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 1st 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.

 

Advertisements

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.

2018 SL project updates 19/2: TPVD meeting

Maison de L’amitie: Salar de Uyuni – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 11th 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 – around 30 minutes, 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.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the current crop of official viewers during week #19. This leaves the pipelines as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27th, promoted April 13th – formerly the media update RC.
  • 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 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. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

[1:53 -2:45] Currently, the Ouzo Maintenance RC has a slightly lower crash rate than the Love Me Render RC, and so at this point in time looks like the more likely of the two to gain promotion to de facto release status.

Forthcoming Updates

[2:46-3:28] There are a number of viewer-visible updates which will be surfacing in upcoming viewers in the near future. These include (and in no particular order):

  • Updates to the estate management tools for better management and update of ban lists, etc.
  • Changes to viewer texture caching.
  • Further SL Voice improvements.
  • [24:43-25:39] New capability for abuse reports to be called from the simulator by the viewer, rather than being hard-coded into the viewer. This work had some delays while the AR categories were translated into other languages for display by the viewer. However both the simulator and viewer updates are now progressing
  • [30:45-31:35] New capability for receiving off-line IMs to avoid loss of IMs on logging-in. This capability is also now in testing.

GDPR and the Viewer

[5:25-7:17] The Lab recently offered an initial blog post on the upcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR – also see my blog post on the subject as well). Subject to further updates on the matter from the Lab, it would appear that the view being taken that data gathered by the viewer which is used in-world will not be subject to any requirements defined by the GDPR. A benefit the Lab has had in terms of GDPR compliance, is that the company has never viewed users’ personal data as a potential asset for revenue generation.

Other Items in Brief

  • [8:03-10:35] Texture Copying: There have been requests for the Lab to make texture copying “harder”. Given that texture data is held on a local computer, and UUIDs are trivial to capture, and the data they point to can also be obtained, this is no easy task. The Lab therefore finds itself caught between trying to offer better protection for textures and risking giving the impression they can prevent all texture copying, although they do look at ways to at least deter it.
  • [11:18-12:42 (mainly text chat) and 14:28-16:50 (with text chat)] 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. The change, if made, may have been with good intent but is possibly having unwanted side effects. A JIRA is to be raised on the issue.
  • [12:43-14:20] BUG-216032: A recent back-end security change made to PRIM_MEDIA_CURRENT_URL reportedly broke a lot of content. Following initial complaints, the Lab offered to help those experiencing problems as a result of the change if they got in contact with the Lab. Some are reportedly still having issues, however, the Lab do not appear to have been contacted for assistance. so if assistance is required – contact Oz Linden.

2018 SL project updates 17/4: TPVD meeting

Ruins of Deepmarsh; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrRuins of Deepmarsh – blog post

The majority of these notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 27th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion.

Once again, this was a short meeting, but one with extended periods of silence; hence some of the gaps in the time stamps below. There’s also a conversation on the forthcoming Bid A Linden Bald event, as part of the Relay Rockers annual

SL Viewer

[0:07-0:36] The Love Me Render RC viewer updated to version 5.1.4.514788 on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018, and the Ouzo Maintenance RC updated to version 5.1.4.514802 on Friday, April 27th. Both of these RC viewers have had “significantly higher” crash rates than the default viewer, so the Lab will be watching to see what happens with the two updates, and with the crash rate for either is reduced as a result of their release.

Otherwise the viewer pipelines remain as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27, promoted April 13 – formerly the media update RC.
  • 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.

[0:39-1:24] The 360 snapshot viewer remains “on hold”, receiving updates to maintain parity with release viewer, but otherwise not receiving any significant work on its key features at this point in time. Work will resume in the future as the specialist resources become available. Both the Animesh and Bakes on Mesh viewers are referred to in the meeting as being “close to coming over to Agni”, although this only hold true for the Animesh project viewer, as the Bakes On Mesh viewer should work on the Main grid already (albeit with the Bake Service’s current 512×512 texture support, as the support for 1024×1024 textures has yet to be deployed).

Viewer Texture Cache Work

[1:46-2:14] The Lab continues to work on the viewer texture cache, and it is hoped that the latest attempt will lead to a “big improvement” in how textures are handled. Currently this code is not available for public consumption, but the hope is that there will be a project viewer with the code available “pretty soon”.

Updated Estate Management Tools

[19:30-20:10] Work is again progressing on enhancing the Estate Management tools in the viewer (e.g. refining ban list management capabilities, etc.). It is hoped that a project viewer will be emerging in the next few weeks. The viewer updates themselves are largely done, and things are awaiting server-side support.

Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP)

Project Summary

A set of environmental enhancements, including:

  • The ability to define the environment (sky, sun, moon, clouds, water settings) at the parcel level.
  • New environment asset types (Sky, Water, Days – the latter comprising multiple Sky and Water) that can be stored in inventory and traded through the Marketplace / exchanged with others.
  • Scripted, experience-based environment functions, an extended day cycle and extended environmental parameters. This work involves both a viewer updates (with a project viewer coming soon) and server-side updates.

Current Status

[11:39-12:38] Rider Linden has been engaged in some other work for most of the past month, but is now largely back working on the project. It is now a focus for the Lab going forward, with the hope that Rider will not be diverted into other work at EEP’s expense. Some test regions for EEP are also being prepared on Aditi.

Other Items

Testing Viewer Options and the Shared Experience

[5:00-5:45] TPVs sometimes introduce features and options which might be considered as breaking the “shared experience”. The question was therefore asked if allowing people to test / play with new rendering options – as developed by a TPV rather than Linden Lab – might be considered as breaking the shared experience. Oz Linden offered a response which provided some guidance on similar kinds of updates:

I think the best I can give you in terms of a general answer is if it’s the sort of thing that’s going to cause a merchant to include a note card with a product that says, “to see this product correctly, you have to run this viewer with that option turned on”, that’s a sign you’re breaking the shared experience … On the other hand, if you want to experiment with something that you’re then going to contribute upstream [i.e. to the Lab for inclusion in the base viewer code (which is used by all TPVs)] that’s a different problem altogether.

Catznip Displacement Maps Experiements

The question itself was prompted by Kitty Barnett of Catznip, who is working on using displacement maps in the viewer, as well as some other normal mapping tweaks.

Displacement maps, currently being experimented with by Kitty Barnett, can add further depth to surfaces. For example: top left – a prim wall with a brick texture; top right: a prim wall with a texture and normal map applied, as we’re used to seeing in Second Life – some depth is added to the cement grouting between the bricks etc. Bottom centre: the same prim wall with the same texture added, but now using a displacement map: note the greater apparent depth between bricks and cement grouting, etc (highlighted). However, such a capability will have a Land Impact cost.

It would seem that if successful, this work will be contributed to Linden Lab for evaluation and consideration. It’s important to note that Catznip’s work is in the early stages, more work is required on level of detail impact / modelling / potential Land Impact costs, etc., for which Catznip may look to the Lab for assistance.

[6:26-6:46] In the meantime, Oz Linden reiterated that, quite aside of the Environmental Enhancement Project (EPP – see above), the Lab is working on a number of other environmental (render-side) improvements. Previous discussions on rendering improvements have indicated that Graham Linden is already working on a series of environment updates alongside the EEP work being carried out by Rider Linden, which appears to include support for Godrays, potential pre-baking of some environment effects, etc. It’s not clear from Oz’s comments whether he is referring to this work, or something further downstream.

Natty Linden’s Marketplace Job Ad

[16:37-17:00] Natty Linden posted a Marketplace listing for a job at Linden Lab. While offering a little fun, the listing has a serious edge: there is an open Marketplace web developer post at present. As such, Natty’s listing is a further way of reaching those already engaged in Second Life who may have the requisite skills sets, who live in the right location and who may be interested in joining the Lab (which frequently does employ Second Life users – as seen with the likes of Patch Linden, Xiola Linden, and Rider Linden, to name but three of the more well-known resident hires made by the Lab over the years, and who work in different areas within the SL team).

 

 

2018 SL project updates 15/2: TPVD meeting

Isle of May; Inara Pey, March 2018, on FlickrIsle of Mayblog post

The majority of these notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 13th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion.

The meeting was reduced to under 15 minutes, with extended pauses marking a greater portion of it.

Server Deployments

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • The Main (SLS) channel was not updated on Tuesday, April 9th, nor was there a restart.
  • BlueSteel, LeTigre and Magnum are all now on server maintenance package 18#18.03.29.513939 after Magnum was updated on Wednesday, April 11th.

SL Viewer

[0:05-1:32] The Media Update RC viewer, version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27th, was promoted to de facto release status on Wednesday, April 11th. As a result, the remaining RC viewer were updated to parity on Friday April 13th, as follows:

The remainder of the SL viewer pipelines remain as:

  • 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.

[1:33-1:50] With regards to the 360 snapshot project viewer, this is being routinely updated internally by the Lab to keep pace with release viewer promotions. However, no actual work is being carried out on the 360 snapshot element at the moment. Work will resume in the future.

[1:58-2:29] A new Voice update RC is due in the future at some point, which fixes some issues from the last Voice release. However work on this is currently a “low priority”.

