2020 TPVD meetings week #2 summary

Frogmore, November 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on January 10th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks to Pantera for recording and providing it. As always:

  • Time stamps are given with links that will open the video at the appropriate point in a separate browser tab for reference.
  • Core points of the meeting are listed below. Other subjects of lesser import may have been discussed, please refer to the video.

SL Viewer News

[0:44-2:27]

On Thursday, January 9th, 2020, the following RC viewers updated as follows:

The rest of the viewer release pipelines remain unchanged:

  • Current Release version 6.3.5.533275, formerly the Wassail RC viewer, dated December 4, promoted December 12 – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Xanté Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.3.6.533748, December 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16.

General Viewer Notes

  • Both the Xanté Maintenance RC and the Legacy Profiles Viewer have updates that are “close” to appearing in the current viewers list, with Xanté possibly being close to promotion as the de facto viewer as well.
  • As per my week #2 CCUG summary, EEP is still pending the fixing of around a dozen graphics-related issues.
  • The Camera Presets Viewer, designed to allow users to set and save their own preferred camera presets in their viewer without having to use debug settings, is now closing on being “feature complete” and ready for release either as a Project or RC viewer.
    • This capability is being developed as a viewer code contribution by Jonathan Yap (who was responsible for developing the Graphics Presets options).
    • More information on the work can be found in STORM-2145.

Mercurial to Github Migration

[2:29-3:45]

Bitbucket, used to manage viewer repositories) will be sunsetting support for Mercurial in early 2020. Because of this, Linden Lab has been migrating their viewer repositories from Mercurial to Git on Bitbucket.

  • Most of the Lab’s viewer development is now processed via Git.
  • There is some work remaining on converting all of the third-party package repositories, and this is being done as part of the Visual Studio 2017 / Xcode upgrade, rather than being part of the Git migration per se, as these are relatively stable and not seen as a major problem in terms of migrating them.
  • A document outlining the steps in migration has been provided specifically for TPVs to allow them to keep in sync with how LL main the viewer code and its branches. See: Viewer Repository Migration (Google Docs).
    • This is not the only way for TPVs to manage their own repositories, but it is the one that LL recommend for those wishing to reflect how LL manages things.

Visual Studio / Xcode Build Process Update

[4:58-7:30]

The VS 2017 / Xcode upgrade has been caught with a couple of issues:

  • The Boost library used to implement coroutines in the build process would not build using VS 2017 & required conversion to Boost Fibre, which it turn had a number of impacts that also needed to be resolved.
  • Currently, the project is caught on a GIT-related issue, with validating the integration scripts used in the build process, and which is still being worked on.

It’s hoped that the additional work involved in moving the build process to support VS 2017 should make a future move to using VS 2019 easier.

Deprecating Windows 7 Support

[3:48-4:28]

  • Windows 7 officially reaches its end of life on January 14th, 2020. After this date, patches and security updates, etc., will no longer be provided, and the company is unlikely to provide any support.
  • Linden Lab has officially blogged on the subject, which I also blogged about as well.

In Brief

  • [7:55-8:30] There has been no work on the Linux front for official viewer over that last few months, and while still on the road map, is seen as a fairly low priority item, sitting well behind the Git migration, build tools updates, general viewer development and – particularly – the work in transitioning Second life to the AWS cloud.
  • [9:32-10:55] Week #2 restarts. While not generally a part of TPVD meetings, the issues with the Tuesday, January 7th server restarts was mentioned, with Grumpity noting:

It was a rocky day on Tuesday. It came out of our desire to do things in a less disruptive manner and … once again, the road to downtime was once again paved with good intentions, because that way proved to be in no way less disruptive than if we had done things the regular way.

Essentially, the issue was with some restart code that hadn’t been used in a while, and which LL had thought had been fully tested, but when put to use proved to have issues.

  • [15:33-20:23] A reminder was given that – particularly after a viewer crash –  it is better to wait for a short period, rather than immediately trying to re-log (particularly if the warning about logging back in is displayed). This is because each failed attempt refreshes your avatar presence, interfering with the post-crash clean-up (the “you are currently being logged out” part of the message).
    • Note: this part of the meeting included an extensive chat discussion on auto-relogging, as can be present in mobile and other clients, such as Lumiya and Radegast that continues through until the end of the meeting. Please refer to the video for more on this.

 

2019 TPVD meetings week #50 summary

Nostalgia Falls, October 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on December 13th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks to Pantera for recording and providing it. As always:

  • Time stamps are given with links that will open the video at the appropriate point in a separate browser tab for reference.
  • Core points of the meeting are listed below. Other subjects of lesser import may have been discussed, please refer to the video.

