2019 SL User Groups 24/1: Simulator User Group

City of Solace; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickrCity of Solaceblog post

Server Deployments

There are no planned deployments for week #24, leaving the SLS (Main) channel and the primary RC channels (LeTigre, Magnum and BlueSteel) on server maintenance package 19#19.05.17.527341.

SL Viewer

On Monday, June 10th, the Lover Me Render and Bakes on Mesh viewer updated as follows:

At the time of writing, these updates (again) had yet to appear on the new Alternate Viewers web page (or on the Release Notes web page), but can be found on the Release Notes index page.

The 360-snapshot project viewer appears to have been temporarily withdrawn. The remaining LL viewers in the pipeline remain as:

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22nd – No Change.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, released on June 5th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • 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.

Script Processing Issues

As I’ve recently reported, there have been numerous reports of script run time issues. See  BUG-226851 and BUG-227099 as examples. These continue to be felt across the grid, and the Lab is continuing to investigate, with Rider Linden noting:

We’re looking into a couple of things that we think will help. But we don’t have anything to report yet.

Oz Linden added:

 We’re also doing things to get a more global picture, and to allow us to accurately measure how any new simulator compares to existing ones on this and some other metrics.

In Brief

  • There should be two new simulator updates going to the RC channels in week #25 (commencing Monday,  June 17th), and these should have fixes for the EEP bugs being seen today.
  • Simon Linden has been continuing to work on teleport issues, and indicated that there may be a further group test of updated coded on Aditi following the Server Beta User Group meeting (held Thursdays at 15:00 SLT).
  • General points of discussion: these following is a short list of more general items discussed at the meeting, many of which are likely generally known:
    • Empty regions will not go into idle mode if they can be seen from other regions with avatars; nor should they switch to idle mode if they only have registered agents in them. Finally, the switch between a region being at idle and running at full speed is “very quick”.
    • Regions able to idle can offer a measurable boost in performance for other regions on the same host server.
    • As is often pointed out in these pages and elsewhere: viewer performance can be improved by managing things like your draw distance and viewer bandwidth setting (see the Firestorm guidelines for bandwidth settings – these apply equally to all viewers).
    • User of the 64-bit version of Firestorm can optionally set the viewer to clamp the maximum resolution of all textures to 512×512 (this is automatically clamped in the 32-bit version of Firestorm), reducing the amount of memory used by textures. See Preferences > Graphics > Rendering > Restrict Maximum Texture Resolution to 512 px.
Advertisements

SL Legacy Profiles project viewer

In February 2019, it was indicated in a Third-Party Viewer Developer (TPVD) meeting that an upgrade to the system powering user profiles seen in the viewer, on the web, together with the  feeds, etc., was in the pipeline (see 2019 SL User Groups 7/3: TPV Developer Meeting).

At the time of the announcement, it was indicated that the overall impact of the update on the feeds has a whole had yet to be determined. However, it was also made clear that the current web-based profile floater seen in the Lab’s viewer would in the coming months be replaced by a “legacy” style profile floater (e.g. the type seen within the Firestorm and Cool VL viewers).

On Wednesday, June 5th, the Lab took the first public step towards this by issuing the Second Life Legacy Profiles project viewer, version 6.2.3.527749. This viewer offers a first pass at the re-introduction of the “old” style profile floater to the official viewer, utilising code originally contributed by Kadah Coba of the Firestorm team.

The new Legacy Profiles project viewer replaces the current web-based profile panel (left), with an “old-style” profile floater panel (tight)

With this viewer, it is important to note a couple of things:

  • This is an initial release of the viewer with the profile floater. As such, it may be refined / altered / fine tuned as the viewer progresses towards release.
  • There are a number of known issues with this initial release – see the release notes for a list of these.

As TPV user – notably (but not exclusively) Firestorm – I’ve always tended to find the legacy style of profile floater to be preferable: it tends to be faster loading, and (to me) has a more user-friendly means of navigation. As seen within the project viewer, the “new” floater is perhaps a little large in its default size, but adjusting it is easy enough – although having it a little smaller by default perhaps wouldn’t go amiss.

Those interested in trying this project viewer can do so via the Alternate Viewer page.

2019 SL User Groups 23/1: Simulator User Group

Whimberly; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrWhimberlyblog post

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, a deployment thread had yet to be posted (in fact, it’s not entirely clear what is happening with the weekly release threads). However:

  • There was no SLS (Main) channel deployment on Tuesday, June 4th, leaving it on server maintenance package #19 19.05.17.527341.
  • On Wednesday, June 5th, the Magnum and LeTigre RC channels should be updated to server maintenance package #19 19.05.24.527547, bringing them to parity with BlueSteel.

