2020 TPVD meeting week #46: summary

Dya’s Southern Twilight, October 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, November 13th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

Another exceptionally brief meeting, with some discussion in chat, so please refer to the video as well.

SL Viewer News

[0:09-3:27]

On Thursday, November 12th:

  • The Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.11.551711,dated November 6th, was updated to de facto release status.
  • The Custom Key Mappings viewer was promoted to RC status with version 6.4.12.552100 on November 12th.
  • The Simple Cache project viewer, version 6.4.11.551403, was issued.
    • This version of the viewer uses a less complex file caching system to save local copies of frequently used assets such as meshes, sounds and animations. There should be no user facing differences in this viewer.

The remaining Projects viewers currently available remain as follows:

  • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.11.551213, November 2.
  • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, October 26.
  • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
  • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
  • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • Legacy Profiles viewer – still trying to get “unstuck”, but now caught with an issue apparently related to the migration work. The hope is that this can go to RC once a fix is in.
  • Jellydolls: Vir is still working on fixing some final issues before this promoted to RC.
  • A new Maintenance RC viewer should be appearing in the next week.
  • Further non-EEP graphics updates are pending a further Love Me Render RC viewer, but no ETA on arrival at this time.

In Brief

  • [3:31-6:13] LL have said they’ll look at the Moon texture flipping upside down after reaching midnight – this had previously been referenced as “expected behaviour”.
  • [6:37-18:10] Group chat issues (being able to send messages but not receive) may be account-specific, particularly following the Wednesday, November 11th deployments, although the issue is not believed to be deployment-related, but possibly network related.
    • Requests have been made to make group chat failures / lock-out a priority.
    • There is a suspicion at the Lab that the group chat issues and teleport failure issues may have a related underlying cause, particularly as they have similar characteristics and started at roughly the same time. However, LL do not have a definitive diagnosis for either or a possible link.
    • [20:09-20:48] As a part of the migration to AWS, LL added a new API that allows them to restart individual groups, that may act as a quick / short term fix as issues are being investigated, and might be something that can be extended to support to use, if test show it does help with problems on a intermediary basis.
    • Currently, the issues being experienced by the Firestorm team are impacting their ability too make a further release.
  • [18:23-18:41] The slow loading of legacy profiles via AWS regions is thought to be because the back-end support for legacy profiles has yet to be migrated to AWS.
  • [22:24-23:10] BUG-229623 “[AWS] Avatar permission changes do not stick on AWS regions”- no time frame on when this will be fixed. It is believed to be mostly a viewer-side issue, although it’s acknowledged the “simulator doesn’t do quite the right thing in the cloud”.
  • [24:55-22:08] Some are experiencing issues in access regions via teleport or vehicle where the region allows object entry / is not full, but can access it on foot or by logging directly into the region (e.g. BUG-202885 “Unable to cross into full region in a vehicle despite being a Premium user and able to cross on foot.”). This is a known issue and the Lab are looking at it, although issues such as the general TP failures,  group chat, etc., have a higher priority at this point in time.

2020 TPVD meeting week #44: summary with uplift news

The Muse, September 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, October 30th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

Another exceptionally brief meeting, with some discussion in chat, so please refer to the video as well.

Cloud Uplift

[0:00-1:01]

  • The transitioning of regions to running on AWS services in progressing “extremely well”.
  • So far, LL has been able to deal with those issues that have arisen.
  • At the time of writing, just under 15% of the the main (Agni) regions are now running on AWS.
  • This amount is set to increase “significantly” in week #45 (commencing Monday, November 2nd).
  • If there are issues users are encountering with regions running on AWS that haven’t been reported, now is the time to test them (preferably with the official viewer) to confirm they can be reproduced and then report them via the Second Life Jira.

