2018 SL project updates week 33/1: Simulator User Group – Animesh in viewer RC

Cloudbreak; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrCloudbreak blog post

Server Deployments

as always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest update.

  • The Main (SLS) channel was updated on Tuesday, August 14th with server maintenance package 18.07.20.518086, previously deployed to the RC channels and containing internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, august 15th, all three RCs should be updated with server maintenance packager 18#18.08.10.518612. This comprises an update to the HTTP delivery of off-line IMs and notifications that should ensure group notices and Friend requests are correctly delivered.

SL Viewer

Animesh RC Viewer

The Animesh release candidate viewer arrived on August 13th, with the release of version 6.0.0.518579. For those not familiar with Animesh (anyone?) please see the viewer release notes and the links within them, or check my updates on Animesh, provided as a part of my Content Creation User Group meeting summaries.

Remaining Pipelines

Outside of the Animesh update, at the time of writing, the remaining SL viewer pipelines remain unchanged from the end of week #32:

  • Current Release version 5.1.7.517973, dated July 30th, promoted August 3rd. Formerly the Quinquina Maintenance 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518305, August 7th. 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.
    • Second Life Voice RC viewer, version 5.1.8.518310, August 7th.
  • Project viewers:
    • EAM project viewer, version 5.2.0.518362, August 9th – improved region access control tools; see my overview for more.
    • Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version 5.1.7.518013 August 3rd.
    • 360 snapshot viewer, version 5.1.6.515934, June 6th.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and  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.

Region Crossings

Region crossing have been somewhat rougher recently than had been the case of late. Simon Linden had been poking at the code in the hope of making some updates, but has been diverted but other working, and is hoping to get back to things soon.

I know the viewer has very similar messaging code as the simulator and there are tweaks I want to make to that which  should help crossing issues caused by packet loss … it doesn’t always recover when a crossing goes bad, as we all know. We’re looking at that from two ways … ideally fix things so it doesn’t go bad. But if it fails, be more graceful about it … and there’s a certain amount of hope that the way we force the error is actually what happens in the random normal case.

Part of it now is even having the 2 regions and the viewer agreeing on what happens and how to deal with it … where an AV and vehicle end up and confirming all parties know the same state… I’m hoping this can at least get better if the target region can at least report to the viewer and 1st region a status for how it works out.

Simon Linden discussing region crossings at the Simulator User Group meeting, August 14th, 2018

The question was asked if part of a multiple region crossing (e.g. from the corner of one region to another, passing through the corner of a region adjacent to both) could result in the viewer talking to the “wrong” simulator, to which Simon replied, “I haven’t seen it have issues with talking to the wrong simulator, but then I’m not looking yet at the issue of a corner crossing that might quickly move to a 3rd region.”

So, no changes for the present, but the problem is still getting attention at the Lab, and there is an appetite for trying to improve things from the server-side of the equation, with Simon also noting, “It’s also a classic case of working on SL … we always want to fix things with a minimum disruption. Being able to make something better only by touching the server is a lot better than requiring a viewer update.”

 

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2018 SL project updates week 32/1: Simulator User Group

Ravenwold; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrRavenwoldblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, August 7th, the SLS (main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.07.20.518082, containing the server-side Animesh support, and “logging tweaks”. This release was previously deployed to the LeTigre and Magnum RCs.
  • On Wednesday, August 8th:
    • LeTigre and Magnum will be updated to server maintenance package 18#18.07.20.518086, previously deployed to BlueSteel.
    • BlueSteel will remain on  18#18.07.20.518086, which contains Animesh support and internal fixes.

The SLS (main) channel deployment saw regions off-line for a longer than usual time between being taken down for the simulator code deployment and being brought back up. This was expected. According to the deployment thread, several people saw their regions restarted at least twice; this isn’t the first time this has been reported, and the situation has been referred to the Second Life Ops team.

SL Viewer

In week #31 the Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.517973 and dated July 30th, was promoted to de facto release status on August 3rd.

As a result of this update the RC viewers were updated on Tuesday August 7th, as follows:

  • Bugsplat RC viewer: updated to version 5.1.8.518305.
  • SL Voice RC viewer: (originally released on August 1st) updated to version 5.1.8.518310. This viewer updates SLVoice with new codecs, fixes some problems with selecting audio devices, and other voice related bug fixes. It should be noted that the SLVoice executable in this viewer is not compatible with most older viewers and should not be copied to such viewers.

Also at the end of week #31 the Bakes on Mesh project viewer updated to version 5.1.7.518013, on August 3rd.

At the time of writing, the remaining viewers in the official viewer pipelines are unchanged:

  • 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.

EEP Delay?

The Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) appears to have had a slight delay…

EEP is moving forward. There was a last-minute hiccup on the back-end and I’m tightening up some last-minute things about parcels specific settings. Rider Linden: I’m eager to get this into people’s hands.

– Rider Linden on EEP progress.

Those unfamiliar with the project, which it to provide parcel and region windlight management, as well as some additional server-side goodies, can find out more in Second Life Windlight environmental enhancements. I also provide update summaries via my Content Creation User Group summaries.

Attachment Limit Increase – Premium Perk?

It’s been indicated in some recent meetings that the Lab is hoping to reach a point where the attachment limit for avatars can be increased (currently set to 38 items). If and when this happens, it might be made a Premium membership perk.