SL Viewer

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

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22 – 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.

In Brief

Script Processing Issues

As I’ve recently report, there have been numerous reports of script run time issues, with some reporting that problems only started occurring following the roll-back on April 18th, 2019. BUG-226851 (and more recently BUG-227099) outlines some of the problems. Some regions experiencing the issue have been cloned to Aditi (the beta grid) where they are running fine, and the Lab is currently looking at script scheduling on Agni (the Main grid).

There is a forum thread on the impact of idle scripts (i.e. scripts that are scheduled, but waiting on a even) on full regions (primarily Mainland). In particular, the finding suggest that limiting in-world scripts to 1 per 10LI (2250 script for a Full region) might help pending improvements – although this falls woefully short of shopping-related regions.

Commenting on the situation, Simon Linden states:

We’re actively looking at script scheduling now and these odd cases are on the list to sort out. There hasn’t been a big magic fix yet but it’s getting attention.

Rider Linden added:

And, yes. Idle scripts are not really idle… they can drag down sim performance even if they are not actually doing anything. Right now llListen() is a major culprit (but I’m hoping we can clean that up in the near future) … [and] all idling is not equal. Some events are more expensive than others to wait on.

EEP Issues

As per my May 30th CCUG update, it’s been noted that a recent deployment has resulted in rendering issues for the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) – see BUG-227100 as an example. T

he EEP RC viewer is due for an update, and it is hoped that these will include shader fixes that should correct the problems in that viewer. However, in terms of the simulator problems that are causing issues for those on non-EEP viewers, Rider Linden commented:

We have had some confusion on our end. When we were chasing the teleport bug a couple fixes were accidentally dropped from the simulator. We’ve been sorting those out as we find them.

Other Performance Impacts

  • It’s long been recognised that teleports – particularly teleports involving mesh-heavy avatars into a region can adverse affect performance (see BUG-8496).
    • Beq Janus has been looking at this, and can show – via a a comment posted to the above Jira, that the effect “ripples through” simulator stats, including hitting script stats.
    • She estimates that overall, the arrival of a mesh avatar in a region can take around 6 seconds to ripple through the region (and impacting users within the region).
    • It’s currently estimate by both Beq and Lou Netizen that female avatars carry on average 70 scripts, and mail avatars an average of 68 (see here for more).
  • Beq has also been investigate another performance impact – that of the viewer flooding the server with GroupProfileRequest at log-in due to persistent notifications see BUG-227094). She is currently working on a patch for contribution to LL to resolve this issue.

2019 SL User Groups 22/1: Simulator User Group

Season's Cove; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrSeason’s Coveblog post

Update, May 29th: the BlueSteel RC updated to server maintenance package #19 19.05.24.527547. Magnum and LeTigre appear to have remained on  #19 19.05.17.527341.

Server Deployments

At the time of writing, a deployment thread had yet to be posted however:

  • On Tuesday, May 28th, the SLS (Main) channel updated to server maintenance package #19 19.05.17.527341, previously deployed to all three RC channels.
  • It does not appear that the three main RC channels will be updated on Wednesday, May 29th. Commenting on releases, Simon Linden said:

For server news, we updated the main channel of regions this morning, so the grid is pretty much all on the same version, except for one small RC channel. That’ll get updated tomorrow, I believe.

This “small” update might include an initial deployment of the updated region crossing code that has been subject to testing in the last couple of weeks, as per my last couple of Simulator User Group updates.

SL Viewer

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

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22nd.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status November 29th, 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

Script Processing Issues

As I’ve recently report, there have been numerous reports of script run time issues, with some reporting that problems only started occurring following the roll-back on April 18th, 2019. BUG-226851 outlines some of the problems. Some regions experiencing the issue have been cloned to Aditi (the beta grid) where they are running fine, and the Lab is currently looking at script scheduling on Agni (the Main grid).

It has been suggested that multi-thread LSL might offer advantages, prompting Simon Linden to comment:

Again it’s a tougher job retrofitting multiple threads since it wasn’t part of the original design … it would have to be an update queue … but that adds some problems too, as if you call one function and it changes something in-world, then one to get the info … we’d have to suspend until we apply the first. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea or anything … just that it would turn into a monster project.

Rider Linden added:

Threading is one of those things that really needs to be considered up front in the design. Trying to retrofit it into an existing project can lead to madness.

Voice Griefing

Voice griefing can be a problem on voice-enabled regions. It can take several forms (e.g. someone hacks voice system so they can connect to a region without being in it or even logged in). Detailing with these types of hacks  is exceptionally difficult. However, Oz commented in the SUG meeting that LL are working to address this problem – how wasn’t specified, but one possible way of doing so would be for Support to be able to remove an offending user from voice.

