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”

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2018 SL UG updates 41/1: Simulator User Group

Destiny Gardens; Inara Pey, September 2018, August 2018, on FlickrDestiny Gardensblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • There was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018. This remains on server release 18#18.09.20.519894.
  • At the time of writing, no deployment to the three RC channels are listed for Wednesday, October 10th, leaving them on server release 18#18.09.24.519940. However, during the meeting, Simon suggested a deployment might be made.

SL Viewer

The Animesh RC viewer updated to version 6.0.0.520211 on Tuesday, October 8th. This update includes the following updates / changes:

  • SL-966 scale and position offset limits are now enforced for Animesh objects. The current scale limit is 64m, offset remains at 3m
  • SL-1290 Issue with animations not rendering if they were stopped and started while host object is selected.
  • SL-9673 some HUDs collapse to low LOD when zooming.
  • SL-1350 Animesh angle offset lags when linked to rotating prim
  • SL-9773 attached Animesh objects visible in mouselook when “show me in mouselook” is unchecked.
  • SL-1291 Animesh selection highlights not showing in edit mode.

Note it does not contain fixes related to the performance loss issue reported in BUG-225584, and noted in my previous TPD meeting summary.

The remaining viewers in the pipeline remain unchanged from the end of week #40:

  • 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):
    • Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.10.520176, October 4.
    • 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

  • Region Crossings: see BUG-214653. In brief, several issues are related to message handling between server(s) and viewer. Assorted solutions have been suggested, with Simon linden noting, “Yeah at some point we may want to totally re-do that sequence of messages and get rid of all UDP traffic. It would probably be a little slower but having a more solid sequence would be better.”
  • BUG-216320 “Error when retrieving grid statistics page via llHTTPRequest”: this has been an issue since May, 2018, it had been hoped that the OS update would fix it, but currently there is still one component that needs to be updated in order to fix the issue.
  • The anticipated end date for the simulator OS update, which is key to the work in moving things to the cloud, is the end of 2018 or early 2019. After which there are the back-end services to update.

EEP testing and project viewer officially announced

Courtesy of Linden Lab

On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018, Linden Lab officially announced the opening up of EEP testing to Second Life users.

EEP  is the Environmental Enhancement Project – in short as series of in-development updates to the existing windlight capabilities in the viewer, and to environment settings / rendering across the board. In brief and in part EEP:

  • Gives region and parcel owners the ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level.
  • Provides new environment asset types (Sky, Water, Day) – referred to as “settings”  – that can be created in the viewer, stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with other users.
  • Allows the Sun, Moon and Cloud textures to be replaced with custom textures.
  • An extended day cycle, supporting up to 7 days a week and 24-hour day / night cycles.

And that’s just to start. The project will also include rendering updates to allow for atmospheric effects such as crepuscular rays (“God rays”), plus scripted and experience support for the new environment asset types (e.g. assign specific environment settings to an experience, which all participants will automatically have applied in their view when visiting the experience).

A simple 5-minute (including uploading the textures) demo of replacing the Sun and Moon with Mars and Jupiter respectively, then adjusting their respective sizes & putting them in the same quadrant of the sky. Note the windlight clouds drifting in front of Mars.

Testing EEP can only be carried out on Aditi (the beta grid) for the time being, where there is a limited number of parcels available for purchase. Testing can only be carried out using the EEP project viewer.

  • Download the viewer via the Second Life Alternate Viewers Page.
    • At the time of writing, the viewer was version 5.1.10.520121 – but use the above link to get the most recent version.
  • Test region: Aditi EEP Testing (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/EEPTesting/128/128/23).
    • Parcels cost L$1, but as Aditi funds are provided by Linden Lab, you are not paying for anything with your own money.
    • You MUST be using the EEP test viewer why trying to purchase a parcel on the test region – if you are using any other viewer, your purchase will time out.

Should you opt to test EEP and find issues, please be sure to raise a bug report, using the [EEP] tag. Reasonably feature requests may also be considered.

The parcel-level controls for using EEP, showing the Sun / Moon options and day cycle track

If you do not successfully purchase a parcel, or wish to see what others are doing with EEP, you can still visit the test region  – but you will need to be using the EEP test viewer in order to see anything.