SL Viewer News

Note: the comments below also include updates given at the Content Creation User Group meeting of December 12th.

[4:29-6:52]

  • Copy / Paste viewer project vewer updated to version 6.3.5.533365 on December 9th.
  • The Wassail RC viewer, version 6.3.5.533275, was promoted to de-facto release status on Thursday, December 12th. This was likely the last viewer promotion to release status for 2019.

The rest of the current viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • EEP RC viewer, version 6.4.0.532771, dated  November 20th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9th.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, dated September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, dated September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16th.

General Viewer Notes

  • It is thought the Legacy Profiles viewer could be next in line for promotion to defacto release status. However, this viewer is still awaiting the release of an update that integrates the profile feed into the viewer.
  • There are reportedly multiple issues with the Copy / Paste project viewer, some of which are UI related – no specific bug report reference to relay here at present, though.
  • In addition, and awaiting surfacing / further work internally, are further Maintenance viewers and improvements to the mesh uploader.

Mercurial to Github Migration

[0:05-2:51]

Bitbucket, used to manage viewer repositories) will be sunsetting support for Mercurial in early 2020. Because of this, Linden Lab has now started migrating their viewer repositories from Mercurial to Git on Bitbucket.

  • This means the pace of viewer updates might slow down while this work is in progress.
  • A document outlining the steps in migration has been provided specifically for TPVs to allow them to keep in sync with how LL main the viewer code and its branches. See: Viewer Repository Migration (Google Docs).
    • This is not the only way for TPVs to manage their own repositories, but it is the one that LL recommend for those wishing to reflect how LL manages things.
  • [36:48-41:15] Thus far, the Lab have not run into problems in making the migration. It was also pointed out that:
    • There are a number of cheat sheets out on the web for TPVs and self-compilers to make / understand the switch from Mercurial to Git.
    • There will be fewer repositories used by LL for the viewer, as Git provides better support for branching and better matches the LL build process.

Viewer Updates for 2020

[24:27-27:05]

  • Two viewer updates that will be surfacing in 2020 are Name Changes and Premium Plus.
    • With regards to Name Changes, TPVs many what to consider migrating people’s settings and chat histories when they change their names, as all of this information is stored in a local folder  / directory based on the avatar name.
    • This could take the form of switching to using the avatar key UUID, although this isn’t necessarily user-friendly when looking at log files, etc.

Deprecating Windows 7 Support

[27:54-31:54]

  • Windows 7 officially reaches its end of life on January 14th, 2020. After this date, patches and security updates, etc., will no longer be provided, and the company is unlikely to provide any support.
  • As a result of this, it is very Linden Lab will cease officially supporting Windows 7 after that date. While users will still be able to log-in to Second Life on PCs running Windows 7:
    • They will not receive assistance from LL support should they encounter problems.
    • Viewer updates from the Lab will no longer be tested against Windows 7 prior to release.
    • Bugs reported against Windows 7 that cannot be reproduced using Windows 8 or Windows 10 will not be investigated.
    • Around 12% of SL users are running Windows 7, and this applies to them.
  • Obviously, given Microsoft is ending Windows 7, the recommendation is for users to upgrade to Windows 10.

Linden Lab No Change Window

[2:52-4:00]

The 2019 end-of year No Change window is from Friday, December 20th 2019 through Thursday, January 2nd 2020. During this time there will be no simulator or official viewer updates, and TPVs are asked also not to make releases during this period in case they accidentally cause support or operational issues for LL.

In Brief

  • [7:15-9:02] The updates to the viewer build process (to support Visual Studio 2017 and Xcode 10.3) are in a bug hunting mode at the moment, and so will see light of day in early 2020.
    • It is possible that work on updating to VS 2019 might commence later in 2020.
  • [9:07-11:23] One of the projects awaiting the deployment of the new build process is updates to the Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) responsible for handling media in the viewer. It is hoped that when these updates can be provided within the viewer they will help with media support playback and eliminate at least some problems.
    • These updates should help with MP4 playback as more codecs are being added – although again, MP4 is a container with flavours rather than a specific format, so all flavours may not play back equally.
  • [12:08-19:00] Discussion on Bugsplat, the crash reporting tool. This is probably outside the interest of most users, so is not listed below – please refer to the video.
  • [22:40-24:00] Discussion on a Firestorm OpenSim release. Again, this probably not relevant to the majority of readers of the blog (and I’ll be covering it separately as and when it appears anyway), so again – please refer to the video.
  • [32:04-32:40] BUG-227179 – All off-line inventory offers from scripted objects are STILL lost: this bug is still awaiting work.