SL Viewer News

[1:06-2:48]

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.10.549686, formerly the Mesh Uploader RC promoted on October 14 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.11.551139, issued October 27.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.10.549690, October 1.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.
    • legacy Profiles project viewer, version 6.3.2.530836 – but see below.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Legacy Profiles project viewer appears to be in a state of flux:
    • Updates to the viewer were dependent on on back-end changes which were in turn dependent on completion of the cloud migration work.
    • It had been hoped that an interim workaround could be made to allow the viewer to progress without the back-end changes.
    • On Monday, October 26th, the viewer was apparently updated to version 6.4.11.550519 (including on the Alternative viewers web page), presumably to bring it to par with the release viewer code base.
    • By Friday, October 30th, this appears to have been rolled-back to version 6.3.2.530836 (noted above), dated September 2019.
    • [10:07-10:35] When released, this viewer will see the deprecation of all aspects of the current web profiles, other than the Feed.
    • [11:02-11:36] The Feed will be made available through the viewer “as is”, but may be enhanced or possibly retired in the future.
  • An upcoming project / RC viewer will feature a replacement for the VFS (Virtual File System) cache.
    • There may be some benefits from the initial release of this viewer, however its primary aim is to get a new cache framework in place for upcoming cache-related projects (e.g. texture fetching and caching).

In Brief

  • [2:54-3:37] Firestorm currently have a pre-release of their EEP Beta viewer in testing, and are moving to promote that viewer to full release status, and is moving towards a code freeze so that it can progress to a release.
  • [4:19-5:13] BUG-229555 “[CEF 2020] AltGr key doesn’t work within internal web browser” – this issues also apparently affects special characters on windows as well. It has been accepted by LL as an internal Jira, and a fix should be in an upcoming Maintenance viewer / update.

2020 TPVD meeting week #42: summary

Isolation’s Passengers – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, October 16th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

Another exceptionally brief meeting, with some discussion in chat, so please refer to the video as well.

SL Viewer News

[0:15-2:18]

As per my CCUG meeting notes, the Mesh Uploader RC was promoted this week to de facto release status – refer to the release notes (link below) for details of the cosmetic and informational changes made to the uploader (which are in part based on contributions by Beq Janus of the Firestorm team). This leaves the current official viewer release list as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.10.549686, formerly the Mesh Uploader RC released October t and promoted on October 14 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.10.549752, issued October 1.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.10.549690, October 1.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • As per this week’s CCUG meeting, Vir is hopeful that the Legacy Profiles project viewer may be able to move forward soon using a workaround to get it past the current blocker of needing some web-side updates.
  • The Custom Key Mappings project viewer is being considered from promotion to RC status with its next update.
  • There is an upcoming RC viewer featuring some UI changes – possibly including the update to give HUD items in inventory their own inventory icon, as discussed by Steeltoe Linden in the CCUG week #40 meeting. Thus might be appearing in the next week or so.
The proposal UI change to distinguish HUD items from other objects in inventory.Left: how things are now, with HUDs using the same cube icon as other objects. Right: the proposed new HUD cog icon.
  • [5:24-6:54] There have been some issues with viewer documentation not appearing on the relevant web pages, leading to concerns that such documentation might be “going away”.
    • The problem has actually been caused by the mechanism used to generate the information not having been updated for some time (and also not even using current information), so when it was migrated to AWS services, it “fell apart”.
    • Rather than try to fix the issue, the decision has been made so that once uplift has been completed, the mechanism will be replaced with an easier to maintain process. However, it does mean that for the time being, some viewer related documentation may not be available.

In Brief

  • [9:20-10:00] BUG-228679: Media-on-a-Prim doesn’t register keystrokes correctly on Mac – unfortunately, no progress to report.
  • [12:12-13:40] A couple of TPVs have been holding off making a formal release of the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) updates beyond their current beta releases in case LL make further EEP update releases like the recent Love Me Render #4 viewer release. However, the advice from the Lab to these TPVs is:
    • To consider the high-priority EEP fixes as being “done”, as the Graphics team is now focused on priority long-term architecture work (including moving the viewer beyond OpenGL).
    • That future EEP fixes, when made, will form a part of the regular Maintenance RC viewer releases, rather than having any dedicated RC viewer updates.
  • [13:49-16:58] EEP performance issues:
    • Some TPVs have reported significant performance / FPS drop-off with EEP (around 15%). However, the Lab is not seeing anything close to this with the official viewer.
    • Unless there are detailed reports filed on the issue – using the official release viewer – that provide information on where / when / how the issue is being witnessed (e.g. the kind of test carried out, where in-world, the hardware configuration and viewer settings used, the results obtained, etc.), that allow LL to reproduce the problems, they do not see what can be done by way of investigation / fixes.
      • It was pointed out that comparable testing on the official viewer is difficult due to the limited amount of video memory available (512 MB compared to a minimum of 1 GB on most TPVs), which also affects performance, and so might skew results / how results are seen (e.g. are they EEP or are they due to texture load issues?).
      • Vir indicated that the amount of assigned texture memory is something the Lab will be looking at in the future.

