2020 SL project updates week #38: TPVD summary

Winter Moon, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, September 18th, 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. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

The second half of this meeting was fairly text intensive, covering things like the water performance impact on EEP, together with subjects that are unlikely to become Lab projects / activities in the near future.

SL Viewer News

[3:41-6:49]

The Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.8.548890 on September 18th.

The remaining official viewer pipelines were unchanged through the week, leaving them as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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

  • It is likely the Bormotukha Maintenance RC will be promoted to de facto release status in week #39 after being delayed for further updates.
  • It is possible that the Mesh Uploader RC may be promoted to release status in a shorter period than the usual 2 weeks between release promotions (so possibly in week #40), as it is also in “good shape” for promotion.
  • As  noted in my previous CCUG summary, there is now only one significant EEP-related fix the Lab would like to clear (related to alphas in local edit mode) prior to promoting the Love Me Render (LMR) RC to release status, so this again could be ready to be lined-up for promotion to release status in the very near future – although the next update to this viewer will still be an RC version.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer is still awaiting a back-end update to the feeds, which may be being worked on.

Aditi Cloud Testing

[0:13-3:00 and 9:05-13:00]

On September 15th, Linden Lab published a blog post asking users to log-on to Aditi, the beta grid, and play linden Realms there to help with testing region performance on  simulators running in the cloud (see:  We Need Your Help Testing Performance on Uplifted Simulator and also Play Linden Realms in the cloud and help the Lab).

However, these are not the only regions on Aditi operating via AWS cloud services: there are also a number of test regions that have been set-up, comprising (at the time of writing):

  • All of the Blake Sea regions on Aditi.
  • Cloud Sandboxes 1-4.
  • Ahern, Mauve, Morris.
  • The Testylvania Sandbox (restricted access).

At the start of the meeting, Oz Linden requested TPV developers (and possibly by extensions script creators) use the likes of the sandbox regions to test performance and general operations to help in the overall testing of simulator and simulator / viewer performance with regions running in the cloud and help identify configuration or other changes that may be required. Those testing the regions should be prepared to note any unexpected / unusual behaviours, unexpected outcomes, etc., and be prepared to file with with Linden Lab via Jira.

The Lab is making “very, very good progress” on ensuring simulators and regions are able to run within the AWS environment (there are also a number of Linden-only regions on Agni now running in the cloud), and this testing is seen as a key aspect of building confidence to start transitioning further regions on Agni to AWS and allowing people to test them. However, there is already a list of issues the Lab wants to deal with before this happens, and the above testing may add to this.

The focus is (as has oft been stated) on getting the simulator code to a state where it can be uplifted relatively smoothly and dealing with issues arising from uplift tests (such as with HTTP messaging), rather than dealing with bug fixes (unless they are particularly troublesome), and / or implementing features.

In  Brief

  • [10:05-13:49, as a part of the Uplift discussion] Bug BUG-202943 “Group notice text is truncated by the simulator”: this is a somewhat complicated issue to initially grasp, but is clearly explained in Kitty Barnett’s comment on the bug report. This is of concern to the Lab, but due to the uplift work, a fix may not be immediately forthcoming.
  • [13:50-18:35 with further discussion in text beyond]  The in-viewer log-in cookie issue (non-public BUG-226643) referred to in my previous TPV Developer meeting summary  (see the In Brief section) has been looked at and may not require a server-side change to rectify, and is flagged as a web issue. However, it’s not clear on where it sits in the list of priorities.

 

2020 SL project updates week #36: TPVD summary

Pony Box, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, September 4th, 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.

Two length text conversations dominated the meeting. The first focused on mesh heads and brains, the second on graphics and users and system updates.

SL Viewer News

[0:14-3:05]

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.8.547468, issued August 28.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.4.8.547427,August 21.
    • Mesh uploader RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544027, July 27.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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

  • All three RC viewers have updates that are being queued for issue.
  • It is possible the Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer will be promoted to release status at the start of week #37 (commencing Monday, September 7th).
  • As  noted in my previous CCUG summary, a new Love Me Render (LMR) RC viewer should be available soon (it is currently in QA, so could potentially appear in week #37). This viewer will have further EEP fixes, although not all of them may be in the initial RC release.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer is awaiting a back-end update to the feeds, which may be being worked on.

