, the replies were more-or-less “when they are ready”.

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2019 SL User Groups 3/1: Simulator User Group

R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S; Inara Pey, November 2018, on Flickr
R.A.H.M.E.N.L.O.S blog post

Update: The Bluesteel RC channel was updated with server maintenance package 19#19.01.09.523003, comprising logging to gather baseline information on simulator performance in various areas of interest together with additional logging. 

Server Deployments

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

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019.
  • There will be at least one RC channel deployment on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. This will have extra back-end logging, but nothing visible to users.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing / publishing, there have been no updates to any of the viewers in the current pipelines at the start of the week, leaving things as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. 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 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • 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.

Hover Height / Vertical Positioning Issue

The hover height / vertical position issue that has seen tiny and very small avatars incorrectly hovering above the ground since November 2018 – see BUG-225893should now hopefully be fixed.

The problem lay within changes made to the back-end Back Service, which manages the overall avatar appearance. The Lab had been working on trying to locate the root cause of the problem for some time, hampered by the fact a consistent reproduction of the issue when tweaking things to see what might be the cause proved difficult.

However, a fix was developed in week #2, and passed to the Lab’s QA team for testing. The fix was deployed on Monday, January 14th, 2019. As per the notes on the update, “any avatars experiencing issues with hover height will need to change outfits in order to help you stand on the ground.

Environment Enhancement Project

It is anticipated that a broader server deployment of EEP (currently on a limited deployment on the Snack channel) will occur in week #4 (commencing Monday, January  21st, 2019). This will hopefully see EEP go RC-wide on the main grid, and will be accompanied by a viewer update with further UI tweaks, bug fixes and (hopefully!) the additional render updates to enable things like crepuscular rays (“God rays”). rider will also be updating the LSL documentation on the SL wiki as it pertains to EEP.

Resources

Other Items

Puppeteering

is a topic that often comes up for discussion. While Animesh has potentially opened the door to better means of controlling NPC, creatures, etc., there are cases where on-the-fly control of your own avatar would be a help  (e.g. having more control over a  hug).

The pupeteering project was originally started to provide such a means of additional animation control. This reached the point where the results would have been confined to the user’s own world view (so not seen by others), but if followed through, it would have also included the network layering so that the result of pupeteered avatars would have been seen by all. However, this work was eventually put aside in 2011.

A more recent project, based on code contributed via the Black Dragon viewer is in progress, but (I believe, as I’ve not looked into it to any great depth) this will be more constrained in scope.

Some at the Lab have been tossing around ideas, but it should be noted these are only ideas, not a project, as Simon Linden mentioned at the meeting:

The hover height is an interesting little AV position mod … we’ve been brainstorming (warning – I think there was beer involved) with ideas like extending that, so for example you could adjust a hand position during a static pose. This is all just playing with ideas, however.

However, any in-depth work on the animation system is liable to require something of a deep dive into the system’s foundations – which probably won’t be easily countenanced at the moment.

In Brief

  • Animesh: Simon indicated there has been further internal discussions on what might be included in any Animesh follow-on project, with feature request BUG-22815 “Much needed Animesh specific constants for llGetObjectDetails()” being looked at in particular. LI for Animesh humans continues to be a concern; while it is noted a “reasonable” Animesh character can be made for around 28 LI, those using Bento can range around the 80-90 LI mark, possibly higher – which could limit their use. These discussions will likely continue through the “regular” forum for Animesh discussion: the Content Creation User Group.
  • OS Updates: work is still progressing on updating the operating system used by LL’s servers. This will not only bring them up to a more up-to-date OS version, but is also seen as foundation work for moving services to the cloud.

 

2019 SL User Groups 2/1: Simulator User Group

Let It Snow!; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrLet It Snow!blog post

Server Deployments

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

  • There was no deployment wo the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, leaving the channel on server release #18.12.05.522294, comprising a voice service adjustment and internal fixes. However, regions on the channel were restarted in keeping with the Lab’s 14-day restart policy.
  • On Wednesday, January 9th the RC channel updates are slated as being:
    • Magnum and LeTigre are slated for “no roll” and to remain on server release 18#18.12.05.522294, first deployed to it on December 12th, 2018.
    • BlueSteel should be updated on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 with server maintenance package 19#19.01.03.522821, comprising logging improvements, including “logging to gather baseline information on simulator performance in various areas of interest”.
    • Snack should remain on EEP simulator version 18#18.12.14.522551, first deployed on December 17th, 2018.
    • All RC channels should be restarted, again in keeping with LL’s 14-day restart policy.

SL Viewer

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5, promoted December 13. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522564, December 19.
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.522614, December 18. 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 6.0.2.522531, December 18.
  • 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.

Pathfinding Revisited?

Pathfinding is a capability deployed to Second Life in 2012. For those unfamiliar with it, pathfinding was intended to provide a means to allow a range of automated characters – people, animals, monsters, mobile objects (“mobs”) to be created and set into motion within Second Life with greater ease than had been possible.

Using various tools and LSL commands, together with the “navmesh”- a representation of a region’s geometry generated and used by the Havok physics engine to determine paths for pathfinding characters – these characters would be able to navigate their way around obstacles, follow roads, climb inclines, etc. Yoy can read more about it in my 2012 Pathfinding overview.

Unfortunately, and due to a number of reasons – not all of which were entirely fair – Pathfinding never really gained significant use (in fact, many region holders disabled the capability out of fear concerning performance issues.

With the arrival of Animesh, however, there is potentially a new opportunity for Pathfinding to find a use. However, in the time that’s elapsed since the original deployment, there are things that need to be looked at – the wiki documentation, for example, appears to be somewhat out-of-date (and was always a little confusing). Also,Pathfinding itself can also be somewhat unpredictable, while some of the capabilities could possibly do with update.

