2018 SL project updates week 32/3: TPVD meeting and ARCTan

Cloudbreak; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrCloudbreakblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 10th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a short meeting – 24  minutes on the video, which includes some lengthy silences.

SL Viewer

[0:24-4:50]

Bugsplat RC Viewer

Functionally identical to the release viewer, but used to test the Bugsplat crash reporting service (rather than routing crash reports to the Lab’s internal Breakpad based crash reporting mechanism), this RC is likely coming to the end of its test run, sufficient data having been gathered for the evaluation.

Voice RC Viewer

At least one more update is anticipated while this is at RC status. This will contain fixes for crashes within the SLVoice.exe (the viewer should detect the exe’s absence and automatically restart it). This update should appear in week #33 (commencing Monday, August 13th).

EAM Project Viewer

The EAM project viewer, version 5.2.0.518362, dated August 7th, includes revised and improved capabilities for handling region access control. See SL Estate Access Management project viewer – overview for more.

Upcoming Viewer Promotion and New RCs

  • The new release of the Animesh viewer due in week #33 will most likely see that viewer promoted from project to RC status.
  • A new Rendering Project RC viewer should arrive in week #33.
  • A new Maintenance RC viewer is in waiting, but its release is dependent upon a server-side update for handling group invites and Friend requests whilst off-line (and part of the overall move to HTTP delivery for off-line IMs / notices). These changes should be going to the simulator RC channels in week #33. The Maintenance viewer will be deployed once these updates have reached the SLS (Main) simulator channel.
  • [12:56-13:23] Viewer TCO project: this contains the updates to how the viewer handles texture caching, and should be entering the project viewer pipeline “soon”, together with some OpenJPEG fixes (also see the end of this report for more on OpenJPEG / KDU).

Project ARCTan

[5:26-9:20] This is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints.

As I’ve previously noted, the Lab is sensitive to the implications of doing this, if it results in significant changes – particularly in the area of Land Impact for in-world objects. Should this be the case, steps will be taken to ensure users have advanced notification of changes that affect content, so they can assess what needs to be done and to make any necessary changes to their land / regions.

Part of this work will involve the Lab deploying simulator versions running both the current and the “new” calculations, allowing them to see the overall potential impact of any given set of changes (number of parcels / regions affected), ahead of making any actual change. This would allow them to avoid the kind of mass auto-return situation that has accidentally occurred in the past, and enable them to find a means to inform people of the potential impact.

A further option the Lab has been considering is to raise the land capacity on regions / parcels to compensate for any impact of revised LI calculations. So, for example, if the new calculations result in parcels going over the capacity limit by and average of (say) 10%, region LI might be increased by 15% to offer some compensation. Then, for those who still exceed their limit, there will be a period of grace when then can consolidate and bring their LI use within the limit of the revised calculations before the latter are enforced.

The important aspect of the LI work is that while values may change, they overall why they are being calculated my result in their meaning being different – so numbers might actually coming out “smaller” than is currently the case, resulting in no  need for physical changes to be made in terms of what people have rezzed in-world.

Overall, this is a long-term project, and no changes one way or the other will be occurring in the immediate future.

Environment Enhancement Project

[14:01-14:44] No significant news. The project is awaiting the current Inventory AIS updated to be completed on the main grid. There is also an inventory patch for EEP that needs to be deployed and tested on Aditi. Once this has been done, the way will hopefully be clear for EEP to appear on the main grid.

Other Items

OpenJPEG Images and KDU “Downgrade”

[10:33-12:54] : there is an issue with KDU which means that textures encoded using OpenJPEG may not display correctly. As a result, the Lab is rolling by KDU support from 7.10 to 7.9. This is a temporary measure to alleviate the problem whilst LL work with KDU to get a fix. In the meantime, Graham Linden has been working on potential means to avoid the issue is a fix is not forthcoming from KDU.

Second Life Scheduled Maintenance

[16:03-17:03] There will be a scheduled maintenance period on Monday, August 13th, commencing at 05:30 SLT (13:30 UK; 14:30 CET). This should be about an hour in length, but will see SL logins suspended. See: https://secondlife-status.statuspage.io/incidents/vrpczxqtk8ls for more.