In  Brief

  • [4:09-7:00] there is an intermittent problem of people viewing the Lab’s own web pages via the viewer’s built-in viewer finding at time that the website doesn’t see them as logged-in (although it should pick this up from the viewer).
    • This appears to be the result of a validation issue with the token generated at log-in and which should be passed to LL’s websites to allow the viewer to access them without the need for a further log-in.
    • LL are hesitant to fix the issue at the moment, as the back-end service handling the tokens is in the process of being moved to the cloud. Once the service has been transitioned, then the matter will be investigated and rectified.
    • This issue may have been triggered by changes make to the way server certificates are validated, which may have had an unintended knock-on impact.
  • [9:07-15:20]  a general discussion on performance issues that are most often tied to Linden Water, and suggestions on how it might be dealt with.  This largely matches the discussion summarised in my previous CCUG summary. These again included the idea of an update to prevent the viewer attempting to draw the Linden Water plane when above a certain altitude (and the majority of users cannot see it when at that altitude or above), or f having a UUID that can be set via the environment controls that effectively stops Linden Water Rendering when applied. Again, these are just *suggestions*, not things that have / are / will be implemented.
  • [21:12-23:12] OpenGL replacement: LL are not considering “seriously starting” on any OpenGL replacement work within the viewer until they have reasonable confidence the worst of the EEP bugs have been dealt with, simply because this is consuming the majority of the rendering team’s bandwidth.
    • Currently efforts are focused on gathering data on people’s systems – how they are running in terms of graphics options, what they are capable of running allowing for their GPU., etc., in order to hep the Lab better define parameters they need to consider. The code for this is in the current release viewer, and is propagating to TPVs as they merge and release that code.
    • One problem is that there are users who have hardware capable of running Vulkan, but they’ve not updated their Windows OS to a version that can support it.
  • [32:08-33:03] Viewer stats: by log-in session, the official viewer currently has a average of around 76% of sessions using Windows 10 64-bit; 15% using OS X, and the rest split between other Windows + Linux flavours. In terms of average users, Firestorm believe that have around 6% of users on OS X, perhaps 2% using various Linux flavours and the rest on various versions of Windows (32-bit and 64-bit).

 

2020 SL project updates week #34: TPVD summary + some uplift news

The Maps (and more!) of Second Life – June 2020

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 21st, 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

[0:22-2:30]

The Love Me Render RC updated to version 6.4.8.547427 on Friday, August 21st. This update to the viewer includes a number of EEP improvements and fixes (among a list of rendering fixes / improvements):

  • BUG-229107 [EEP] [Improvement] Ice level Slider Graduation.
  • SL-13539 [EEP] Large reflection on the water when facing certain angles.
  • BUG-228992 [EEP] Appearance lighting is broken when ALM is enabled.
  • BUG-228914 [EEP] Deferred Soften Shader fails to link when Atmospheric Shaders are disabled. This causes Debug viewer builds to crash.
  • BUG-228882 [EEP] Disabling glow rendering while ALM is off results in massive rendering flicker.
  • BUG-228781 [EEP] Specular color interpreted wrong (too bright) from point lights.
  • BUG-228581 [EEP] Specular map reflections are way too weak.
  • BUG-228840 [EEP] cloud texture is rendered backwards.
  • BUG-228431 [EEP] Water lighting is wrong at certain camera angles.
  • BUG-228752 [EEP] Sky turns black when render quality is lowered to Low-Mid.
  • BUG-225784 [EEP] BUG-225446 regression – HUDs are again affected by environment setting and BUG-225446 [FIXED] [EEP] HUDs are affected by Atmosphere & Lighting changes.

The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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

  • As noted in my CCUG summary,the Legacy Profiles viewer has been further prevented from making progress due to additional web-side changes that need to be made to enable privacy settings (who can see your feed posts) to work correctly.
  • An updated version of the Mesh Uploader RC viewer should be available in week #35.
  • [6:35-7:45] LL are running a test viewer internally with updates to address the FPS drop seen within EEP viewers on Windows when compared to non-EEP viewers (and for which one of the less-than-ideal workarounds people have been using is to disable Linden Water rendering via CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-7). While it may not completely resolve all FPS issues in EEP, it does offer noticeable improvements, and if all goes well, the updates will be merged into the current Love Me Render RC viewer.

