2020 SL project updates week #26: TPVD summary

South Shore Bay, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 26th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

SL Viewer News

[0:00-4:27]

  • On Tuesday, June 23rd, the release viewer updated to version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11th, formerly the CEF RC viewer.
  • On Wednesday, June 24th, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, 6.4.5.544024, was issued. This viewer uses Viewer Manager 2.0.538279.
  • On Thursday, June 25th, the Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544097. This viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.

The rest of the current official viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Release Candidate viewers:
  • Project viewers:
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.4.543141, June 11.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The CEF viewer supports live streaming into Second Life by You Tube and Facebook. Other services may also work, but further bug fixes may be required for them to work smoothly.
  • The Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer should be the next viewer in-line for promotion, mostly likely in week #28, however, this is dependent on it getting some remaining priority fixes related to EEP.
    • These fixes include the reported specularity issues and now include the reported HUD issues (BUG-225784).
  • The Legacy Profiles Project Viewer had been awaiting a web update which may have gone through. If so, and it correctly addresses the issue, then it is likely the viewer will go to RC status.
  • The Copy / Paste Project Viewer also shouldn’t be “too far” from an RC update.

Simulator News

[4:42-5:35]

  • A new simulator version that includes a fix for the failure to deliver inventory offers to a user who is off-line is available for testing by TPVs.
  • Viewer developers wishing to test the updates can do so on regions Preflight3, Preflight4 and Preflight7.

Texture Caching, HTTP and General Viewer Caching

[6:05-9:51]

  • Work had been in progress to update texture caching and HTTP2 (the TCO viewer. That viewer has been split between the texture caching work and the HTTP2 work, so it has effectively become two viewers in development.
    • The HTTP2 viewer will likely remain on hold until after the Uplift project work is complete.
    • It is not currently clear when work on the texture caching (TCO) viewer will resume.
  • In terms of revising viewer caching as a whole, this is liable to be a fairly large project.
    • First item of business will be to completely replace VFS caching (the system used to cache information on in-world objects) with a new, more performant format.
    • Once this has been done, other aspects of caching with the viewer will be looked at.
  • Inventory caching is another area of work that may be looked at in the future.

In Brief

  • [10:26-12:59] Beq Janus and Polysail have been digging into how normals are applied to mesh surfaces and have come up with some interesting findings that have been passed to Linden Lab.
    • Initial review suggest at least two issues are present.
    • However, the graphic team currently has its hand full until the LMR viewer is released, so work is unlikely to progress until then.
    • The “good” news is, at least one of the issues, related to debug normals, can be readily reproduced.
    • If the issues can be quickly rectified, the fixes might be pulled into the Mesh Uploader Project Viewer.
  • [21:15-22:15] In response to a question it was reiterated that Vulkan is being given serious consideration as the rendering API to replace OpenGL, given Apple’s intent to deprecate the latter.
    • One potential issue is that a lot of older PCs used with SL do not have support for Vulkan.
    • To assist in determining how big an issue this might be, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer includes logging code to detect Vulkan support within client systems.
  • [22:45-26:07] the announcement by Apple that they plan to switch away from using Intel CPUs to their own ARM-based CPUs starting in 2020 was discussed. LL will be looking into this more once they get some dev kits from Apple.

2020 SL project updates week #24: TPVD summary

Lemon Bay, May 2020 – click any image for full size

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 12th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

This was another short meeting!

SL Viewer News

[0:10-2:45]

  • The CEF Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.3.543157 on June 11th.

The remainder of the official views currently in progress are as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.542964, dated May 29th, promoted June 2nd, formerly the FMOD Studio RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Tools Update RC viewer, version 6.4.4.543148, June 5 – this viewer is built using VS 2017 / a recent version of Xcode, and Boost.Fiber. It contains no user-facing changes.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.4.4.543142, June 3.
  • Project viewers:
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.3.542535, June 3.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Love Me Render (LMR) viewer is the next in line to be promoted. This may include a number of high-priority EEP fixes as well, which means the promotion is currently being held until these fixes can be merged into the viewer.
    • These EEP fixes do not appear to include BUG-225784 “[EEP] BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting” is also awaiting the Lab.
  • It’s currently not clear what viewer is liable to be promoted after LMR.
  • A further Maintenance RC is in preparation.
  • Both the Mesh uploader and Copy  / Paste project viewers may be in a position to be promoted to RC status in their next updates.
  • The Legacy Profile project viewer still awaits a back-end web change.