JIRA Upgrade

[17:06-20:37] A new version of the Second Life JIRA is in testing. This will see several changes to the JIRA system, notably visually and when logging-in. The planned deployment of the new system is Thursday, August 16th. Part of this update will ensure JIRA refreshes a user’s e-mail to match the one provided for use with Second Life when logging-in.

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2018 SL project updates week 30/3: TPV Developer meeting

Strawberry Lake; Inara Pey, July 2018, on FlickrStrawberry Lakeblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 27th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a short meeting – 24  minutes on the video, which includes some lengthy silences.

My apologies for the tardiness in posting this – I wrote it up on Saturday, then got distracted by RL before posting and forgot about it!

SL Viewer

No updates during the week, leaving the viewer pipelines as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15, promoted June 21 – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • BugSplat RC viewer, version 5.1.7.518003, released July 20. This viewer is functionally identical to the current release viewer, but uses BugSplat for crash reporting, rather than the Lab’s own Breakpad based crash reporting tools.
    • Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.1.7.517594, on July 12.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

The Bugsplat viewer has some issues logged against it, notably BUG-225112 -[Bugsplat-RC] Bugsplat viewer appears to misreport viewer crashes as freezes & other assorted annoyances. This is being looked into.

Upcoming Projects

  • For Animesh Bakes on Mesh and EEP, please refer to my week #30 CCUG report.
    • In addition to the above notes, the Advanced Inventory System (AIS) is currently being updated, and this work is delaying both Bakes on Mesh and EEP, both of which make changes to the inventory system as well.
  • A viewer with the updated estate management tools is in the process of being polished, and should be appearing “pretty soon”.
  • Texture cache project viewer: this has been on hold recently while Graham Linden works on another project, however, he’ll be returning to it in the very near future.

Other Items

  • Noted in my CCUG summary, BUG-225157 “[RC BlueSteel 18.07.17.517953] Adjusting specular horizontal offset also adjusts specular vertical offset on BlueSteel regions only” should be getting both server-side a viewer updates to correct. These updates were with the Lab’s QA team at the time of TPVD meeting.
  • There are reports of a media issue arising from the Firestorm 5.1.7.55786 release (reviewed here), but the root cause appears to be with the Lab’s code – a JIRA is to be raised.
  • Group Notices: the new capability to use HTTP rather than UDP for receiving off-line notices when logging in had a couple of issues relating to group notices and friend requests. The fixes for this are both server-side and in the viewer, and should both see the light of day soon.
    • Note that the HTTP capability is only for received messages held while off-line. IMs, group notices, etc., sent while you are actually logged-in to Second Life are still delivered via UDP.

2018 SL project updates 28/2: TPVD meeting

ChouchouMemento Moriblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 13th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a short meeting – just over 30 minutes in length, but with some significant pauses throughout.

SL Viewer

The Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.1.7.517594, on July 12th. All other SL viewers in the various pipelines remain as for the start of the week:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15th, promoted June 21st – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – No Change
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Animesh

[0:44-2:20] Some bugs have surfaced in the server-side Animesh code which may delay the code from being deployed to the Main (SLS) channel in week #29 (commencing Monday, July 16th).

There is still some validation testing going on for the LOD / bounding box issue in Animesh viewer, but the viewer should be promoted to release candidate status “fairly soon”, possibly by the time the server-side code has been deployed grid-wide.

Bakes On Mesh

[2:21-2:38] A further update to the Bakes on Mesh project viewer is anticipated, possibly in week #29 (commencing Monday, July 16th). This will include several bug fixes.

Upcoming Project Viewers

Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP)

[3:01-3:40] A project viewer for EEP should be surfacing soon, but the functionality will not be available on the Main grid until the supporting back-end inventory updates have been deployed to Agni.

Texture Caching Updates

[3:44-4:21] A project viewer (the TCO viewer) with new texture caching capabilities is still anticipated as coming soonTM.

Estate Management Tools Updates

[4:45-5:27 and 21:59-23:31] A viewer supporting the updates to the estate management tools – improved ban lists, etc., had been held up while some issues around Friend requests and group invites are fixed (these issues are related to the recently introduced capability to deliver off-line IMs, etc., via HTTP rather than UDP, with group invites and friendship offers requiring more back-end updates in order to work correctly through the new capability). These issues have now been resolved, and both the server-side updates and the viewer changes are with the Lab’s QA team.

