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.

 

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2018 SL project updates 23/2: server and viewer mini-update

Butterfly Beach; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrButterfly Beachblog post

Server Deployments

the RC deployment made on Wednesday, June 6th (version 18#18.05.30.515812) was rolled by on Thursday, June 7th, leave the main grid running server release 18#18.05.25.515749.

As I was unavailable for the Server Beta meeting, I am unaware of whether or not an explanation for the roll-back was given.

SL Viewer

The following viewers have been updated in week #23:

  • The Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer – to version 5.1.6.515927 on Thursday, June 7th.
  • The 360-degree snapshot project viewer – to version 5.1.6.515934 on Wednesday, June 6th.

Both of these updates are to maintain parity with the de facto release viewer (at the time of writing version 5.1.5.515811, formerly the love Me Render RC viewer, promoted on June 1st, 2018).

As noted in my report here, the Unloop RC viewer, version 5.1.6.515965 was released for 32-bit Windows users only, and to specifically help those caught by the “64-bit Windows install loop” created during the initial promotion of the Love Me Render viewer to release status, which left both 64-bit and 32-bit Windows users only able to download the 64-bit version – see here for more.

The remaining viewers in the current LL pipeline remain as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.5.515811, dated May 31, promoted June 1 – formerly the Love Me Render Release Candidate – NEW
  • 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.

 

Lab provides “Unloop” viewer for 32-bit Windows users

On May 31st, 2018 Linden Lab updated the Love Me Render Release Candidate, viewer version 5.1.5.515811 to de facto release status.

Unfortunately, during the release process, there was an error defining the location of the Windows 32-bit version of the Second Life viewer download, which meant Windows users downloading the viewer when first released received the 64-bit version, regardless of which version of the operating system they are running.

While the issue has been addressed, it did leave some 32-bit Windows users found their systems stuck in a loop of trying to install the 64 bit version of the viewer. As I noted at the time, instructions were issued on how to break out of the loop. However, it appears some 32-bit users may still be encountering problems.

To this end, the Lab has released the “Unloop” Release candidate viewer, version 5.1.6.515965, which as the release notes state:

…is a special release just for Windows 32 bit systems who were caught in an endless loop of 64 bit viewer updates between 5/31/2018 and 6/1/2018. Except for its incremented build number, it is in every other way, identical to the last release.

So, if you are a 32-bit Windows user and are still having issues as a result of the promotion of the Love Me Render release, you might want to try a fresh installation of the Unloop viewer.

Second Life 32-bit Windows viewer oopsie

Update, June 6th: for those 32-bit Windows users still experiencing problems with this issue, the Lab has issued the Unloop RC viewer.

On May 31st, 2018 Linden Lab updated the Love Me Render Release Candidate, viewer version 5.1.5.515811 to de facto release status.

Unfortunately, during the release process, there was an error defining the location of the Windows 32-bit version of the Second Life viewer download. Because of this error, all Windows users downloading the viewer received the 64-bit version, regardless of which version of the operating system they are running.

While the issue has now been fixed so that 32-bit Windows users will receive the 32-bit version of the viewer, anyone running 32-bit Windows who downloaded the viewer during the 24 hours when the incorrect location was available (12:00 noon SLT on Thursday, May 31st, 2018 through 12:00 noon SLT on Friday, June 1st, 2018) may now find their system is stuck in a loop of trying to install the 64 bit version of Second Life.

Because of this, Kyle Linden issued a forum post on how to correct the problem for those caught in the loop, and I’m reproducing those instructions below for those who may have missed the forum post:

There is a way out of this loop.

  1. Uninstall the 64 bit version of Second Life.

  2. Install the 32 bit version from: http://download.cloud.secondlife.com/Viewer_5/Second_Life_5_1_5_515811_i686_Setup.exe

For the technically inclined there is a more surgical method to quickly recover.

  1. Open your file explorer in Windows.

  2. In the address bar type in %appdata% and press Enter.

  3. Locate the SecondLife folder and open it.

  4. Locate the downloads folder and delete it.

  5. Launch Second Life as normal and the correct update will be applied.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, we stumbled and we’ll make corrections to our processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

For those needing further information, please refer to Kyle’s forum post.

Ouzo: a viewer aperitif for Second Life

Linden Lab has promoted the latest Maintenance RC to de facto release status. The viewer follows the Lab’s convention of naming their maintenance updates for the viewer after popular alcoholic beverages and aperitifs.

This release includes a range of updates and improvements to the viewer which are worth highlighting, and which will be finding their way into third-party viewers as time goes forward (if they are not already present). Including the following.

Installation and Log-in Improvements

  • The “Your account will not be available until” login failure message has now been removed, as it is no longer meaningful.
  • The GPU Benchmark test no longer causing issues when installing the viewer or when setting viewer defaults.
  • Non-English versions of the viewer can now be installed into non-default paths without causing incorrect fonts to be loaded, corrupting the text of the Terms of Service display in the viewer.
  • Mac OS updates:
    • Incorrect VFS (cache) creation time no longer shown in “help>about SL”.
    • Full version of the build in the applications is now displayed after install on Mac.

Avatar Appearance Updates

  • A new option added to the Appearance Editor right-click menu: Wear Only This Outfit.
  • The Edit Outfit panel in the Appearance Editor no longer displays “Loading…” when there is nothing to load.
  • An avatar’s hairbase is now correctly rendered in Appearance mode when ALM is enabled, and the alpha mask will correctly hide the default hair in the Outfit Editor.
  • A seated avatar’s rotation is now correctly updated when the object the avatar is sitting on is changed via the build floater X, Y, Z spinners.
  • Object position (and sometimes size) no longer greyed out when editing avatar parts or attachments.
  • Temporary attachments can now be detached via gear menu in Appearance >Wearing.

