2019 SL User Groups 22/4: TPV Developer Meeting

aZiLe; Inara Pey, May 2019, on FlickraZiLe, May 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 14th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. The key points of discussion are provided below with time stamps to the relevant points in the video, which will open in a separate tab when clicked.

SL Viewer

[0:23-3:40]

There have been no further LL viewer updates wince the Love Me Render and Bakes On Mesh RC releases on June 10th. This leaves the current LL viewer pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, released on June 5th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • 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.

BOM Alpha / Universal Wearable Issues

Please also see my week #24 CCUG update for details of issues around alpha handling and the universal wearable channels in the Bakes on Mesh viewer. Vir indicated that the Lab has a handle on this, which will require an Appearance Service update and a “small” viewer-side update that will include a new inventory icon for universal wearables.

Legacy Profile Project Viewer

[3:50-6:10]

  • As per my preview article, the Legacy Profiles project viewer (version 6.2.3.527749 at the time of writing), moves avatar profile in the viewer back into their own floater, rather than using a view of the web profile.
  • This work is in its initial stages, and the overall aim of the work is in flux. This means that the profile panel itself might be subject to further revision, and that even the web feed itself might gain its own floater, rather than being a tab within the new profile floater.

360 Snapshot Viewer

[6:15-7:33] Note that the 360 Snapshot viewer has been temporarily withdrawn, due to  the core viewer code being badly out-of-date. The viewer is currently in the process of being updated – no functionality changes to the 360 snapshot capability, purely an update to bring the core code up-to-date with the current release viewer. It is hoped this will reach the Lab’s QA team soon, and reappear as a project viewer in due course.

Group Chat Performance

[17:01-34:15]

  • A frequent complaint with Group chat is that it can be slow.
  • The Lab’s investigation in issues shows that actual chat messages and group notices account for the minority of traffic seen in the group chat system.
  • By far the largest volume of traffic is purely the on-line / off-line notifications that are being sent.
    • So, for example, in a group of 20,000 members, each time someone logs-in or out of SL, 20,000 messages are generated in the group chat system; for a 50,000 member group, the number is 50,000, and so on.
    • Note that a couple of years ago, to try to improve things, the Lab disabled the ability to see the group members list for groups over 5,000 members – but the actual messages themselves are still circulated.
  • The Lab is therefore seeking feedback on how big an impact it would be if these on-line / off-line messages were turned off on the simulator side, either just for very large groups (upper limit TBD), or simply for all groups, in the hope it will reduce the volume of traffic and help improve overall chat performance.
  • It has been acknowledged that if this is to be done, it would be useful for group members to still be able to see which group owners / moderators are on-line, and for group owners / moderators to see which group members are on-line, so that issues / enquiries can be dealt with. The Lab will investigate whether this can be done.
  • Note that removing these messages would not affect the “last login” date for the group members list.
  • It is likely the Lab may carry out some experiments on a small cohort of groups to see what might be done and check for any measurable performance increase in those groups.
    • Some experimenting has already been done in trying to batch the on-line / off-line update messages, but it’s not clear if this has had any positive impact where it has been done.
  • An alternative suggestion is to break groups into types: e.g. those purely for chat (which may require more information on users’ on-line status) and those just for outwards announcements.
    • This is already done to some degree by group owners setting group rules / members’ capabilities; however, it still means the on-line / off-line messages are still sent.
    • Were the Lab to try to implement a more robust system like this, there would be a major issue is handling existing groups and determining how to define them.
  • [41:00-41:15] More generally with group chat, the Lab have considered adding an ability to add a server-side block (accessible through the viewer) on chat from groups a user does not wish to hear from, chat-wise. This may be implemented “at some point”.