Last Names

[16:30-20:25] Still no date for roll out, but as these keep coming up:

  • There are no plans to re-introduce legacy last names (i.e. no Pey, Widdershin, Sideways, Munro, Fizzle, etc.).
    • [27:27 (text) and 28:18-28:25] However, a suggestion was put forward in the meeting to offer legacy names at a higher price than other last names, and Oz indicated this might be considered.
  • People will be able to suggest last name options (excluding legacy last names, per above).
  • There will be no change to Display Names, which will remain available as an option for those wishing to continue using them.
  • Changing your name will levy a real-world fee – the exact amount is still TBD.

A focus on the work for this is updating back-end services so they properly support / recognised changed names. Until this work is completed, the Last Names capability cannot be deployed.

In Brief

  • [5:43-6:36] Dynamic user interface (DUI): referred to at the recent Meet the Lindens sessions at SL15B, the ability to separate floater and panels out from the main viewer window is not being worked on at present, and so it is extremely unlikely anything on this will appear in 2018.
    • For a broader discussion on the idea and some of the Lab’s thinking on is – please refer to this section of my SL15B summaries.
  • [7:11-7:30] Multi-core graphic pipeline: raised at the meeting, this is not something the Lab is liable to tackle at the moment. A more important focus is how to handle Apple’s deprecation of OpenGL.
  • [9:29-9:45, with text comments to 11:43] BUG-225039: “with transparent texture and alpha masking at cut-off 1, the underlying colour shows through in small patches” – the Lab is actively investigating this.

 

2018 SL project updates 26/3: TPVD meeting

San Monique; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrSan Moniqueblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 29th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

SL Viewer

No changes to see out the week, leaving the current pipelines as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.6.516459 and dated June 15th, promoted June 21st – formerly the Pálinka Maintenance Release Candidate – New
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Quinquina Maintenance RC viewer, version 5.1.7.516813, released on June 22nd.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Week #27 Deployments

[2:53-3:29] Animesh is now on all the major release candidate server channels. However, due to the US 4th July holiday occurring mid-week in week #27 (commencing Monday, July 2nd, 2018), it will not be deployed to the Main (SLS) channel, as the Lab wish to avoid “high risk” deployments during the week.

Bugsplat Testing

[3:34-4:08] The Lab is about to start experimenting with viewer crash reporting using BugSplat, a commercial service.

As a part of this, a new release candidate viewer with code for using Bugsplat should be arriving in week #28 (commencing Monday, July 9th); aside from this, code, it will be functionally identical to the de facto release viewer. It will be used to evaluate whether or not to commit to a move to using Bugsplat over the current home-grown Breakpad crash reporting mechanism.

Environment Enhancement Project

[4:40-5:50] The EEP project viewer is seen as being “not too far away”. It is currently awaiting the deployment of the back-end inventory management changes, which are required to support the new EEP inventory assets. This includes a new inventory Settings folder, designed to contain windlight assets.  Please refer to my week #26 CCUG update for more on EEP as well.

[6:13-8:04] It’s not clear when the experience-based LSL support for EEP will be available – probably not during the initial deployment, but will become available as the project iterates. Also things will be set such that during testing, those on regions supporting the new EEP settings will see them; those on regions without the back-end support will see things as they are now (the “old style settings”).

Upcoming Changes

Monday, July 2nd, will see the introduction of the new private region prices, together with the increase in Linden Dollar purchase transaction fee see Linden Lab announces major SL private region pricing restructure for more.

[15:03-16:50] Also coming up is the new land auction system, which will allow users to auction their own Mainland.

The system is currently in the final stages of testing internally, and the current plan is for the Lab to wind-down auctions using the existing system by the end of week #27, then switch to the new system. Initially, only auctions of Linden held land will be available through the new system, but this will be expanded to include land held by users hopefully by the end of July 2018.

The new land auction system will be run through Place Pages, so those having Mainland they want to auction should consider creating a Place Page for it (if they haven’t already done so).

