Tag Archives: TPV Developer meetings

SL project updates 2017 12/2: TPV Dev and Content Creation meetings

The Heart of the Seablog post

The notes in this update are taken from the following sources:

  • Content Creation User Group meeting, held on  Thursday March 23rd, 2017 at 1:00pm SLT
  • The TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 12:00 noon SLT.

A video of the TPV Developer meeting is included, and timestamps to it are included in the text, where relevant. Notes from the Content Creation User Group appear towards the end of this update.

SL Viewer Pipeline

Maintenance RC Re-issue

On Thursday, March 23rd, the Lab released a new Maintenance RC viewer – version 5.0.5.324882 – to replace the faulty March 16th release.  As such, it includes the same set of updates, and I’ve written an overview of the core changes.

Voice RC

[0:19] The Voice RC viewer, version 5.0.4.324770, has a problem with the SSL Certificate Authorities update included with it. This triggers some code deep within the viewer which should not be triggered. This tends to affect TPVs for than the official viewer (the issue was actually noted by Firestorm). It’s be at least a couple of weeks before this matter is resolved, and until it is, the Voice RC viewer will not be progressing, and the Lab is unlikely to expand the cohort of users running it. Alongside of this, but separate to is, is an issue which is giving the viewer a higher than expected crash rate. which is also being looked into. Additionally, among the updates to this viewer and not included in the release notes, is support for the Opus Interactive Audio Codec, although server-side support is still required. This should eventually see further Voice quality improvements.

64-bit Project Alex Ivy

[3:10] As noted in part 1 of this week’s update, the 64-bit viewer was updated on Friday, March 17th to version 5.1.0.503537. This viewer is showing a significantly lower crash rate, although it does have some other issues. It should have a further update in the next two weeks.

360 Snapshot Viewer

[4:06] It appears unlikely that the 360 snapshot viewer will be update in the next week due to the ongoing work with the 64-bit viewer.

Asset Fetching Via HTTP

Vir Linden has been focused on the viewer side of this work, which will see the remaining inventory asset classes – landmarks, gestures, animations, shapes, sounds and wearables (system layer clothing) – switch from UDP delivery through the simulator to HTTP delivery via the via the Content Delivery Network(s) the Lab uses.

[4:42] The viewer for this work may be appearing in week #13 (week commencing Monday, March 27th). However, this is dependent on some back-end web configuration work being completed so that the required simulator changes can be correctly enabled on the Main grid.

Once these remaining assets have been shifted to delivery to the viewer via HTTP / CDN, the remaining UDP messaging for asset delivery will be turned off on the simulator end. This may be around July / August time (to be confirmed once the HTTP updates have reached release status), and will mean any older viewers still using UDP messaging for asset data fetching will be unable to do so.

New JIRA – Soon

[14:35] There is a new JIRA update coming, in line with recent updates made by Atlassian. It is currently on internal testing at the Lab, but there is no time frame as to when it will make a public appearance.

FMod Studio

[16:00] Around the start of the 64-bit viewer project there was a potential for an open-source contributed project for using Fmod Studio with viewer audio. This is likely to be re-examined, and if found suitable it may be up for adoption. However, given it will require a licence, which is likely to take a while to be processed by the Lab, it will not prevent the 64-bit viewer progressing forward toward release. Instead, the code module will be integrated as and when the licence has been obtained.

Content Creation Meeting Round-up

Animation Transitions: as noted in my March 9th CCUG meeting notes, people have been noting issues with animation playback, some of which appear to be related to llSetAnimationOverride, one of the server-side functions for controlling your animation state (see  BUG-7488 as an example).

Vir has been looking at this, but no definitive cause has been found. One suggestion is that it might be related to  Walk Adjust cutting in, which can occur when transitioning from standing to almost any other state when using llSetAnimationOverride. Although is that some transitional animation, such as a pre-jump or landing might be accidentally set to loop, causing an apparently freeze / lock. Vir will continue to poke at this.

Avatar Rendering Calculations:  work continues on refining the rendering cost calculations for avatars. However, this work is still not ready for shipping. Theses adjustments are twofold: to account for more “recent” changes which have been made since the system was last properly evaluated, and to address known issues in how the calculations are made.