In Brief

  • [36:10-36:35] Avatar Teleport on Region Performance: as we know, avatars arriving in a region can have a significant impact on the region’s performance. The Lab believe that have a partial understanding of the problem, and has some ideas on how the impact might be lessened.
  • [44:20-46:44] BUG-225696 – “All offline inventory offers from scripted objects are lost” –  was believed to have been fixed in the Teranino RC viewer, however it still appears to be occurring. As such BUG-227179 has been raised against the issue, and the Lab will look into it again.
  • [52:16-53:30] Kitty Barnett (Catznip) has been working on trying to clean-up a series of viewer-side events that can cause the viewer to stall after the login.cgi process has completed that can cause region messages (including IMs) to be lost. The Lab is aware of these as well, but would be interested in accepting Kitty’s code contributions if she can get them finished.
  • The Lab is still looking for a Senior Graphics Engineer to work on Second Life (San Francisco based).

Total Aside

In discussing SL groups (and as a point of humour), Oz and Grumpity revealed the first three Jira items filed internally at the Lab:

  • SL-1: Second Life should grow to dominate the entire world, thereby making us the de facto world leaders.
  • SL-2: Build a time machine.
  • SL-3: Build an army of robot cats.

SL-2 was seen as necessary because the Lab knew that it would eventually need to go back and re-engineer some of the decisions made when first defining / building Second Life and its architecture. Sadly, and DeLorean cars notwithstanding, there are still considerable blockers that prevent its implementation!

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2019 SL User Groups 22/3: TPV Developer Meeting

(Fae Forest), Elvenshire; Inara Pey, April 2019, on Flickr(Fae Forest), Elvenshireblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 31st, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. The key points of discussion are provided below with time stamps to the relevant points in the video, which will open in a separate tab when clicked.

Note this meeting involved a lot of text-based chat on VRAM, script limits, and avatar complexity which, in the interest of brevity with these notes, I leave to the video.

SL Viewer

[01:18-2:22]

The Rainbow Maintenance viewer – version 6.2.3.527584 – was released on  Wednesday, May 29th. This viewer specifically fixes a known Windows / Nvidia issue where on exiting Second Life, the system video is distorted – see BUG-226803.

Note that at the time of writing this summary, the Rainbow RC viewer is not listed on the new Alternate Viewer page; if you are experiencing this particular issue, and wish to try the new RC, please go to the main Viewer Release page, where it *is* listed.

There should be a project viewer forthcoming “soon” with a number of open-source contributions

The remaining LL viewer pipelines are unchanged, as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.2.2.527338, formerly the Teranino RC viewer, promoted May 22 – 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:
  • 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.

As per my CCUG summary, it is anticipated updated versions of EEP and Bakes on Mesh RC viewers should be appearing in week #23 (commencing Monday, June 3rd, 2019).

Official Linux Viewer

[5:47-7:05]

  • The Lab has received a comprehensive open-source Debian-based contribution for Linux.
  • This will have restricted functionality (e.g. no Voice, as Vivox who supply the Voice EXE for the viewer no longer support Linux).
  • The Lab is currently putting time into trying to build this Linux option within their existing viewer build. If this succeeds, they will likely issue the viewer (I’m guessing as a project viewer initially).

Group Notices to IM

[10:50-12:00]

  • As per my April 26th TPVD meeting notes, the Lab is considering the possibility of no longer sending group notices to e-mail when a user is off-line.
  • This will only be for off-line group notices. It will not block / change the receipt off-line IMs.
  • The reason for making the change is to help is secondlife.com being regarded as a spam domain by e-mail services.
  • Work has not yet commenced on this.
  • The Lab expects to be doing “significant” work on groups in general “pretty soon”. This will include work on group notice delivery reliability, general group chat lag, etc.