Other Items

  • [8:20-8:46] It appears that once Animesh, EEP, Bakes on Mesh, etc., are all deployed, the focus may be more on server-side updates and work (region crossings?). The easing of viewer-related projects should give TPVs some room to catch up with the Lab, if necessary, although bug fixes, etc., will still be appearing (via Maintenance RC releases).
    • [29:11-29:43] One of these projects will be ARCTan, the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs. However, this will remain a deliberately slow process.
  • [8:59-9:23] There are still two major open-source contributions to the viewer in development:
    • Camera presets, which will allow users to set and save their own preferred camera presets in the viewer see STORM-2145.
    • Porting of the poser feature from the Black Dragon TPV to the official viewer.
  • [9:32-12:40] As noted in my previous TPVD meeting summary,  there are concerns about unintended consequences of experiences when combined with tools such as avSitter (and / or RLV), and the potential for abuse. A JIRA was raised, but subsequently closed by the Lab. However, the matter is still under discussion internally, and may result in changes to how experiences work to address the issue.
  • The next get-together of everyone at the Lab who works on Second Life to discuss plans and options should be taking place towards the end of July.
  • [18:16-18:37]The latest official viewer sees the minimum object LOD raised from 0.0 to 1.0; this is unlikely to be reversed.
  • [19:00-20:05] The Lab currently has an update to Voice running internally. Vivox are due to deliver a new SLVoice.exe update “real soon”. When this happens, the test Voice viewer will likely move to a public project viewer, with the new SLVoice package.

 

2018 SL project updates 24/3: TPVD meeting

Woods Club; Inara Pey, June 2018, on FlickrWoods Clubblog post

The majority of the following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 15th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

SL Viewer

  • The Pálinka  Maintenance RC updated to version 5.1.6.516459 on Friday, June 15th.
  • The Bakes on Mesh project viewer updated to version 5.1.6.516270 on Thursday, June 14th.

The rest of the current SL viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.5.515811, dated May 31, promoted June 1 – formerly the Love Me Render Release Candidate – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • 32-bit Windows Unloop RC viewer, version 5.1.6.515965, dated June 5 – specifically for 32-bit Windows users caught in the 64-bit install loop (see here for more). Otherwise, the viewer is functionally identical to release version 5.1.5.515811.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

[13:07-13:30] The 360 snapshot viewer has been stalled pending other work (such as support for uploading 360 images to Second life Place Pages) and for resources to work on it – but it has not been forgotten.

Upcoming Viewers

  • [4:15-4:36] Voice update: there should be a new Voice RC viewer arriving, hopefully in the next two weeks. This will contain a new SL voice updated from Vivox.
  • [5:56-6:26] Texture caching: a project viewer re-working texturing caching should be appearing soonTM. This viewer (and the work related to it) is currently on hold pending the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP). When it does appear, the Lab is confident it will make a noticeable improvement to viewer performance.

Animesh Mini-Update

Please refer to my CCUG meeting summary for more on the status of Animesh.

[0:24-2:46] The Lab is aiming to try to get Animesh deployed to a release candidate channel on Agni (the Man grid) during week #25 (week commencing Monday, June 18th, 2018). It is not 100% certain there will be a deployment but, according to Oz, if it does go ahead, it will likely be a part of the RC deployment to the BlueSteel channel. Region holders wishing to test Animesh can request their region be moved to the required RC via a support ticket.

Note that the viewer supporting Animesh will remain at project release status for the time being.

[38:28-42:40] discussion – voice and chat of the Animesh 90-degree rotation issue. Again, all see my CCUG meeting notes, linked to above.

Region Crossings

[4:42-5:50] Work on trying to improve region crossings on the simulator side of the equation is continuing. The messaging changes as a result of this work  are being ported to the SL viewer, and should appear in a future Maintenance branch of the viewer, although the messaging updates themselves are not expected to have any real effect on improving region crossings from a viewer perspective.

The simulator changes are being handled one at a time, and will be appearing in simulator RC updates over the course of the next few months.