UI Improvements

  • Abuse Report floater clean-up.
  • Error messages no longer doubled (the first being generic, the second being accurate).
  • It is no longer possible to delete an inventory folder while trying to rename it by holding down the Delete key a little too long.
  • Chat scroll bar now properly displayed after a panel resize.
  • “Walk/run/fly” toolbar button no longer turns off “fly mode” once per session.
  • Received Items improvements:
    • The “New” icon in the Received Items folder now correctly disappears when navigating with keys.
    • The “New” tag now appears in front of folders when searching.
    • “Properties” menu item disabled for multiple selection in Object content, because it was causing Received Items to disappear.
  • The Donation check box no longer covered by the Purchase button when buying land from a group you’re already donating to.
  • Bottom part of “Filter” button at Snapshot window can now be properly clicked.
  • World Map no longer shows first friend location after searches.
  • Unicode correctly appears in the Windows viewer display name.
  • Arrows ‘Navigate back’ and ‘Navigate forward’ had wrong state.
  • Profiles now have a Back button.
  • Debug setting AvatarHoverOffsetZ will work regardless of whether Set Hover Height modal has been opened.

Efficiency & Performance Improvements

  • This viewer uses the new off-line messages capability to correctly fetch off-line IMs following log-in, hopefully resolving the issue of lost off-line messages.
  • Viewer no longer attempting to load file/mesh/LOD indefinitely in case of most failures.
  • Advanced Lighting Mode (ALM) improvements
    • Normal and specular maps no longer downloaded when ALM is disabled.
    • Local Textures for Advanced Lighting Projectors now keep the selected texture.
  • Particles attached to the muted avatars no longer render.
  • Texture animation flicker at certain frame rates has been removed.
  • Sculpties should no longer appear as spheres before their shape data has been received by the viewer.
  • Scripts memory usage should no longer return incorrect values in the Estate Tools.
  • Unneeded exception handling from LLAppViewer::frame() removed.
  • ExportCharts for performance analysis re-enabled.
  • Mods to allow nVidia nSight to capture frames of Viewer rendering have been added.
  • Deprecated and unused private memory pooling removed.
  • Various translation updates.

Media Updates

  • (MAC only): viewer Media Browser no longer doubles entered Cyrillic capital letters.
  • Magnify glass button no longer returns camera to avatar after select other nearby media in “Start/Stop ALL Media” tab.
  • Scrollbar should decrease when the number of displayed media decreases.
  • The viewer no longer sends multiple GET requests against prim media when PRIM_MEDIA_AUTO_PLAY is enabled.
  • Social floaters launch a somewhat different version of the internal browser.

Crash Fixes

The viewer includes a range of crash fixes, as detailed in the release notes.

Downloads

The viewer can be downloaded from the viewer’s release notes page, if preferred.

2018 SL project updates 17/1: Simulator User Group

Motorheadz Café / Route6; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrMotorheadz Café / Route66blog post

Server Deployments

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

  • According to the deployment thread, on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.04.09.514272, previously deployed to the RC channels and containing internal fixes and a fix for BUG-214702. However, a check on the simulator release via Help > About in the viewer reveals the simulator version to be 18.04.13.514504, which doesn’t appear to have associated release notes.
  • According to the deployment thread, there was no deployment to the three main RC channels – LeTigre, Magnum and BlueSteel – on Wednesday, April 25th, which reportedly remain on server maintenance release 18#18.04.09.514272. However, as with the Main (SLS) channel, these channels report as being on simulator version 18.04.13.514504.

Region Crossing Updates

On Wednesday, April 25th, the Snack RC was updated with a release designed to assist with region crossings.

“We’ve made some changes on the back-end with respect to message reliability,” Rider Linden stated at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd. “We are hoping makes the transitions [from one region to the next] a bit more reliable … mostly it was a number of internal changes dealing with how agents get passed between simulators during a crossing or teleport.”

The simulator regions with the updated messaging code are:

Blake Sea – Atlantic
Blake Sea – Galilee
Blake Sea – Cattewater Blake Sea – Crows Nest
Blake Sea – Mizzen
Blake Sea – Nelson
Blake Sea – Thunderer
Blake Sea – Hawser
Blake Sea – Indefatigable
Blake Sea – Jones Locker

All of these can be accessed via the Blake Sea Half Hitch rezzing zone for those wishing to access them. I addition there is a block of region centred on “Est Full2” on Aditi that also have the updated region crossing code.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the viewer channels so far, leaving them as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27, promoted April 13 – formerly the media update RC.
  • 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. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Other Items

A recent back-end change made to PRIM_MEDIA_CURRENT_URL reportedly broke a lot of content (see BUG-216032), causing a lengthy debate during the Simulator User Group meeting. As a result of this discussion, Oz Linden provided an update on the change and on a further change the Lab has made which they hope will assist those experiencing issues as a result of the original change.

We installed an important security patch, which happened to no longer infer http for a URL that had no scheme (in my opinion a good change). That broke some scripts that had used the field for a URL but left off the scheme (e.g. “myserver.example.com/myapi”) so those were broken. In order to get those slightly sloppy but legit uses working again, we added the scheme for them (but used https because everyone always should).

Storing data in that URL field was never intended to work.

The fact that we broke uses that were never legit is unfortunate, but not something I feel an obligation to maintain compatibility with. We’ll try to help you recover data that’s trapped there, but we won’t change it so you can keep doing that. If you have scripts that you need to get the data back out of, let us know and we’ll try to work with you.

Those still experiencing issues should report them via the JIRA.