In Brief

  • [2:24-3:28, 13:49-14:10, and 17:20-19:15] Teleport improvements:
    • Work continues in trying to stabilise / improve teleports to avoid any repeat of recent problems.
    • Work is also in progress to improve how attachments are handled on teleports to lessen instances of attachment loss, ghosting, etc.
      • Some of these issues might be related to viewer changes, and the Lab is currently testing fixes and experimenting with the viewer, and the latter may result in some tweaks to the way the viewer handles attachments.
      • More on this to follow once the internal tests are complete and have been assessed.
      • As it is, improvement have been deployed to help prevent attachments getting killed on teleports, although further work on this may still be required.
  • [7:05-10:08] Mobile client:
    • LL continue to work on the iOS mobile client for Second Life.
    • iOS was selected because “at the time the decision was taken, there wasn’t anything for iPhone”, and the Lab didn’t have the resources available to handle both iOS and Android development.
    • More details on the iOS client’s functionality are hoped to be available “before too long”.
    • Android remains a hoped-for goal, although there is no time line for when it might happen.
  • [12:10-12:30] Last names: work is continuing on the return of last names, although deploying the capability is not imminent.
  • [12:57-13:30 and 14:33-16:15] Transitioning SL to the cloud:
    • Again, work is progressing, and some services have been transitioned (note: not any user-accessible simulators), without any impact being noted / felt by users.
    • More services will be transitioning in the next few months.
    • The Lab is intentionally not providing information and when and which services are being transitioned in an attempt to more accurately garner from user feedback if things have go well or not (e.g. by preventing people reporting on the assumption that because X has been changed, it “must” be the cause of their issues).
  • [19:24-19:40] Viewer Caching Re-work: this has been paused for a while, but is due to resume.
  • [29:28-30:00] Visual Studio / Xcode Update: the Visual Studio 2017 (Win) and Xcode (Mac) update to the viewer build process is working locally but is not working within the viewer build farm. However, the switch to using them within the farm is expected “very soon”.

2019 SL User Groups 20/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Hotel California; Inara Pey, April 2019, on FlickrHotel Californiablog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 17th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. The key points of discussion are provided below with time stamps to the relevant points in the video, which will open in a separate tab when clicked.

There was a lot of inconsequential text chat about Display Names during the meeting, which these notes ignore.

SL Viewer

[00:00-01:47]

The rest of the SL viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.2.0.526190, formerly the Estate Access Management RC viewer, dated April 12, promoted April 17 NEW. – see my EAM overview for more information
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Bakes on Mesh RC viewer, version 6.1.1.525409, March 26 (and not currently recorded on the the new release notes pages)So, a
  • 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.

Emoji Support

[4:00-9:30 – also in text, with broader text discussion on unicode in Display Names]

  • A frequent feature request for Second Life is for emoji support in chat.
  • This is not something the Lab has the bandwidth to support.
  • An invitation has been put out to any open-source developers who would like to pick this up as a project for submission as a viewer contribution on all supported operating systems, the Lab is willing to work with them.
    • Note that this is not a promise that SL will have emoji support soon.
    • If the work is taken up by an open-source developer it will only be for emoji support in chat; it will not include the use of emojis in Display Names.

Group Notices to IM

[19:47-26:44]

  • As per my April 26th TPVD meeting notes, the Lab is considering the possibility of no longer sending group notices to e-mail when a user is off-line.
  • This will only be for off-line group notices. It will not block / change the receipt off-line IMs.
  • The reason for making the change is to help is secondlife.com being regarded as a spam domain by e-mail services.
  • it is hoped that changes being planned to the way SL events work (and which have yet to be formally described / announced) will naturally reduce the need for at least some group messages in the future.

In Brief

  • [13:56-16:12] There is reportedly a viewer crash related to Animesh that is estimated to affect around 2.5% of Firestorm crashes. However, it does not appear to be easy to reproduce (example crash stack).
    • The issue appears related to rideable Animesh and region crossings. In short, when it happens, the Animesh (such as an Animesh horse), existing in the two regions when crossing between them, and for some reason the “wrong one” unloads, causing the viewer to crash.
    • At the time of the meeting, a bug report on the issue had yet to be raised, due to the issues in trying to reproduce the problem, however, it seems to be particularly prevalent in the Bellisseria (Linden Homes) continent – probably because there are a lot of people out and about in that region and using Animesh, rather than the problem being specific to the regions in the continent.
  • [29:20-33:20, with further text discussion on inventory offers and IMs through until close to the end of the meet] It appears that BUG-225696, “All offline inventory offers from scripted objects are lost” still remains an issue for viewers adhering to the off-line IM cap.
  • [34:08-35:20] BUG-41379 “Script (running) state is lost when logged out during forced teleport” – this is a known issue that is being addressed at as a part of a broader project.
  • [51:36-52:20] The Lab still has job openings for a senior graphics engineer and a QA server engineer, both working on Second Life.