In the meantime, and as reported in my Simulator User Group updates (see here for an example), user Joe Magarac (animats) has developed a viewer-side update to help correct some of the region crossing issues within the viewer, particularly in relation to “partial unsits”. His work is likely to be featured in the upcoming Firestorm release, and I’ll have more on that in my review of that release. It’s not clear if these changes have been contributed to the Lab (or if they would be accepted if they have).

Global Experiences

[14:58-17:45] There have been concerns that the roll-out of grid-wide experiences will mean automatic opt-in to such activities, rather than consented opt-in. This will not be the case: grid-wide will function the same as current region / parcel experiences – consent will need to be granted via a dialogue box. Only experiences developed by Linden Lab may have automatic opt-in, although none of the Lab’s experiences to date use this, and there are currently no plans to deploy any that do.

The only difference with grid-wide experiences and current experiences is that the land owner doesn’t have to explicitly allow grid-wide experiences (it will – I understand – instead be a case of land owners opting out of grid-wide experiences if they don’t want them on their land).

There has also been a request to make experience dialogues when requesting the ability to take control to be friendlier  / more informative on the grounds that people are scared of them.

[23:30-37:00] There is an extended discussion (mostly text) over unintended consequences of experiences when combined with tools such as avSitter (and / or RLV), and the potential for abuse. This includes a discussion on how to make it easier for users to discover what is acting on their avatar through the viewer UI (and the problems in trying to do so).

In Brief

  • [3:28-3:58] https move – work is progressing on moving all of the SL web services to https: – however, this work has been more of a background task of late while the web services team work on other projects. So, not time frames on when the various services still to be moved will do so.
  • [8:44-9:58] SL wiki edit rights / JIRA comments rights: because of issues with spam bots, etc., both the SL wiki and the SL JIRA has been locked from casual editing (wiki) / making comments on reports (JIRA).
    • If you have a valid need to edit SL wiki pages, submit a support ticket with a request for edit rights. All requests are reviewed and access granted on the outcome of said review.
    • If you have a valid reason to want to comment on SL JIRA reports, you should e-mail a request with your SL user name and why you are requesting access to letmein-at-lindenlab.com.
    • Note that the JIRA lock does not prevent people from raising JIRA bug reports and feature requests.
  • [22:48-23:28] The Read Off-Line Messages Capability: there have been a couple of issues in handling Friend and Group requests received while off-line. These are being addressed server-side, and it is hoped the code will be with QA in week #25 (commencing Monday, June 18th, 2018), and will hopefully be deployed shortly thereafter.

 

2018 SL project updates 22/3: TPVD meeting

Village of Ahiru; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrVillage of Ahirublog post

The majority of following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 1st 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

This was another short meeting, with about half of that covering SL projects, which are noted below. The rest of the meeting was more general conversation, and I’ll leave it to the video to cover them. As always, time stamps in the text below will jump you to the relevant points in the video.

Server Deployments

On Wednesday. May 30th, all three primary RC channels were updated to a new server maintenance package, 18#18.05.25.515749, comprising and internal fix (presumably for the unspecified bug which prompted the roll-back of #18.05.14.515432) and the simulator-side support for the updated Estate Management tools.

SL Viewer

[0:52-2:33] The Love Me Render viewer was updated to version 5.1.5.515811 on May 31st, and promoted to de facto release status.

All other viewers in the various pipelines remain unchanged from the start of the week:

  • Release channel cohort:
    • Pálinka Maintenance RC viewer, 5.1.5.515527, dated May 21.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

It is likely all of the above will be updated as they are merged with the Love Me Render release.

360 Snapshot Viewer

[27:48-28:32]  The 360 snapshot project viewer has been on hold in part due to two reasons: the prime resource (Callum Linden) was assigned to another project; work on the viewer has been awaiting the development of an interface to allow direct uploads to Second Life Place Pages. In the meantime, the viewer code base is being maintained in parity with release versions of the viewer.

[28:57-29:34] There are also some graphics challenges that need to be addressed is trying to support the necessary high resolutions 360-degree images require couple with the low-end graphics systems many SL users have.

Upcoming Project Viewers

[2:34-3:07] The new project viewer with the updated Estate Management tools (ban list management, etc.) is expected “pretty soon”. This will work with the simulator-side Estate Management updates currently on the RC channels.