In Brief

  • [11:49-20:42], including text chat] A further bug on the EEP list is BUG-226772 “[EEP] Full bright objects are not affected by fog”.
    • This was an issue common to the official viewer pre-EEP although Firestorm had a fix that is regressed by EEP.
    • As an alternative to a rendering fix, a request has been made to implements a viewer-side option to disable full bright should a user encounter the issue.  No statement from LL on implementing this idea  – or not.

2020 SL project updates week #22: TPVD summary

Endless 58-58N, blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 29, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

This was a very short meeting!

SL Viewer News

[0:00-5:10]

  • The CEF Update RC viewer, version 6.4.3.542757, released on Wednesday, May 27th (with release notes!). This builds on the CEF “Special”; it has additional codec, improvements for streaming into SL, and a major update to the Chrome Embedded Framework.
  • The FMOD RC viewer updated to version 6.4.3.542964 on Friday, May 29th.

The remainder of the official views currently in progress are as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.4.1.540593, dated April 27th, promoted May 4th. Formerly the Zirbenz Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Mesh uploader project viewer, version 6.4.2.541645, May 15th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22nd, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • Currently, it appears that the FMOD Studio RC viewer will be the next to be promoted to de facto release status in week #23 (commencing Monday, June 1st).
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer is also close to being ready for promotion.
  • There are some priority graphics fixes required for EEP, but these have yet to be merged into a viewer pipeline. These may be added to the Love Me Render viewer or may go to the next Maintenance RC viewer.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer may be close to promotion to RC status, depending on the status on a further web update.
  • The Copy / Paste viewer is going through a further round of UI dates.
  • The Mesh Uploader may be also in a position to be promoted to RC status in the near future.
  • The Build Tools viewer is back with QA. If it passed muster, it may be issued in week #23.

Simulator Notes

[5:17-7:55]

The extended chat range project is now called the Voices Carry project. This is likely to be arriving in a simulator RC update in week #24 (commencing Monday, June  8th).

  • Further details on this update can be found in my Simulator User Group update.
  • It is important to note that this chat is only intended to apply to apply to nearby chat channel 0, so it should not impact scripted objects using other chat channels.

In Brief

[9:36-10:30]

Note: a lot of the following points were the subject of text chat.

The Firestorm team have encountered an issue with Bugsplat that results in the error “unable to create the error report” when a user is trying to send a crash report. Thus far, it appears LL has not seen this reported by users on the official viewer.

Bugs highlighted to the Lab during the meeting:

  • [14:52-21:30]
    • BUG-228752 “[EEP] Sky turns black when render quality is lowered to Low-Mid” is still awaiting a fix.
    • BUG-225784 “[EEP] BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting” is also awaiting the Lab.
    • BUG-228821 “Occasional Freeze in Post-EEP Viewers” is also still awaiting investigation.
  • [21:38-30:40] BUG-228592 “[Bakes on Mesh] editing clothing forces undergarments to top of the render stack” This is still to be fully investigated.
  • [31:04-38:50] BUG-227725 “SL Viewer and third party viewers hang while launching – dual monitors” – this appears to be an Nvidia / Windows 10 issue, although it does not appear to impact all systems. There is a lengthy discussion in chat on this issue for those who may have experienced in.
  • [39:57-end] BUG-228838 “Viewer changes have broken my entire outfit system” – this is an issue being experienced by people manually creating sub-folders within the My Outfits system folder / outfit folders within My Outfits in which to sort / copy outfit links.
    • Given that My Outfits is not designed to support sub-folder nests, whether this is a bug / breakage is questionable. H
    • However, LL will look at the issue – although it is unlikely that an “official” means of supporting sub-folders with My Outfits / outfit folders with My Outfits will be implemented in the near-term, as doing so will required server-side changes.

2020 SL project updates week #20: TPVD summary; mesh uploader

Silent Melody, March 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 15, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

This was a very short meeting!