Cloud Uplift

[2:37-3:03]

  • “Lots of progress going on” within Project Uplift (moving all SL services to AWS).
  • There will be “some posts to the LSL forum” in the near future specifically for scripters about things people should be testing. Details are scant at this point in time, but the changes are described as “not particularly scary”.

 

2020 SL project updates week #32: TPVD summary

Jambo! A Voyage to Africa, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 7th, 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

[0:08-5:00]

The Tools Update 2 viewer updated to version 6.4.6.545962 on August 4th.

The rest of the official viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.4.543157, dated June 11th, promoted June 23rd, formerly the CEF RC viewer – ROLL BACK.
  • 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:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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

  • A further version of the Tools Update 2 viewer is anticipated for week #33 (commencing Monday, August 10th). This may appear as the de facto release viewer version.
  • Currently, the next viewer in line for promotion after the Tools Update 2 viewer is likely to be the current Arrack Maintenance viewer.
    • A further RC update to Arrack may be issued early in week #33; however, if the Tools Update 2 viewer is promoted to release status, this viewer may be held over pending a merge with the Tools Update 2 viewer code base.
  • Love Me Render (LMR) continue to be held as the graphics team work on various rendering issues.
    • There are apparently around 4 remaining open issues, with two more currently being worked on.
    • Of the open issues, all are performance related. Some of these may need further triage.
    • The issue of Linden Water continuing to give particularly degraded performance on EEP viewer is still being investigated by both LL and TPVs developers, but no potential fix identified as yet. There appears to be some combination of factors causing this (e.g. vertex buffer object (VBO) memory thrashing potentially being one).

In Brief

  • [10:50-13:46] During a text-based call for volumetric clouds from a developer, Ptolemy Linden pointed out an early feature for EEP was to have been atmospheric scattering that got dropped at the time and some of this work might potentially be “simpler” to implement than volumetric clouds – not that his comment means either will be forthcoming.
    • Crepuscular rays (“god rays”) were one aspect of this work, but had to be dropped as they  proved too performance intensive at the time. Two common means for generating “god rays” are via adding geometry to a scene, another is via ray casting and shadow map sampling – both of these can be computationally intensive.
  • The latter half of the meeting is dominated by a user-led discussion on relative performance, what constitutes as a viable demonstration of average performance (e.g. a lone avatar frolicking in a region with all the viewer’s upper-end graphics capabilities enabled, vs trying to do the same with even a moderate number of avatars also in the region, etc). As this was conducted in chat, you can catch it in the video, below.

 

2020 SL project updates week #30: TPVD summary

Paris for Ara, June 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 24th, 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

[0:00-3:47]

The promotion of the Tools Update RC viewer to de facto release status didn’t go as intended, resulting in the promotion being rolled back to viewer version 6.4.4.543157, dated June 11th, promoted June 23rd, formerly the CEF RC viewer. In addition, a further version of the Tools Update viewer was issued in RC form.

The roll-back was due to the Tools Update viewer causing incoming new users to crash on arrival at the welcome islands. Presumably, the arrival of a second Tools Update RC viewer is to allow comparative testing between the two versions in an attempt to understand what is happening, the Tools Update 2 viewer having some form of internal differences to the Tool Update viewer.

There are reports that the Tools Update viewer also has a deadlock issue associated with it – see BUG-229110.

In the interim, the recommendation is for TPVs not to release version based on or incorporating the Tools Update viewer code.

Therefore, this leaves the current viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release viewer version  6.4.3.543157, dated June 11th, promoted June 23rd, formerly the CEF RC viewer – ROLL BACK
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Tools Update 2 RC viewer, version 6.4.6.545538, July 24.
    • Tools Update RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544639, July 17 – ROLL BACK TO RC STATUS.
    • Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544465, July 6.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544028, June 30.
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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 “big push” is now on getting the Love Me Render (LMR) viewer promoted to release status. There are currently just “a few” open issues with the viewer, and the hope is these can be closed and the viewer cleared by QA for promotion “soon”. This is the viewer that includes several EEP-released fixes for things like HUD issues, specularity, etc.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer has had some back-end web integration issues that have prevented it from progressing to RC status as had been hoped at the last meeting.
  • A further Maintenance RC viewer is close to being ready for issuing.

