2019 SL User Groups 7/1: Simulator User Group

Ponto Cabana; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
Ponto Cabanaclick any image for full size

Server Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • On Tuesday, February 12th, there was no deployment to the SLS (Main) channel, leaving it on server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656; nor was there a restart.
    • The planned deployment was cancelled due to a last-minute bug.
  • On Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 the RCs are likely to be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel and LeTigre should receive EEP update server maintenance package 19#19.02.08.524296.
    • Magnum should receive server maintenance package 19#19.02.11.524360, comprising further internal fixes.

EEP Update

The EEP server update to be deployed to BlueSteel and LeTigre comprises:

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates at the time of writing, leaving the current pipelines as:

  • 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523335, January 23rd. 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.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, January 23rd.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16th.
  • 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.

In Brief

  • Viewer disconnects / crashes: some people on “older” hardware have been reporting what appear to be viewer disconnects / crashes of late after only being logged-on for around 15-30 minutes (see: this forum thread). This has been noted by the Lab, and a potential fix is being tested on Aditi. The problem here is that forum posts don’t always give the level of detail required for LL to really diagnose matters. Jira is always the preferred method of logging issues – and it is important to use the official viewer when doing so.
  • Name Change Issue: as reported in my last SUG meeting summary, a creator preparing for the upcoming Last Names / name changing capability encountered an unusual situation: the Lab had changed a user’s account name. However, when sending information to an external HTTP request (object UUID, object name, owner name of the object, etc.), to the creator’s customer database, a HUD used by the user was sending their original account name not their revised name. The issue is now believed to be a stale cache issues, as noted last time.
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2019 SL User Groups 6/1: Simulator and Governance User Groups

[Valium]; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
[valium]blog post

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 the SLS (Main) channel was updated with server maintenance package 19#19.01.25.523656, comprising internal fixes.
  • On Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 the RCs are likely to be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel should receive EEP update server maintenance package 19#19.02.01.523934.
    • Magnum and LeTigre should receive server maintenance package 19#19.02.01.523959, comprising further internal fixes.
  • There is currently a small Cake RC on Agni that is being used to iron out some transient network issues with the newest server operating system update, prior to it being move to a full RC for testing. Cake may grow a little larger before this happens.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates at the time of writing, leaving the current pipelines as:

  • 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):
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523335, January 23rd. 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.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, January 23rd.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16th.
  • 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.

Other Items

Name Change Issue

A creator preparing for the upcoming Last Names / name changing capability has encountered an issue that may have broader ramifications. In sort, one of their customers was forced to take a new user name (their original name was considered “objectionable” by the Lab). However, the creator found that when sending information to an external HTTP request (object UUID, object name, owner name of the object, etc.), the object (in this case a HUD) was sending the original (objectionable) user name, not the updated user name. This suggests the user name is being caches somewhere within SL, and not being correctly overwritten if replaced.

Effort are on-hand to try to trace down the issue, but the problem is also a demonstration if why agent UUIDs should be used to trace avatars now and going forward, and not user names, particularly in light of the upcoming Last Name changes.

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

  • Are weapons testing sandboxes given more lenience by Governance WRT reports of harassment? Generally, yes, simply because these are environments designed for testing objects that can affect others. However intentional attempts to harass or grief will be responded to.
  • If someone is griefing / harassing a private region and is booted by the region owner, can they still be reported? Yes, just make sure the Abuse Report has all the necessary information as is correctly filed.
  • Objectionable names / Display Names: Governance will handle reports of offensive / objectionable user names, but are slightly more relaxed on Display Names. The latter is because users can disable the displaying of Display Names in their viewers. However, reports of intentional offensive or objectionable Display Names will be investigated.
  • Date of Next meeting: Tuesday, February 19th, 2019.

 

2019 SL User Groups 5/1: Simulator User Group

Wild Edge; Inara Pey, December 2018, on Flickr
Wild Edgeblog post

Server Deployments

At the time of writing there was no server release thread, I’ll update this article should one surface. The following notes are directly from the Simulator User Group.

  • On Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 the SLS (Main) channel was not update, and remains on 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 30th, 2019 the RCs are likely to be updated as follows:
    • BlueSteel will hopefully receive an update to the EEP code. However, this is dependent on Rider Linden resolving a bug that is currently blocking EEP progress. This causes the time on a EEP region to become “stuck”.
    • Magnum and  / LeTigre will receive a server maintenance package, details undefined; the other should receive an update with internal changes.
  • There is currently a small Cake RC on Agni that is being used to iron out some transient network issues with the newest server operating system update, prior to it being move to a full RC for testing. Cake may grow a little larger before this happens.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current official viewers to start the week, leaving the pipelines 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:
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523335, January 23. 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.
    • Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer, version 6.1.0.523351, January 23.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.0.2.523177, January 16.
  • 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.

Misc Items

Mesh asset UUID flipping

Being able to flip between mesh objects via script used to be possible in SL. However, it was blocked as it was being used as a means to animate meshes – but not very efficiently (the option places a lot of strain on the asset and physics server).

Recently, there have been requests to re-enable the capability because “now we have Animesh, there’s no need to flip this way.” There are also some use-cases that could benefit from the capability – such as being able to provide customisation options to customers who can then use a scripted mean to add them.

However, as Oz Linden pointed out, the availability of Animesh doesn’t necessarily negate mesh UUID flipping being abused. There is also a risk that the ability could be used to enable IP theft, and the approach – as noted – doesn’t really fit with the current SL design due to things like the asset load, etc. Ergo, it is highly unlikely to be allowed.

SL QA Engineer

If you’re a QA engineer and in the San Francisco  / Bay area, you might be interested in a QA job at Linden Lab working on Second Life.

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”.

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.