Off-Line and Abuse Reports Capabilities

[2:31-3:30] Two new capabilities are now grid-wide server-side:

  • A new abuse report cap which replaces the need for the viewer to have AR categories hard-coded into it.  Instead it will request the list of valid categories directly from the simulator.
  • A new IM cap is to overcome of off-line IMs failing to be delivered when a user logs in. This cap will allow the viewer to request off-line IMs, which the server will package and deliver to the viewer via HTTP, rather than sending off-lines en masse whether or not the viewer is ready.

Both of these caps require viewer-side updates in order to work. However, there is currently a bug impacting the viewer update for the new off-line IMs capability. In short, if you receive an off-line Friend request, there is no way to accept it with the new capability in place. The abuse report capability appears to be working correctly, so expect both to appear in a viewer update soon.

Friending can be fragile, and the Lab hope to make it more robust over time.

 

2018 SL project updates 13/4: TPVD meeting

Cuivieenen; Inara Pey, February 2018, on FlickrCuivieenenblog post

The majority of these notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, March 30th 2018. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion.

The meeting was reduced to under 15 minutes,with minor topics of discussion taking up the latter half. Please refer to the video for these.

Server Deployment Update

  • The Main (SLS) channel was updated on Tuesday, March 27th, to server release 18#18.03.14.513292, containing the new off-line IM and Abuse Report capabilities (see below).
  • The Magnum and LeTigre RC channels were updated on Wednesday, March 28th with server maintenance package 18#18.03.27.513831, containing internal fixes and the new off-line IM and Abuse Report capabilities (see below).
  • The BlueSteel RC was updated on Thursday, March 29th with server maintenance package 18#18.03.27.513838, comprising internal fixes.

SL Viewers

Viewer Pipeline

Note: At the time of the meeting, the viewer had just been approved for issue, but it wasn’t clear if it would be released before or after the Easter weekend. However, it was in fact issued after the meeting – see below.

[00:24-3:02] At the time of the meeting, the viewer pipelines were as follows:

  • Current Release version 5.1.2.512803, dated February 23, promoted March 1 – formerly the Nalewka Maintenance RC – No change
  • 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.

Off-Line and Abuse Reports Capabilities

[0:44-1:36] Two new capabilities are now grid-wide:

  • The new IM cap is to overcome of off-line IMs failing to be delivered when a user logs in. Currently, these are delivered via UDP, whether or not the viewer is ready to receive them. With the new capability (once grid-wide and implemented within the viewer), the viewer will request off-line IMs, which the server will package and deliver to the viewer via HTTP.
  • The new abuse report cap will replace the need for the viewer to have AR categories hard-coded into it. Once fully deployed, and a viewer update released, it will mean the view will request the current list of AR categories from the server when starting up, making the management of the list easier, and hopefully reducing the number of ARs filed under outdated categories.

However, both require further revision, and they require viewer-side updates as well. These should be appearing in the next Maintenance RC viewer issued by the Lab.

Bakes on Mesh Project Viewer

The Bakes on Mesh project viewer, version 5.1.3.513936, was released on Friday, March 30th after the TPV Developer meeting had concluded.

From the release notes (link above):

Bakes on Mesh is a new feature to allow system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments. Currently you will need a special project viewer to use it. Bakes on Mesh does not depend on simulator code, so it should work in all regions and all grids.

Basic features

  • Any face of a mesh object can be textured using one of the server baked textures.
  • The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if an attached mesh is using a baked texture.

Benefits

  • Avoid the need for appliers -> easier customization workflow
  • Avoid the need for onion avatars -> fewer meshes, fewer textures at display time
  • Avoid the need to sell full-perm meshes. You can customize any mesh you have modify permissions for simply by setting the flags and equipping the appropriate wearables.

Avatar wearables are baked into six different textures (BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR) by the baking service. You can now apply these textures to your avatar’s object attachments’ diffuse texture slot. Right click on the attachment, click edit and from the edit face menu select textures. Click the diffuse texture icon to open up the texture picker. The texture picker has an extra radio button mode called ‘bake’ for selecting server bakes. The ‘bake’ radio button mode has a drop-down for selecting BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR server bake textures. When an attachment is using a baked texture, the corresponding base mesh region of the system avatar is hidden.

If a mesh face is set to show a baked texture but is not attached to an avatar, you will see a default baked texture. If you are using an older viewer without bakes on mesh support, then faces set to show baked textures will also display as the default baked texture, and base mesh regions will not be hidden.

Known Issues

Detaching a mesh object that’s using BAKED_HAIR, does not make the base hair region visible. You have to log back in or teleport again. This will be fixed in next release.

A filter for Bakes on Mesh JIRAs has been created by Whirly Fizzle.