2019 SL User Groups 17/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Authors Point; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrAuthors Pointblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 26th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with several periods of audio silence and text chat. The key points of discussion are provided below with time stamps to the relevant points in the video, which will open in a separate tab when clicked.

SL Viewer

[00:00-01:17] There have been no SL viewer updates this week, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.2.0.526190, formerly the Estate Access Management RC viewer, dated April 12, promoted April 17 NEW. – see my EAM overview for more information
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • 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.

The EAM viewer is awaiting one simulator side update; the next RC viewer likely to be promoted to de facto release viewer will probably be the Teranino Maintenance RC viewer.

Teleport (and Region Crossing) Issues

[1:20-3:35]

Disconnects

  • Major effort has been put into trying to resolve the teleport disconnect issue – hence the multiple deployments this week.
  • In the process of developing and deploying the fixes, the Lab has significantly improved its ability to monitor teleports.
  • This improved monitoring / stats gathering will help baseline teleports for future reference, should further issues crop up.
    • It appears to suggest teleport success rates are now significantly better than prior to the updates being deployed.
    • The added monitoring has no appreciable impact on performance.

Attachment Loss on Teleport

  • Progress has continued with fixes for the issue of attachments coming off / becoming ghosted/ etc., as a result of a teleport / region crossing.
  • It will likely be a couple of weeks before these are deployed server-side, as the Lab will be keeping an eye on the teleport / region crossing disconnect issue to ensure the fixes that have been deployed really do help break down the issues that have been experienced.

Snapshots: Flickr Cap Fail and Withdrawal of Facebook Support

[4:15-5:50]

Flickr Cap Fail

There is an issue with the snapshots to Flickr capability failing see BUG-226826). This appears to have perhaps been an unannounced change at the Flickr / Smugmug end of things, rather than anything the Lab has done, but investigations are still ongoing.

Update April 30th: the Flickr cap fail now appears to be fixed. 

Facebook Support

It was announced on Friday, April 19th, that support for uploading snapshots from the viewer to Facebook has now been completely  withdrawn. As such, the viewer-side code is to be shortly removed, with the Lab noting:

Due to continued changes in the Facebook API, as of today the Second Life viewer will no longer be able to support Facebook Connect for sharing your in-world photos and posts.  We apologise for this inconvenience and will be removing the UI from the viewer shortly. We will, of course, be happy to see your SL posts on Facebook going forward, and you can always say hello and check out what’s happening on our official page: https://www.facebook.com/secondlife.

Script Processing Issues

[6:50-13:45]

Issues with script processing have been raised at a number of meetings recently, and were mentioned again at this TPVD.

  • Specifically, it was reported at this meeting that since the April 18th roll-back / update, some Full regions seem to have script run-time capped 12ms, so only around 60% of scripts are run, while some homesteads appear to only run around 20% of scripts..
  • As it was also reported that these affected regions were running OK following the initial deployment of the newer version of the OS, this issue appears to be specifically related to the changes made on April 18th.
  • The Lab is not aware of anything having been changed that might have impacted script run-time.
  • The newer version of the operating system (which is specifically required as a part of preparing the simulators to a cloud-based infrastructure) is due to be further deployed to simulators Agni (the main grid) in week #18. This should provide the Lab with a broader cross-section of simulator running both the older and newer versions of the OS, which will allow a more informed comparison of metrics from the two versions to be made, which could help determine if there is a more broad-based issue with scripts on the newer OS version.