Applying Baked Textures to Mesh Avatars: this is still on the short list, but is not an adopted or active project within the Lab as yet.

Rigging Animated Attachments to the Skeleton: there are issues trying to rig animated attachment to the avatar skeleton (e.g. a set of nunchaku or a gun that twirls before being holstered). While they may work OK using a specific avatar shape, problems can occur should the shape be changed (e.g. the nachaku  / gun no longer accurately positions relative to the hand). Medhue Simoni suggests items like this might be rigged and animated to the relevant attachment point instead.

NPCs / Animated Objects: this is still not a formal project at the Lab, but there has been some discussion on the potential feature set, were it to become a project.

Scripted method to position bones: see BUG11407. VIr’s concern with this approach would be the level of complexity / risk of conflicts with animations / need to expand the scripting capabilities on the back-end in order to make full scripted positions of bones useful. However, within the meeting, it was seen as being more useful in being able to fine tune poses for things like photography (e.g. to prevent hands vanishing into breasts or thighs), and thus supplant something like Anypose. As a result, Vir’s agreed to look at tools like Anypose and have a fresh look at the JIRA.

Other Items

Bento Ridable Horse

Strawberry Singh has all the information on a new Bento Rideable horse, which has a release had of Saturday, March 25th. As the name implies, this is a horse which makes full used of the Bento skeleton extensions (so when worn, it is an extension of your avatar).  Berry has produced a tidy video on the horse, and I’ll finish this update by embedding it – read Berry’s blog post for the specifics.

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SL project updates 2017 10/3: TPVD meeting

Mystical Fae Forest, Elvenshire; Inara Pey, February 2017, on FlickrMystical Fae Forest – blog post

The notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 10th, 2017. Audio extracts from the core points of the meeting are included.

SL Viewer Pipeline

There have been no further updates to any of the official viewers since part 1 of this week’s updates, leaving the pipelines as:

  • Current Release version: 5.0.2.324126, dated March 3rd, promoted March 6th – formerly a Maintenance RC viewer download page, release notes
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer, version 5.1.0.501863 for Windows and Mac, released on January 10th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer updated to version 4.1.3.321712 on November 23rd, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

A further Maintenance RC viewer is in the offing; expect that soon.

Love Me Render Viewer

The Love Me Render RC viewer containing rendering pipe improvements was withdrawn due to assorted issues, in part justifying the move of rendering fixes to their own viewer branch to prevent them bottlenecking viewer releases (which could have happened if they had been a part of the “regular” Maintenance RC). It will hopefully reappear once the issues prompting its withdrawal have been dealt with.

64-bit Viewer

The Project Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer has a new update currently with the Lab’s QA team. It has “quite a bit of work” in it, and should hopefully appear early in week #11 (week commencing Monday, March 13th). This update will include:

  • An open-source wrapper for CEF called Dullahan (link for those who are curious about the etymology of Lab project names) which will replace llCEF, making it easier to render web content through the viewer
  • The same versions of Dullahan / CEF and libVLC (audio handling) on both the Windows and Mac builds
  • The 64-bit Mac build now uses MacOS Sierra, and will be backwards compatible as far as OSx 10.9 (Xcode 8)
  • The 64-bit Windows build still uses Visual Studio 2013, and will support Windows 10, 8 and 7. Vista support is TBC.

360 Snapshot Viewer

Work is expected to resume on the 360 snapshot viewer, which will include further integration with various means of sharing snapshots – such as through the new Second Life Places pages.

New Viewer Management Framework

The next 64-bit update after the one referenced above will include the new viewer update process, which is specifically targeted at Windows users. This will run a process when updating the viewer to check the version of Windows being run (32-bit or 64-bit), and ensure the correct version of the viewer is downloaded and installed. In time, this process will eventually take over producing crash dump data as well.

Some concern was raised over forcing 64-bit users to run 64-bit versions of the viewer if they have found 32-bit versions to be easier (for whatever reason). However, the Lab believes this is unlikely to be the case.