SL Viewer News

[0:47-4:27]

  • The Mesh Uploader project viewer, version 6.4.2.541645, was issued on May 15th. This both offers a number of fixes to uploader issues, as per the release notes, and incorporates improvements to the uploader layout, etc., as first seen in Firestorm and contributed to Linden Lab.
Mesh Uploader project: the revised LOD tab with the additional information outlined

The remainder of the official views currently in progress remain as follows:

  • Current Release version  version 6.4.1.540593, dated April 27th, promoted May 4th. Formerly the Zirbenz Maintenance RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22nd, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th, 2019.
The Mesh Uploader project viewer: the new Avatar tab with information taken from the upload options tab (blue) and new joint information panels (red)

General Viewer Notes

  • The Camera Presets viewer is in relatively good shape for promotion to de facto release status in week #21 (commencing Monday, May 18th).
  • The Love Me Render RC viewer is currently experiencing issues in merging with the EEP viewer code base, so is unlikely to be in a position to be promoted.
  • The FMOD RC viewer should offer a fix to one of the most common viewer crashes related to audio.
  • The Build Tools viewer still has some issues awaiting fixing before it sees the light of day..
  • Additional CEF updates are also in the works that will expand on the current CEF Special RC viewer.

New Simulator Chat Range Capability

[5:09-6:30]

A new ability is being developed to allow region / estate owners / managers to set chat ranges.

  • This will require viewer-side UI support, which has yet to be completed.
  • The range set for a region will be reported to the viewer by the simulator as a part of the region information.
  • The server-side support will be appearing real soon now™.

In Brief

  • [4:43-5:09] The RC deployment for Wednesday, May 20th should see a fix for Group notices all showing the same time stamp deployed across two of the RC channels.
  • [7:45-7:57] The fix for the issue off-line inventory losses from objects (see: BUG-227179 “All offline inventory offers from scripted objects are STILL lost”) should be deployed (hopefully!) in the RC deployments of Wednesday, May 27th.
  • [9:12-11:00] The question was asked if LL would skip using Visual Studio 2017 in he viewer build process and go directly to VS 2019.
    • The answer was no, not this close to deploying working viewers using the updated build process, but a project to update to VS 2019 will be started “at some point”.
    • This work should in theory be a lot easier, thanks to the effort up into updating the additional viewer build libraries as a part of this update.
    • This build process is currently using XCode 11.3.1 for OS X, but this may change depending on the frequency of updates from Apple.

2020 SL project updates week #18: TPVD summary

Finian’s Dream, March 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 1st, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

This was a short meeting, with long periods of silence.

SL Viewer News

[0:00-3:00]

  • The CEF Special RC viewer, version 6.4.1.541204, was issued on Thursday, April 30th.
    • [12:54-13:34] This is a specific update put out in support of a particular customer’s event.

The remainder of the official views currently in progress remained unchanged through the week as:

  • Current Release version  version 6.4.0.540188, dated April 15th, promoted April 20th. Formerly the EEP RC viewer.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Zirbenz Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.1.540593, April 27th.
    • Camera Presets RC viewer, version 6.3.9.538729 March 25th.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.3.9.538760, March 25th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Zirbenz Maintenance RC looks set to be the next viewer in line for promotion (being the only RC thus far merged up to the EEP code base). This looks set for promotion in week #19 (commencing Monday, May 4th).
  • The mesh upload updates viewer is still expected to appear as a project viewer soon™.
  • The viewer build tools update viewer is still held up by a couple of significant crash issues.
  • An FMOD update viewer is anticipated as appearing soon™.
  • Further Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) RC updates should result in improvements to handling more (and more recent) video codecs, once available.
  • [8:07-8:55] The Legacy Profiles viewer has apparently been hit with an issue that has delayed it – although it’s not certain whether or not this has now been cleared up.

In Brief

  • [18:02-18:38] There is work being carried out on group chat. however, it is not focused on performance improvements per se, although it may end up providing some. LL do acknowledge a further pass focused on group chat reliability is required “at some point”, but probably not until after the cloud uplift.
  • There are reports that the viewer’s built-in browser is experiencing issues retaining cookies, causing people to have to log-in to the Lab’s own websites when using it (accessing non-SL websites using the internal browser isn’t recommended).
  • The simulator-side fix for off-line inventory losses from objects (see: BUG-227179) still has yet to clear QA (due to other issue with the release it is bundled in). The hope is that it will make it onto a server-side RC update “in the next couple of weeks”.
  • Firestorm and EEP – it was mentioned that the Firestorm team still have “a lot of work to do” before they’ll be in a position to make an EEP release – the forthcoming Firestorm update will not include EEP.

2020 SL project updates week #16: TPVD summary

Little World, February 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 17th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

The latter part of this meeting as largely general text chat related to group chat issues – please refer to the video, if required.