Group Notices to IM

[16:00-22:33]

  • The Lab is considering the possibility of no longer sending group notices to e-mail when a user is off-line.
  • Right now, if IM to e-mail is enabled for when a user is off-line from SL, it will allow both IMs and group notices to be forwarded to e-mail. This can result in message volumes / content being seen as spam.
    • As it is invariably the secondlife.com domain that is linked to such reports, this can lead to it being regarded as a spam site, degrading the ability for secondlife.com to deliver e-mails in general, as e-mail services mark the domain as an originator of spam.
    • This move is therefore intended to make e-mails from the secondlife.com domain for reliable.
    • Although other forms of messaging forwarded to e-mail can potentially add to the problem of spam labelling (e.g. object IMs to e-mail), group notices are seen as by far the biggest cause.
  • No decision on this has been taken either way, but disabling the ability for group notices to e-mail is easier than other options (such as requesting user go through all their groups and disable group notices).
  • Were this change to be implemented, then only IMs would be sent to e-mail; group notices received when off-line would be held until the user next logs-in, as is currently the case.
    • It has been suggested that increasing the limit on the number of messages that can be queued when a user is off-line might ease the blow of blocking group notices being sent to e-mail. While this idea is already under consideration, no decision has been taken either way.

[25:06-26:18] If this idea does move forward, it is hoped that changes being planned to the way SL events work will reduce the need for at least some group messages.

  • No specifics were available on the updates that are being planned for events, but it has already been suggested that the updates include an API to allow events to be properly listed on viewer log-in screens (see feature request BUG-226867).

In Brief

  • [13:58-15:00] Following the release of a video on You Tube by a Lab employee, the question was asked about the Lab’s policy on staff using TPVs. In short:
    • Lab staff must use the official viewer on Lab equipment and/or their official Lab accounts.
    • Lab staff may use any viewer of their own choosing on their own hardware and when using their personal user account.
      • This was actually the case with the video in question: it was filmed and released via a personal account, not an employee account.
  • [31:43 (text)-35:30] Questions continue concerning LL’s support of 32-bit operating systems (it was mentioned that Microsoft will apparently stop supporting 32-bit “with the next [Windows 10?] update”). However, one of the reasons for LL’s continued support of 32-bit Windows is the number of users on less capable / 32-bt specific GPUs.
  • [35:40-36:25] At least some of the EEP regressions witnessed following the April 18th roll-backs / redeployments should hopefully be corrected with the simulator updates due in week #18.
  • [39:36-40:56] It’s often asked when simulator updates aren’t “more thoroughly tested” by the Lab. Simply put, such is the number of Agni (main) grid simulators coupled with the wide variety of ways people use Second Life (think of all the different in-world scripted object, or even all the purpose-built, custom windlights, for example), that replicating it all in a comprehensive test environment simply isn’t possible. Hence why the Lab use the release candidate channels: while testing is carried out (and the Lab is constantly trying to improve its test environments), the RCs provide a further means of “testing the water” before deploying updates grid-wide.
  • [42:39-43:11] video playback support (MP4): work is on the roadmap for this, but the Lab has yet to get to it.

2019 SL User Groups 15/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Green Acres; Inara Pey, March 2019, on FlickrGreen Acres blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 12th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with several periods of audio silence and text chat. The key points of discussion are provided below.

SL Viewer

  • The Estate Access Management (EAM) RC viewer updated to version 6.2.0.526190 on Friday, April 12th, 2019.
  • As noted in my CCUG summary, the EEP viewer updated to version 6.2.0.526104 on Thursday, April 11th.

All other viewer in the pipelines remain as:

  • Current Release version 6.1.1.525446, formerly the Love Me Render RC viewer, dated March 26, promoted April 2 NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Bakes on Mesh RC viewer, version 6.1.1.525409, March 26.
    • Teranino Maintenance RC viewer version 6.1.1.525401, March 20.
  • 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.

With the necessary back-end updates now made, it looks likely that the EAM RC viewer will be the next viewer to be promoted to de facto release status.