Viewer Build Process

The viewer build process is changing with the arrival of the 64-bit viewer versions. One aspect of this is a new version of autobuild itself. The build process also uses the same compiler switches for building all of the various libraries which go into a viewer build, which are controlled by a new repository. This should smooth the build process and means that for Windows, the process can build either the 64-bit version of the viewer or the 32-bit version, providing the core 64-bit repository is used and depending on how an address size switch is set.

32-Bit Windows Support

There is still a large number of Second Life users running computers with 32-bit windows. As such, the Lab intends to support 32-bit windows for as long as the numbers warrant it / it is practical to do so. However, those on 32-bit versions of the operating system are liable to experience higher crash rates and poorer viewer performance, simply because of the memory limitations inherent in 32-bit Windows.

Voice Updates

The next Voice update should be appearing soon, which fixes the left / right orientation of Voice on the Mac. There are still some connection issues to be resolved, but hopefully the viewer will reach LL’s QA team in the next week or so, paving the way for its public appearance.

Abuse Report Categories

Currently, the report categories associate with Abuse Reports (ARs) are currently held in the viewer. This means that any changes made to the categories may not be reflected in all viewers, complicating the Governance Team’s work it triaging incoming reports.

While first mooted in August 2016, the Lab is now looking to make the Abuse Report categories a simulator-side capability downloaded to the viewer (most likely at log-in). This would both make it easier for the Lab to revise the abuse categories (were their ever a need to do so) and, over time, help eliminate the problem of incorrect abuse categories existing in older viewers.

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SL project updates 7/3: TPVD meeting

Hobbiton, Dragon Island; Inara Pey, February 2017, on FlickrHobbitonblog post

The notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, February 17th, 2017. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update. My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

SL Viewer

[00:28] The current official viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release version: 5.0.1.323027, dated January 25, promoted February 3 – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer.
  • RC viewers:
    • Maintenance RC viewer version 5.0.2.323567 dated February 14th – a range of improvements and features
    • Love Me Render RC viewer version Version 5.0.2.323361, dated February 9th – rendering pipeline fixes and improvements
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer version 5.1.0.501863 for Windows and Mac, dated January 10th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version 4.1.3.321712, dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review.
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

[00:38] The 64-bit viewer work is proceeding on three fronts:

  • A major update to process management and how viewer updates to users are handled (which includes the update mechanism recognising which version – 32-bit or 64-bit – should actually be installed on a PC for Windows)
  • Adding 64-bit Havok support for the Mac OS X build, and building the OS X build using Xcode 8
  • A new structure for handling Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) and VLC for media support. This will bring all platform versions of the viewer up to the same VLC version and remove QuickTime support from the OS X build (although some QuickTime media may still play, depending on how VLC picks them up, but the Lab is not explicitly supporting QuickTime).

The next update to the Alex Ivy project viewer will depend on which of these update paths clears QA first, and whether any jointly clear QA close enough to be merged into a single update.

[02:29] Updates to the 360-snapshot viewer remain on hold pending the completion of the 64-bit viewer CEF work.

HTTP Asset Fetching

[03:09] As noted in my Content Creation User Group update, the Lab is commencing work in moving more assets for delivery via HTTP / the Content Delivery Network(s) or CDNs.

This work builds on the undertaken in 2013/14 to move avatar appearance information and texture and mesh assets delivery away from UDP and through the simulator, to faster, more reliable delivery via HTTP / CDNs, and will encompass the following assets: landmarks, gestures, animations, sounds and wearables (system layer clothing).

Vir Linden is leading the work, which should hopefully eventually remove more of the “non-simulation” message handling for assets away from the simulators to more reliable and faster HTTP delivery. This in turn should result in something of a performance boost in simulator performance, particularly for busy regions. Once the work has been completed, it will mean that the UDP message support for these types of asset transfers will be removed from both the simulator and the viewer code.

Voice Updates

[11:55] The next batch of Voice updates is being tested, and there is a problem with position updates not working correctly so that unless you are facing east, voices do not seem to come from the correct direction. Once this particular issue has been fixed, it is anticipated the updates will appear in at least a project viewer, although this may still be a while.