2020 TPVD meeting week #40: summary (more cloud uplift)

Eterea, August, 2020  – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, October 2nd, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

This was an exceptionally brief meeting, with some discussion in chat, so please refer to the video as well.

Cloud Uplift – Agni

[0:06-3:39]

In my CCUG meeting summary, I noted that regions running on AWS are starting to appear on the main grid (Agni).

Commenting on progress of the Uplift project at the start of the meeting, Oz Linden indicated the Testylvania region (a restricted access region intended for testing purposes) is also running via AWS. It is regarded as “feature complete”, and the region is specifically available to TPV viewer developer for compatibility testing.

Any TPV developers who cannot access the region should contact one of Mazidox, Maestro or Kyle Linden.

It addition, Oz noted:

We currently have several dozen regions [on Agni] running uplifted, some of them user-accessible and some not. We will be ramping that up over the next few weeks. … At some point we will be moving the regular RC [deployments]  there as well, but we’re not quite ready for that yet due to back-end considerations that shouldn’t affect users directly … But one of the ways you can ask for trouble when dealing with computer programmes is by saying it “shouldn’t” do something.  

Oz Linden, TPV Developer Meeting, October 2nd

There may be a issue with attachments ghosting more frequently when teleporting between two regions running on AWS, but this has yet to be confirmed / a bug report raised.

SL Viewer News

[2:45-6:08]

As per may SUG and CCUG meeting updates, the current official viewer pipelines are as follows:

  • Current release viewer :Love Me Render #4 (EEP fixes), version 6.4.9.549455, released September 24, promoted September 28th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.10.549752, issued October 1st.
    • Mesh uploader RC viewer, version 6.4.10.549686, October 1st.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.10.549690, October 1st.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22nd, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • With the promotion of the LMR #4 viewer, the graphics team are turning to other graphics / rendering projects.
    • Note that LMR #4  appears to resolve the issue of the large performance hit linden Water has on EEP viewers.
  • The next viewer liable for promotion is likely to be the Mesh Uploader RC viewer, most likely in week #42 (commencing Monday, October 12th, 2020).
  • An upcoming series of viewers will be focused on UI improvements. /one of the aims of this work will be to overcome some of the long-standing viewer issues, as well as adding some new features.
  • For the project viewers:
    • The Legacy Profiles viewer is still awaiting the back-end changes.
    • The Custom Key Mapping viewer has not had a lot of feedback, and as a result is being considered for update to RC status.
    • The remaining project viewer are unlikely to change in the short-term.

In  Brief

  • [8:10-8:45] There are concerns among some Mac users on older hardware over their upgrade path with Apple’s announcement of a move to using ARM-based CPUs. LL is trying to get hold of an ARM-based test system directly from Apple to enable them to carry out in-depth investigation / testing.

 

2020 SL project updates week #38: TPVD summary

Winter Moon, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, September 18th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed. Note these summaries are not intended to be a full reporting on all topics discussed, but focus on those items that are more directly user-facing.

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

SL Viewer News

[3:41-6:49]

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

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

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

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

Aditi Cloud Testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In  Brief

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

 

2020 SL project updates week #36: TPVD summary

Pony Box, July 2020 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, September 4th, 2020. These meetings are generally held every other week, unless otherwise noted in any given summary. The embedded video is provided to Pantera – my thanks to her for recording and providing it. Time stamps are included with the notes will open the video at the point(s) where a specific topic is discussed.

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

SL Viewer News

[0:14-3:05]

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.7.546539, dated August 11, promoted August 17, formerly the Arrack Maintenance RC viewer – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Bormotukha Maintenance RC viewer, version 6.4.8.547468, issued August 28.
    • Love Me Render RC viewer, version 6.4.8.547427,August 21.
    • Mesh uploader RC viewer, version 6.4.5.544027, July 27.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Jelly project viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.8.547487, issued August 26.
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

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

In  Brief

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