Whether or not Pathfinding will be revisited by the Lab or not is currently an open question; however it has been a topic that has been raised at a number of user group meetings (Simulator can Content Creation), so it is something the Lab is aware of as being of potential interest to users / creators.

2018 SL UG updates 51/1: Simulator User Group

Magritte; Inara Pey, November 2018, on FlickrMagritteblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, December 18th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.12.05.522294, comprising a voice service adjustment and internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, December 19th, the three main RC channels should be updated with server maintenance package 8#18.12.03.522210, comprising a further voice service adjustment.
  • Also on Wednesday, December 19th, the Snack channel should be updated with a new EEP simulator update, 18#18.12.14.522551.

SL Viewer

There have been two viewer updates to start the week, bringing two of the viewers up to parity with the current release viewer (formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer). These are:

  • The Bugsplat RC viewer, which updated to version 6.1.0.522614. 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, which updated to version 6.0.2.522531.

The remaining viewers in the pipeline remain (at the time of writing) unchanged from the end of week #50.

  • Current Release version 6.0.1.522263, dated December 5th, promoted December 13th. Formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 5.2.0.520057, September 28th.
  • 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, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Last Name Changes – Supporting External Databases

A number of creators and others utilise external databases that use their own log-in authentication process bases on their customers’ Second Life names. Concern has therefore been raised as to how they’ll be able track changes to users’ lasts names once the ability for them to be changed has been re-introduced, with requests for LL to offer some kind of RSS feed providing name change updates.

However,Oz indicated this would not likely be the case, noting:

I don’t think that keeping current with a feed would really work, and it could easily be misused. Don’t store names – store IDs (agent UUIDs). IDs will never change [So] just have them enter name, then internally translate to the UUID. The translation will always be correct whether they use a current name or an old one. We will not be providing a feed or any way to look them up in bulk.

– Oz Linden

No Change Window

Due to the Christmas and New Year holiday period, there will be a No Change window in effect from close of business on Friday, December 21st, 2018 through until at least Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019. During this time there will be no planned updates or releases for the SL simulators or the official viewer.

The next Simulator User Group meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 8th, at the usual time of 12:00 noon.

2018 SL UG updates 50/1: Simulator User Group

Cold Ash; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrCold Ashblog post

There was no Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018. Notes are therefore a little on the light side.

Server Deployments

As always, please check with the server deployment thread for updates and latest news.

  • On Tuesday, December 11th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.12.04.522206, previously deployed to all three main RC channels, and comprising region stability improvements; simhost deployment improvements and logging improvements.
    • Part of this update includes the removal of a lot of mesh-related logging that had been required during testing, but has been surplus to requirements. However, as the code was never removed, it resulted in a lot of unnecessary logging as mesh became more popular.
  • On Wednesday, 12th December the RC channels should be updated with server maintenance package 18#18.12.07.522390, comprising voice service adjustments.
  • The Snack channel, home to the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP), received a further simulator update, version 18#18.12.07.522390.

SL Viewer

At the time of writing, there have been no updates to the current batch of official viewers, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.0.520636, dated October 18, promoted November 14. Formerly the Animesh RC viewer – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.1.522045, December 6.
    • Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.0.1.522263, December 5.
    • 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.

2018 SL UG updates 49/2: mini-update

The Peak; Inara Pey, October 2018, on FlickrThe Peakblog post

Server Deployments

As per part 1 of this week’s updates, the RC channel were all updated on Wednesday, December 5th, with simulator maintenance package 18#18.12.04.522206, comprising:

  • Region stability improvements.
  • Simhost deployment improvements.
  • Logging improvements.

The Snack channel for the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) was updated the same day to version 18.11.30.522125.

SL Viewer

There have been three updates to SL viewers during the week:

  • The Spotykach Maintenance RC updated to version 6.0.1.522263 on December 5th.
  • The Love Me Render RC updated to version 6.0.1.522045 on December 6th.
  • The Bake on Mesh project viewer updated to version 6.0.1.522127 on December 7th.

At the time of writing, the remaining viewers in the pipeline remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.0.0.520636, dated October 18, promoted November 14. Formerly the Animesh RC viewer..
  • 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 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.

End of Year Promotions

At the previous TPV developer meeting, it had been suggested that the Lab would try to promote two viewers to release status before the end of 2018. Given the Lab prefers to have at least two weeks between promotions and the No Change window comes into effect from Friday, December 21st, this would appear to be a bit of squeeze. Currently the front-runners for promotion have been given as the Spotykach Maintenance RC, the BugSplat RC or – on an outside chance – the Bakes on Mesh project viewer.

Remaining Published User Group Meetings for 2018

  • Simulator User Group: Tuesday, December 11th and Tuesday December 18th, 2018, 12:00 noon SLT.
  • Governance User Group: Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, at 13:00 SLT.
  • Open-Source Development User Group: Wednesday, 12th and Wednesday, December 19th 2018, 15:00 SLT*.
  • Content Creation User Group: Thursday, December 13th and Thursday, December 20th, 2018 at 13:00 SLT.
  • Server Beta User Group: Thursday, December 13th and Thursday, December 20th, 2018 at 07:00 SLT*.
  • Web User Group: Wednesday, December 19th, at 12:00 noon SLT.
  • Concierge and Land User Group: Thursday, December 20th, 2018, at 12:00pm SLT.
  • TPV Developer Meeting: Friday, December 21st, 2018 at 12:00 noon SLT.

* Subject to confirmation.

See the SL User Groups panel on the right for details of meeting locations. via their wiki pages.