It most likely will only be for Premium. but we’re still not ready to increase it anyway, so it’s still moot. It’s unusual for anything to be “set in stone” until it’s in the past (and not always then), but improving Premium is a major strategic goal for us, so … 

Oz Linden, commenting on the attachment limit increase at the Simulator User Group meeting,
Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

 

2018 SL project updates week 31/1: Simulator User Group

[Smash]; Inara Pey, July 2018, on Flickr[Smash]blog post

This is a short SUG meeting update, because there was no SUG meeting on Tuesday, July 31st. Presumably Lindens are still recovering from the Linden Summer of Love Palooza Extravaganza Fête Conference Thingy (aka “SL summit”) held last week 🙂 .

Server Deployments

as always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest update.

  • There was no Main (SLS) channel roll on Tuesday, July 31st. However, those regions on the channel that were on their 14-day cycle were restarted.
  • On Wednesday, August 1st, at least the BlueSteel RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel should update to server maintenance package 18#18.07.20.518086, containing internal fixes.
    • LeTigre and Magnum  should be updated to a new server maintenance package, 18#18.07.20.518082, comprising Animesh and logging tweaks (note that at the time of writing, this update was not correctly chronologically listed for  LeTigre).

SL Viewer

The Quinquina RC updated on Monday, July 30th to version 5.1.7.517973. At the time of writing, there have been no other updates, leaving the official viewer pipelines as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15, promoted June 21 – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.7.518003, released July 20. 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. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Content Creation User Group Meetings

The schedule for the Content Creation Meetings has been updated for August 2018:

  • No meetings on Thursday August 2nd (week #31) and Thursday August 16th (week #33).
  • Meetings on Thursday, August 9th (week #32), Thursday, August 23rd (week #34) and Thursday, August 30th (week #35).

 

2018 SL project updates week 30/1: the Lindens are away!

In the Wild; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrIn the Wildblog post

The short version of this post is:

“There are no project updates for this week”.

The Lab’s Second Life developer and product team, et al, all are on an off-site to discuss further plans for the platform (which we’ll gradually get to hear about in due course in the coming months … hopefully). Unofficially, this is now known as the Linden Summer of Love Palooza Extravaganza Fête Conference thingy – just so you know 😀 .

Server Deployments

None planned. Main channel regions should have been restarted on Tuesday, July 24th, in accordance with the 14-day restart policy. The BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs should in theory be restarted on Wednesday, July 25th for the same reason.

SL Viewer

On Friday, July 20th, Linden Lab issued the BugSplat RC viewer, 5.1.7.518003.

This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer. However, it includes now crash reporting capabilities based on the Lab using BugSplat, a commercial service, rather than their own crash reporting mechanism derived from Google Breakpad.

The aim of this work is to allow the Lab to focus on actual viewer development and support, rather than having to pour time into maintaining and updating the crashing reporting software and workflow associated with it.

Other than this update, the viewer pipelines from the Lab remain as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15th, promoted June 21st – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.1.7.517594, on July 12th.
  • Project viewers:
  • 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. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

2018 SL project updates 26/1: Simulator User Group meeting

Oboeru; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrOboerublog post

The majority of the following notes come from the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

Sever Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, June 26th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with server maintenance package 18#18.06.14.516450, previously deployed to the LeTigre and Magnum RC channels, comprising internal fixes and logging improvements.
  • On Wednesday, June 27th, the release candidate channels should be updated with server maintenance package 18#18.06.22.516968, which includes Animesh on a first-time deployment for LeTigre and Magnum (having been deployed to BlueSteel in week #25), and “new Main Channel code”.

Some SLS channel regions reported double restarts on Tuesday, June 26th, and these are being investigated by the Lab.

Animesh Deployment

Follow the Wednesday, June 27th, Animesh will be live on all the major RC channels – however, as previously noted in this updates, it is still in development, and not product-ready.

The Animesh project viewer, necessary for working with Animesh and rendering it correctly, can be obtained from the Alternate Viewers wiki page.

Animesh Resources

You can find further information on Animesh via the following resources.

SL Viewer

Recent updates:

  • The release viewer updated to version 5.1.6.516459 (dated June 15th) on June 21st, formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate.
  • A new Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.516813 and code-named Quinquina, was released on June 22nd.
  • The Animesh project viewer updated to version 5.1.6.516525 on June 22nd, and again on June 25th to version 6.0.0.516979.

The other SL viewers in the current pipelines remain as:

  • 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.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

The is still some confusion as to how EEP will work with different region / parcel windlight settings at altitude when compared to Firestorm’s parcel windlight capability. In short:

  • Firestorm allows the windlight within a parcel to be changed at any altitude using a command line construct in the About Land description floater.
    • However, this is purely a viewer-side change.
    • Anyone entering a region using a viewer that does not have the same windlight support will not automatically have the setting defined in About Land applied to their viewer.
  • EEP should ensure that windlight settings set by altitude will apply to everyone in a parcel, regardless of the viewer they are using.
    • However, windlight changes by altitude are limited to four heights: from ground level up wards; 1,000m and above; 2,000m and above; 3,000 and above.

Top Scripts and Region / Parcel Management

Some people are experiencing region performance issues  – notably around scripts, etc. It’s been suggested that making Top Scripts and Colliders visible to parcel holders within a region so they can see what in their parcel might be impacting performance has been suggested.

  • This isn’t a fresh request (see JIRA SVC-835), but it is one that hasn’t been discussed recently.
  • The concern was raised that allowing Top Scripts to be more widely visible could lead to harassment between parcel holders in a region.
  • There is also some concern that over-use of the capability could itself impact region performance, because Top Scripts is an intensive query to run.
  • Even so, it is something being take back to the Lab for further discussion, and is seen as “reasonable”, providing the ability to start / stop scripts isn’t included (griefing vector).

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.