Teleport Issues

Teleport Disconnects

  • The Lab continues to try to understand the root cause(s) of the teleport disconnects. So far, they can only confirm it is not specific to any single viewer.
  • As previously indicated in my updates, the root cause of the issue is a race condition / timing issue – something that could be exacerbated by the distance of a user from the Lab’s servers (the grater the distance = the more time required for communications = the greater the chance of a timing issue / race condition).
  • Similarly, a high packet loss between viewer and simulator(s) might increase the chances of a disconnect occurring.
  • The problem remains in trying to identify precisely what has changed to cause any race condition / timing issue.
  • As noted in this week’s SUG meeting summary, there was a server RC deployment on Wednesday, April 10th – version 19#19.04.09.526122,. This included additional logging to help capture further data on the teleport disconnects, particularly capturing where the region handshaking may be failing.
  • Multiple regions have been replicated on Aditi, and having further enhanced logging enabled on them. This additional logging capability may be deployed to Agni in week #16, but not necessarily enabled, due to the performance impact it will have. However, the code will be in place should it be required.

Attachment Loss on Teleport

  • The Lab now has a “solid” repro for this issue. As anticipated, much of the problem appears to be related to having too many scripted attachments stacked on the same attachment point (e.g. the right hand, the default attachment point, and often used by default by mesh clothing makers).
  • However, the work on developing a fix has slowed as a result of resources being moved over to the teleport disconnect issue.

Asset UDP Messaging Deprecation

As noted in my SUG summary, it appears the code for the Asset UDP messaging deprecation didn’t work as anticipated, likely the result of one code element failing to merge correct. There will be a be a further RC deployment in week #16 with the corrected code.

A reminder that assuming the deployment is made and the code works as anticipated, anyone using very old viewers still reliant on UDP messaging for assets and which do not have support for HTTP messaging will not be able to receive any updates for the following: animations, body parts, clothing, gestures, landmarks, meshes and sounds whilst connected to regions on any RC channel.

In Brief

  • The are reports of issues with the EEP code interfering with Interest List culling, with Draw Distance having little effect on scene rendering (BUG-226752). This is being investigated.

 

2019 SL User Groups 13/3: TPV Developer Meeting

Sol Farm; Inara Pey, February 2019, on FlickrSol Farmblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 29, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps are provided to the major topics of discussion, which will open the video in a new tab for ease of reference.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to any viewers since my Simulator User Group summary. The viewer pipelines there remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.1.0.524670, formerly the BugSplat RC viewer February 13, promoted February 28 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):
  • 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.

[2:22-6:55]

  • The hope is the EEP RC viewer will be eligible for promotion to de facto release status “pretty soon”.  However, as per my CCUG summary, both the EEP viewer and the new-to-RC-status Bakes on Mesh viewer  are awaiting some fixes.
  • The Estate Access Management viewer is good-to-go, but is awaiting some simulator update with a new capability, which is likely to be another couple of weeks, before it can be promoted.
  • All of this means that the next viewer liable to be promoted will be Love Me Render viewer.

EEP Limitations

[7:24-25:00] There are also a couple of user-identified issues with EEP that are being considered:

The first is that EEP doesn’t play well with RLV and RLVa capabilities that use Windlight settings. LL have offered to help see what LSL abilities within EEP might be used to overcome the issues.

The second is potentially more disruptive: the ability to locally change an environment for the purposes of photography is somewhat limited.

Currently, with Windlight, it is possible for a photographer to tweak the local environment in their own viewer (e.g. move the Sun to provide better lighting / shadows, alter the cloud and haze density / colour, etc.).

Within EPP, this ability is limited to only those settings a user has a right to alter, make such minor adjusts potentially impossible to achieve. This is related to the EEP permissions system that has been set to allow EEP assets to be sold by creators.

The only options are either a): completely replace the location environment with one attached to their avatar; or b) trying to build a personal “copy” of the location environment just to adjust the Sun position, etc., or c) trying to employ LSL to make the necessary changes, with b) and c) clearly being hard for most people to achieve.

Whirly Fizzle has raised a feature request (BUG-225921) to bring the matter to LL’s attention, and it is being examined. However, whether or not an alternative means to make such localised (/ personal) tweaks to an environment will make the initial EEP release or be held over to “EEP 2.0” has not been decided.