Music Streaming Default Volume

[13:15] The first TPVD meeting for 2017 included a discussion on audio streaming autoplay found in the official viewer, and the problems this can cause new users. As a result of that discussion, the Lab agreed to revisit the default media volume setting in the viewer, but a change has yet to be made.

Region / Estate Ban List

The Estate / region ban list (highlighted)

The Estate / region ban list (highlighted)

[15:38 – 19:42] Currently, the region / estate ban list is confined to a small area within a tab on the estate tools, sharing the space with 3 other lists. It is also non searchable, and when a region – for whatever reason – has a very long ban list, trying to clear the list down based on names / offensives can prove difficult due to the amount of scrolling required to locate, highlight and remove names deemed to no longer be a problem.

The Lab is sympathetic to the issue, and has suggested that rather and a JIRA being filed requesting changes to the current ban list display, a broader discussion is opened between the Lab and TPVs on how best to present the region / estate ban list, etc (e.g. whether they should have their own floater panel / tab within the viewer, with search capabilities, etc). The likely forum for this will be Oz Linden’s Open Source meeting, which takes place on Wednesdays, 07:00 SLT.

E-mail Verification

[23:45] On January 28th, I blogged about verifying e-mail addresses associated with Second Life. The Lab is now working on a number of projects which will require users to have verified e-mail addresses in order to receive information.

Remember: just because you are currently receiving e-mails from Linden Lab does not necessarily mean your e-mail account is verified. You must go through the verification process via your dashboard. Failure to verify your e-mail could eventually result in things like off-line IMs to e-mail failing, merchant notifications failing, etc., and the Lab switches services over to only sending to verified addresses. You many not even be able to request an account password reset if your e-mail address is not verified.

Therefore, if you haven’t already done so, please refer to the blog post linked above, and verify the e-mail address you use with Second Life.

Other Items

Script State Breakage in No-Mod Items

[08:49] A rare, but potentially nasty bug has surface which can result in permanently breakage of scripts in No Mod (/No Copy) objects – see BUG-41379.

Essentially, if an avatar is force teleported home (e.g. as a result of encountering an in-world security system), and their home location is unavailable that the time of their teleport (e.g. it is being restarted or off-line), they will be logged out. On re-logging, scripts in attachments are no longer functional, as they’ve been set to not running.

If the attachments have modify permissions, the scripts can be reset / set back to running. However, with No Mod items, the scripts are permanently broken. Providing the item is Copy, and the original is still in inventory, then it should be possible to “fix” the problem by using a new copy of the item. However, if the item in No Copy as well as No Mod, then it is effectively broken.

The Lab has accepted the bug and will be investigating.

Lab Holiday

[14:46] Note that Monday, February 20th is a holiday at Linden Lab (Presidents Day in the USA). Operations and support will be running as usual.

SL project updates 2017-4/3: TPVD meeting: 64-bit, Linux

Whimberly, Whimberly; Inara Pey, January 2017, on FlickrWhimberlyblog post

The notes in this update are taken from the abbreviated TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, January 27th, 2017. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update. My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

SL Viewer

[01:19] There has been no movement with any of the viewer currently in the various pipelines during the week, leaving the list as:

  • Current Release version: 5.0.0.321958, dated December 1st, promoted December 5th, 2016 – formerly the Project Bento RC viewer
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.0.1.322791, dated January 12th
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer, version 5.1.0.501863 for Windows and Mac, dated January 10th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer, version 4.1.3.321712, dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review – still pending completion of work on the 64-bit viewer, and no updates expected in the immediate future
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

[01:48] There are two more branches for the Maintenance viewer updates in the offing. One is, as per Oz’s stated intent, a branch for rendering only fixes, the second will continue with the regular releases of Maintenance RC viewers with all other general fixes and updates.