 

2019 TPVD meeting week #46 summary

Unconditional, October 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on November 15th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks to Pantera for recording and providing it. As always:

  • Time stamps are given with links that will open the video at the appropriate point in a separate browser tab for reference.
  • Core points of the meeting are listed below. Other subjects of lesser import may have been discussed, please refer to the video.

Simulator Script Management Improvements

[1:25-2:35]

These continue to be deployed across the grid, with the Lab believe the results have been “mostly good”, but noting that there may still be some scripts that may be affected by the changes (and some have been reported – such as BUG-227864).

Those that are experiencing issues are asked to file a bug report, as the Lab is willing to offer assistance. Note that example scripts may be requested as a well.

SL Viewer News

[2:45-6:33]

  • On Friday, November 15th:
    • The Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.3.5.532739.
    • The Copy / Paste project viewer updated to version 6.3.5.532780.

The rest of the current viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.4.532299, formerly the Ordered Shutdown RC viewer, dated November 4.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.

General Viewer Notes

  • A further update to the Legacy Profiles viewer is close to being made available. If the comments from the Web User Group are correct, this will see Profile Feeds appearing in the Profile floater, presumably in a new tab on that floater.
  • The first of the viewer builds using the updated Visual Studio 2017 / Xcode 10.3 (?) that had been anticipated as appearing “soon” at the last RPVD meeting apparently did not pass QA testing, and is now subject to debugging code changes that were made to some of the coroutines in the viewer.
  • It appears that work has resumed on the contribution towards viewer camera presets (STORM-2145), with “good progress” being made, but no indication on when a project viewer will surface.
  • The Lab is trying to generate bandwidth to implement mesh uploader improvements (these are most likely based on the Firestorm improvements to the uploader, the code for which has been contributed to LL).

Two-Factor Authentication

[15:43-16:46]

Two-factor authentication for log-in has been s subject of comment and requests from some time. Linden Lab is actively working on it, noting it is “firmly on the roadmap”. However:

  • There is no time frame at present on possible deployment.
  • The work is dependent / linked to other work, requiring things are approached in order and care is taken to ensure that in making all the collective changes, nothing is broken.

SL Share

[16:50-18:55]

SL Share, the capability for sharing SL snapshots to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter via LL server-side support, is to be discontinued.

  • The Facebook upload capability was removed some time ago after Facebook made changes to their API that broke the ability for the viewer to share to their platform, and did not implement any fix.
  • More recently, the Flickr and Twitter uploads have suffered issues (the Flickr upload is currently broken in viewers using the Lab’s upload back-end).

The reason for discontinuing SL Share is due to Flickr and Twitter making frequent changes to their connecting APIs without any notice that require LL to update their back-end support, which is regarded as a “big distraction” from other server-side work.

TPVs are free to continue to offer their own viewer-side means of uploading to the likes of Flickr that do not require LL’s back-end support, if they so wish. Firestorm has already done this.

In Brief

  • Singularity is apparently “very close” to a formal release to bring it up-to-date with current viewers.
  • [7:22-15:15] There is a discussion on region issues that are specific to the London City regions. Whilst somewhat outside the normal remit for TPVD meetings, it might be worth listening to by region / estate owners who may have experienced recent restart issues.
  • Emojis are coming to the viewer, courtesy of a code contribution that’s heading to Linden Lab.
The emoji capability is being contributed by the Catznip viewer team
  • Next TPV Developer meeting: Friday, December 13th, 2019.

2019 TPVD meeting week #44 summary

La Gaspesie (Canada)blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on November 1st, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with some conversation on the viewer building process – error reporting, replacing cygwin with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that are not reflected in the notes below – please refer to the video (between 9:23 and 15:35.

SL Viewer News

[0:22-8:59]

  • On Thursday, October 31st:
    • The Voice RC viewer, version 6.3.3.531811 and dated October 18th, 2019, was promoted to de facto release status.
    • The Love Me Render RC viewer was updated to version 6.3.4.532273.
  • On Friday, November 1st, the EEP RC viewer updated to version 6.4.0.532314.

Note that while it has not been tested, it is believed the voice plug-in with the Voice viewer is compatible with other viewers that are otherwise up-to-date with viewer release.

The remaining viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Ordered Shutdown RC viewer, version 6.3.3.531767, October 21st.
    • Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.3.3.531784, October 18th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.

Upcoming Viewer Improvements

  • There will be further improvements made to voice. These will largely be focused on the overall robustness of voice operations.
  • The first viewer built using the updated build process using Visual Studio 2017 and Xcode 10.3 is currently caught in QA, but should hopefully be appearing “soon”.
  • Once the new build process viewer has gone through the RC process, LL plan to update the Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF – media handling) within the viewer.