SL Viewer News

[0:00-7:20]

  • As per my week #16 CCUG meeting notes, the EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.540188 on Wednesday, April 15th.
  • If no issues are found with this version of the viewer, it will likely be promoted to de facto release status in week #17 (commencing Monday, April 20th).

The remainder of the official views currently in progress remained unchanged through the week as:

  • Current Release version  version 6.3.8.538264, dated March 12, promoted March 18th. Formerly the Premium RC viewer – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Camera Presets RC viewer, version 6.3.9.538729 March 25.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer, version 6.3.9.538760, March 25.
    • Zirbenz Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.3.9.538719, issued March 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • EEP is expected to be promoted “early” in week #17. By close of business Friday, the viewer had around 1/3 of the preferred number of users hours LL look to have before determining on a viewer’s promotion.
    • This viewer should allow personal environment settings applied to an avatar to persist across log-ins. However, if this is used with custom settings, there is a risk the viewer will crash on logging-in; a fix for this will follow the viewer’s release.
  • The order of promotion for the remaining RC viewers still TBD.
    • It had been indicated that the LMR RC would not follow behind EEP in the order of promotions, as the Lab did not want to have two sets of rendering updates going out almost back-to-back to one another (allowing for the 2-week gap between release promotions). However, from comments made at the CCUG and the TPVD meetings, LMR may be the next to be promoted after EEP.
    • However, all of the current RC viewers appear to be in good shape and ready for promotion over the next 1-2 months.
  • The Camera Presets RC viewer is currently suffering from around an issue a week cropping up that is preventing it being declared as fit for promotion.
  • The mesh upload updates viewer is expected to appear in project viewer form soon, but could rapidly move to RC status once available.
  • Another viewer due to appear is the build tools viewer (using the updated tool chain with VS 2017  / a more recent version of Xcode). This currently has a couple of significant crash issues that are to be resolved, but once available might also go through a short cycle to achieve release status.
  • Once the build tools viewer is out, there are plans to upload the viewer’s Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) for media handling, that should result in improvements to handling more (and more recent) video codecs.

In Brief

  • [11:18-16:10] Names Changes
    • Currently causes a breakage in the viewer’s ability to handle chat logs and settings (e.g. if you have a log of “user XY” who changes their name to “user XZ”, the viewer cannot reconcile the two names and give you the complete chat history using both names). There is currently no viewer-side change being implemented to auto-update chat logs should someone change their user name. But if this becomes an issues, LL will consider doing so – although a contributed patch would be most welcome.
    • Despite the US $40 fee, name changes have proven popular, as has been noted by the Lab and by Firestorm (who have received a lot of support calls over it). Oz noted in particularly that the initial demand has gone higher than the more optimistic forecasts by LL.
    • Scripted support for finding and listing the past names of and avatar will not be supported.
    • It was suggested by user Anastasia Horngold that Premium members should be able to pay the fee to change the name of the alt accounts without having to upgrade said accounts to Premium as well – and it has been suggested that the idea be submitted as a feature request.
  • [18:23-20:03] Could the viewer have a separate rendering distance for shadows (e.g. so a user can have draw distance set to 200m, but can set the maximum distance for rendering shadows to (say) 20m), to reduce the processing load on their system?
    • Would need to be tested for potential performance boost, but could be worth considering. Again, a feature request has been requested.
    • An ancillary suggestion to this would be to tie shadow rendering to an object’s LOD settings so shadows are only rendered on the high and medium models.
    • It was also suggested a simple general cap on the distance from the camera at which shadows are rendered might also help with performance.
  • [30:50-33:05] Could terrain drawing be decoupled from object drawing, so aviators, etc., have a “long” terrain draw set so they can see the land ahead, but without the load of object data transmission / rendering? LL is not well-disposed to setting relatively “long” drawing ranges (e.g. 512m or greater), as this ends up putting extra update load on all the simulators on which an avatar could have a child agent.
  • [36:57-39:24 + beyond in text chat] Chat lag: the increase in user concurrency has resulted in some strain on the group chat services, particularly those handling very large groups – however, the issue is not a common across-the-board issue with all groups.
    • It is believed the issues of failing group chat message delivery is down to an issue with a single group chat server that has a couple of “spectacularly large” groups running on it, which at present cannot be relocated (efforts focused on cloud uplift). LL is investigating to see if something else can be done to alleviate the problem.
    • It is hoped that transitioning group chat services to the cloud will help improve general performance, but it is likely that specific issues such as group loads will require algorithmic changes to the code itself.