One suggestion put forward at the meeting allowing such minor tweaks might be to allow make changes without exposing the associated underlying values for the settings (thus avoiding people being able to copy  / rip EEP assets that they would otherwise have to buy), and to have the Save options disabled when doing so. Rider Linden indicated this is one of the approaches he was considering looking at.

Reminder: the EEP simulator code is now grid-wide. This means certain render feature – such as the stars – appear to be “broken” on non-EEP viewers (e.g. black “stars” can appear in daytime skies as square blotches, and at night white stars appear decidedly square. This is because the sky (including the stars) is rendered differently with EEP, but an attempt is made to convert things like stars back to a windlight setting for rendering by non-EEP viewers, which doesn’t entirely work.

This issue will obviously be fixed when the EEP viewer code is available in all viewers.

Simulator Update

[6:56-7:20] Simulator releases have been fairly quiet of late, with some weeks seeing no roles on either the SLS (Main) channel or one or more of the RCs. However, there are a number of simulator projects in flight which mean things are liable to be busy with simulator releasing over the coming weeks.

Teleport Issues

Teleport Disconnects

[25:37-34:01]

  • It’s been widely noted that there has been a sharp up-tick in teleport failures & viewer disconnections (with physical region crossings also causing similar issues).
  • This problem appeared to start with a server deployment, but the root cause(s) is / are proving hard to identify.
  • It took the Lab a while to realise there was a problem, as the tool they use to monitor the success / failure rate of teleports was not showing any significant issues, and Lindens in-world assumed that when they encountered the problem, it was an issue with their own connection.
  • Investigations are now in progress, but identifying a root cause is difficult, as it is proving hard to get a consistent set of circumstances by which the disconnects can be reproduced.
    • If anyone can determine a means to repro the issue, or determine the conditions under which the problem is more / less likely to happen, they are asked to put it in a Jira for the Lab.
  • Some changes have been made to the simulator code in the hope that they might either a) help alleviate the problem, or b) at least provide more data when teleport disconnects do occur, and some of these changes are likely to be deployed in week #14.

Attachment Loss on Teleport

[34:09-36:59]

  • This is another issue that has been of increasing notice for a while now (e.g. inventory being actually detached; attachments being ghosted in your local view whilst others still see them attached; experience-controlled temporary attachments becoming ghosted, etc.).
  • The Lab does not have a solution for the problem as yet. However, via testing, they have found a number of issues that contribute to worn inventory being detached as a result of the teleport (/ region crossing).
  • Fixes for these issues are being developed, and more news on these should be available once the Lab has some definitive testing results.
  • The hope is that the Lab will able to resolve most of the issues  – or at least make things behave more correctly – just through changes on the server-side, rather than the fixes being heavily biased towards the viewer.
    • Any viewer-side changes that might be required will be highlighted at future TPVD meetings do that other viewers can take and merge them as required.

Other Items

Adult Rated In-Viewer Web Searches

[40:45-43:15]

Despite certain pundits claiming otherwise, the Adult rating is not all about “extreme sex and violence” (there are numerous residential, art, photographic, and role-play regions for example, that err on the side of caution and opt for an adult rating). However, a problem that does exist is that the web search in the viewer currently opens on the Events tab, and with the Adult search parameter enabled, this can result in sexually explicit adverts being displayed, which some who might otherwise be using Adult to rating simply to find the type of location noted above to be uncomfortable.

  • Unchecking the Adult search option isn’t a solution, as disables Adult searching in other categories thus preventing the art galleries, etc., mentioned above being listed in results.
  • One way to lessen this impact might be to make the Destinations tab the default tab on opening the web search panel. While this still has Adult destinations in the banner ads, these are more mixed with ads for destinations with other ratings, and potentially less noticeable.
  • Another suggestion offered is to possibly sub-categorise Adult search results between sexual / non-sexual (although this could be hard to achieve in avoiding issues of gaming).
  • The suggestion made for this issue to also be raised at the next Web User Group meeting.