There are a number of resources already available for EEP to get people started

EEP atmospherics via Graham Linden

I’ll continue to have EEP project news and updates through my Simulator User Group meeting, Content Creation meeting and TPV Developer meeting summaries.

 

 

2018 SL UG updates 40/1: Simulator and Governance

[Eclectica] A New Dawn; Inara Pey, August 2018, on Flickr[Eclectica] A New Dawnblog post

Simulator User Group

Not a lot to report this week; some discussion on documenting throttles on various LSL requests (i.e. updating wiki entries to indicate those functions that have throttles, rather than providing specific throttle information), and the inevitable region crossing chatter.

Server Deployment Plans

  • On Tuesday, October 2nd, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.09.20.519894, comprising the simulator update for Bakes on Mesh.
    • I believe this update still requires a Bake Service update (support for 1024×1024 textures).
  • On Wednesday, October 3rd, the three main RC channels should all be updates with service maintenance package 18#18.09.24.519940, comprising internal fixes.

SL Viewer

The following two viewers were updated on Friday, September 28th:

At the start of week #40, all other viewers remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.9.519298, dated September 5, promoted September 26. Formerly the Rakomelo Maintenance RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • 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.
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.518949, August 24.
    • 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. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.
Rider and Simon Linden, seated, at a Simulator User Group meeting, with Mazidox Linden in between. Note Mazi is wearing Shrek ears – the Lab’s office and in-world indicator that someone committed an “oopsie” – in his case, testing the wrong thing.

Governance User Group

Governance User Group (GUG) meetings are generally held on alternate Tuesdays at 13:00 SLT. They are intended to provide a forum for the discussion and education of issues involving Governance.  They are chaired by the GTeam supervisor, Kristen Linden and are open to the public. Details on dates, times and location can be found on the Governance User Group wiki page.

The Governance Team is responsible for dealing with Abuse Reports, in-world abuse, forum reports, Marketplace reports, etc. It is not responsible for issues with accounts being compromised, account subscription delinquency, fraud, IP infringement, etc.

  • These matters cannot be discussed at the GUG meetings.
  • Issues relating to them should be reported through the recommended channels (e.g. Support for account-specific issues, via the DMCA process for IP infringements, content theft, etc).

Similarly, individual cases involving Governance issues (e.g. the outcomes of abuse report filings), cannot be publicly discussed.

Resources

Meeting CliffsNotesTM

  • General comment on L$ reclaims: somewhat related to fraud, despite notes above. If someone receives L$ amounts as a result of fraud or similar issues, when those amounts are reclaimed via the Lab, they will show up as a transaction record in the user’s account transaction history.
  • Visitor trackers – are these a violation? the Governance Team is aware they exists, and generally do not action reports relating to them (radar systems report more-or-less the same information, available from the mini-map).
    • Similarly, the Governance Team tends not to get involved with tar jars that record tippers names / amounts. The suggestion for those who do not wish to have their name recorded when tipping is to tip directly, avatar-to-avatar.
  • Warnings / Suspensions / Termination: Tommy Linden pointed out that the reason someone is receiving a warning or a notice of suspension / termination will receive “a specific reason” on why the action is being taken in the e-mail notifying them of the warning / suspension.
  • Bans and Termination: the Governance Team only ban / terminate as a result of in-world issues related to platform governance. However, users can be banned / terminated by other LL teams (e.g. fraud, legal / IP), depending on the nature of the infraction / activity.
  • Can SL users be banned for things placed on external blogs, etc? As far as the Governance Team is concerned – no.  It is recognised that the team have no jurisdiction over mediums and services outside of those owned by Linden Lab.
    • Users who believe their personal data is being incorrectly publicised via the likes of blogs, etc., on other services, or believe they are being defamed, are advised to go through the complaints process native to the platform in question, and not file an Abuse Report with the Lab.
    • Issues the Lab have with external services, websites, etc., that are felt to be violating things like the company’s brand usage, trademarks, or which might be seen as defamatory, are dealt with by the legal department.
  • Personal questions: asking personal questions – even repeatedly – is not actionable as an AR. No-one has to answer questions, and other avatars can be muted / block if they persist. However, if someone does repeatedly harass a user with personal questions, etc., even beyond blocking, the an AR for harassment can be raised.
  • 24/7 coverage: the Governance Team is “not totally” active on a 24/7, but are deliberately unpredictable in hours kept so that times when Governance may not be available can be easily calculated by potential troublemakers.
  • Does the GTeam track those banned from regions / parcels? No. The region / parcel capability is there for region / parcel holders to use. However, ARs can be a means to identify serial griefers.
  • Does the simulator save a copy of the simstate when an AR is filed? No, however, the logs, etc are available for review during an investigation  – providing the AR is filed within a reasonable time of the incident occurring.
  • Should specific sections of the TOS / Community Standards be quoted in an AR: they can be, but it is not a requirement. A clear description of the incident, with all relevant information and an accurate AR category filing is far better.
  • ARs against copybotting, IP infringement: these are not investigated, but attempts are made to educate on how to file a DMCA.
  • Nudity on Moderate regions: generally considered OK, but nudity with sexual connotations (e.g. sexual acts or a naked male avatar with an erection, in public places) can be AR’d.
    • Region / parcel holders are free to specify no nudity and / or no sexual acts on their regions, regardless as to the rating.