2019 SL User Groups 21/1: Simulator User Group

Amrum; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrAmrumblog post

Server Deployments

There have been no release notes for the week #21 deployments. however:

  • On Tuesday, May 21st, the SLS (Main) channel updated to server maintenance package 19.05.10.527185, containing internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, May 22nd, the three RC channels updated with server maintenance package 19.05.17.527341.

SL Viewer

  • The Alternate viewer wiki page has now been retired and replaced by a new Alternate Viewers page.
  • The de facto release viewer was updated to version 6.2.2.527338, dated May 20th, formerly the updated Teranino Maintenance RC.

The rest of the current SL viewer channels remain as:

  • 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.

In Brief

  • Teleport Fail Issues: following the last Server User Group meeting on Tuesday May 14th, there was a test of a teleport fix Simon Linden had been working on, and a further test was carried out following this week’s meeting, with Simon Linden commenting:

Last week’s test was really helpful – it showed that one problem seemed to be fixed, but exposed another one that I hope is fixed this week. If it goes well, that new teleport code may go out onto RC channels next week.

  • Teleport Attachment Issues: this is a separate issue to that being investigated by Simon Linden, and which is more related to . there’s no current update on the work being put into fixing this, but as Simon observed in the meeting:

As far as I know, the problems with attachments tend to be with crossings and not teleports … while much of the code is the same, there’s usually a fundamental difference in crossings because you’re already connected to that region before you go there, whereas with teleports you are not … which was part of the big disconnect issue we had before.

  • Script Processing Issues: as reported in my week #18 SUG summary, there have been numerous reports of script run time issues, with some reporting that problems only started occurring following the roll-back on April 18th, 2019. BUG-226851 outlines some of the problems. The Lab are looking into this, but at present there are no updates on the problem.

 

New SL viewer release notes pages: an overview

Update, May 21st: The Alternate Viewers wiki page has been retired and replaced by a new Alternate Viewer page, which follows the same broad format as the Release Notes page (making the two slightly confusing, as they both reference recent RC viewers. However, this new page also draws a distinction between RC and project viewers, thus overcoming some of the concerns voiced in the second half of this article.

As noted in my week #20 SL Content Creation summary, Linden Lab have unveiled their new viewer release notes pages.

At the time of writing, the new pages are focused on the release candidate (RC) viewers that are in development and currently available as download cohorts in place of the de facto release viewer. It is not currently clear if project viewers will be included in the new format or not.

As Steven Linden from the viewer team notes in a Tools and Technology blog post on the subject, these new pages are part of a new website for viewer release information. This website comprises a dedicated home page with an introduction to viewer release notes. together with links on the left side to:

  • “Recent viewer releases”: a clickable list of the most recent RC viewer updates, provided as viewer version numbers. These are provided in release date order, with the most recent updates at the top.
  • Additional links to viewer-related support information:
The new Release Notes home page – access specific viewer release notes via the version numbers outlined in red on the left

Individual viewer release notes can be accessed by clicking one of the the listed version numbers, which will open a page specific to that viewer. These pages comprise:

  • Icon links to the available OS versions (Windows 32/64-bit, Mac OS).
  • The general release notes (description, etc.).
  • A list of resolved issues.

A significant change in these pages is that, where relevant, Jira links in the Resolved Issues section now, wherever possible, reference “public” bug reports (e.g. BUG-XXXXXX), rather than the Lab’s internally cloned versions of such bugs (e.g. MAIT-XXXXXX).

Currently, the new pages can also be accessed from the existing Alternate Viewers wiki page, (click the Release Notes link for an RC viewer on that page). However, whether this page will remain relevant if the release notes for project viewers are also converted to the new format, remains to be seen.

An example of the revised release notes for a viewer (in this case the Teranino Maintenance RC) – note the use of “public” Jira numbers where relevant, in the known issues list

The new pages are a lot easier on the eye, although I have a number of reservations at this time.

  • While I understand understand why version numbers are used to reference individual viewers (they are URLs and so can be dropped into the pages without necessarily requiring human intervention), they are less user friendly to those wishing to quickly look-up the specifics on a viewer.
  • The “recent Viewer Releases” lists can include links to multiple versions of a given viewer (at the time of writing, two versions of the EEP and Teranino RC viewers are listed, for example). This might cause a degree of confusion for some users, who may mist he “most recent at the top” arrangement of the list.
  • If project viewers are to be added to these pages, I would hope there will be some form of clearer distinction between them and any listed RC viewers, other than just a top-down list of version numbers, again for ease of user reference.

Related Links