In Brief

  • [9:36-19:33] EEP issues:
    • People continue to report noticeable performance degradations with running EEP enabled viewers. The current work-round is for users to disable Linden Water rendering (CTRL-SHIFT-ALT-7), which appears to work even when Linden Water is totally occluded.
    • This is a recognised problem, and is being actively investigated. However, there may not be a single fix that resolves all performance issues, so this work may not delay the promotion of the LMR viewer, bu could end up being addressed as one or more “future fixes”.
    • There are also reports of increased sudden viewer freezes / stalls within EEP enabled viewers. Again, LL is aware of such reports and is investigating them.
    • In addition, there continue to be major questions as to the real value of EEP when compared to issues such as the overall impact on people having to remodel custom environments, ease-of-use within the tools, performance hits, etc.
    • Firestorm’s preview release of EEP has already resulted in considerable negative feedback even amongst a limited subset of users; there are concerns that when released, it could result an large-scale user backlash.
  • [20:54-24:18] Increasing the official viewer’s texture memory allowance: currently, the official viewer is pegged at using 512Mb of memory for texture handling, which can result in performance hits due to texture switching issues.  This is on a list of changes LL “would like to get to” – although Kitty Barnett has offered LL a code patch (already used by some TPVs, and baed on Runitai Linden’s own code) to help.
  • Reminders:
    • The fix for off-line inventory offers failing is now grid-wide. This is still awaiting an update in the official viewers, but TPVs capable of using the capability can now “go ahead and use it.”
    • Those wishing to test how regions running on AWS servers can do so on Aditi, the beta grid, as follows:
      • Regions Morris and Ahern (and possibly now Dore and Bonifacio, although this hasn’t been clarified).
      • The majority of the Blake Sea regions – see: Blake Sea in the cloud on ADITI.

 

2020 SL project updates week #28: TPVD summary

A Favela, May 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 10th, 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

[0:00-3:10]

  • On Monday, July 6th, the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer, updated to version 6.4.5.544465.
  • On Tuesday, July 7th, the Tools Update RC viewer updated to version 6.4.5.544474.

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

  • Current Release viewer version 6.4.3.543157, dated June 11, promoted June 23, formerly the CEF RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • 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

  • Love Me Render (LMR) viewer: work is continuing to try to address rendering fixes – notably those for issues with EEP. As this work is taking longer than anticipated to complete, this viewer has been pushed down the list iin terms of promotion.
  • The Tools Update viewer is apparently undergoing regression testing with Bakes on Mesh.
  • This means that week #29 (commencing Monday, July 13th) will likely see the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer promoted to de facto release status.
  • Both the Legacy Profiles Project Viewer and the Mesh Uploader Project Viewer are “close” to being promoted to release candidate (RC) status, although the latter may await the incorporation of an additional patch from Firestorm developer Beq Janus.

In Brief

  • Media issues:
    • [3:50-4:48] BUG-229036 “Parcel media cannot be played if Media auto-play is set to No” – this is said to be specific to the CEF release viewer, and a fix has cleared QA testing, and may make it into the Arrack Maintenance RC, or if not will be in the Maintenance RC viewer to follow it.
    • [8:11-8:26] BUG-22838 “Media on a prim – loops when it should not” – is still awaiting attention, but will be added to the Maintenance queue for testing repos.
  • [5:39-7:20] SL Mobile app:
    • It’s believed the current limited testing of the iOS version of app is drawing to a close, and work is moving forward on getting an updated version ready for a broader round of testing.
    • The Android version is still “some way behind” iOS development, and there is currently nothing available for initial testing.
  • [11:09-12:01] Apple OpenGL / ARM CPU announcement: LL are still investigating options for moving away from OpenGL, and awaiting further news from Apple on their plan to move to ARM CPUs for systems. However, LL is still planning on providing continued support for Mac users.