[5:26-5:42 and 7:20-8:35] Another upcoming project viewer has re-vamped texture caching. It’s hoped this will help with viewer performance. With it, users will be able to define a much larger overall cache size on their computer if they so wish. It is also hoped this work will include improvements to VRAM handling – although a problem here is that some systems incorrectly report the amount of VRAM they have available. Further, providing a recommended setting and assuming users will adhere to that recommendation doesn’t always work.

(There is also a text discussion on caching among games, etc.).

Viewer Camera Presets

[5:53-6:34] This is a contributed project from Jonathan Yap (who was responsible for developing and coding the graphics presets options in the viewer). It will allow users to define their own placements for the SL camera around their avatar (e.g. an over-the-should view, a view from overhead, etc.), which can then be saved and selected / used as required – see STORM-2145.

The work has been stalled awaiting a couple of new controls for manipulating the camera position being implemented. However, it is a project the Lab isn’t going to lose sight of, and it remains on the active project list.

Crash Reporting Changes

[18:18-21:04] The Lab is about to start experimenting with viewer crash reporting, removing the existing Breakpad based crash reporting tools and replacing it with BugSplat, a commercial service. If this works on a trial / experimental basis, the Lab will probably switch to using  BugSplat as their crash reporting mechanism.

Should this happen, TPVs using the current crash reporting mechanism may not want to merge the associated changes to use BugSplat, and continue to use the Brakpad mechanism (or introduce an alternative bug reporting solution of their own – such as Crashpad, regarded as the successor to Breakpad). Those wishing to use the BugSplat code will need their own subscription to the service and update the viewer code accordingly when using it in their own viewers.

From the Lab’s perspective is that dealing with crashes requires the maintenance and use of a lot of historical data which needs to be routinely searched, analysed, updated, etc., and a third-party company that specialises in this kind of work can probably do so and provide the necessary tools a lot better than the Lab can do on its own.

Project ARCTan

[4:24-5:22] This is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. As I’ve previously noted, the Lab is sensitive to the implications of doing this – particularly in the area of Land Impact, and will take steps to avoid disruption (e.g. through object returns) once the project reaches that point in time. (One area of potential impact is sculpties, which currently do not have their render cost accurately reflected in their land impact.)

The Lab has been gathering data as the first step in this work, and is “homing in” on better formulas, although Oz notes there is still a lot of work to be done and the project will be a “long, slow roll-out”. It’s likely that when a project viewer for this work appears (no time frame on this), it will include contributions for jelly dolling avatars with excessive texture use.

Land Auctions and Place Pages

[28:35-2855] The new auction system (users being able to auction their own land holdings will be run through the Second Life Place Pages. This has been a focus for recent work on Place Pages, which has delayed the development of the 360 snapshot viewer interface referenced above.

[30:27-31:47] The auction capability might even be made available (to some degree) in June 2018. This is likely to be just for Linden-owned land to start with, so the Lab can deal with issues without too much disruption / confusion, prior to the service being extended to users with land holdings.

The new user-to-user land auctions will be run through Second Life Place Pages, with Linden-run auctions starting the process off

As Ebbe Altberg has indicated, the plan will then likely to be to allow Mainland land holders auction their land directly to other Premium users, and then expand the ability from there.

The use of Place Pages for auctions means that those wishing to auction their land will need to create a place page for it.

Other Items In Brief

  • [11:32 and 13:30-13:40] Parcel Banning and Object Information: there appears to have been a recent change that means if an individual is banned from a region, they no longer receive information about objects on that parcel – see BUG-216294. This is regarded as expected behaviour. This includes a largely text-based conversation on options for de-rendering objects on other parcels, together with the idea about SL not being a place necessarily intended for isolated living, extending through to [18:10].
  • [22:23-22:47] “Social” tools in the viewer: it’s unlikely the Lab will make any changes to user profiles in the viewer any time soon; back-end work is being considered for group interfaces in the viewer, but this most likely won’t take place until after the cloud migration work has been completed.
  • Fun fact: Linden staff are subject to the same constraints in behaviour and activities when using ALT accounts as when using their official accounts. This means for example, a Linden staffer cannot participate in the upcoming user-to-user land auctions, and improper behaviour will be regarded in the same way as if they were using their official account.