64-bit Viewer

[22:55] The number of users on the 64-bit project viewer remains “small”, however, the Lab is pleased with the way most things in the viewer and viewer build process are working. There are still three major areas of work which need to be completed, outside of bug fixes, before the viewer can progress to release candidate (RC) status:

  • 64-bit Havok for OSX: the binaries, etc., have been received from Havok, but have been built using Xcode 8. The Lab is therefore updating the Mac viewer build process to use Xcode 8 so that the Havok code can be incorporated.
  • Updated VLC and CEF support: this is in process, and in the case of CEF, will include a new wrapper (project Dullahan – link for those who are curious about the etymology of Lab project names) which will replace llCEF, making it easier to render web content through the viewer
  • The new viewer installation / update process: this is being overhauled to improve the installation and update of the viewer. In particular, it will include a check to ensure users have actually downloaded the correct version of the viewer for their system. For example, if you are on 32-bit Windows and download the 64-bit version in error, the installer will recognise this, and download and install the 32-bit version for you.

Note the above still only apply to Windows and Mac OSX.

Linux Viewer Status / Future

[30:21] Thus far, the Lab hasn’t progressed very far with Linux 64-bit, beyond building some of the libraries. The aim is still to have the third-party viewer development  / open source community provide a strong level of support for Linux. However, it is recognised that the current way in which the Linux viewer is currently distributed makes it difficult for third-party support to be maintained.

In an attempt to improve things, the Lab is going to try to move away from using a TAR ball method of distribution to providing a .DEB file, which can be installed using standard Debian installation commands. This will involve changes to the Linux build process, which itself may highlight issues in producing the desired .DEB file. Where this is the case, the Lab will look to discuss and resolve issues with the TPV / open source community. It is hoped that this approach will result in a much improved and easier to manage mechanism for Linux viewer builds and distribution.

Other Items

Music Streaming Default Volume

[04:57] The first TPVD meeting for 2017 included a discussion on audio streaming autoplay found in the official viewer, and the problems this can cause new users. As a result of that discussion, the Lab agreed to revisit the default media volume setting in the viewer. This is now under discussion within the Lab.

Voice Issues

[06:06] While there is a Voice update coming down the line, people are reporting increasing Voice disconnection issues (see BUG-41288). Kyle Linden has been looking into the problems to try to identify where issues might reside, and it is a topic for discussion at the next Lab / Vivox meeting, in about a week. Oz Linden is also improving the code in the viewer to better monitor and report on Voice connections and issues so that they can be more easily identified; these updates will hopefully be in the upcoming Voice viewer.

Environment Maps

[12:53] At the end of the last TPV meeting, there was a convoluted discussion on environment maps and potential limitations. A JIRA feature request – STORM-2146 – has now been raised, outlining the specific issues with the environment maps, and what can be done to improve them to provide things like simulated environment reflections.  Acknowledged as being a prime example of a really good feature request in terms of level of explanation given (including mitigating risk of content breakage), the topic was put aside for detailed discussion at a later date, to allow this meeting to focus on the 64-bit viewer and Linux.

Server-side Group Chat “Opt Out”

Firrestorm has a viewer-side implementation to mute all chat from a group, but a server-side capability is being requested

Firrestorm has a viewer-side implementation to mute all chat from a group, but a server-side capability is being requested

[17:53] This is a request to provide support for “opting out” (muting) from group chats without necessarily having to wait for it to start & closing the window (e.g. via a right-click option on the group list or in the group profile – a method taken by Firestorm in providing viewer side support for the capability).

The Lab is aware of numerous requests for such an option, together with numerous and different suggestions on how it might be implemented. Because of this, no firm decision has been made on whether or not to add such a capability, managed server-side, has been taken.

The advantage of server-side support is that rather than having the viewer just discard incoming messages seen as “unwanted”, the server will not send them in the first place. This is very much what the Lab would like to achieve, were the capability to be added.

E-mail Improvements

[39:37] Changes are coming to the way in which e-mails are managed / distributed by the Lab. Please see my separate report on what this means and verifying you e-mail address, if you have not already done so.

SL Wiki Editing and JIRA Viewing

[49:03] The Ls Wiki remains closed to general editing. Users with a genuine need to edit wiki pages they have previously helped maintain or have created, should file a support ticket or raise a JIRA requesting the are granted Edit rights, and why they are requesting them. The Lab is now maintaining a white list of approved users.

Similarly, TPV developers and open source contributors who cannot view JIRAs related to their work, etc. (“Permission Violation”), should e-mail Oz Linden to request broader access to the system.