Next Meeting

Subject to confirmation on the Governance User Group wiki page, the next meeting should be on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018. However, the location may change.

2018 SL UG updates 38/1: Simulator User Group

Bellefleurs; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrBellefleurs blog post

Not a lot to report.

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, September 18th, the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.09.04.519319, previously deployed to the main RC channels in week #37 and comprising Logging improvements.
  • The three main RC channels were not updated on Wednesday, but remained on release 18#18.09.04.519319.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current round of official viewers in the various pipelines, leaving the list as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.8.518593, dated August 14, promoted August 20. Formerly the SL Voice RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • 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.
    • Rakomelo Maintenance RC, version 5.1.9.519298, September 5.
    • Animesh RC viewer, version 6.0.0.518949, August 24.
    • 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.

Region Crossings

Firestorm 5.1.7 introduced a workaround to better handle vehicle-based region crossings  viewer-side, largely as a result of Joe Magarac (animats) investigations into region crossing issues (see Experimental Region Crossing Code  in my Firestorm 5.1.7 review for more). It’s not a perfect solution, but it can help. Since then, Joe has been looking at similar issues relating to avatars being “half unseated” on region crossings, particularly when the avatar appears to “jump” between 25-100 metres into the air on a crossing, or get pushed sideways.The effect is akin to sitting on an object and the viewer sometimes briefly something you at 0,0,0 in a region before bouncing your view back to your actual seated position.

It’s thought this issue might be related to how the messaging for region crossings is handled: the avatar and vehicle data get packaged and transferred between regions separately to one another, and things can go awry in trying to put them back together if the messages containing the data are received “in the wrong order”. It’s one of several issues with regions crossings that might be improved through viewer-side updates, and Simon Linden suggest the viewer team would be glad to look at contributions aimed and fixing any of them.

 

2018 SL UG updates #37/1: Simulator User Group

Kekeland - Bardeco; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrKekeland – Bardecoblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • There was no SLS (Main) channel deployment on Tuesday, September 11th.
  • On Wednesday, September 12th, all three primary RC channels should receive server maintenance package 18#18.09.04.519319, comprising logging improvements. This deployment should have been made in week #36, but never actually made it, due to a late-breaking issue with the code.

SL Viewer

The Bugsplat RC viewer updated to version 5.1.9.519462 on Monday, September 10th. All other viewers in the pipeline remain as per the end of week #36:

  • Current Release version 5.1.8.518593, dated August 14, promoted August 20. Formerly the SL Voice 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):
  • 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

BUG-7084 is a long-standing issue with prim properties reverting, which appears to be related to the Interest List and updates between the simulator and server being incorrectly handled. The matter was raised at the SUG meeting as now affecting hovertext, notably with objects requiring feeding / watering. For example, an object with a feed total of 45/100 could be replenished to raise the total – to, say, 47/100, but after moving the object outside the field of view (so culling it from the Interest List updates), camming back to it would revel the total has reverted to its early value (45/100). It’s not clear if this particular problem is related to BUG-7084, and the suggestion has been for a new Jira to be filed with a workable reproduction.