Inventory Issue Handling Changes

[2:55-7:28] Broadly speaking, inventory issues that occur at log-in have been largely handled as viewer-side fixes (e.g. the viewer fails to receive data on the Outfit folder, and responds by creating a new Outfit folder). However, these kinds of “fixes” can lead to problems of their own in inventory handling (e.g. it can lead to duplicate folders, requiring Support to run an inventory transform to correct – such as in the case of the Current Outfit Folder being duplicated).

Instead, the Lab is working to give the servers more of a say when the viewer believes it has encountered an inventory syncing issue when logging-in. Instead of the viewer attempting to fix things, it will call back to the servers and have them fix matters by sending / re-sending inventory data.

Currently, the server end of this work is in progress, and a viewer with code changes to support this new approach will be appearing Soon™. These updates will be kept to a separate viewer branch to allow TPVs to absorb them quickly as the reach a state in which they can be adopted.

In Brief

  • [15:38 (text)-19:15] BUG-225655 “Viewer freezes while “Loading world…” – Intel HD 620 / Intel HD 630, Windows 10″ has a new wrinkle, as per Whirly Fizzle’s comment on the bug report. Firestorm has a fix that could be contributed, and LL have indicated a willingness to look at it.
  • [25:41-27:26] BUG-227818 “MapLayerRequest does not appear to work” – this refers to a request type that asks the simulator to relay a list of all the map layers and which is failing to behave as expected. The bug report has been requested in order for LL can look into the problem.

2019 TPVD meeting week #42

Hotel California – Dancing in the Moonlight, September 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on October 18th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with a lot of text-based general chat. This being the case, key points are summarised below without the usual time stamps.

SL Viewer News

On Friday, October 18th, 2019:

  • A new Maintenance viewer, version 6.3.3.531784 and code-named Wassail, was released. This viewer is based on the current release viewer and contains some 30 fixes and includes viewer manager 2.0.531000 (used in launching the viewer).
  • The viewer RC viewer was merged with the current release viewer and updated to version 6.3.3.531811.

The remaining viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.2.530962, formerly the Vinsanto Maintenance RC viewer, dated September 17, promoted October 15th, 2019 – NEW.
  • 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:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16.

The Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906 and Obsolete Platform viewer 3.7.28.300847 (Windows XP / Mac OS X below 10.7), are no longer listed on the Alternate Viewer page, but remain available via direct link.

In Brief

  • Currently, the next viewers in line for possible promotion are the Ordered Shutdown viewer and the Voice Update viewer, although the latter is awaiting either an update or information from Vivox.
  • Texture Loading / Caching viewer: work has resumed on this viewer, but it still remains some way out from appearing as a public release. Rider and Aura Linden are both working on this, although both are also engaged on other viewer projects.
  • Viewer build tools update (Visual Studio 2017 and Xcode 10.3 for OS X): said to be in “good condition” but no commitment as to when it will start to be used for production viewers.
  • As per my CCUG notes, the remaining issues for EEP are largely graphics related, both of the new graphics resources, Ptolemy and Euclid Linden are getting up to speed to be able to work on the project.

2019 TPVD meeting week #40

Clifton Forge, August 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on October 4th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with the majority of the meeting conducted in text and revolving around Bakes on Mesh. This being the case, points are summarised below without the usual time stamps.

SL Viewer News

There have been no further updates to the official SL pipelines since the updates at the start of the week, leaving them as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.1.530559, formerly the Umeshu Maintenance RC viewer, dated, September 5th – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.
  • 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.

Brief Notes

  • As noted in my recent CCUG summaries, the Lab have recruited two more graphics experts (Euclid Linden and one other), who will be working on EEP and rendering projects once they are up to speed.
  • The new Voice update viewer should be going to QA in week #41 (commencing Monday, October 7th). This was delayed as a result of a last minute issue preventing it going to QA and then being issued this week.

Bakes on Mesh (BoM)

There is reportedly some confusion about Bakes on Mesh, with some users believing it means that “have” to switch back to using system wearables. This is not the case; those who wish to continue to use applier-based wearables can do so. Similarly, those who prefer to use mesh clothing can continue to do so. Bakes on Mesh is simply a means to allow system wearables to be used on mesh bodies and heads.

It is also hoped by the Lab that BoM will allow mesh head and body makers simplify their products by removing the need for some of the “onion” layers. This should reduce the rendering complexity of bodies and heads, making them less resource intensive to render.

For more detailed information on Bakes on Mesh, please refer to the following links:

Linden Lab:

Creator-related BoM documentation:

Informative Bakes on Mesh blog post:

In addition, Firestorm has created their own Bakes on Mesh wiki.

TPV Notes

  • Catznip has a BoM beta (and has done for a while), but release is pending some more work being completed.
  • Radegast is close to having a BoM release available.